Failed Swedish beaches
Ain’t nothing prettier than a good Swedish summer, we all know that. Last year was one of them, and hopefully this will be, too. It is already off to a great start. But before you pack your picnic basket and gather towels and suntan lotions, check if the beach to which you’re heading is actually approved of by the European Union. Many Swedish beaches unfortunately end up at the bottom of EU’s list of approved beaches because of poor water quality.
”We have a great number of beaches which the EU states are impossible to classify,” says microbiologist Anneli Carlander at Folkhälsomyndigheten (the Public Health Agency of Sweden). In total 446 Swedish beaches have been investigated for intestinal bacteria. Among them 355, or 79.6 percent, managed to pass EU’s minimal criteria and received the assessment ”good enough” regarding quality of water. The average of other countries whose beaches were investigated was 94.5 percent. But 20 percent of Sweden’s beaches couldn’t get classified at all.
”Those beaches have at some point during the past years missed being tested,” Carlander explains. ”Of the beaches in that group, 80 percent end at excellent or good, so the result is a bit misleading.” One explanation for why Swedish beaches don’t fare better on EU’s list may be that the beach season in Sweden is not as long as in the countries around the Mediterranean. ”If they miss a sampling, it’s not noticed as much as it is for us,” Carlander says. The following beaches were deemed as having poor water quality: Nickstabadet in Nynäshamn, Alnängarna in Örebro, Hälleviksstrand in Sölvesborg, Sibbarp-Barnviken in Malmö, Nyegrop in Kristianstad, Sörvik in Kungsbacka, and Göteborg’s Tumlehed.