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Bathing water quality

Last update of indicator 23.11.2021

Indicator definition

The indicator describes the quality of bathing waters and water quality on natural bathing water.




Related policy documents and targets

Act no. 364/2004 Coll. on Waters and on the amendment of the Slovak National Council Act no. 372/1990 Coll. on Offenses as amended (Water Act)

§ 8 Bathing waters

(5) The Ministry (note: The Ministry of Environment) ensures that all bathing waters are classified at least as sufficient till the end of the bathing season in 2015.
To ensure that the number of bathing waters classified as excellent or good is increased, the authority of state water management shall impose measures for improving the condition of the bathing waters, in particular the measures in accordance with the section 36, par. 5, 12 and 14.

The Protocol on Water and Health - to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, 1992 - National objectives of SR III (2014)

The reason for the Protocol´s objectives update in 2014 is their fulfilment, or the need of extending the deadlines for the fulfilment of objectives which are still actual, as well as determining new national objectives conditioned by the situation change and the occurrence of new problems to which the attention must be paid, and which seem to be important in terms of Protocol´s objectives implementation in SR. SR has defined the national objectives already for the third time since the Protocol entered into force.

National objectives of SR III

National Objective no. 6: Reducing the health risks associated with bathing water quality
Date of fulfilment: y. 2020

National Objective no. 7: Mapping the presence of enteroviruses in bathing waters
Date of fulfilment: y. 2019

National Objective no. 8: Monitoring the development of water bodies affected by the development of cyanobacteria
Date of fulfilment: y. 2020

Key question

What is the quality of waters intended for bathing and at natural swimming pools?

Key messages

  • In 2020, the classification of bathing water in accordance with Directive No 2006/7/EC was carried out in 28 natural localities out of total of 32 natural localities. 18 localities of bathing water were classified as localities with an excellent quality of bathing water, 7 localities had a good quality of bathing water and 3 localities had a satisfactory  quality. Four sites were not classified due to their redevelopment.
  • The limit value (LV) of specified indicators in natural swimming pools in 2020 was exceeded in 114 samples and 412 indicators, which is 28.76% of total number of samples.

Change since 2005 Change since 2005 Last year-on-year change Progress in achieving of concrete defined objective
Pozitivny trend Pozitivny trend emo_smile emo_smile
Since 2004, the quality of bathing waters has improved and is in line with the assessment under the rules laid down in the EP and Council Directive no. 2006/7/EC (resp. in the Directive 76/160/EEC - by 2008). The quality of bathing water improves and is in line with bathing water requirements The quality of bathing waters were on the same level as on previous year and no natural swimming pool had an unsatisfactory water quality. The achievement of determined objective is envisaged provided that the proposed measures imposed by government authorities are observed.


Summary assessment

Quality of bathing water during summer tourist season 2020


Source:SEA,  PHA SR


Detailed assessment

During the bathing season 2020 the hygienic situation was monitored by public health authorities at natural recreational water  and artificial pools.

Natural recreational water

During the 2020 season, more than 80 natural water bodies were monitored with varying frequency, with organised recreation taking place at 12 sites, i.e. these water bodies were operated as natural bathing sites. The results indicated a slight deterioration in water quality at natural bathing sites. More than 78.87 % of the total number of non-compliant indicators were non-significant physico-chemical indicators (transparency, colour, water oxygen saturation, water reaction, total phosphorus). Microbiological indicators accounted for only 7.73% of the total number of non-compliant indicators, with intestinal enterococci more frequently exceeding the threshold  limit value than Escherichia coli. In most cases, this was only short-term pollution, with more long-term cases of cyanobacterial overgrowth. During the bathing season, bathing advisories or bathing bans were issued for exceeding the limit value in the indicator cyanobacteria or chlorophyll “a”.
Bathing water
In 2020, bathing waters were classified pursuant to the Directive 2006/7/EC at 28 natural sites out of a total of 32 sites declared as bathing waters. In total, 18 bathing water sites were classified as having excellent bathing water quality, 7 sites had good bathing water quality and three sites had sufficient bathing water quality. Four sites were not classified due to their redevelopment - Kunovská priehrada, Dolno Hodrušské jazero, Ružiná - pri obci Divín a Ružiná - pri obci Ružiná.


During the bathing season 2020, there were reported no diseases or medical complications that would be linked with bathing in natural bathing waters.

International comparison


Ing. Ľubica Koreňová, SAŽP,

Related definitions:

A natural bathing waters is a defined natural water body used for bathing and related operational areas and facilities with an operator; a natural recreational water is bathing water with an operator.

Pollution is the presence of microbiological contamination, biological contamination, chemical contamination, contamination by other organisms or waste that adversely affects bathing water quality and it constitutes a risk to bathers' health.

Bathing water is any surface water which is declared under a personal regulation, and which is used by a large number of bathers, and no permanent bathing prohibition or permanent advice against bathing was issued for it; a large number of bathers is assessed by the Public Health Office regarding mainly a development from the past, built infrastructure or facilities and the measures taken to promote bathing in the past.


During the bathing season 2013 a hygienic situation was monitored by public health authorities at natural swimming pools and artificial pools in accordance with the Act no. 355/2007 Coll. on Protection, support and development of public health and on amending certain laws as amended, as well as by the SR Ministry of Health Decree no. 308/2012 Coll. on the Requirements for water quality, water quality control and the requirements for operation, equipment of operating areas, premises and facilities at the natural swimming pool and artificial swimming pool, and by the SR Ministry of Health Decree no. 309/2012 Coll. on Requirements for bathing water. The adopted legislation establishes that the quality of bathing water is monitored by the SR Public Health Office, regional public health authorities (RPHA) and the operators of the sites, in the frequency and by methods complying with the Directive 2006/7/EC on the Quality control of bathing water.

Classification of bathing waters has been carried out according to no. 4 of the Annex I and Annex II to the Directive 2006/7/EC, which was at the national level transposed by the SR Health of Ministry Decree no. 309/2012 Coll., and that on the basis of percentile evaluation of the log10 function of normal density of probability of microbiological data acquired from the particular bathing water.

A calculation methodology is described in the Chapter 4. Classification of bathing waters under the Directive 2006/7/EC in the Administration of the SR on the quality of bathing waters

Data sources:

Regional Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic (RPHA SR)

Related international indicators:

Linked references: