Monitoring bathing water
The EU’s first directive concerning the quality of bathing water was adopted by Türkiye in 2006, when a bylaw provided a ten-year period for guide values for total and fecal coliform to be achieved. The bylaw defined the responsibilities of the ministries of health and of environment and forestry for monitoring and inspecting bathing areas. A second EU directive, which member states were required to implement by late 2014, expanded the monitoring requirements. Due to the lack of experience and expertise in these new areas, technical assistance was required to adopt and enforce the directive.
The aims of the project and its core activities
The purpose of this project was to adopt into Turkish law the EU’s 2006 bathing water directive and to strengthen the Ministry of Health’s monitoring systems.
This involved reviewing existing legislation for the purpose of drafting a new, enhanced bylaw on the classification and quality assessment of bathing water. Before the new bathing water profiles were rolled out, they were piloted in the provinces of Antalya, İstanbul and Çanakkale.
Under the coordination of the Turkish Public Health Institution (formerly the Refik Saydam Hygiene Centre), the public health laboratories in these three provinces were assisted in improving their capacity to conduct bathing water analyses.
To this end, key officials participated in a study visit to a member state to gain first-hand experience in implementing the directive.
The next stage was to train staff at 33 provincial health directorates and other relevant institutions in the new procedures. A guidebook on the updated requirements was prepared and workshops were held to discuss targets and operational steps.