Malta’s swimming waters are among the cleanest in Europe, with 85 of the 87 local sites – 97.7% – assessed by the European Environment Agency found to be of excellent quality.
Only Cyprus (99.1% of sites) and Austria (98.5%) outperformed Malta, whose performance is considerably higher than the European average of 84.8%.
None of the bathing waters identified in Malta were found to be inadequate: the remaining 2 sites were deemed to be of good quality.
The EEA identified a generally positive trend over the years, with minimum water quality standards being met at 95% of the sites identified. The share of sites with excellent quality had grown continuously following the introduction of the EU’s Bathing Water Directive, before stabilising at around the 85% mark.
Malta’s positive performance may have been helped by the fact that all of its swimming sites are coastal, however: the EEA noted that in general, the water quality in coastal sites was superior to that in inland ones, as the sea is much more capable of self-purification.
WSC welcomes report
The EEA’s findings were welcomed by the Water Services Corporation, which highlighted its contribution to the results through the continuous improvement of Malta’s sewage infrastructure.
“The results published today are a certificate of gratitude to the dedication and efforts of WSC personnel in managing water systems to benefit the environment around us,” CEO Ivan Falzon said.
Malta’s sewage system presently treats some 67 million litres a day – translating to 24.5 billion litres a year. It consists of 1,545km of pipes, 104 pumping stations and 4 treatment plants, with 82 workers employed at the sewage plants and an additional 132 working on the network.
The WSC noted that major pipelines were presently being updated, its treatment facilities are being improved with new technology and that its discharge monitoring technology is receiving a radical overhaul.