Subsection 2.3.7.3.
Classification and quality status of bathing waters


Article 2.3.7.3.1.

As a result of the bathing water quality assessment carried out in accordance with Article 3 of Part II of Appendix 2.3.3, the Flanders Environment Agency shall, in accordance with the criteria stated in Article 4 of Part II of Appendix 2.3.3., classify bathing water as:

1

poor;

2

acceptable;

3

good, or

4

excellent.

Article 2.3.7.3.2. The first classification in accordance with the requirements of this Subsection shall be completed no later than by the end of the 2015 bathing season.

Article 2.3.7.3.3. The competent authorities shall take such realistic and proportionate measures as they consider appropriate to increase the number of bathing waters classified as “excellent” or “good”. By the end of the 2015 bathing season, all bathing waters must at least be classified as “acceptable”. The Flanders Environment Agency shall ensure that these measures are taken in a timely manner, and if necessary, take the initiative itself or formulate proposals for the competent authorities.

Article 2.3.7.3.4.

Notwithstanding the general provision of Article 2.3.7.3.3, bathing waters may be temporarily classified as “poor” and still remain in compliance with the conditions of this Section. In such cases, the Flanders Environment Agency and the Flemish Agency for Care and Health shall, each in its own area, ensure that the following conditions are satisfied:

1

with regard to each body of bathing water classified as “poor”, the following measures shall be taken at the start of the bathing season following that of the classification:

a)

the Flemish Agency for Care and Health or the Flanders Environment Agency shall take appropriate management measures, including, where the former is concerned, a bathing ban or advice against bathing, with a view to preventing bathers’ exposure to pollution;

b)

the Flanders Environment Agency shall identify the causes and reasons for the failure to achieve an “acceptable” quality status;

c)

the Flanders Environment Agency shall take appropriate measures to prevent, reduce or eliminate the causes of pollution, and if necessary, propose measures to the competent authorities;

d)

the Flanders Environment Agency shall alert the public by means of a clear and straightforward warning sign and inform them of the causes of the pollution and of the measures taken on the basis of the bathing water profile;

2

if a body of bathing water is classified as “poor” for five successive years, the Flemish Agency for Care and Health will introduce a permanent bathing ban or permanent advice against bathing. However, the Flemish Agency for Health and Care may introduce a permanent bathing ban or permanent advice against bathing before the end of the five year period if the Flanders Environment Agency considers that the achievement of “acceptable quality” would be infeasible or disproportionately expensive.