§ Dr. Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proportion of designated bathing waters were tested for the presence of enteroviruses during 1988; and what proportion complied with the European Community bathing water directive.
§ Mr. Ridley
[holding answer 28 February 1989]: Of the 380 waters identified under the EC bathing water directive in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, 164 were monitored for the enterovirus parameter and of these 42 per cent. met the directive's zero enterovirus standard. Monitoring for enteroviruses is required under the directive only if inspection of the bathing water indicates that they are present or if the quality of water has deteriorated. Enteroviruses are ubiquitous in the water environment and may arise not only from sewage but from birds and animals. In some circumstances it may, therefore, be impossible in practice to meet the zero standard. This is one of the issues likely to be considered in the review of the bathing water directive which has been proposed by the European Commission.