§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will set maximum limits for the presence of salmonella and enterovirus in bathing waters;
(2) what plans he has to ensure compliance with the salmonella and enterovirus standards in the EC bathing water directive.439W
§ Mr. Baldry
The EC bathing water directive sets limits for salmonella and enteroviruses. The limits are zero salmonella in 1 litre and zero enteroviruses in 10 litres in 95 per cent. of bathing water samples. It is widely accepted that these standards are deficient and have no regard to risks to public health: the Environment Select Committee has recently endorsed this view. The European Commission has brought forward proposals for a committee of adaptation to review the bathing water directive. One of its remits would be to look at those standards. This Government have supported the need for such a review. Pending adoption of revised standards we shall continue to monitor and report in accordance with the directive, but our assessment of compliance will be based on its coliform standards.