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Does the bathing water classification depend on sampling strategy? A bootstrap approach for bathing water quality assessment, according to Directive 2006/7/EC requirements

Abstract: Data on the 95th and 90th percentiles of bacteriological quality indicators are used to classify bathing waters in Europe, according to the requirements of Directive 2006/7/EC. However, percentile values and consequently, classification of bathing waters depend both on sampling effort and sample-size, which may undermine an appropriate assessment of bathing water classification. To analyse the influence of sampling effort and sample size on water classification, a bootstrap approach was applied to 55 bacteriological quality datasets of several beaches in the Balearic Islands (Spain). Our results show that the probability of failing the regulatory standards of the Directive is high when sample size is low, due to a higher variability in percentile values. In this way, 49% of the bathing waters reaching an "Excellent" classification (95th percentile of Escherichia coli under 250 cfu/100 ml) can fail the "Excellent" regulatory standard due to sampling strategy, when 23 samples per season are considered. This percentage increases to 81% when 4 samples per season are considered. "Good" regulatory standards can also be failed in bathing waters with an "Excellent" classification as a result of these sampling strategies. The variability in percentile values may affect bathing water classification and is critical for the appropriate design and implementation of bathing water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Programs. Hence, variability of percentile values should be taken into account by authorities if an adequate management of these areas is to be achieved.

Otras publicaciones de la misma revista o congreso con autores/as de la Universidad de Cantabria

 Autoría: López I., álvarez C., Gil J.L., Revilla J.A.,

 Fuente: Journal of Environmental Management Volume 111, 30 November 2012, Pages 236-242

Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/11/2012

Nº de páginas: 7

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.08.006

ISSN: 0301-4797,1095-8630

Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.08.006