German bathing water quality remains at a high level

More than 96 percent of all bathing water sites rated "excellent" or "good”

Children jump in a lake.Click to enlarge
The quality of bathing water in Germany remains at a high level
Source: Panya Studio /

Germany is a good place to bathe. This is confirmed by the EU Commission's report on the quality of European bathing waters, presented on 9 June 2023. According to the report, over 96 percent of the officially designated bathing water sites on lakes, rivers and coasts in Germany were rated "excellent" or "good". A total of 98 percent of all bathing water sites met the minimum requirements of the EU Bathing Water Directive. "With these results, German bathing waters rank among the top 10 in Europe. So there is nothing standing in the way of taking a dip in the cool water. Citizens can obtain local information in advance about the current quality in their local area", says Dirk Messner, President of the German Environment Agency (UBA).

According to the criteria of the EU Directive, only 14 of a total of 2,292 bathing waters in Germany were classified as "poor" in the 2022 season. In total, in 2022, there were 118 cases in which bathing was banned or advised against at registered bathing waters as a precautionary measure in order not to endanger bathers' health. This was mostly due to ⁠Cyanobacteria⁠ ("blue-green algae", 84 times). Water hygiene reasons, which are often a consequence of heavy rainfall events with sewage discharges into bodies of water, were recorded 30 times as causes. Due to the massive fish kill in the Oder in the summer of 2022, a bathing ban was also imposed at two bathing water sites along the Oder as a precautionary measure.

The current measurement data for each bathing water site can be viewed online on the websites of the federal states. An overview is available on the UBA⁠ website at Water quality in bathing waters.

In the 2022 bathing season, 2,292 German bathing water sites were investigated and a total of 13,233 water samples were analysed. Of these bathing water sites, 362 were located on the coasts of the North Sea and Baltic Sea and 1,930 in inland waters. 

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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