Water quality at the Black Sea coast is excellent, a joint inspection involving three ministers shows

06 June 2024
Minister Miloshev visited Shkorpilovtsi beach together with his colleagues and teams from the Ministry of Environment and water and the Ministry of Health

‘We are holding this meeting here on the beach today on the joint initiative of both Minister Kondeva and Minister Dimitrov, precisely to send our message to everyone. We have three ministers standing — with their authority and all the technical means necessary, of course, to show: our water is clean, our sea is beautiful and guests are welcome on our Black Sea coast. Welcome to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast!’ This is what Minister Evtim Miloshev said on Shkorpilovtsi beach during the joint inspection of the cleanliness of the sea waters at the beginning of the summer season together with the Ministers of Health Dr. Galya Kondeva and of Environment and Water Petar Dimitrov.

Minister Miloshev pointed out that the date is not accidental — exactly on 6 June a year ago, when the ‘Nova Kakhovka’ dam in Ukraine was destroyed, a campaign of fake news, unfounded fears of pollution on our Black Sea coast and speculation about the quality and purity of the sea water broke out, which caused serious damage to Bulgarian tourism and caused a serious outflow of mostly foreign tourists for the last summer season. Minister Miloshev warned that tourism is very sensitive to such news and called for objectivity.

‘We are strictly monitoring the condition of the coastal sea waters and so far we have not found any deviations from the quality standards’, Environment and Water Minister Petar Dimitrov was adamant after the joint inspection. He explained that Shkorpilovtsi beach was chosen as a sampling site for a reason. ‘There are both bathing and coastal marine areas here. Our colleagues from the Regional Health Inspectorate take samples from the bathing area, and we take samples from the coastal sea water area’, said Minister Dimitrov and stressed that the structures of the Ministry of Environment and Water constantly monitor not only the water quality indicators, but also illegal discharges into the sea and if such are detected, measures are taken immediately.

The sampling of the coastal sea waters is carried out by specialists from the Basin Directorate ‘Black Sea Region’ — Varna, the ‘Regional Laboratory — Varna’ at the Executive Environmental Agency and the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water — Varna. The sampling on Shkorpilovtsi beach is the second for the day, previously samples were also taken from Bolata beach. The samplings will continue, with a total of 20 planned for today and tomorrow.

At Shkorpilovtsi express water analyses were also performed. The results of the field test for Ph, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, oxygen saturation and salinity of the water, which became clear within minutes, unequivocally show that the indicators are fully within the quality standards. The results of the physico-chemical analysis will be ready and announced within 24 hours for some of the indicators and within 5 days for others.

After the event in ‘Nova Kakhovka’, the Ministry of Environment and Water made a very serious monitoring program, which is coordinated with all institutions, Minister Dimitrov recalled. ‘Every day we looked at likely contamination contributors in a model that showed where we could expect contamination and whether we could expect contamination at all. The Naval Academy in Varna monitored the situation by satellite. We have saturated the monitoring stations in many more places, and now we were also monitoring for floating pollutants, which were never detected’, Minister Dimitrov said.

The director of the Black Sea Basin Directorate in Varna, Yavor Dimitrov, confirmed that no illegal discharges into the sea have been detected on its territory so far.

Dr. Galya Kondeva said that the regional health inspectorates in the country continuously monitor the quality of bathing water in the sea, with a focus on microbiological indicators.

23 bathing areas are subject to monitoring and control in Regional Health Inspectorate-Varna (RZI-Varna). The duration of the bathing season is from 1 June 2024 to 30 September 2024. 

One sample was taken from each bathing area in May, before the start of the season. The results show ‘excellent’ quality of the coastal marine waters, except for the bathing area ‘Varna — Ofitserski beach’, where the water quality is considered ‘good’. The positive trend of improving bathing water quality in Varna region compared to 2022 and 2023 is maintained.

The next sampling will take place in the period 10—11 June 2024.

Two samples will be taken during the bathing season in June, July, August and September from each bathing area. From bathing waters adjacent to urban beaches: Ofitserski, Central, South and Asparuhovo will be tested one additional sample each during the summer months, according to the Ministry of Health.

Minister Miloshev recalled that this year we have a record number of beaches with blue flags.

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