Didier Jaffre, director of the regional health agency (ARS) Occitanie, delivered this Thursday, June 23 the point devoted to the quality of so-called leisure waters (swimming pools, natural and artificial swimming). In the Aude, 100% of the 29 sea bathing sites are classified as excellent quality, as are nine of the eleven freshwater bathing sites.

While a scorching month of June has already made the beaches of the coast a high place of attendance, the regional health agency (ARS) Occitanie delivered this Thursday, June 23, its annual press briefing devoted to the quality of so-called leisure waters: a definition that includes swimming pool water, natural and artificial bathing water . An exercise“of transparency” specified the managing director Didier Jaffre, for the benefit“Occitans, but also tourists expected this summer” . The opportunity to recall that the“water quality does not mean that you should not be vigilant” , referring to the strong swell still present this Thursday in the Mediterranean, and while seven people have already lost their lives in drownings on the Aude coast since May. The opportunity also to specify that the controls, which therefore lead to classifications ranging from excellent to insufficient, go hand in hand with pedagogy:“With swimming pool operators” beneficiaries of training, but also “with bathers, during the summer” ; recreational users“which we must ensure in complete safety”

added the general manager.

Olivia Hanotte, head of the shared water unit of ARS Occitanie, specified the nature of these health checks, from planning samples to informing the public and interpreting the results: a process followed for the 17,000 samples intended to check 2,870 establishments and 5,041 pools for swimming pool water in the region (more than 1,000 samples for 959 pools in the Aude). A work that led to the finding of 7% non-compliance, relating to the physico-chemical or microbiological quality, and therefore to 1,200 re-checks to verify the return to the expected quality. A titanic work declined on sea water, with 154 bathing sites along the 230 km of coastline, and 298 points identified in fresh water: with respectively 2,051 and 1,709 samples.

For each site, an inventory of risks and methods of intervention If the ARS makes use of instantaneous results, it is indeed the synthesis of four years of samples which makes it possible each year to classify the sites. With, for 2021, a faultless Aude on the side of the 29 bathing areas identified at sea: a list within which, since this year, Coussoules beach, in Leucate, benefits from a profile now distinct from that of La Franchi. An evolution requested by the ARS of Aude, specified Carole Estabes, head of the water unit:

“We asked the municipality, via a design office, to establish a specific profile, in particular because an equestrian center is nearby. This profile allows each site to have an inventory of the risks but also of the methods intervention.” As for swimming in fresh water, where the municipality of Ribaute must also develop its profile, even satisfaction, with nine“excellent quality” a new swim still to be classified and a “good quality” : a row assigned to the lake of Cavayère, in Carcassonne, where, specifies Isabelle Boscariol, sanitary technician of the water unit,“the turbidity led to this downgrading. A recheck had made it possible to find excellent quality, but it did not enter the period of opening for swimming and therefore could not be integrated”

. Not enough to cause the slightest concern, where bathing surveillance has just been launched for this summer.
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Bathing flags: what is changing on the beaches of Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales this summer

  • The 40 Aude sites Sea water
  • (29 sites): excellent quality, Les Cabanes de Fleury, Pissevaches, Saint-Pierre-la-Mer (4 lifeguard stations), Ayguades beach and pond, Mateille beach and pond, Grazel, Les Chalets, Salins beach, Doul pond, Port Mahon, La Vieille Nouvelle beach, seafront beach, Montilles beach, Le Rouet, Le Clapotis, Les Coussoules, La Franqui, La Plagette, Leucate-Plage, Mouret beach, naturist Port-Leucate , Port-Leucate (Les Carats), Copacabana. Pure water
(11 sites): excellent quality, Lac des Ferrières, Lac de Fontclaire, reservoir on the Picou, Lac du Lampy, Lac Birotos, Saint-Jean sur l’Orbieu, Moulin de Ribaute, the ford on the Cesse, La Garenne on the Cease; good quality, Lac de la Cavayère; new bathing area, the bridge over the Orbieu (Les Fargues).Natural bathing: body of water, in fresh water or sea water, in which the municipality expects a large number of people to bathe and where the competent authority has not prohibited bathing permanently ; artificial bathing is a body of water hosting activities where the captured water is held captive artificially, over an area of ​​less than 10,000 m