Chapter 12: Cost–benefit Analysis of Improved Bathing Water Quality in the United Kingdom as a Result of a Revision of the European Bathing Water Directive
12. Cost–beneﬁt analysis of improved bathing water quality in the United Kingdom as a result of a revision of the European Bathing Water Directive S. Georgiou, I.J. Bateman and I.H. Langford 1. INTRODUCTION In the last few decades, both the general public and policy-makers have become increasingly concerned about sewage discharges to coastal bathing waters in the European Union (EU) and the consequent risks to public health (CEC, 2002, House of Lords, 1994–95). The public health risks of sewage discharged into coastal marine waters are derived from human population infections. The sewage contains various micro-organisms that have been shown to be pathogenic and the causative agents of several human diseases. The main risk faced by people bathing in sewage contaminated water is in increases to minor morbidity such as gastrointestinal and upper respiratory tract ailments. The European Commission (EC) Bathing Water Directive of 1976 (CEC, 1976) sets out standards for designated bathing waters which should be complied with by all member states. This has been one of the ﬁrst and most important elements of European Water Policy. The 1976 Bathing Water Directive reﬂects the state of knowledge and experience of the early 1970s, in respect of its technical-scientiﬁc basis, the managerial approach and the involvement of the public. Recently changes in science and technology as well as in managerial experience have obliged the Commission to consider revision of EU environmental legislation where appropriate. Further legislation has thus been proposed on more than one occasion by...
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