To swim without any health risks during your holidays, you can opt for any one of the 171 beaches where Veolia is responsible for actively managing bathing water quality. Throughout the summer, this monitoring and checking system will anticipate and optimize the time required to decide whether to open or close beaches to swimming, and to take the required corrective action to reduce pollution depending on the nature of the pollution involved.
The fast “Coliplage” analysis method is at the heart of this approach. This tool indicates the trend in the quality of the seawater being monitored and can issue a pollution warning within one hour. Each morning, a Veolia technician takes a seawater sample and analyzes it. The result is known within the hour. The local authority is then informed prior to the beach being opened and the data displayed at the lifeguards’ post. If the health quality of the water has changed, bathing is temporarily suspended and Veolia performs further analyses every three hours. In addition to this rapid analysis tool, Veolia has a range of analysis methods that can be adapted to each local context and the local authority’s objectives. Particularly reliable, these analysis methods are constantly compared against the regulatory analyses performed by the Regional Health Authorities, which ultimately determine the classification of all beaches.
To improve communication to local authorities and the public, Veolia rolls out numerous tools using new information technology, such as:
- the “MyPlage” smartphone app providing a range of practical information updated in real-time
- “Météo des plages” (beach weather), which uses communicating sensors to provide a direct feed about the water and air temperature, and wind conditions
- or the bathing water quality forecast, a system combining weather forecasts, on and offshore modeling tools, and intelligent sensors specifically for daily mapping of potential deteriorations.
This is a major issue for local authorities as the European Directive regarding bathing water management has set a 2015 target for a level of quality that is at least “sufficient” for all bathing water. It requires that each beach have a bathing water profile that lists all the sources of pollution liable to impact on the water quality and to present a health risk for bathers.
“In addition to ensuring their region’s attractiveness in summer, local authorities have environmental and health targets aimed at durably improving the quality of water at bathing sites,” explains Marie-Christine Huau, Project Manager within the Commercial and Development France of Veolia. “This explains why ahead of the summer season, vulnerability profiles are drawn up for each site detailing all the sources of pollution and the factors influencing them, such as marine currents, wind, weather, urban density and tourism. These profiles are used to roll out preventive actions, such as refurbishment work, operation actions that are better targeted or even use modeling tools, or determining areas liable to be adversely affected by coastal rainfall,” adds Marie-Christine Huau. “Finally, at the end of the season, a review of the data and events is used to draw up a comprehensive report that will help the local authority to determine the actions it needs to implement for the following season. Authorities are well aware that bathing water quality depends on many and variable factors requiring understanding and detailed knowledge of local contexts.”
Veolia is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 200,000 employees* worldwide, the company designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.
In 2013, Veolia supplied 94 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced 86 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 38 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) recorded revenue of €22.3 billion* in 2013. www.veolia.com (*) Excluding Transdev employees and revenue currently under divestment
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