Bathing season kicks off with environmental awards for Porto's beaches

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Last Saturday, 15 June, Porto started the bathing season with seven new 'Gold Quality' beaches, in addition to Homem do Leme beach, which already won the award in 2023.

The acknowledgement by Quercus – the National Association for Nature Conservation – indicates that the Foz, Gondarém and Homem do Leme bathing areas – which comprise eight beaches – did not register any contamination during the previous bathing season and have maintained the 'Excellent Quality' classification for five consecutive years, thus obtaining the 'high water quality' mark.

The prestigious honour reinforces Porto's position as a destination of excellence and well-being by preserving the environmental quality of its beaches.

The 'Blue Flag Programme', for example, promoted by the European Blue Flag Association (ABAE) – Portuguese Section of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), consolidates Invicta's efforts to safeguard the marine environment by carrying out numerous actions to protect the coastal ecosystem.

This year, Porto has nine 'Blue Flag' beaches, two of which are labelled 'Accessible Beach – Beach for All!'. They are Praia do Homem do Leme and Praia do Carneiro.

The final inspection takes place on Tuesday 18 June, when the official raising of the flags will take place, at Praia do Molhe, at 4 p.m.


Beach actions and monitoring

In order to ensure the quality of the beaches, Águas e Energia do Porto teams carry out actions with a direct impact on bathing areas, such as real-time monitoring of the functioning of drainage networks and daily checks on the condition of beach infrastructure.

With the start of the bathing season, the municipal company Águas e Energia do Porto, through its laboratory, plays a crucial role in the management of the Maritime Front by reinforcing the control of bathing waters' quality.

Alongside the monitoring carried out by official bodies, the municipal company's laboratory runs a complementary monitoring programme for water quality and the microbiological and mycological quality of the sand in Porto's bathing areas, aiming to safeguard public health.

Water quality control plans

It should be noted that water quality monitoring takes place under the scope of the Water Quality Control Plan (PCQA) and the Operational Control Plan (PCO), developed by Águas e Energia do Porto and validated by the Water and Waste Services Regulatory Authority (ERSAR).

The careful implementation of these plans safeguards compliance with bathing water safety and hygiene standards, so that they remain clean and safe for bathers.