RIVM uses its knowledge and expertise in microbiology and statistics to provide advice to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and other relevant parties about national implementation and national (and international) evaluation of the European Bathing Water Directive.

The European Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) establishes provisions for monitoring and management of bathing water quality. The purpose of the European Bathing Water Directive is to provide better protection for people swimming in surface water. This Directive has been included in Dutch legislation in its entirety in the form of the Bathing Establishments and Swimming Facilities (Hygiene and Safety) Act and the associated decree (Whvbz and Bhvbz).