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Modelling the Quality of Bathing Waters in the Adriatic Sea

National Research Council of Italy—Institute of Marine Sciences, CNR ISMAR, 30122 Venice, Italy
National Research Council of Italy—Institute for Biological Resources and Marine Biotechnologies, CNR IRBIM, 60125 Ancona, Italy
Department of Biomolecular Sciences, DISB, University of Urbino, 61029 Urbino, Italy
Fano Marine Center, The Inter—Institute Center for Research on Marine Biodiversity, Resources and Biotechnologies, 61032 Fano, Italy
METRIS Research Centre, Istrian University of Applied Sciences, 52100 Pula, Croatia
University Department of Marine Studies, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia
Croatian Water—Water Management Institute, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Dubrovnik—Neretva County, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Department of Infrastructures and Transport—Abruzzo Region, 65127 Pescara, Italy
County of Split—Dalmatia, 21000 Split, Croatia
Department Territory and Environment—Marche Region, 60122 Ancona, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jesús R. Aboal
Water 2021, 13(11), 1525;
Received: 10 May 2021 / Revised: 26 May 2021 / Accepted: 27 May 2021 / Published: 28 May 2021
The aim of this study is to develop a relocatable modelling system able to describe the microbial contamination that affects the quality of coastal bathing waters. Pollution events are mainly triggered by urban sewer outflows during massive rainy events, with relevant negative consequences on the marine environment and tourism and related activities of coastal towns. A finite element hydrodynamic model was applied to five study areas in the Adriatic Sea, which differ for urban, oceanographic and morphological conditions. With the help of transport-diffusion and microbial decay modules, the distribution of Escherichia coli was investigated during significant events. The numerical investigation was supported by detailed in situ observational datasets. The model results were evaluated against water level, sea temperature, salinity and E. coli concentrations acquired in situ, demonstrating the capacity of the modelling suite in simulating the circulation in the coastal areas of the Adriatic Sea, as well as several main transport and diffusion dynamics, such as riverine and polluted waters dispersion. Moreover, the results of the simulations were used to perform a comparative analysis among the different study sites, demonstrating that dilution and mixing, mostly induced by the tidal action, had a stronger effect on bacteria reduction with respect to microbial decay. Stratification and estuarine dynamics also play an important role in governing microbial concentration. The modelling suite can be used as a beach management tool for improving protection of public health, as required by the EU Bathing Water Directive. View Full-Text
Keywords: numerical model; bathing water; faecal pollution; Adriatic Sea numerical model; bathing water; faecal pollution; Adriatic Sea
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferrarin, C.; Penna, P.; Penna, A.; Spada, V.; Ricci, F.; Bilić, J.; Krzelj, M.; Ordulj, M.; Šikoronja, M.; Đuračić, I.; Iagnemma, L.; Bućan, M.; Baldrighi, E.; Grilli, F.; Moro, F.; Casabianca, S.; Bolognini, L.; Marini, M. Modelling the Quality of Bathing Waters in the Adriatic Sea. Water 2021, 13, 1525.

AMA Style

Ferrarin C, Penna P, Penna A, Spada V, Ricci F, Bilić J, Krzelj M, Ordulj M, Šikoronja M, Đuračić I, Iagnemma L, Bućan M, Baldrighi E, Grilli F, Moro F, Casabianca S, Bolognini L, Marini M. Modelling the Quality of Bathing Waters in the Adriatic Sea. Water. 2021; 13(11):1525.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ferrarin, Christian, Pierluigi Penna, Antonella Penna, Vedrana Spada, Fabio Ricci, Josipa Bilić, Maja Krzelj, Marin Ordulj, Marija Šikoronja, Ivo Đuračić, Luca Iagnemma, Martin Bućan, Elisa Baldrighi, Federica Grilli, Fabrizio Moro, Silvia Casabianca, Luigi Bolognini, and Mauro Marini. 2021. "Modelling the Quality of Bathing Waters in the Adriatic Sea" Water 13, no. 11: 1525.

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