New European Directive 2006/7/EC concerning the management of bathing water quality introduces the concept of ‘active management of bathing water sanitary quality’ which could lead to a temporary bathing prohibition in case of short term pollution. For the last three bathing seasons, Veolia has carried out in experimental mode this ‘active management’ concept at more than one hundred bathing sites with various characteristics. Results confirm the high level of microbiological pollution observed in sewer overflows during rainy periods, which is the main cause of bathing water quality deterioration. An on-line treatment solution has been successfully tested. This solution may be used in dense urban areas.