EU says cleanest waters in Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg and Malta


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The European Union’s Environment Watchdog on Wednesday said Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg and Malta are home to Europe’s cleanest bathing waters, just in time for the summer holiday period.

The Copenhagen-based European Environment Agency (EEA) and European Commission said this in Stockholm.

Surveys of more than 21,000 seaside, river and lake sites across Europe during 2015, including non-EU members; Switzerland and Albania showed that over 84 per cent achieved excellent status.

“In Cyprus where the tourism industry is a mainstay, 99.1 per cent of the 113 coastal bathing sites scored the highest quality level.

“That was only topped by Luxembourg that had a 100-per-cent record, while both Malta and Greece scored over 97 per cent.
“Water quality was also excellent in no less than 90 per cent of bathing sites surveyed in Austria, Croatia, Germany, and Italy,’’ the study said.

The annual report said that 96 per cent of bathing waters in the 30 countries surveyed met minimum EU water quality standards slightly up compared to 2014.

The EU Environment Commissioner, Karmenu Vella attributed the results to 40 years of investing in water and waste water infrastructure.

Countries with the highest number of bathing waters failing to meet EU standards were France; 95 per cent, Italy; 95 per cent, and Spain; 58 per cent.

Report said the samples were tested for two types of bacteria, Escherichia coli and intestinal enterococci, Escherichia coli or Ecoli that could cause diarrhoea and other intestinal illnesses.

“Pollution from sewage or waste from livestock or farmland was main sources of poor water quality.

“Floods or heavy rains can result in more pollution being washed into rivers, lakes and seas, and cause sewage systems to overflow,’’ the report said.

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