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Excellent water quality rating for Greek beaches

- by Jeremy Guest

Research has revealed that more than 90% of Greek Island beaches have bathing water quality of an 'excellent' standard. Water samples were taken from 2,155 holiday beaches across Greece and the Greek Islands and a total of 2,009 (93.2%) passed water quality tests with an 'excellent' quality rating.

Analysis classed 114 beaches (5.3%) as having 'good' quality water, just 26 (1.2%) were classed as 'adequate' and only six (0.3%) were deemed 'inadequate'.

Samples were taken by the Water Secretariat of the Greek Ministry of Environment in order to prepare a report to the European Commission.

Deputy Environment Minister Stavros Kalafatis said: "Our seas, our beaches and our climate are our competitive advantage ... It is a constant responsibility of all, state and citizens alike, to safeguard this priceless sea treasure."

Details of the clean sea bathing results on Greek beaches have been posted on a ministry website at www.bathingwaterprofiles.gr/en.

A spokesman added: "Ensuring the highest quality of bathing waters is a top priority for Greece. Greece has to show excellent results, with the quality of its bathing waters ranking among the best two or three in Europe."

The overall quality of bathing waters across EU countries has improved significantly since 1990 when water testing was introduced. Bathing water is tested for the presence of harmful bacteria and visually monitored for tar residues, plastics, rubber, glass and other waste.

The water quality tests are used by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature when dishing out its prestigious Blue Flag wards for clean beaches. This year Greece and the Greek Islands picked up a total of 393 Blue Flag awards for its clean beaches, the second highest of 49 countries across Europe.