France is in deep slurry with the European Commission over its failure to treat waste water in Brittany. A European Court of Justice ruling that water destined for human consumption is still being contaminated with pesticides and nitrates from agriculture came as a repeat warning.
This brings the French just one legal step away from hefty fines for failure to apply EU water quality rules.
Last June Brussels asked the Court to inflict a 28 million euro punishment, plus daily penalties of well over 100,000 until compliance was assured. That procedure was suspended when Paris adopted a plan of action.
In their latest findings, however, the EU authorities considered that at least 140 localities, including Paris, are not meeting European standards, and are dumping sewage into zones considered as sensitive.
The environment commissioner called untreated urban waste water a threat to European citizens.