Holidaymakers can look forward to a dip in clean waters in the vast majority of the EU’s beaches this summer, but a report on bathing water quality flags up around 1,000 to avoid.
The commission’s annual study says 96 percent of beaches met the minimum standards. Those that did not make the grade included more than 300 in Italy. The analysis tests for pollutants and microbes such as faecal bacteria and intestinal viruses. Of the almost 15,000 coastal waters assessed, 302 in Italy were placed in ‘category grey’, meaning ‘bathing prohibited’. Four in Spain and one in Portugal were similarly rated. The survey also covered swimming areas in rivers and lakes. Britain fell further down the rankings because of its record-breaking wet summer, which caused polluted floodwaters and overflowing sewers.