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Cyprus and Croatia top EU rankings for bathing water quality - 28/07/2011

Beach in Cyprus © EU

Water at nearly all Europe's coastal and inland bathing sites is clean enough to bathe and swim in, despite a slight decrease in quality.

Heading to the beach this summer?

You can rest easy knowing that 92% of beaches and 90% of rivers and lakes meet the EU's minimum standards for cleanliness.

The findings - from the European Environment Agency's annual bathing water report - are based on regular samples taken from more than 21 000 coastal and inland bathing sites across Europe.

Want to check the water quality at your favourite swimming spot?

  • Download data and check interactive maps with the Water Information System for Europe (WISE) ελληνικά .
  • Report the state of local water using the Eye on Earth français website.
  • Take a look at the new symbols for bathing water classification.

2010 water testing

More than 21 000 coastal and inland bathing sites across Europe were regularly tested for harmful pollutants and bacteria, such as E. coli.

While overall fewer sites met the EU's minimum standards compared with 2009, a number of countries registered exceptional results.

Top performers

The top performers in 2010 were Cyprus, with 100% of sites rated excellent, followed by Croatia (97.3%) and Malta (95.4%).

In the UK, 81.7% of sites were excellent, 96.9% were good, while 16 bathing spots failed to make the grade.

The European Environment Agency has called on EU countries to do more to improve water quality across Europe.

Find information on bathing water quality in your area

More on water quality and the environment

Travelling in Europe 2011-12

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