Greece is among the five European Union member states where bathing waters are of excellent quality of 95 percent or more.
The annual Bathing Water report published today shows that in 2020 almost 83% of Europe’s bathing water sites met the European Union’s most stringent ‘excellent’ water quality standards. The latest assessment, put together by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in cooperation with the European Commission, is based on the 2020 monitoring of 22,276 bathing sites across Europe. These cover the EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland throughout 2020.
The share of ‘excellent’ coastal and inland swimming sites has stabilised in recent years at around 85% and in 2020 was 82.8% across Europe. The minimum ‘sufficient’ water quality standards were met at 93% of the sites monitored in 2020, and in five countries – Cyprus, Austria, Greece, Malta and Croatia – 95 % or more bathing waters were of excellent quality.
Two thirds of bathing sites are located along Europe’s coasts. The results give a good indication as to where swimmers can find the best quality bathing waters. The quality of several bathing waters could not be classified in the current assessment, as pandemic restrictions led to an inadequate number of samples being collected.
In 2020, 296 or 1.3% of bathing water sites in Europe were of poor quality. While the share of poor quality sites has dropped slightly since 2013, problems persist especially in assessing the sources of pollution and putting in place integrated water management measures. At bathing sites for which the origins or causes of pollution are difficult to identify, special studies of pollution sources are needed.
Bathing Waters Greece during the bathing season 2020
The bathing waters are quality classified according to the two microbiological parameters (Escherichia coli and intestinal enterococci) defined in the Bathing Water Directive. 99.1% of all reported bathing waters (includes those that could not be quality classified due to lack of samples) are in line with the minimum quality standards of the Directive, thus classified “sufficient” or better.
Each bathing water that is identified by the reporting country needs to have a monitoring calendar established before the bathing season. The monitoring calendar requirements can be summarised as follows: (1) a pre–season sample is to be taken shortly before the start of each bathing season; (2) no fewer than four (alternatively, three for specific cases) samples are to be taken and analysed per bathing season; and (3) an interval between sampling dates never exceeds one month.