The quality of bathing waters in Greece is systematically monitored since 1988 according to Directive 76/160/EEC “on the quality of bathing waters” under a Programme organized and coordinated by the MEECC (Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change). Since 2010, the quality of bathing water is monitored in accordance with the new Directive 2006/7/EC “on the management of bathing water quality” as transposed to Greek legislation with JMD 8600/416/E103/2009 (GG 356V/2009) under the “Country’s Monitoring Programme for bathing water quality” (hereinafter called the “Programme”).
The “Programme” aims to protect the marine environment and public health (bathers) and to comply with the new Directive 2006/7/EC. At the same time, it aims to identify problem areas, in order to take appropriate measures to reduce pollution and improve the quality of recipient water body.
The results of the “Programme” are made public to inform both Greek citizens, and the member states of the European Union on the quality of bathing waters, resulting in public awarenessand international promotion of our country.
Based on the Programme results, bathing waters are evaluated, classified and quality status thereof is determined and an annual report is drafted, to inform the relevant departments, agencies and the public. This report is prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Directive and the guidelines of the European Commission and submitted no later than December 31 of each year to the Central Data Repository of the European Environment Agency.
Furthermore, the results of the “Programme” are also used in the preparation, revision and updating of Bathing Water Profiles, in accordance with Article 7 of Directive 2006/7/EC and Annex III thereof.
A total of 2155 sitesere included in the “Programme”, from 2010 to this day, which refer to coastal (2149 points) and inland water bodies and particularly lakes (6 points).
The quality parameters monitored have been selected in accordance with the provisions of Directive 2006/7/EC and are grouped into two categories:
- Microbiological: “Coliform bacteria” – “Escherichia coli” and “Enterococci” – “Intestinal enterococci”, which were analyzed according to laboratory methods described in Annex I of Directive 2006/7/EC and
- Visually monitored: tarry residues, glass, plastics, rubber or any other waste.
The “Programme” is funded by the Operational Programme “Environment and Sustainable Development” (EPPERAA).