More than 21,000 seaside, river and lake sites have been examined across Europe during 2015, including two non-EU members (Switzerland and Albania), the Copenhagen-based European Environment Agency (EEA) and European Commission said.
In Cyprus, where the tourism industry is vital for the local economy, 99.1% of the 113 coastal bathing sites scored the highest quality level. That was only topped by Luxembourg that had a 100 per cent record, while both Malta and Greece scored over 97 per cent.
Surprisingly, countries with the highest number of bathing waters that failed to meet the EU standards were France (95), Italy (95), and Spain (58).
The samples are tested for two types of bacteria, Escherichia coli and intestinal enterococci. Escherichia coli - or E coli - can cause diarrhoea and other intestinal illnesses to human.
Pollution from sewage or even waste from livestock or farmland were the main sources for low water quality, the report said.
Image credits: Michael Thomas