In Cyprus, 99.1% of all existing coastal bathing waters met at least sufficient water quality standards in 2015, according to the annual bathing waters quality report, presented today by the European Commission.
According to the report in 2015 bathing season, 113 bathing waters have been reported in Cyprus. For each bathing water, five groups of parameters have been delivered:
– identification data – including name, location, geographic type of bathing water and availability to bathers;
– seasonal data – including season start and end, national quality classification in present season, potential management measures and changes in quality;
– monitoring results – disaggregated numerical values of two microbiological parameters – intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli (also known as E. coli), recorded at each water sample taken;
– abnormal situation periods – periods of unexpected situations that have, or could reasonably be expected to have, an adverse impact on bathing water quality and on bathers` health; reporting is optional;
– short-term pollution periods – identifiable events that adversely affect water quality by faecal contamination; reporting is optional.
Altogether, 113 bathing waters have been reported – 0.5% of all bathing waters in Europe. Out of all bathing waters in Cyprus, none have been newly identified in 2015 season. All bathing waters in Cyprus are of coastal type. 1010 samples were taken at bathing waters throughout the season – 9 per bathing water on average.
99.1% of bathing waters met the described monitoring requirements set by the Directive, while the rest did not satisfy monitoring requirements for different reasons: being new; having changed environmental conditions that might affect water quality classification; closed; not monitored due to legal issues, physical inaccessibility to the site etc.
Bathing waters where sampling frequency was not satisfied can still be quality assessed if at least four samples per season (three samples if the season does not exceed eight weeks or the region is subject to special geographical constraints) are available and equally distributed throughout the season. Assessment of bathing water quality is possible when the bathing water sample dataset is available for four consecutive seasons. Bathing waters are accordingly classified to one of the bathing water quality classes (excellent, good, sufficient, or poor).
At least seven samples were selected for all bathing areas. Additionally for the blue flag areas (57 sites) that correspond to 51% of the bathing water sites at least 10 samples were selected. Karafa bathing water was temporarily excluded from the list of bathing waters for 2010 bathing season, since there were plans for coastal works nearby. The site was closed for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 bathing seasons, and no samplings took place. For the 2015 bathing season samplings started again. In the 2015 bathing season, a number of 21 short term pollution incidents were reported. Investigation of all incidents showed that no land base sources of pollution were detected. The pollution was most probably by the illegal dumping of waste from a boat or a ship. For several days in September and more specific on September 8th, high levels of dust were detected that affected the results of bathing waters samples. As regards the bathing waters areas for which the results have exceeded the levels defined in the Directive, management measures were taken by inspectors from various departments and all the relevant provisions of the Environmental Laws have been applied. Wastewater treatment plants are in operation for the 4 large agglomerations on the coast of Cyprus.
According to the report, wastewater effluent is almost entirely reused for irrigation. There is no disposal of untreated wastewater (municipal or industrial) to the sea. Two of these treatment plants, i.e. the Limassol/ Amathousa STP and the Larnaca STP, periodically dispose tertiary treated effluent to the sea during the winter months.
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