Malta has some of the cleanest beaches in Europe, according to an EU watchdog.
Malta came second in the latest international league table for water quality and cleanliness – with an impressive 99 per cent of bathing waters ranked as ‘excellent’.
The European Environment Agency’s findings were based on tests of water quality in more than 21,000 beach, river and lake sites across the EU and the UK.
In Malta, where the tourism industry is vital, 99 per cent of all bathing waters scored the highest quality level.
That was only topped by Luxembourg that had a 100-per-cent record for its 11 bathing lakes.
About 1.5 per cent of bathing waters across the EU and the UK – a total of 316 – were rated as having poor water quality, posing a risk of illness.
The samples are tested for two types of bacteria, e-coli and intestinal enterococci.
Pollution from sewage or waste from livestock were the main sources of poor water quality.
Floods or heavy rains can result in more pollution being washed into rivers, lakes and seas, the report said.