Polluted sea around Rome

75 per cent of waters contain bacteria

Much of the sea water around Rome is not suitable for bathing, according to data released recently by the Lazio branch of Italian environmental body Legambiente.

In early June the agency tested the water quality at 24 points along the 330-km Lazio coastline, with the worst results found in the greater Roman area.

18 samples, or 75 per cent, contained levels of lactic acid bacteria including traces of e.coli, beyond the legal limit.

Legambiente classified 13 of the 18 areas as "heavily polluted." These include sections along S. Marinella (including S. Severa), Marina di Cerveteri, Fiumicino, Roma-Ostia, Ladispoli, Torvajanica (two sections), Ardea, Anzio, Nettuno, Tarquinia, Latina, Gaeta and S. Felice Circeo.

The “polluted” classification went to sections at Ladispoli, Roma-Ostia, Formia and Minturno.

The areas within the legal limits comprise Pomezia, Terracina, Fondi, Gaeta and the beach at S. Felice Circeo. The environmental agency blames the polluted water on drains not being properly cleaned and found the dirtiest water in the vicinity of the mouths of rivers, canals and streams.

To see the full findings, including the exact areas classified, see the Legambiente website.