To evaluate the microbiological water quality of bathing sites along the Achaia coastline (south western Greece), a survey was conducted to determine the concentration of faecal bacterial and phage indicators as well as the presence of human viruses. Seawater samples (234) were collected from nine bathing sites on the Achaia coastline and were analysed for the presence of: total coliforms, faecal coliforms, faecal streptococci, Escherichia coli, somatic coliphages, F-RNA bacteriophages, bacteriophages infecting Bacteroides fragilis, enteroviruses, adenoviruses and hepatitis A viruses. Most of the bacteriological analysis results were in accordance with the European Union standards. In all sites, bacteriophages were detected occasionally. Enteroviruses and adenoviruses were detected in 24 samples (10.26%) and 37 samples (15.81%) respectively. No samples were positive for the presence of hepatitis A virus. The overall data indicates that bathing sites are impacted by human faecal material. Both bacterial indicators and phages have low predictive capability for the presence of human viruses in coastal waters. None of the environmental parameters analysed was strongly related to the presence of the indicator organisms and viruses. Appropriate and effective administrative measures that should be taken into account may be considered in order to improve water quality and reduce public health risk.

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