EEC directive 76/160 requires member states to apply microbiological and chemico-physical standards for the quality of recreational waters. In observation of this regulation, in the present study 144 samples of seawater were taken over a 12-month period and tested to determine viral contamination. The samples were collected from the coastal waters of the Italian town of Pesaro, which is located on the Adriatic Sea. Using cell culture techniques, 32.6% of the seawater samples were found to be contaminated with enteroviruses. Isolation of these viruses was most frequent in the summer months. Thus, our results indicate the need to increase the frequency of monitoring of these waters and to eliminate the sources of contamination.