Most Thessaloniki residents are unhappy with the quality of their tap water, especially its smell and taste, and an increasing number are opting to drink bottled water instead, according to a study released yesterday. A survey by the University of Thessaloniki revealed that, of 2,200 people questioned, almost 64 percent were dissatisfied with city tap water, even though chemical analysis showed it to comply with EU regulations. Researchers said only a quarter of local factories recycled their water. The poll also found that from 1995 to 2000, the amount of people opting for bottled water, rose from 11.38 percent to 12.76 percent. Almost one in three citizens said they experienced frequent water cuts in 2000, more than double those in 1995. Large parts of the city were without water for three days in September due to ruptures in the city’s main pipe, which had been untended for nearly 30 years, the water board admitted. The city’s water system needs an estimated 200 million euros’ worth of modernization over the next 30 years.