Monday, 22 June 2009

Thursday, 18th June to Friday 19th June 2009 / Athens

Training Course in water reclamation and reuse

at National Center for the Environment and Sustainable Development –

Villa Kazouli (info:

Welcome speech by Mr I. Sympetheros Expert Secretary of the Central Water Agency of the Hellenic Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, Greece & Mr S. Tsivili coordinator of MED POL Programme at the Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme.

The speakers of the seminar were:

Mr G. Kamizoulis, World Health Organization – United Nations Environment Programme – Mediterranean Action Plan.

Mr I. Kalavrouziotis, Assistant Professor of Planning and Management of Land Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management, University of Ioannina, Greece.

Mr P. Gikas, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Greece.

Some Key Notes during the lectures (the introducer and the theme is mentioned as an overhead in bold):

Mr Kamizoulis ‘Conseptual Framework’

Started with an introductory speech about water reclamation and reuse and the conceptual meanings to be discussed during the training course and ended up saying that water reclamation and reuse is not only a technical matter, not only a health issue, not only an economical matter, not only a regulation issue, not only a management issue, not only a common perception but above all a political issue!

Gikas P. ‘Ways of water reuse’

- Historic settlements – evidence of water reclamation and reuse (Ancient Crete)

- Nowadays water reuse (Cyclades – cisterns)
- Changes due to water use (Aral lake & Karla
- “De facto” reuse of water: Axios River. Sewages are discharged from lead & zinc mines & VESNA – SAP factory for batteries in Probištip and from Veles in F.Y.R.O.M. These discharges are used for irrigating cultivations along the Greek side
- Syros island, Greece – in the northern part of the village, water is desalinated and on the southern part water is being treated biologically and discharged in the sea…
- Tunisia started filling deep water basins in 1962 & 1968 Namimbia was the 1st to drink reused water.
- In Greece, water is reused after secondary treatment to irrigate land areas and plant trees inside the waste water treatment system area (e.g. Chalkis, Psytallia)
- Israel & Palestine: Water wastes in Palestine belong to Israel
- Solaire building – New York – Water reuse from the whole building in a 197 sq. m. unit!
- Tokyo: every building > 3.000 sq. m. obliged to reuse water
- Singapore Water Reclamation Study (NEWater Study), initiated in 1998 (info:
- Roof installations in Australia (info:

- Greek wall painting against golf’s “SHIT TO GOLF’S – WATER TO THE VILLAGES” can with water reuse actually happen!

THE MOST INTERESTING FACT IS THAT IN THE GREEK ISLANDS THE PERIOD OF HIGH WATER NEED IS CHRONICALLY THE SAME WITH THE HIGH WATER DEMAND PERIOD (more at: Gikas P. & G. Tchobanoglous, 2009. Sustainable use of water in the Aegean Islands, Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 90, Issue 8, 2601-2611pp.)

Kalavrouziotis I. ‘Ways to reuse water’

Reuse water for: Agriculture - Urban use (fires, to clean roads, cars etc) - Industry (freezing towers, cleaning vehicles etc.) - Fun activities (lakes) - Protection & restoration of natural environments (wetlands, river flow) - Deep water enrichment

Special reference to Abel Wolman (1892 – 1989) and his article in Scientific American (9/1965) ‘The Metabolism of Cities’ were among others, he stated that:

‘In the U.S. today attention is focused on shortages of water and the pollution of water and air. There is plenty of water, but supplying it requires foresight.’

‘While New Yorkers were watching empty reservoirs, Californians were building aqueducts. Thanks to foresight people in California were watering lawns and filling their swimming pools, while in New York lawns were dying and pools stood empty.’

He ended up saying that: Water reclamation and reuse is something that need political will / scientific contribution and is by origin a geochemical procedure and as such it should be considered! He also stressed upon the valuable role of the NGO’s in informing and sensitizing the public.

Kamizoulis G. ‘Standards & Principles’

The quality of reclaimed water depends on criteria that have to do with health - environment and agriculture/geology. Many different criteria are published by various organizations:

WHO - the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations–info:,

USEPA-United States Environmental Protection Agency–info:

CEDEX-Centro de Estudios y Experimentación de Obras Públicas–info:

California Water Recycling Criteria–info:

The WHO quantifies environmental health impacts as stated below:

The environmental burden of disease quantifies the amount of disease caused by environmental risks. Disease burden can be expressed in deaths, incidence or in Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY). The latter measure combines the burden due to death and disability in a single index. Using such an index permits the comparison of the burden due to various environmental risk factors with other risk factors or diseases (info:

Gikas P. ‘Monitoring & Conformity’ & ‘Development - Treatment methods’

Advantages of satellite wastewater treatment plants for reclaiming water in comparison with regional wastewater treatment plants commonly used in Greece:

- satellite systems reclaim water without processing the sludge that is forwarded to the regional/central system

- a central wastewater system combined with smaller satellite systems can have lead to a decrease of the hydraulic load sent to the central unit, to economically advantageous reclamation on the spot with more opportunities for reuse, a decrease of the economic cost of managing water waste and to less environment impacts

- these systems can happen in areas without infrastructure, with less economic costs and can be combined with watertight containers.

Gikas P. ‘Disinfection methods’

Kalavrouziotis I. ‘Irrigating for agriculture – irrigation’ & ‘Designing & Analyzing’

- canals used for water supply and water outflow are essential for the removal of salts from the water, meaning that if we irrigate for a many years the same land, there should be a good outflow canal in order to avoid salt concentration.
important detail is that in order to reuse water for i
rrigation, industrial wastes shouldn’t be mixed. (but what happens with the pipe systems in most – if not even all – cities of Greece where - rain water, urban and industrial waste water - all fall in?)

- results from experiments with water and reclaimed water in the same species are found at: Kalavrouziotis I. et al., 2004. The reuse of wastewater and sludge for cultivation of forestry trees in desert areas in Greece, International Journal of Environment and Pollution, Volume 21, Number 5.

Management plans like those need information actions for the public & coherency by the ministries of health, agriculture and environment. THE INCLINATION (of river flow) PHILOSOPHY SHOULD CHANGE TO A RECLAMATION PHILOSOPHY (obviously referring to Acheloos river inclination…).

Kamizoulis G. ‘The Mediterranean perspective’ & ‘Management of reused water’

Practises, interesting statistic figures and information about water reclamation and reuse in the countries around the Med. Tunisia is an example that we shall all imitate, Spain is also checking for Legionella sp. before water is reused, Turkey has established quality parameters the last 2 years, Lebanon and Syria should start reusing water, Cyprus and Israel have high rates of reclaimed water, Italy and France reuse water basically in their northern territories, Malta desalinates the 90% of the water used. Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia and Monaco need to do more. In Libya, the world's largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River supplies water from the Sahara Desert.

Overall, high environmental protection results in high reclamation ability. It is time to stop speaking about pilot projects and speak about demonstration projects in Greece.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Lia's article at Real News Newspaper regarding our experience at Via Egnatia Caravan Trail!!!

Saturday, 16th to Sunday, 17th of May 2009 Bitola - F.Y.R.O.M.

Via Egnatia Caraval trail reached Bitola on the weekend 16 to 17th of May. Another chance to visit my friend Neshad and his N.G.O. BIOSFERA BITOLA (info:

Tour around the city with wonderful architecture and Dragor river passing through:

Bitola was the last stop for the painting activity of Via Egnatia foundation (info:

Heraclea Lyncestis: