Ano Liosia kicks up stink over sewage

Authorities in northwestern Attica resumed their long-running battle with the government yesterday over the dumping of treated sewage at the capital’s only landfill, claiming the stench in the area had become so unbearable that local schools would soon have to be shut down. The mayor of Ano Liosia, Nikos Papadimas, filed a lawsuit yesterday against those responsible for the local landfill after an inspection of the dump by officials from the prefecture of western Attica found that the sludge being deposited there was seeping into the water table and creating a pungent smell. Papadimas said municipal offices would be closed today in protest at the «indifference» shown by the Public Works Ministry to an issue he claims is threatening public health and the environment. The mayor said that he would also ask for schools in northwestern Attica to close within the next few days. Some 100,000 tons of sludge have been transferred to the site since the government enforced a decision in June to temporarily dump the sewage in Ano Liosia to alleviate pressure on the only treatment plant in Attica on the islet of Psyttaleia, near Piraeus. However, local authorities in Ano Liosia opposed the decision and protesters clashed with police outside the landfill when the program first swung into operation. The Athens Water and Sewage Company (EYDAP) denied Papadimas’s claims yesterday, saying the sludge was mixed with earth and leaves in a process which biodegraded it and eradicated the smell. It did, however, admit that the 5.5 tons of garbage dumped at the landfill daily generated a bad smell.