Court calls for clean water

A court in Thebes yesterday ordered municipal authorities in Oinofyta, north of Attica, to replace toxic drinking water in the small town of Dilesi with a clean supply for the 6,000-strong local population. The court’s landmark ruling was a response to calls by the Greek Quality of Life Consumer Union (EKPOIZO) for an injunction to be taken out against the municipality after tests on water supplies in Dilesi revealed traces of depleted chromium, which can be carcinogenic. «The water being supplied to the area by the Municipality of Oinofyta poses a serious health risk to consumers,» the court said. The ruling cites the results of tests showing up to 28 micrograms of depleted chromium per liter of tap water. There is no maximum recommended level for this chemical, ranked among the most dangerous for human health. The court said authorities must bring in some 1,200 cubic meters of water per day until the creation of a new network that will provide local homes with fresh water. Greek water quality was also cause for concern on drought-stricken Cyprus. Officials at the Cypriot Agriculture Ministry said they were unable to distribute a shipment of 40,000 cubic meters of water from Greece because of its pungent smell. The Greek tanker containing the water has been anchored off the island’s south coast for the past two weeks awaiting completion of the infrastructure needed to transfer it ashore. Officials believe it was this extended storage time that caused the water to smell. The ministry said the water would «undergo a natural filtering process.» The shipment is the first of a total 8 million cubic meters of water that will be shipped to Cyprus from Greece by November. The Cypriots agreed to pay 43 million euros for the total quantity of water to be shipped.