Toxic compounds in drinking water Hexavalent Chromium in the Asopos and Mesapia regions



The Greek Ombudsman investigated cases of contamination of water resources with hexavalent chromium in the regions of Assopos (Viotia) and Messapia (Evia).

The Ombudsman proposed the adoption of a specific acceptable threshold for hexavalent chromium in drinking water, taking into account the following:
i. The precautionary principle
ii. 2010 Court Decision that rules that 2 mg/l is the acceptable level of hexavalent chromium in drinking water
iii. Expressed opinions of relevant authorities for the need to establish a threshold for this contaminant
iv. International experience and practices to estimate the acceptable level of exposure to hexavalent chromium
v. Health ministry circular requesting systematic monitoring of hexavalent chromium concentrations in various regions of the country for a year.

For the protection of River Assopos, the Ombudsman also requested:
i. Strict control of the quality and disposal methods of industrial waste
ii. Restoration of soil, ground and surface water, especially near inhabited areas and agricultural land
iii. Restoration of the river bottom
iv. Enforcement of the polluter pays principle

In the municipality of Messapia, hexavalent chromium was detected in drinking water. The Ombudsman requested clean water for the citizens in compliance with a relevant Court decision, a sanitary inspection of the water network and resources, systematic monitoring of the water quality, prompt and accurate information to the citizens.

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