The temporary banfor precautionary reasons, the Halkidiki subregion decided to use part of the beach of Nikiti for swimming, as, after sampling carried out on August 9, the results of the microbiological analyzes of the seawater were outside the limits, which makes it unsuitable for swimming.

It should be noted that the decision to ban the use of the beach it concerns a length of coastline of 100 meters on either side of the mouth of the stream, in which the treated liquid waste of the Nikitis Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP) is disposed of and was taken due to “continuous flow of heavy waters in the specific sea area”.

The relevant document of the vice-region has already been notified to the municipality of Sithonia, which is asked to take the appropriate measures and post signs with the words “Swimming prohibited” in the specific section, while the Coast Guard has been informed to monitor the ban.

The deputy governor of Halkidiki, Katerina Zografou, told, that the decision, although difficult, as the tourist season is in progress, deemed necessary for the safety of citizens. According to her, the problem arose from a malfunction of Nikita’s biological cleaning. “The Environmental Service of the Regional Unit intervened, initially did a first sampling from the estuary of the biological and sent a document to the Health Directorate, where on August 9 the supervisor also took a sample from the marine area, i.e. the swimming area. The results came out later on August 16-17 and after 3-4 days and as soon as we realized that the limits are above the permitted ones, we decided to temporarily suspend swimming and send the relevant instruction to the municipality. He is responsible for taking the appropriate measures.”

Ms. Zografou states that starting next week, new sampling will be done because, as she notes, “according to the words of the municipality, corrective actions have been taken in biological cleaning, from the malfunctioning phase until today. We’ll keep an eye on it. It is a 100 meter sectionof a small area, to the right of the port, there at the estuary of the biological”.

He also points out that if the waters are deemed suitable from the repeated samplings, the ban will be lifted.

It should be noted that this is not the first time that the area has been plagued by problems in the biological purification, which was built shortly before 2000. However, while it was initially considered as an important project for the tourist development of the area, it was not built with specifications such that it can handle a larger volume of wastewater. With the rapid residential development in the area and the thousands of visitors, the facility began to malfunction, causing a series of problems almost every year.

For his part, the mayor of Sithonia, Paris Deblas, He reported to that the problem at the biological plant arose from the overloading of the water load in August and pointed out that “the power outages from DEDDIE crushed us. Every now and then we’ve had power outages, so we have this problem.”

He emphasizes that starting next week, Monday or Tuesday, new samples will be taken and he estimates that with the actions already taken in biological cleaning, the problem will be solved.