At the moment, evaporation ponds are the only viable solution to olive oil mills wastewater treatment, said olive oil mills owners at a meeting of a European olive oil mills wastewater management programme organised by the Orthodox Academy of Crete at Kolymbari. The Inasoop programme, involving Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, is intended to develop environmental quality standards to ensure harmonisation with legislation on olive oil mills wastewater.
The Chairman of the Olive Oil Mills Owners’ Association of Chania, Spyros Terzakis, noted that the programme involves proposals for wastewater treatment methods: “The olive oil mills wastewater problem is an important one. But in Chania Prefecture it has been reduced by the use of evaporation ponds placed in olive oil mills in recent years.”
He also remarked that, before, “the problem was particularly bad, as the wastewater was poured into streams. At the moment, evaporation ponds are the only viable solution because they are cost-effective and do not increase the operating costs of olive oil mills too much for producers to keep up with.”
Researcher Nicoletta Christopoulou stressed that “Here in Greece we now have legislation including evaporation ponds to manage the problem, but we propose the solution of composting waste – that is, olive pits, olive leaves and liquid waste – using the proper methodology.”