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Water quality monitoring of Kournas lake, (Crete, Greece)

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Kirikou St.
Stavroulakis G , Professor - Head of the Laboratory of Water & Soil Resources Quality Control - Technological Educational Institute of Crete - Romanou 3, 73133 Hania – Greece. E-mail:, Tel/Fax +30 28210 23012 Kirikou St.Natural

Keyword(s): Kournas lake, water quality, bathing water
AbstractSigns of lake-water quality degradation have been apparŽent fοr decades. Since many Greek lakes are the final receivers of agricultural runoff and of municipal and industrial-waste-water discharges, they beŽcome enriched with nutrients, sediments and heavy meŽtals. Saltwater intrusion is another serious problem which affects the coastal lakes. Nutrient levels are of great interest because of their relaŽtion to eutrophication. The lake of Kournas, the only natural freshwater lake on Crete, is one of the more important biotops of West Crete and is included in the network Natura 2000. However, the recent tourist development of the area resulted in human interventions, in most of cases not mild. The aim of the present research was to record the water quality in almost monthly intervals and evaluate the seasonal variation of the qualitative parameters with the human activities. The lake of Kournas is located at the Municipality of Georgioupolis in the north-eastern part of Chania Prefecture and 2.5 km south of the northern coast of Crete, Greece. Water from the lake (from a depth of 1.0m) was sampled monthly over the period of 2 years (April 2002 through to August 2004). For the analysis of the qualitative parameters pH, EC, BOD, COD, NO3-N, NH4-N, PO4-P and chloride concentration as well as for the bacterial detection, official methods were employed The results showed concurrent increase of EC and Cl- concentration possibly due to seawater intrusion caused by the continuous water pumping during the summer period. BOD, NO3-N, NH4-N, PO4-P measurements showed that the lake is oligotrofic. The measured values of all chemical, physicochemical and microbiological qualitative parameters found below the limits of the current national regulations (46399/1352/86) for the bathing water but exceed the limits for A1 potable water. Kournas Lake could be characterized marginally as oligoŽtrophic. Ιn fact, seasonal variation of the qualitative parameters showed water enrichment with nutrients mainly due to agricultural runoff and local point pollution sources related to human activities.
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