The Archipelagos laboratory analyzes marine and freshwater samples, defining the content of microbes, nutrients and other chemical compounds. The aim is to assess the safety of local potable water, groundwater and swimming water in order to protect human health as well as the environment. Where contamination is detected, Archipelagos informs and collaborates with communities and relevant authorities (local, national and/or EU) for the development and application of appropriate measures.
Drinking water and groundwater
Archipelagos provides analyses of drinking water on various islands of the Aegean, focusing especially on the islands where local authorities do not conduct regular monitoring. In most places drinking water can originate from different sources, hence there can be a risk of pollution caused by nearby anthropogenic activities, but also by natural erosion of rocks (e.g. arsenic can naturally erode from certain types of magmatic or sedimentary rocks, posing a danger to human health). On small islets and islands of the Aegean, where water resources are limited and potable water is transported to people via water tankers, the water quality can differ with every shipment delivered. Therefore, the local communities are unsure of the safety of their drinking water and frequently buy bottled water as a precaution. Apart from being costly and adding more plastic waste to the environment, this practice is also of questionable quality, since this water is frequently transported in hot summer conditions.
The Archipelagos laboratory provides local island communities with water quality analyses in order to ensure that they have free, safe access to drinking water. In addition, in regions where contamination of groundwater is possible, this water is also tested. When sources of pollution are detected, Archipelagos collaborates with local, national and EU authorities in order to eliminate them.
In many places on the Greek coastline, swimming water samples are not regularly collected by national authorities, and even when tests are conducted, the results are not made known to the local communities and tourists. The Archipelagos laboratory supplies data on swimming water quality at various beaches and informs local authorities, communities and visitors whether and which waters are safe for them and their children for swimming.
Water analyses in the Archipelagos laboratory are carried out with the use of the photometric method (certification ISO 9001:2000) and a digital arsenator (certification ISO 9001:2000). The microbiological analyses are also carried out (IDEXX Colilert-18/ Quanti-Tray®: ISO 9308-3 (E. coli).