Koumoundourou Lake – Pollution from spill oil

It is a common sense that the responsibility for environmental impair and remediation of polluted sites is considered demanding, especially at morphological complex terrains polluted with a wide range of hydrocarbon oily products. Such terrain in Greece, where underground plumes of hydrocarbon pollutants are traced due to leakages from pipes and storage tanks, is that of the area around the ELPE refinery, where lake Koumoundourou is located nearby.

Lake Koumoundourou is located at the 15th kilometer of the National Road Athens – Corinth, just before the premises of Helenic Petroleum EL.PE. During ancient times it was among the lakes used for expiation as part of the Eleusinian Mysteries. It was dedicated to Persephone and the fishing was permitted only to the priests of the region. At the bottom of the lake is preserved up – to – date s small marble bridge, part of Iera Odos, with a width of 5.4 meters. The present landscape of the lake is the result of an artificial shape which took place gradually. Its south perimeter is constructed by a stone water tight liner, which isolates the main lake from the marsh. This liner bears a shallow foundation at a length greater than 3.0 meters. This rip-rap stone liner has created a stable natural bottom for the lake.

The lake’s surface is 143.000 km2, the length of its coastline is approximately 1300 m, while its maximum length and width are 600 and 400 m respectively. The lake for its most part is shallow, with an average depth of 1,5m, while near its sub-lake springs, the depth reaches 3,0 m. Its absolute altitude is 1,41 m above sea level. After the rise of its water surface, at a previous stage of the project, for about 30cm , by construction of a special adjustable Watergate, the absolute altitude of its now stands at 1,68m. The discharge of the lake towards the sea was always hampered due to a natural coastal embankment which allowed, through particular passages the free communication of the lake water with the sea. The embankment was integrated with the construction of the National Road, confining the lake and diverting its discharge through an artificial spillway and rectangular passage under the National Road towards the sea.    Inside the lake and inside the aquifer surrounding the lake, underground hydrocarbon leackages have been detected shaping into an overall three slicks, moving slowly underground from the refinery to the lake.    These hydrocarbons are consisting  from fuel oil and petrol and are floating on ground and lake water and are the result of a long – term accumulation leakages from the bottoms of storage tanks as well as from petroleum pipes.


Crud Oil

main diagram

map of eleusis iii



Eleusis resembles a palimpsest manuscript. The history engraved on it repeated layers of writing, composing in the centuries’ run a long and enchanting novel. Flourishing settlements, fortifications and spaces of religious worship were developed in this place during the whole antiquity but also in modern times. This historical duration is easily interpreted because of the favourable situation of the town, a vital point from where main road arteries pass and connect Attica to the rest of Greece. At the same time, its harbour secured from the winds in a closed gulf, constitutes an exit of marine communication and a node of transit trade. To these factors the fact of disposal of fertile, cultivable land at Thriasio Pedio, should be added. The Eleusinian river Kifisos, nowadays called Sarantapotamos, crossed this important granary of Attica.

The heart of all settlements developed in Eleusis, from pre-historic period up to modern times, constituted the most eastern hill of a low hillchain situated between the plain and the sea. The archaeological studies certified that housing in the wider area of Eleusis begins in the 3rd pre-historic century, in the Lower Copper Age (2800-1900 B.C.). Foundations of homes dating from the Middle Copper Age (1900-1600 B.C.) are found on the top of the hill and on its slopes, while in the Upper Copper Age (1600-1100 B.C.) the settlements seem to expand northwards and eastwards to the foot of the hill. The main acropolis of settlements dating from the Middle and Upper Copper Age is located in distance of nearly 750m. westwards from the hill, at length of the ancient road leading to Megara. Gems of the ancient and impressive tombs of the “Western Cemetery” are exposed at the Archaeological Museum of the town. A group of pre-historic tombs of the “Western Cemetery” has been identified as the tomb of “Seven against Thebes”, that ancient writers report to be found in Eleusis. Excavation works of the Archaeological Site assign the beginning of the worship of Demeter to the Upper Copper Age, identifying a mansion dating from the Mycenaean period, found under the classical Telesterion, as the first temple of the Goddess. This hypothesis strengthens the testimony of the “Homeric Hymn dedicated to Demeter”, a poem created in 7th century B.C., that reports that during the kingdom of Keleou, in the Mycenaean period, the first temple of Demeter has been built at a place appointed by the Goddess herself.

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the site

The Oil Refineries in Eleusis

The Evolution of  Keratsini – Drapetsona

Industrial Evolution

rem koolhaas on preservation – festarch 2011


rem koolhaas on preservation – festarch 2011.

OMA’s documentation of notions of preservation – image © designboom