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The water drainage system (qanat) of Hortiatis

The Hortiatis qanat performs sustainable supply of fresh water till today, covering partly the needs of Papanikolaou Hospital, a women's Monastery outside the city of Panorama, a military camp in the same area and Hortatis village.

The average flow of the qanat is approximately 15 m3/h [4], while its quality should be monitored. As the water collection system has a depth of merely 8 meters, the risk of pollution and contamination due to sewage discharge, pesticides and building activities is high. [2]

In 1991 – 1992 a research team of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki submitted specific proposals regarding the protection of the qanat water quality. This University research proposed also to investigate the possibility of constructing similar water systems using contemporary technology in Hortiatis mount to cover the increased water needs of the region. Unfortunately up until now no further investigation or restoration work took place, even though the local community shows interest in protecting and promoting this ancient water system. [2]

The qanat of Hortiatis is not open to public, but if one wants to visit he/she should come in contact with the Thessaloniki or Hortiatis Water Supply and Sewerage Company.

Sadly, the unique to central Macedonia roman aqueduct at the entrance of the Hortiatis village is to a large extent neglected by the locals. Building the biological treatment plant was right beside the aqueduct shows that this was not valorised as an important ancient monument.  Furthermore the heavy winters and the vegetation covering parts of the walls (mainly ivy) contributed significantly to the deterioration of the monument. In recent years a restoration project has been undertaken by the 9th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of Greece, supported by EU. These works are expected to be completed by the end of 2013.