Salt production

In the western part of the Lagoon of Alyki Kitrous, in Pieria, operates the second largest salt production unit in Greece. The unit belongs to the Ellinikes Alyikes SA and it is established on the administrative boundary of the municipality of Pydna-Kolindros. The saltpans occupy approximately 400 hectares and yield 28,000 tons of salt each year

ΑΛΥΚΕΣ ΚΙΤΡΟΥΣ (6)

Flamingos in the Alyki Kitrous Lagoon Dimosthenis Seitaridis

In this completely natural salt producing procedure, the first material is salt water. Water is pumped through ‘heaters’, which are a chain of shallow interconnected lakes. Passing from one ‘heater’ to the next, water is evaporated and gradually condensed, until the final product. The productive procedure begins in March and it ends with the collection of the product, usually by the end of October.

Life in the saltpans

 The saltpans are of great importance for avifauna, since many birds find food in their shallow expanse. Also, the sandy banks between the evaporation basins make ideal nesting places for waders.

Αλυκές Κίτρους

The “heaters” of the Alyki Kitrous salt works Anestis Samourkasidis

The saltpans are of great importance for avifauna, since many birds find food in their shallow expanse. Also, the sandy banks between the evaporation basins make ideal nesting places for waders.

Despite the continuous increase of salinity from heater to heater, life in the saltpans never stops. The planktonic organisms that live in the sea water after the first heaters gradually vanish, but then a whole chain of other microorganisms -typical of the salt production procedure- takes their place. Among these microorganisms is the small shell-less crustacean Artemia salina, a species of brine shrimp, which serves as basic food for many bird species, such as flamingos, the Avocets and different kinds of sandpipers. The characteristic reddish colour of the brine in the final heaters is due to the primitive single-celled organism Halobacterium salinarum and the green algae Dunaliella salina.

 

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