Water for a big city
SUE “Vodokanal of St. Petersburg” provides drinking water to 5 million citizens and tens of thousands of companies and enterprises. One more task of Vodokanal is to collect and treat wastewater.
Since 2013, endangered pinnipeds - grey seals and (Baltic and Ladoga) ringed seals- have been rehabilitated at the premises of Repino wastewater treatment plant in the Kurortny District of St. Petersburg.
10 October 2013, the biggest environmental project – the Northern Tunnel Collector construction – was completed
Since June 28, 2011 Saint-Petersburg has been fully implementing the Helsinki Commission's recommendations for preservation of the Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea Day XVI International Environmental Forum has started in Petersburg with Vodokanal as an active participant. The Forum coincides with the Baltic Sea Day celebrated on 22 March.
Opening the plenary session, the Director General of the St. Petersburg public organization “Ecology and business” (operator of HELCOM programs) L.K. Korovin pointed out that the Forum was attended by over 600 people where more than 100 were foreign specialists. Not only the Baltic countries, neighbors of Russia, but also other states, e.g. USA, took interest in the event.
Many welcome speeches and presentations made by the Forum participants touched on the Gulf of Finland Year Project implemented in three countries: Russia, Finland and Estonia in 2014. Director of the International Cooperation Department at the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment N.R. Inamov emphasized that the high effectiveness of the project had been noted at the Gulf of Finland Year closing meeting in Petersburg on 12 March (where the Minister of Natural Resources S.E. Donskoy, Governor of St. Petersburg G.S. Poltavchenko and Governor of the Leningrad Region A.Yu. Drozdenko were present). Joint studies were made; the opening of the newly-refurbished Marine Mammals Preservation and Research Centre located at Vodokanal’s treatment plant in Repino was a remarkable event. N.R. Inamov mentioned that, today, the wastewater treatment level in Petersburg is the highest among the biggest cities of the world: 98.5 %. Due to the completion of Northern Tunnel Collector in Petersburg in 2013, the relevant sub-spot could be deleted from the List of Hot Spots at 47th meeting of HELCOM Heads of Delegation in December 2014. (The List of Hot Spots – the sites endangering the Baltic Sea ecosystem, was approved by the Helsinki Commission in 1992).
When speaking about the St. Petersburg Initiative, the platform for public private partnerships to develop cross-border cooperation and take economically feasible decisions for the benefit of the Baltic Sea, N.P. Inamov named among prioritized projects the project of Vodokanal St. Petersburg on improvement of wastewater treatment in the region and decrease of the adverse impact on the single water system Lake Ladoga – Onega Lake – Neva River – Gulf of Finland. “I can’t say it is an easy project but with Felix Karmazinov and his team we are finding solutions”, said the representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.
Kai Myrberg, a representative of the Finish Environment Institute summarized the first results of the Gulf of Finland Year. He noted that work had been carried out in three areas: scientific research, public events and preparation of materials for decision-makers. The evaluation report on the research done would be ready end of 2015 and contain an answer to the question about the current state of the Gulf of Finland. Kai Myrberg also said that according to the data received the decrease of such nutrient as phosphorus was observed in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland. “We are moving in the right direction”, said Mr. Myrberg.
The award ceremony was held yesterday as part of the Baltic Sea Day International Environmental Forum.
V.A. Grachev, President of the non-governmental Environmental Fund named after V.I. Vernadsky handed over Vernadsky Orders “for the personal contribution to development of partnership in the Baltic Sea region” to A.K. Kinebas, Director for Personnel and Security, L.K. Korovin, CEO of public organization “Ecology and Business”, J. Henttonen, Director of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership.
Panels and discussions on marine litter, sewage sludge treatment, environmental aspects of marine transport infrastructure and urban environment planning are to be held during the days of Forum. Today, 20 March, the panel dedicated to the best practices in the environmental awareness-raising in the Gulf of Finland Year will be held, as well as a master class for journalist students.