Vodokanal participation in Water Days


On Thursday, 4 December, Vodokanal St. Petersburg Information and Training Centre hosted the Water Days Roundtable organized under the Federal Target Programme “Water Sector Development in the Russian Federation in 2012-2020” (Russian Water Programme).

This year, the Water Days events will be held in five cities. Such events have already been accomplished in Perm and Volgograd; meetings in Chelyabinsk and Myshkin (Yaroslavl Region) are planned. According to the organizers, the intention is to make it an annual event in future.   

In his video welcome speech, the Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment S.E. Donskoy said that preservation of fresh water reserves is one of the most important tasks to be solved by joint efforts ensuring proper and sustainable water use - through various awareness-raising programmes, among other things.

The topics discussed at the Roundtable were: environmental safety of water bodies and hydraulic engineering structures in Petersburg, mechanisms used to prevent and remove oil spills, and practical rehabilitation of water environment. Olga N. Rublevskaya, Deputy Director of Vodokanal’s Engineering Innovation Centre Branch, told the participants about Vodokanal activities in the field of wastewater treatment. Olga Rublevskaya mentioned that 98.4 % of wastewater is treated in Petersburg now and a 100 % treatment level will be reached in future (including the treatment of all stormwater).

Being one of the biggest cities at the Baltic Sea coast, Petersburg focuses its efforts on the implementation of the HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission) Recommendations. All Vodokanal’s wastewater treatment plants have implemented enhanced removal of phosphorus and nitrogen, the nutrients that endanger the health of the Baltic Sea (they initiate the growth of blue-green algae which take up oxygen from water releasing toxins).

Today, the HELCOM identifies new groups of hazardous substances threatening the Baltic Sea and its inhabitants: pharmaceuticals and microplastics. Vodokanal specialists together with the HELCOM experts have investigated concentrations of such substances in wastewaters and are now searching for effective process solutions to minimize concentrations of pharmaceuticals and microplastics in the treated effluent.

However, as Olga Rublevskaya mentioned, the condition of the Gulf of Finland depends not only on wastewater treatment in Petersburg, but also on the condition of the integrated water system in the North-Western Federal District. This system also comprises Lake Onega, Lake Ilmen and Lake Ladoga with their catchment areas. Eventually, all pollutants discharged into any component of the integrated water system get into the Neva and further into the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea. Vodokanal is ready to assist (participate in investigations, draw up recommendations) the neighboring regions in stopping the discharge of untreated or poorly treated wastewaters.

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