To mark Finland’s centenary, Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy, a water company in the Turku region, has decided to neutralise its phosphorus emissions by supporting projects beyond the scope of its own wastewater treatment plant. It is donating funds which will achieve an emissions reduction equal to the annual phosphorous discharges generated by the plant itself (4.4 tonnes). The firm will also celebrate Turku Day on 17 September.
At the Kakolanmäki plant, Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy treats the wastewater of nearly 300,000 inhabitants and the region’s industrial plants: almost 77 million litres each day. Its water treatment is top class, removing 98% of all phosphorous and 84% of nitrogen.
The removal of nutrients mitigates the key environmental problem affecting the Baltic Sea – eutrophication – which takes the form of cyanobacterial blooms in particular. To halt the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea, further major reductions in nutrient emissions are still needed. However, removing the final kilos of nutrients from wastewater is very expensive, which means that the most cost-efficient additional measures to save the Baltic Sea must be taken outside the Kakolanmäki wastewater treatment plant.
“Conserving the unique Baltic environment and reducing eutrophication are issues that Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy regards as important. The Kakolanmäki wastewater treatment plant aims to achieve the best possible treatment result. During its period in operation, the plant has reduced the related phosphorous load discharged into the sea area by 70% and the nitrogen load by 30%, compared to the situation prior to the plant’s commissioning. Only the sun gets to sink into the sea untreated,” says Mirva Levomäki, CEO of Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy.
In practice, Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy is neutralising its own emissions by supporting two projects with a sum totalling EUR 10,000, one of which involves removing phosphorus already discharged into the sea, while the other reduces nutrient emissions:
- The Finnish Archipelago Sea Local Fish Project expands a concept launched by the John Nurminen Foundation two years ago, based on which targeted fishing of species in the Cyprinidae family removes significant amounts of nutrients from the sea, putting them to good use on land. Under this project, a bonus for removing phosphorous from the sea is paid to fishermen who fish for species belonging to the Cyprinidae family. The fishermen are selected through an open application process. The John Nurminen Foundation also promotes collaboration between various actors in the development of products, made from fish in the Cyprinidae family, for consumers and institutional kitchens.
The project will be conducted in an ecologically sustainable manner, with all endangered species and predators being released back into the sea from fishing traps. The traps must also be placed so that they present no danger to the migration routes of migratory fish.
- The Vitebsk project provides support for the Vitebsk wastewater treatment plant in Belarus in acquiring phosphorous removal chemicals which enable the plant to achieve the treatment level recommended by HELCOM – the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – with regard to phosphorus (a maximum of 0.5mg/l). This will reduce the phosphorous load emitted into the Dvina River, which eventually discharges into the Baltic Sea.
“It is wonderful that Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy has decided to support the Finnish Archipelago Sea Local Fish Project. By consuming fish caught in their local waters, citizens make a tangible contribution to improving the condition of the sea while consuming a resource that would otherwise go completely unused,” remarks Miina Mäki, Project Manager of the Local Fish Project at the John Nurminen Foundation.
Support will be directed via a crowdfunding platform for saving the Baltic Sea which is named Nutribute and has been developed under the NutriTrade project. All Nutribute projects will decrease the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.
“Nutribute is an online platform which enables all actors in the Baltic region to propose measures for the measurable reduction of nutrient discharges. Using this platform, citizens and organisations can familiarise themselves with various projects and support those they find interesting. The objective is to encourage the adoption of concrete projects aimed at reducing the nutrient load and the formation of sponsor groups via the social media,” says Anna Saarentaus, Project Manager of the NutriTrade project.
For more information, please contact
Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy
Mirva Levomäki, CEO, tel. +358 40 712 6241
John Nurminen Foundation
Marjukka Porvari, Project Manager of the Clean Baltic projects, tel. +358 41 5491535
Miina Mäki, Project Manager of the Finnish Archipelago Sea Local Fish Project, tel. +358 050 576 3298.
Anna Saarentaus, Project Manager, the NutriTrade project,tel. +358 40 7190208
Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy, www.turunseudunpuhdistamo.fi
Turun seudun puhdistamo Oy is a service provider owned by 14 municipalities, offering both its owners and other customers high-quality and cost-efficient wastewater treatment services. The company is responsible for the operation of the Kakolanmäki wastewater treatment plant, including its treatment results.
John Nurminen Foundation, www.johnnurmisensaatio.fi
John Nurminen Foundation, established in 1992, has the mission to save the Baltic Sea for future generations. The goal of the Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects is to improve the condition of the Baltic Sea with tangible measures that will reduce the load and environmental risks directed at the sea. The Clean Baltic Sea projects are funded from private donations and public funds.
Under the NutriTrade project (NutriTrade – Piloting a Nutrient Trading Scheme in the Central Baltic), a mechanism for offering voluntary assistance and funding for measures targeting at reducing the nutrient load in the Baltic Sea has been created. NutriTrade is the flagship project of the EU’s Baltic Sea strategy, with the EU Interreg Central Baltic programme being the major sponsor of the project.