Water quality improves in Gulf of Finland

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There is not much green-blue algae around southwestern Finnish towns Kotka and Hamina.  Image YLE.The positive impact from St Petersburg’s new waste water purification plants is already visible in the Gulf of Finland. Finland’s Environmental Administration says that the plants, built largely with funding from the Nordic countries, have reduced the amount of phosphorus in the sea by a third.

Researcher Seppo Knuuttila from the Environmental Administration says that, in the next few years, the reduction in the nutrient load in the sea will manifest also in the decrease of summer-time algal blooms.

“The water’s phosphorus load has declined quickly. The reduction in the total load will certainly, within the next five years, be exhibited in the lessened amounts of algae,” Knuuttila says.

The aim is to get all of St. Petersburg’s waste water purified in four years’ time. Currently, some seven percent is still going straight into the sea.

“St. Petersburg is even now the biggest individual polluter of the Gulf of Finland,” Knuuttila says.

Finland and other Nordic countries took an active part in the construction of the three major water purification treatment plants in St. Petersburg. The newest of them, the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant, will start operations in the autumn.

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