Gatchina wastewater treatment plant in northwestern Russia boosts nutrient removal in a joint project with the John Nurminen Foundation

The chemical phosphorus removal equipment, delivered to the Gatchina water utility in 2015 by the John Nurminen Foundation, was inaugurated today at the Gatchina wastewater treatment plant, where phosphorus will now be removed from wastewaters with greater efficiency. After more efficient nutrient removal, the phosphorus level of the wastewater leaving the water utility will be reduced to the level recommended by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission Helcom (0.5 mg P/l).

(From left: Jaroslav Kononov, Gatchina water utlity, Elena Kaskelainen, John Nurminen Foundation and Grigori Osmanov, Gatchina water utility. Photo taken on November 5, 2015). 

The installation and construction of the treatment plant’s phosphorus removal system has taken place this year. In this joint project of the Gatchina water utility and the John Nurminen Foundation, the Foundation has been responsible for phosphorus removal equipment procurement while the water utility has taken care of the costs of installation, local planning and construction.

A chemical container, worth approximately €100,000 and used in chemical phosphorus removal, was funded by the Foundation’s Horizon campaign, launched in 2013. Through the campaign, private individuals have been able to make a donation to the Horizon artwork, located on the Jätkäsaari pier. So far, the campaign has amassed nearly €200,000. The campaign is reaching its final phase, as the artwork can accommodate 4,225 gleams, of which less than 300 are still available.

The second part of the project will be carried out in 2017: in this phase, the treatment plant will be supplied with biological removal equipment which supports phosphorus removal and enables more efficient nitrogen removal.

In addition to the water utility and the Foundation, the project’s partners and financiers include NEFCO (Nordic Environment Finance Corporation), SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency) and NDEP (Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership, all of whom participate in the implementation of biological nutrient removal.

Through the Gatchina project, the annual phosphorus load of the Gulf of Finland will be reduced by 25 to 30 tonnes. This amount corresponds to the annual phosphorus loads originating in the wastewater treatment plant of Viikinmäki, Helsinki. The total costs of the Foundation’s subproject amount to approximately €500,000.

‘Since Gatchina is the second largest city of the Leningrad region after St. Petersburg, removing phosphorus from wastewaters in this city is a logical continuation to the cleaning effort of the Gulf of Finland, launched by the Foundation in St. Petersburg. Phosphorus removal in Gatchina is therefore the most efficient way to reduce the nutrient load of the Gulf of Finland, leading also to a reduction in the algae blooms of this marine area’, says Marjukka Porvari, director of the Foundation’s Clean Sea projects.

Gatchina, located southwest of St. Petersburg, has approximately 80,000 inhabitants. The wastewaters of the city are directed to the river Izhora, which flows via the Neva to the Gulf of Finland.

Cooperation between the Foundation and the Gatchina water utility was launched in 2009. In February 2010, a letter of intent was signed on improving the efficiency of phosphorus removal at the city treatment plant.   In 2011, the Foundation financed a technical plan and tendering documentation for the deployment of phosphorus removal at the Gatchina plant. The Board of Directors of the Foundation approved the financing of the project in 2012. In 2013, a financing agreement for the implementation of the project was signed with the Gatchina water utility.

The past few years have seen significant reductions in the phosphorus load of the Gulf of Finland. Improving the efficiency of wastewater treatment in St. Petersburg and ensuring the treatment of the phosphorus leaks from the Fosforit fertilizer factory reduced the annual phosphorus load of the Gulf of Finland by over 60%. In addition to the project in Gatchina, the Foundation is involved in two other projects in Russia: treating the wastewaters of Vyborg, and a poultry farm project in the village of Pobeda. The goal is to finalise both projects in 2016.

More information:
Marjukka Porvari
Director, Clean Baltic Sea projects
John Nurminen Foundation
Tel: +358 41 549 1535

Tuula Putkinen
Communications Manager
John Nurminen Foundation
Tel: + 358 400 907 809
email: firstname.lastname@jnfoundation.fi

The John Nurminen Foundation Clean Baltic Sea projects improve the status of the Baltic Sea. Every summer, blue-green algae blooms on the sea are evidence of eutrophication, the greatest problem facing the Baltic Sea. Reducing the nutrient load that enters the sea is the most efficient way to reduce eutrophication. In 2005 – 2015, the Foundation has initiated approximately 20 projects in northwestern Russia, Poland, the Baltic countries, and Belarus. 14 of these projects have been completed, resulting in a reduction of more than 2,000 tonnes in the annual phosphorus load of the sea. The Local Fishing project, launched in 2015, as well as the NutriTrade and BEST projects continue to curb the nutrient load of the sea. The Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects are funded with private donations and public financing.



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