PURE – Project on Urban Reduction of Eutrophication
PURE – tackling eutrophication by investing in enhances phosphorus removal at selected municipal wastewater treatment plants in the Baltic Sea region. The project aimed at an annual reduction of at least 500 tons of phosphorous load to the Baltic Sea.
Eutrophication is the major environmental problem of the Baltic Sea. It is caused by overload of nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, entering the sea mainly from land. Symptoms of eutrophication include reduced water transparency, massive occurrences of harmful algae, slimy beaches, dead zones in the bottom of the sea and deteriorated spawning areas of many fish species.
Project PURE implements one of the most cost effective and quickest ways to tackle eutrophication: it enhances phosphorus removal at selected municipal wastewater treatment plants in the Baltic Sea region. PURE partner water utilities aim to achieve an average annual concentration of 0.5 mg phosphorus / litre in outgoing wastewaters – the level recommended by the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan to reach a good environmental status of the sea. Altogether, it would lead to the annual reduction of at least 300-500 tons of eutrophying phosphorus load. Reducing eutrophication in the project was achieved by direct investments by selected wastewater treatment plants in Latvia and in Belarus.
Moreover the project has identified solutions for improving the sludge management within wastewater treatment plants and a book on Good Practices in Sludge Management, first of its kind in the Baltic Sea Region, has been published. Further, a new online tool “PURE BenchMark” has been developed, to improve sharing and visualizing information on municipal wastewater treatment and loads to the Baltic Sea.
Funding: INTERREG Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007–2013
Budget: EUR 3.1 million