Porvoon vesi to Support Gypsum Treatment of Agricultural Fields in the River Porvoonjoki Area

Porvoon vesi has decided to implement gypsum treatment of agricultural fields in the catchment area of the River Porvoonjoki. The water utility company will finance gypsum treatment covering a total of 70 hectares of agricultural land with the objective of improving the state of the River Porvoonjoki and the sea in the coastal areas of Porvoo. Published in May 2018, the results of a pilot project implemented in Lieto and Paimio indicate that gypsum treatment of agricultural fields reduces the load of phosphorus from fields into water bodies by about 50% with an immediate effect. In addition, it significantly reduces erosion of fields and flow of suspended solids into bodies of water. According to current knowledge, the effects of the treatment will last at least five years.

The treatment is cost-effective in comparison with other water protection methods: It is proven to be highly effective and the gypsum that is produced as a by-product of industry can be used as raw material in the process. The gypsum treatment will be undertaken during the coming autumn in cooperation with local land-owners and The John Nurminen Foundation.

Risto Saarinen, CEO of Porvoon vesi, explains why the water utility company wants to be a part of this project: “By participating in this project we want to inspire discussion regarding how water protection measures should be targeted. The Porvoo-based Hermanninsaari sewage treatment plant is already working highly effectively to remove phosphorus from water, and there is not much more that can be done to make its operations even more effective to further improve the state of coastal waters.”

”We are delighted to see that the new method that has proven highly effective will be implemented to improve the state of the waters in the Porvoo area. Similar measures are being planned for the River Vantaanjoki area for 2018 through 2019. Riverine and coastal waters of The Uusimaa Region are important recreational areas for over a million people,” says Anna Saarentaus, project manager of the John Nurminen Foundation.

Porvoon Vesi Neutralizes its Nutrient Footprint Again

In addition to the gypsum treatment of fields in the River Porvoonjoki area, Porvoon Vesi supports the foundation’s wastewater project in Vitebsk in Belarus. With these measures, there will be a reduction of a total of 970 kg of phosphorus, which is equivalent to the annual load from the company’s Hermanninsaari sewage treatment plant into the Baltic Sea. Thus, Porvoon vesi neutralizes its nutrient footprint now for the second time.

Several water utility companies in Finland have already neutralized their nutrient footprint by using the Nutribute crowdfunding platform. Porvoon vesi was among the very first ones to do so in 2017.

Further information:

Porvoon vesi
CEO Risto Saarinen, Tel.
+358 40 4899 885

John Nurminen Foundation
Project manager Anna Saarentaus, NutriTrade project
Tel. +358 40 7190208

Further information on the gypsum treatment of agricultural fields: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/life-science/gypsum-treatment-of-fields-enhances-water-protection-in-agriculture

Porvoon vesi www.porvoonvesi.fi
Owned and operated by the City of Porvoo, Porvoon vesi is a water utility company providing domestic water to its customers as well as services for conveying and treating sewage. The company was founded in 1913 and currently has about 44,000 customers. [JNS boileri]

The John Nurminen Foundation www.johnnurmisensaatio.fi 
Founded in 1992, the mission of the John Nurminen Foundation is to save the Baltic Sea and its heritage 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 by private donations and public funds. A publisher of nonfiction books and the free Loki online service providing marine information, the Foundation is also an active mediator of culture.

NutriTrade Project www.nutritradebaltic.eu
NutriTrade is one of the flagship projects of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.  These projects seek to reduce discharges significantly, and thus promote the Baltic Sea’s restoration to a good ecological status. The EU Interreg Central Baltic programme is the main funder of the NutriTrade project. NutriTrade is led by The John Nurminen Foundation and implemented together with University of Helsinki, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Anthesis Enveco.