Riga improves its phosphorus removal from waste waters in a joint project by John Nurminen Foundation, Union of Baltic Cities Commission on Environment and Helcom

Riga Water Ltd will raise its phosphorus removal from waste waters to HELCOM recommendation level.* Riga is the first Baltic city to invest in phosphorus removal as part of the Project on Urban Reduction of Eutrophication (PURE), which is funded by the EU.

Riga Water Ltd is responsible for waste water treatment in the city of Riga, the Latvian capital, and the surrounding areas. The Daugavgriva waste water treatment plant is designed to handle waste waters of ca one million people. Purified waste waters are discharged directly to the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic Sea.

The PURE investment in phosphorus removal in Riga is EUR 300,000 of which EU funds 85% per cent, i.e. EUR 255,000. During the project, chemical dosing and flow measurement equipment will be installed to enable chemical phosphorus removal. Sludge management will also be improved.

“We cannot achieve the HELCOM recommendation level of waste water treatment with the existing the infrastructure and technology of Daugavrina, which were built in 1980-1990. New solutions and in-vestments are therefore required. With the help of PURE project investments, we will be able to achieve significant reductions in phosphorus discharges, “ says Maris Zviedris, Director of Daugavgrina Waste Water Treatment Plant.

HELCOM has set as target an annual cut of 15,000 tonnes of phosphorus. Of this, PURE projects will cover at least 300-500 tonnes of phosphorus in reductions that will be implemented in Riga and Jurmala in Latvia, in Brest in Belarus, in Kohtla-Järve is Estonia, and in Gdansk and Szczecin in Poland. Riga Water Ltd currently hosts a PURE workshop to finalize the plans to implement phosphorus reductions in the waste water plants in the above mentioned cities.

John Nurminen Foundation started co-operation with Riga Water Ltd last year, after which co-operation has continued as part of the PURE project. Marjukka Porvari, Director, Eutrophication Projects says, “The investments that are currently made in Riga will help the waste water plant achieve similar scale in phosphorus removal as what HELCOM has set as annual target for the whole of Finland. Riga in-vestments are a significant step towards better condition of the Baltic Sea.”

The PURE project is a joint effort by Baltic Cities Commission on Environment, John Nurminen Foun-dation and HELCOM. The key objective is to improve phosphorus removal in selected municipal waster water treatment plants in the Baltic Sea Region.

The John Nurminen Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects improve the state of the Baltic Sea. By 2015, these eutrophication projects aim to achieve a reduction in discharges of 2,500 tonnes of phos-phorus per year. This goal accounts for one-sixth of HELCOM’s overall objective of reducing the amount of phosphorus annually discharged into the Baltic Sea.

The Tanker Safety project aims to reduce the risk of oil disasters by introducing the new proactive ENSI (Enhanced Navigation Support Information) navigation service to all tankers in the Gulf of Finland. The foundation’s operations are fully funded through donations.


*In treatment plant effluent, the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) recom-mends a total phosphorus concentration of no more than 0.5 mg/l. http://www.helcom.fi/Recommendations/en_GB/rec28E_5/

More information:
Marjukka Porvari, Director, Eutrophication
John Nurminen Foundation
Tel. +358 41 549 1535
Tuula Putkinen, Communications Manager
John Nurminen Foundation
Tel. +358 400 907 809
Maris Zviedris,
Riga Water Ltd.
Puh. . +371 670 88 522
Lotta Ruokanen,
Tel. +358 40 162 2054,