Development of cooperation between government, business, science, population and NGOs on the municipal and agricultural wastewater treatment

The seminar "Development of cooperation between government, business, science, population and NGOs on municipal and agricultural wastewater treatment" brought together more than 40 participants interested in finding solutions to reduce the burden of wastewater on the environment. The focus was on the issues of wastewater treatment in cities, towns, individual houses in non-sanitized areas, as well as the effluents of large livestock complexes and small farms. Among the participants there were regional authorities, municipalities, environmentally-oriented business, scientists, wastewater treatment specialists, representatives of large and small farms, NGOs, gardeners and residents of the Leningrad region and St. Petersburg.

Olga Senova, coordinator of the working group on river basin management and wastewater treatment in the Coalition Clean Baltic, presented the Barents-Baltic program “Nature and People” and the project “Local solutions to reduce the biogenic load on the Baltic sea”. The main directions of the projects were presented. Ekaterina Vorobieva, coordinator of the Barents-Baltic program "Nature and People" in the Leningrad region, Chairman of the public Council Of the Leningrad region, outlined recommendations of HELCOM to reduce eutrophication of the Baltic sea and wastewater treatment of small settlements and isolated settlements.

Friends of the Baltic experts described the role of citizen science in the study of water quality and creating solutions to improve the situation. At the moment Friends of the Baltic are developing an online map showing nitrate pollution of surface and groundwater of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region. The creators of the map are not indifferent citizens: senior people, schoolchildren, teachers, gardeners – anyone who care about the quality of natural waters.

The Coordinating public council was created In the Luga river basin. It is an association of active citizens from different areas of the water basin, ready to develop common solutions to the problems of the river and its tributaries. Many of the council activists took part in the meeting.
Friends of the Baltic has a programme promoting the implementation of dry toilets for small farms as a solution that fully protects water bodies and provides use of nutrients accumulated in these toilets in form of fertilizers. Four demonstration complexes were created in the Leningrad region and open to visitors located in Fauna gardening community (Lomonosov district); ranch "Zolotaya podkova" (Gatchina district); art estate "Kaikino 10" (Volosovsky district) and "Byodinamika" (Lugsky district).

Representatives of the Committee on nature management, environmental protection and environmental safety of St. Petersburg, SUE "Vodokanal of St. Petersburg", the Public environmental Council under the Governor of Leningrad region, the administrations of Lomonosov and Luga districts of the Leningrad region, the Institute of water problems of RAS, as well as active citizens, gardeners, scientists, representatives of the business community proposed a number of measures that will help to ensure good quality of natural waters in region. All proposals were included in the resolution of the seminar.

After lunch, the participants discussed how animal husbandry affects the pollution of water bodies of the city and region. Natalia Oblomkova (researcher of the Institute of Engineering and Environmental Problems in Agricultural Production - IEEP, contact a representative of HELCOM in Russia) noted that the majority of farms do not have sufficient volume of the sealed manure storages. This entails the risk of water bodies contamination. According to IEEP, out of 300 million tons of manure and litter produced annually, no more than 100 million tons are processed and used. But at the same time, experts note a positive trend - the demand for environmental training and counseling has increased significantly.

Participants of the seminar-scientists, representatives of the Association of farms, private farms and cooperatives of the Leningrad region and St. Petersburg, as well as heads of small farms, a large livestock holding "Idavang-Agro", and other interested parties put forward proposals for the resolution of the seminar in terms of waste management.

The resolution of the seminar will be sent to interested parties and decision-makers after completion.

Papers presented at the seminar:

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