Expert who discharges sewage to the Vistula River: This is a potential epidemiological threat

Expert who discharges sewage to the Vistula River: This is a potential epidemiological threat

PAP biologist Dr. Aleksandra Ziembińska-Buczyńska. Due to the failure of the water collector of the sewage treatment plant, the wastewater eventually flows into the Vistula River in Warsaw.

On Wednesday, the mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski announced that the collector had malfunctioned. The sewage was transported from the left bank of Warsaw to the “Czajka” sewage treatment plant. Therefore, the MPWiK board of directors decided in the morning to conduct controlled waste discharges on the Vistula River, Trzaskowski said. When asked at what rate the sewage entered the Vistula River, he replied that it was “3 cubic meters per second.”

Ph.D. Biologist, Department of Environmental Biotechnology, Silesian University of Technology. In an interview with PAP, Aleksandra Ziembińska-Buczyńska assessed that such discharges may pose a potential epidemiological threat to people exposed to contaminated water. “The fact that the water level of the Vistula River is very low and the temperature is high has not improved. Therefore, the rate of sewage entering the Vistula River is slower.

Therefore, she believes that it is worth avoiding contact with water-swimming and even wading and fishing on the shore. She added: “We also don’t allow pets to bathe in the Vistula River.”

This discharge increases the risk of microorganisms because the wastewater contains various microorganisms. In municipal wastewater, these are mainly bacteria that naturally exist in the intestines-including. Coliform bacteria (including coliform bacteria) can cause illness if they fall into the wrong place in our body.

Another threat to human health is staying where contaminated water forms fog. “Bacteria can spread biological aerosols in the air in a so-called form, so it is best to limit walking directly on the coast”-the researchers point out.

The mayor of Warsaw also stated that MPWiK’s calculations show that the Vistula, which will discharge sewage, will reach Pwok in about 50 hours.

“Assuming that water now flows through the Vistula River at a rate of 200-240 cubic meters per second (sewage discharge is 3 cubic meters per second), I don’t think Pwalk’s water intake is seriously threatened. More importantly, because All necessary services are on standby, and these services will eliminate malfunctions and correct any microbiological hazards as quickly as possible-this sewage is diluted about 80 times in one second,” she added. The biologist said that additional drinking water tests are still recommended downstream of the wastewater discharge.

Experts reminded that in the north of Warsaw, the Vistula River has multiple tributaries, the water flow becomes more active and the river winds, which will make the dilution faster. She added that coastal plants will act like physical filters, especially for large pollutants, because “raw” sewage contains all the substances we put into the sewage system.

The discharge of sewage disturbs the ecological balance of any ecosystem. Therefore, it also poses a threat to the animals and plants living in the water. Wastewater discharge is a major change in the local environment. In addition to physical pollutants (such as toilet paper or cotton swabs) and microbial pollutants, sewage mainly contains chemical pollutants, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus compounds from feces or detergents. Increases in the concentration of these compounds can lead to excessive fertilization of water (so-called eutrophication), which leads to more frequent blooms, such as can be observed in the Baltic Sea.

How long does it take for Wisła to return to this state before falling? Experts say that there is no easy answer to this question. It mainly depends on the weather and the water level of the Vistula River and the amount of sewage that will still flow into the river. He added: “Rain and lower temperatures will certainly help, but unfortunately, we have no influence on this.”

Environment Minister Henryk Kowalczyk announced at a press conference on Wednesday that the two collectors that supply sewage to the “Czajka” sewage treatment plant are in a malfunctioning state and almost all sewage flows into Vistula. River.

In response to the failure, Mazovia’s Sanitary Inspection Bureau ordered poviat sanitary inspectors to strengthen the monitoring of water safety for consumption. The Chief Health Inspector also specifically commissioned: GIS spokesperson Jan Bondar (Jan Bondar) announced on Wednesday to increase the frequency of testing water for consumption.

The Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection said that after the accident occurred at the Chazaka Wastewater Treatment Plant, the threat may last for about a month. The Inspector General of Environmental Protection recommended that entities operating the Vistula water intake take crisis measures. He also warned anglers and farmers not to pollute. (PAP)

Author: Szymon Zdziebijowski

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