Ecological disaster on the Odra River

The ecological disaster on the Odra River is undoubtedly an unprecedented event in recent decades in Poland. We all remember the dramatic images of dead fish, caught in tons, with the full involvement of the services, communities or people who are particularly close to the Oder case. Paradoxically, for many it was probably the moment of realizing how rich and diverse the biological life of this river was. Well, because who does not deal with the broadly understood "water" on a daily basis, professionally or at least as a hobby, wonders what is going on in it. And there's a lot going on, both below and on the surface.

The river network or, more broadly, surface waters are one of the elements of the water cycle in nature, called the hydrological cycle. It is primarily a natural living environment for thousands of organisms, as well as an irreplaceable resource of the most important common good. It is a place of recreation and relaxation, but also a road used for transport and communication. Rivers are also a natural “corrector” for sewage produced by each of us every day. A seemingly obvious thing, but worth remembering ... everyday functioning without water is simply impossible.

What goes to the rivers is of great importance, and as the case of the Oder shows, it is not always under control. After the catastrophe on the Oder river, three independent reports were prepared: The Polish report prepared by the Institute of Environmental Protection - NRI commissioned by the Minister of Climate and Environment, the German government report and the Greenpeace report. In all three, the hypothesis of the "golden algae" bloom associated with excessive water salinity is given as the most probable. The differences in the reports relate to the greatest extent to the issue of salinity and its sources. Regardless of the conclusions presented, the ministerial report of the Polish side seems to be of the greatest importance, containing a number of recommendations addressed to specific institutions responsible for water and sewage management in Poland. The most important ones, having a direct impact on entities using water, include:

  • Continuation of ongoing inspections of entities discharging polluted waters into the Oder River and its tributaries, with the aim of e.g. determining the entities responsible to the greatest extent for the quality of the Oder waters;
  • Review and verification of valid permits for the discharge of sewage into waters in the Oder basin, systemic management of legal discharges by making the discharge parameters and intensity dependent on current water test results, introducing the obligation to suspend or limit discharges in emergency situations.

It should be assumed that the recommendations will be applied by Regional Water Management Boards, Catchment Boards or Environmental Protection Inspectorates throughout the country.

As WESSLING Polska, we offer a wide range of services addressed to companies, institutions and private entities dealing with issues in the field of water and sewage management on a daily basis.

WESSLING Polska provides accredited sampling and laboratory testing services for all types of wastewater in accordance with applicable regulations. Our offer includes:

  • Accredited wastewater sampling (temporary and mid-day);
  • Accredited tests of physical and chemical parameters, including: heavy metals, chlorophenols, pesticides, PCBs, suspensions, pH, BOD5, COD, TOC, nitrogens, anions, cyanides, chlorine, detergents, petroleum hydrocarbons, PAHs, BTX, AOX, sulfides and hydrogen sulfide, ether extract;
  • Accredited tests of microbiological parameters, such as: eggs of intestinal parasites (Ascaris, Trichuris, Toxocara), Salmonella;

In the field of environmental consulting, we provide comprehensive assistance in obtaining a water permit decision, e.g. for the discharge of sewage, rainwater and meltwater into waters or into the ground, and the introduction of sewage containing substances particularly harmful to the environment into sewage systems. We carry out opinions and audits of the water and soil environment. We are with you at every stage of documentation preparation and subsequent administrative proceedings, serving our experience and knowledge.

If you need to test the sewage you discharge, you are at the stage of obtaining a water law permit, you need an opinion, an advisory service or you have doubts whether your activity is in conflict with current regulations, please contact us and cooperate.

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