On Sunday, the 23rd of July, the wall of the wastewater treatment plant’s pre-treatment tank collapsed in Liepaja, causing the wastewater contained in the tanks to leak into the sea.
Local services confirm that part of the wall of the pre-treatment tank had collapsed, resulting in sewage water leaking into the sea.
“We have cut off all sewage water from being sent to the damaged reservoir. Right now it is stored within the existing system. The reservoir consists of two sections – the wall of one of the sections has collapsed. The other section is functional. Examinations were performed on side to construct a temporary sewage pipeline around the damaged section of the reservoir,” explains LLC Liepājas ūdens vadītājs Andis Dejus.
At the same time, services urge residents to review their everyday habits and reduce water consumption to help reduce the volume of water that ends up in the treatment facility.
Chairman of Liepāja municipal council Gunārs Ansiņš said there are no threats to human health. The municipality is doing all it can to clean up the leak of sewage water in the Baltic Sea as quickly as possible.
“All relevant services have been mobilised to prevent the emergency. The Civil Protection Commission has developed an action plan that provides for monitoring the quality of water and preventing damage to waste water treatment equipment,” says Ansiņš.
Specialists also explain that the State Environment Service (VVD) in cooperation with LLC Liepājas ūdens’ accredited laboratory take samples of water to monitor its quality very carefully.
The first results are expected to come in the evening on the 24th of July.
VVD Kurzeme Region Office chief Evita Šestakova says the main objective now is preventing the leak of sewage water into the Baltic Sea. She explained that all measures are being undertaken to put an end to this emergency.
“Data from various outlooks, based on the volume of pollution, wind direction and current, pollution may reach Pāvilosta in diluted form by tomorrow morning. We actively follow the situation. So far there is no significant threat to human health or fish resources,” said Šestakova.
On Monday, the 24th of July, the Health Inspectorate imposed a no swimming restriction on the beaches in Liepāja.
On Tuesday, the 25th of July, the Health Inspectorate plans to sample water at bathing areas along Liepāja’s coast and will report on results.
“South Kurzeme municipality had set up warning signs, warning residents to not swim in the sea, as early as Monday morning. Municipal police patrol the areas with access to the sea to inform residents of the emergency situation and invite them to avoid swimming,” says South Kurzeme municipal Fire and Rescue Service chief Andris Jefimovs.
He also explained the LLC Grobiņas Namserviss has sent clients an invitation to reduce use of water in their everyday lives for the time being.
“Parish and city management and tourism specialists have informed local guest houses about the situation, so that they can inform foreigners about the pollution,” explained Jefimovs.
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