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New technologies for waste water treatment

Kaunas

Detailed description of the Good Practice

The city of Kaunas is one of the biggest cities situated by the river Nemunas. Having the population of nearly 400 000 inhabitants, the city definitely has a notable effect on the river Nemunas. Until the year 1999, the most painful ecological problem of the city of Kaunas was the waste water treatment. Untreated waste water was discharged straight into the two biggest rivers of Lithuania – the Nemunas and the Neris. The polluted water flew to the Curonian Lagoon and then to the Baltic Sea.
Prioritized financial investments with the help of international funds were granted for Kaunas Water and Environment Project aiming to improve water and waste-water services. As part of the project, the Kaunas waste water treatment plant was constructed and mechanical waste treatment facilities started to operate in 1999. It was a large investment into the nature. The plant prevented from 16 tons pollutants discharged into the water every day. Since then the situation considerably improved and the primary aim, to remarkably reduce the pollution of open water pools by city sewage, was achieved.

water management
waste water management
energy efficiency
renewable energies

Objectives of the Good Practice

to improve water quality and ecological well–being of the river eco-system and the Baltic Sea

Participants of the Good Practice

City of Kaunas

Funding of the Good Practice

The amount of investment made is 74,9 million litas; 71% of them came from the European Union Cohesion Fund and 29% from the budget of the Republic of Lithuania.

More Details of the Good Practice

Biological treatment

The most important event in 2008 was the finish of construction of biological treatment equipment of the Kaunas waste water treatment facilities and the start of its exploitation. The amount of investment made is 74,9 million litas; 71% of them came from the European Union Cohesion Fund and 29% from the budget of the Republic of Lithuania.

SYMBIO technology applied for waste biological treatment has a great effect on the Nemunas water quality, as well as on the Baltic Sea. Before the implementation of the biological treatment equipment, the waste was cleaned approximately in 75%. After the implementation of it, waste is cleaned up to 90%, which meets the established standards of the EU. Loads of pollutants (tones per year) into the Nemunas after the biological treatment have significantly decreased. For example, suspended solids decreased by 2, BDS7 – by 4,5, total nitrogen – by 3, and total phosphorus – by 2,3 times the previous levels.

Shifting energy

This facility is important and in another environmental dimension – the generation of shifting energy. There are two cogeneration powerhouse’s generators, 300 kW each, in the waste water treatment facility. They use bio-gas that come from the technological processes and make electric energy and thermal energy.
From now on Kaunas can be proud of the new technologies, which were implemented and helped to solve the water pollution problem of Nemunas. Kaunas will no longer be listed among the "hot" pollutants of the Baltic Sea. Reduced pollution load from Kaunas will improve water quality and ecological well–being of the river eco-system all the way down to the Baltic Sea.

Available files

Contact details

Ms Marija Stanikuniene
Head of Environmental Protection Division
Tel. +370 37 422467
E-mail: marija.stanikuniene@kaunas.lt

Data sources and references

Baltic Cities Environmental Bulletin 2/2009