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Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology



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Environment

Baikalsk (origin: Greenpeace)

In 1959, the establishment of Baikal’sk Paper and Pulp Mill (BPPM) as well as the town named Baikal’sk, was decided by the Russian government. The emphasis on production was supposed to be the manufacturing of viscose cord for military aircraft tyres which requires large volumes of clean water. The production of the Mill owned by the Ministry of Defence started in 1966. Since 1992, the ownership has changed into the official state as a public company, but almost all shares are owned by a Ministry of State Property. In 2002, 80% of the production was exported to China. In comparsion with other paper and pulp mills, the BPPM has a good wastewater treatmen but the technology used reflects the knowledge at the time the mill was built. Polluted waste water has been released by the mill and these effluents were highly complex. They both contained chemicals derived from the processing of wood and chemicals generated by the pulp production process (e.g. mercury). The sewage contained substantial concentrations of nutrients like nitrate and phosphate, phenols, sulphates and mineral substances, but also dioxins, PCBs and so on. Dioxins are persistant organochlorines and result from chlorine bleaching. About 2 million tons of timber annually, 30 tonnes chlorine daily, 24 tonnes of sulfuric acid and 110000 m³ of fresh water (mostly as wash and rinse waters) per day were needed for the production processes at BPPM. A study from 1995 shows an estimated polluted groundwater of 17,500 m³ entering the lake daily. This quantity has been reduced in the following years. In 1998, measurements gave numbers of 67,000 m³ water annually. An addition source of pollution is to be seen in the transportation of chemical additive substances about long distances. The production of marketed pulp and pulp products rose from 138,000 tonnes in 2000 to 160,000 tonnes in 2001, which originated in the growing export markets of China. Joint studies carried out by different universities and institutes found that wastewater of BPPM has a mutagenic impact on the ecosystem Lake Baikal because of its toxicological characteristics. The amounts of wastewater discharged into the Lake Baikal had increased (in official data), but vary. In 1986, 58 million m3 discharged, in 1991 over 230 million m3 (including 168 m3 of polluted wastes). The Baikal Atlas of 1993 constituted the amount on 270,000 m3 every day. In 2001 an annual discharge of 73 million m3 wastewater was noted. Reports and studies observe the area of impact and degeneration caused by the discharge of polluted water. The Limnological Institute of Irkutsk noticed an area of around 69 km2 in 1995. Another source accounted an area of 30 km2. All studies show that the extent of the impact zone has increased. But not to forget is the further connection between industrial input and biological impacts. Only through consideration of these interactions the impact was and will be observed in its dimension. At a distance of 7-10 km from the shore an extensive, semi-persistent belt of polluted waters has built up. The distribution of pollution along the coast into the northern part of the lake was caused by currents. In conclusion the BPPM is one of a the major pollution point source in the Baikal system.

Baikalsk
Temerature °C 15,8
pH   8,6
EH µS/cm² 216
LF   116
Temperature °C 16,1
Oxygen mg/l 8,9
Oxygen % 96,5
Fe mg/l 0,03
PO4 mg/l 0,05
NO3 mg/l 0,00
Lignin mg/l 0,9

Table: Results of measures at point Baikalsk

Against our expectations we could not observe sewage traces in the riverwater, which are unequivocal for conaminated stream water as a result of the discharge of sewage water from the paper and pulp mill. The possibility of installation of new technologies is conceivable.


(The Baikal’sk paper and pulp mill (origin: greenpeace))


(Sampling of water near Baikal’sk)

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© B. Merkel, 05.11.2004 http://www.geo.tu-freiberg.de/studenten/Baikal_2004/baikalexcursion/environment/baikalsk.htm
 
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