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Joint Polish-Finnish sampling of surface waters around the phosphogypsum waste stacks in Gdansk and Police from 1 to 3 July 2013 - Results of the expedition

ISBN (pdf):978-952-11-4425-7 
Julkaisusarja ja numero:Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 3/2015 
Kustantaja:Finnish Environment Institute 
Saatavuus (pdf):http://hdl.handle.net/10138/153845 
Tekijät:Antti Räike; Jarkko Koskela; Seppo Knuuttila; Jouni Lehtoranta; Heikki Pitkänen; Maarit Risto; Jyrki Vuorinen  

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The report describes the results of the joint Polish–Finnish sampling expedition aimed at estimating the possible effects of the two Polish phosphogypsum stacks located in Wislinka (Gdańsk) and Police on the loading of the Baltic Sea and the nearby watercourses. The joint expedition was based on the agreement between the Polish and Finnish Ministers of the Environment in June 2013. The results indicate a clear effect of the phosphogypsum stack on phosphate and total phosphorus concentrations in the Martwa Wisla. The physical nature of the basin with no permanent flow into the sea weakens mixing and dilution and may cause a local enrichment of pollutants from external sources, compared with a normal river having a constant water flow into the sea. Our suggestion is that a comprehensive study should be carried out in the stack area of Wislinka, as well as in the Martwa Wisla and its catchment area, to be able to calculate water and phosphorus mass balances in the area, and the magnitude of inputs of phosphorus to the Baltic Sea caused by the stack. The role of sediments as sinks and sources of phosphorus and other pollutants in the Martwa Wisla should be studied as well. In Police the effects of the phosphogypsum stack were less obvious. This could be expected as a result of effective mixing and dilution due to the high flow in the Oder River. Additionally, measures have been implemented to prevent leakage, by means of a hydraulic barrier and by collecting runoff water and directing it to the local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). However, the results of the present expedition and also the results of the local monitoring programme from 2008 to 2012 indicate that the effects of the phosphogypsum stack on the quality of the recipient water cannot be ruled out. In order to estimate possible leakages in Police we suggest that an intensive monitoring programme for both groundwater and surface waters would be initiated. The sampling frequency for monitoring the leakage from the phosphogypsum stack should be increased to at least 12 annual samples at both the upstream and downstream stations. In addition, the water flow of the Oder between the stack and the nearby island should be continuously monitored. This would enable a reliable estimation of the potential phosphorus load into the Baltic Sea caused by the stack.