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Stargard. Sewage poisoned the fish in Ina. “It’s no longer a sensation, but a sad routine”

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After Saturday’s downpour with hail in the vicinity of Stargard, it was not the first time that sewage was discharged into Ina. As a consequence, all the fish in 60 kilometers of the river were poisoned. Ecologists wring their hands. – This is no longer a sensation, but a kind of sad routine – says the chairman of the board of the Society of Friends of the Ina and Gowienica Rivers.

The first to report the poisoning of the Ina River was the Society of Friends of the Ina and Gowienica Rivers, whose statutory goal is to preserve the rivers in a state as close to natural as possible. It published a post about it on June 17, just before midnight. It indicated that the source of the problem is the municipal sewage system in Stargard.

This fact is confirmed by the director of the Water Municipal Company in Stargard, which manages the local sewage treatment plant.

– Diluted sewage from the combined sewage system operating in the city got into the river via a storm overflow located at the height of the sewage treatment plant – informs Piotr Tomczak, general director of the Municipal Waters in Stargard.

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He adds that the company pays Wody Polskie an increased fee for the use of water services for each activation of a storm overflow.

There were four payments last year. This year it was the first launch of a storm overflow – he says.

– Storm overflows are unfortunately legal in Poland, this is a sick system, because at the same time the law prohibits killing the river and it is a crime – says Artur Fudryna, chairman of the board of the Society of Friends of Ina and Gowienica Rivers.

He adds that the discharge of sewage “is no longer a sensation, but a kind of sad routine”.

History repeats itself

– Scheme the same as every year. A low pressure caused by the disturbance of the catchment balance, primarily by excessive withdrawals from groundwater. In addition, poorly functioning wastewater treatment systems with significant amounts of pollutants in the combined sewage system, washed out with rainwater. Adding a bit of intense, two-hour rain mixed with hail, this gives us an emergency discharge of untreated municipal sewage into the Ina River. During all this time, nothing has been done apart from shuffling papers and bureaucracy, he emphasizes.

He adds that the matter introduced into the river may have contained additions of a substance that aided decomposition.

– So much so that the chemical processes caused by this situation used up almost all the oxygen in the water, as a result of which everything that was in the river died over 60 kilometers, including many protected species, such as bullheads. We deliberately checked what the river above Stargard looks like and it is full of life there – he says and adds that only yesterday the fishermen caught 350 kilograms of dead fish from the Ina.

It also draws attention to the fact that Ina’s poisoning may also affect the sanitary condition of the surrounding beaches, which can be very severe for residents during the summer season.

The authorities of the Goleniów commune asked the Poviat Sanitary and Epidemiological Station with a request to introduce a ban on direct contact with the water of the Ina River until the results of the tests of the samples taken were received. A decision was also made to place a dam on the river between Goleniów and Modrzewie in order to catch dead fish.

The mayor of Goleniów, the Society of Friends of the Ina and Gowienica Rivers and the Polish Angling Association submitted a notification to the prosecutor’s office regarding water poisoning.

City Waters has a plan to improve the phenomenon

As the director of the Municipal Waters emphasizes, the company has been taking a number of measures to minimize the phenomenon for a long time.

– They include e.g. construction of a siphon under the Ina River as well as construction of a new section of the sewage system. These actions were aimed at relieving the operation of the storm overflow. Thanks to these investments, a larger amount of wastewater, mainly rainwater, is supplied to the Treatment Plant, which is retained for subsequent treatment. The company has developed a concept to increase retention in the sewage treatment plant, which includes the construction of new facilities and the use of existing facilities for retention tanks. This year, based on it – says Tomczak.

He assures that the company intends to develop design documentation with the necessary approvals and permits, and then implement the Investment in question.

Main photo source: Circle of the PZW No. 20 SMOLT Goleniów

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