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Lithuanian lakes requests chemical cleaning

The Lithuanian Ministry of the Environment is analyzing the possibility of lakes chemical cleaning in Lithuania. Although the program has been drafted for a long time, it could not be realized, as funding for the cleaning of water bodies was completed by the end of 2013, and the new funding stage has not yet started. The Ministry of the Environment proposes a method of chemical disposing of waste in lakes as the only one, because it is about 10 times cheaper than mechanical cleaning.

The essence of lake chemical treatment is the binding of phosphorus, which is accumulated in the bottom of the lake in algae with chemical compounds. According to the Ministry, the above-mentioned method is mainly aimed at solving a problem of pollution of lakes – the removal of phosphorus, which is the main element of stimulation. Degraded waste, contamination of oil products, toxic compounds and other problems in lakes are solved by other means.

Before starting a chemical lake cleaning it is necessary to extract the bottom fish. Fishermen’s representatives warn that all the lake-like and bottom-limp fish like carp, horns, ropes, gooseberries, catfish, eel, sazans and others would be destroyed. In addition, it is impossible to extract all fish in the lake – some of them remain and grow in the chloride layer. Scientists warn that if lakes of Lithuania will be cleaned not by mechanical means as usual, but by chemical means, huge damage to the ecosystem and fish will be done. In addition, no chemicals will remove from bottom bottled refrigerators, concrete, tires or other waste.

Сhemical compound of phosphorus in lakes is widely used in the United States, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and other countries.

By 2020, 20 lakes are planned to be cleaned in Lithuania. According to the scientists, the state of lakes in Lithuania has been effectively improved also in earlier periods of 2004-2006 and 2007-2013, during the EU funding periods. The lakes were cleaned mechanically, removing contaminated and excess sludge and excessive vegetation. In the past funding period EU has allocated EUR 30.5 millions. The project executives were municipal administrations. During that time, the ecological status of 107 lakes has been improved. Lithuanian lakes have never received so much attention for the previous 10 years. This is how Professor Leonidas Katkevičius, Professor of Alexander Stulginsky University, speaks. The scientist who thoroughly observed the global trends in the cleaning of water bodies assured that there is still no better way of handling them than mechanical.

Foreign guests who come on holiday to Lithuania admit that lakes here are very clean, but there is little left like this in Europe.

Algirdas Jurgelevičius, Vice President of the “Eastern European Association of the Greens”