14.10.2008 - RMK and Tallinna Vesi to begin afforestation of exhausted peat quarries 04.10

AS Tallinna Vesi and the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) signed a long-term cooperation agreement to jointly find ways to use the residual silt created at the Paljassaare Wastewater Treatment Plant in the afforestation of exhausted peat quarries.

The results of scientific tests performed in Lithuania and Estonia confirm that the residual silt created in wastewater treatment plants significantly enriches peat soil, which is poor in nutrients, and increases the growth of young trees. The afforestation of exhausted peat quarries has a positive effect on the balance of Estonian greenhouse gases as well, since the emission of carbon dioxide from dry peat fields will decrease.

“It is a good example of environment-friendliness; the silt created through our purification process is good for the planting of greenery and forest cultivation,” Ellen Mihklepp, the Manager of Paljassaare Wastewater Treatment Plant, explained.

“The cooperation is beneficial for Tallinn, by providing a cleaner living environment, as well as for the local people who live near the currently exhausted peat fields, since the afforestation of dried peat fields will result in the decrease of the fire hazard,” said Aigar Kallas, Chairman of Board of RMK.

The cooperation agreement mainly mentions the two former peat quarries located on the lands administered by RMK: Puhatu peat field in East-Viru County and Pööravere peat field in Pärnu County. With respect to both of these former peat fields, afforestation has been discussed with specialists from the State Nature Conservation Centre. The total area of the peat fields in these regions is almost 2000 ha.

Before the beginning of afforestation of the exhausted peat fields, an organisation project will be prepared for every area, which analyses the possibilities for the use of the residual silt created at wastewater treatment plants, and assesses the environmental impact.

RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. In addition to this, RMK creates possibilities for forest holidays and shapes nature awareness. RMK maintains almost 40% of Estonian forests.

At the Paljassaare Wastewater Treatment Plant, owned by AS Tallinna Vesi, the wastewater and storm water of Tallinn and its neighbouring rural municipalities is purified through the use of modern environment-friendly purification technologies. An average of 120 000 m3 of wastewater is purified per day and annually, more than 30 000 tons of silt is created as a result of the purification. The purpose of the company is to purify wastewater in a manner that is as environment-friendly as possible.

Additional information:
Olav Etverk
Project Manager at RMK
Tel: +372 676 7190, +372 503 2190
E-mail: olav.etverkrmk.ee


Reigo Marosov
Head of Communications at Tallinna Vesi
Tel: +372 626 2209
E-mail: reigo.marosov@tvesi.ee