New times call for new measures. Advanced wastewater treatment as a measure to meet the challenges of society’s ongoing chemical intensification is currently discussed in Europe. Water treatment techniques targeting other substances than nutrients, so called micropollutants, have the potential to significantly reduce emissions of both known and unknown chemical contaminants to the aquatic environment and reduce the risk of marine pollution, but are associated with higher treatment costs and energy demand.
Micropollutants reach the Baltic Sea via several different pathways: deposition from air, via surface runoff, eroded soil, rivers, direct emissions along the coast or at sea - and from outgoing water of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

From urban areas, thousands of these so-called micropollutants flow via WWTPs to surrounding waters making these facilities important collection points for many diffusively emitted chemicals in society. The micropollutants enter the sewage system for example when we wash clothes, rinse off personal care products or flush pharmaceuticals that have passed through our bodies, but also from industries connected to municipal WWTPs, public buildings and stormwater bringing contaminants from urban surfaces.

Today, conventional WWTPs are not designed to remove these chemicals. Although many micropollutants are anyway removed during passage through the WWTPs, this removal can be enhanced with more advanced treatment. The possibility to enhance the removal however varies depending on substance and choice of technology. In particular water-soluble compounds that are resistant to biodegradation could be better removed with such treatment. 

How much could emissions of micropollutant inputs to the Baltic Sea be reduced by upgrading conventional WWTPs with more advanced treatment technology? Which WWTPs should be upgraded? What are the pros and cons of this type of measure? These questions are discussed at the webinar.

Also, Olga Rublevskaya, Director of the technology development department at wastewater treatment plant Vodokanal in St. Petersburg presents the existing technology of wastewater treatment in St Peterburg and the potential of a more advanced wastewater treatment for reducing the amounts of chemical pollutants. One of the greatest challenges to implement the new technologies is the volumes of waste water to be processed in a multimillion city. More research and competence in this area is critical for developing industrial applications of the advanced waste water treatment.

The webinar is organized by the Consulate General of Sweden in St. Petersburg and Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre. 

Participating speakers

Olga Rublevskaya, Director of the technology development department at wastewater treatment plant Vodokanal in St. Petersburg.

Emma Undeman, Associate Professor in Environmental Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre.

Practical information

Date and time: 16 April 9:00 - 9:45 CEST (Local time in Sweden); 10:00 - 10-45 Moscow time.

Access: The English version of the webinar will be streamed here
No registration is needed. 

To follow the webinar in Russian, please use this link to register and you will get a Zoom link an hour before the event: Глубокая очистка городских сточных вод как способ снизить содержание микрозагрязнителей в Балтийском море 

Questions: The English speaking audience may send us questions to the particpants before the webinar by sening an email to The Russian speaking audience may send questions through Zoom during the event.

To be invited to upcoming webinars please use this link


About Baltic Breakfast Russia edition

Baltic Breakfast Russia edition is a special edition of the Baltic Sea Centre's webinar series Baltic Breakfast and organized in collaboration with the Consulate General of Sweden in St. Petersburg. 

The webinars bring research and knowledge from the Baltic Sea Centre together with that from Russian experts. Baltic Breakfast Russia edition is available in both English and Russian.