St. Petersburg

The first Clean Sea project of the John Nurminen Foundation was completed in the summer of 2011 in St. Petersburg.
Enhanced phosphorus removal at the water utility’s three largest wastewater treatment plants reduces the annual phosphorus load to the Baltic Sea by 1000 tonnes. This is about 20% of the total phosphorus load discharged into the Gulf of Finland, and equals the total annual phosphorus load from Finland to the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea. Vodokanal of St. Petersburg is the first water utility in Russia to implement chemical phosphorus removal in its wastewater treatment plants.
The Foundation’s co-operation with the St. Petersburg water utility began in 2005, when an agreement was signed on the improved phosphorus removal at the largest – i.e. Central, Southwestern and Northern - wastewater treatment plants of St. Petersburg.
The Foundation has been in charge of the technical planning of investments, the co-ordination of Finnish and Russian planning work, purchasing management, and the procurement and delivery of equipment at the plants. Improving the efficiency of phosphorus removal at St. Petersburg’s Central wastewater treatment plant was completed in 2009, and in 2010, the project focused on the phosphorus removal implementation of the Southwestern and Northern plants. The last required pieces of equipment were delivered to the Southwestern plant in May of 2010, and installed by St. Petersburg water utility. In early 2010, a technical survey on improving the efficiency of phosphorus removal was carried out at St. Petersburg’s Northern wastewater treatment plant. Equipment for chemical phosphorus removal was delivered in March-April 2011 and the project was completed in June 2011.
The total cost of the project was around 5 million Euros. This has been co-funded by the Foundation and Vodokanal based on a 50-50 principle which means that costs of the project on St. Petersburg’s large wastewater treatment plants for the Foundation was approximately 2,5 million euros. The Finnish Ministry of the Environment partly financed the first two stages of the project (Central and Southwestern plants). The Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) has financially contributed to the project’s last phase in the Northern wastewater treatment plant.
After the closing ceremony of the project in July 2011, the Foundation and Vodokanal of St. Petersburg agreed on continuous follow-up of results. The Foundation will be provided with a montly report on phosphorus content of wastewater.

Read more about the project here.


Gatchina is a city with approximately 80,000 inhabitants, located southwest from St. Petersburg. The wastewaters of the city are discharged to the River Izhora, which flows to the Gulf of Finland via the River Neva. An annual reduction of about 60 tonnes of phosphorus will be achieved in Gatchina.
In February 2010, the Foundation and the Gatchina water facility signed a Letter of Intent for co-operation, specifying that they will work together for the improved efficiency of phosphorus removal from the city’s wastewaters. The Foundation will support the technical planning and equipment investments required by phosphorus removal, whereas construction and local planning will remain the responsibility of the water utility. In 2010, a technical survey on the various options for improving the efficiency of nutrient removal at the Gatchina plant was carried out with funding from SIDA (Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency). The project for improving phosphorus removal will be launched during 2012-2013.


The wastewaters generated by the city’s approximately 70,000 inhabitants are discharged to the Bay of Vyborg, from where they end up in the eastern territorial waters of Finland. Improving the efficiency of phosphorus removal in Vyborg will therefore have an immediate impact on Finland’s eastern territorial waters as well as the Bay of Vyborg, which suffers from eutrophication.
In August 2010, a Letter of Intent with the scope of improving the efficiency of phosphorus removal was signed with the Vyborg water utility. In the autumn of 2010, chemical phosphorus removal test runs lasting six months were initiated at the Vyborg wastewater treatment plant. After the test runs, construction and installation work for a permanent system will be started. The aim is to complete permanent system in early 2012. Project is done in co-operation with the Finnish ministry of the Environment and Kemira. The target is to reduce phosphorus load entering the Gulf of Finland by around 20 tonnes.