Why does BATSECO-BOAT matter?
Best Available Technologies of Sewage Collecting for Boat Tourism
BATSECO-BOAT improves the capacity and service level of sewage collecting in small boat ports in Estonian coast and in Finnish, Swedish and Åland archipelagos. The project focuses on finding and investing in best solutions for sewage collecting pump-out stations and implementing digital technology for easily locating and monitoring of the available sewage collecting stations.
Eutrophication is the biggest environmental issue in the Baltic Sea. The term refers to a process where water bodies receive excess nutrients that stimulate excessive plant growth. Eutrophication causes, among other things, the cloudiness of water, overgrown shallows and shorelines, abundant algal blooms, oxygen deficiency and changes in the fish stock.
Even if leisure boating – and sailing in particular – is considered a rather environmentally friendly hobby, it can also have negative side effects for the fragile Baltic Sea. One negative part of leisure boating is the emptying of sewage waste to the sea. Urine contains abundant nitrogen and phosphorus, already in a form that can be easily absorbed by different organisms. Excrement contains less nutrients, but it can spread bacteria, which are health hazards, especially in shallow waters during the warm months of summer. A study conducted in the inner archipelago of Finland show that sewage can have a considerable impact on a local scale. Unfortunate for leisure boaters, the impact is often concentrated near popular visiting sites and some natural harbours are sadly eutrophicated due to sewage waste from leisure boats.
As members of Helsinki Commission, the countries around the Baltic Sea have agreed to stop emptying sewage from boats into the sea. In Finland a law prohibiting sewage dumping was enforced in 2005, while in Sweden it has been prohibited since 2015. Studies show that only a negligible per cent of illegal dumping is due to ignorance. Most of the dumping is done simply because of insufficient service points on route.
You often hear discussion concerning the impact size of waste water from leisure boating compared to that of big cruise ships sailing on international waters. No impact should be neglected, and a great deal of importance lies in showing the way to a more sustainable managing of waste water in boating in general.
And this is why batseco-boat matters.
BATSECO-BOAT: Mapping the development needs and improving services
During the first year the project will deliver a mapping survey of the current situation on the entire Central Baltic area, which includes the Archipelago areas in Sweden and Finland, Åland Islands and Estonian coastline. The goal of the survey is to identify the most used sea lanes for leisure boaters and specify such locations where the sewage collecting stations should be placed based on this data. Using this data as guidelines, BATSECO-BOAT project will invest in new pump-out stations, which will then be installed as follows – two stations in Norrtälje archipelago in Sweden, two on Åland Islands, two in the Archipelago Sea area in Finland and four in ports at Estonian coast. Additionally to this, 10 already existing floating pump-out stations will be repaired and possibly relocated in the Finnish archipelago to better fulfill the needs of the boaters.
Baltic Sea in numbers
Annual total input of phosphorus to the Baltic Sea
Annual total input of nitrogen to the Baltic Sea