Tallinna Vesi: Suur-Sõjamäe fire has not impacted Ülemiste järv water

Ülemiste järv water treatment facility.
Ülemiste järv water treatment facility. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Analysis of water samples taken from a major Tallinn lake close to Tuesday's blaze at a waste disposal site which released billowing, toxic fumes into the city's air have not revealed any changes in surface water quality, Tallinna Vesi says.

Ülemiste järv (Lake Ülemiste) is a fenced-off area close to Tallinn Airport, through which Tallinna Vesi pipes the city's drinking water. The lake is close to the Suur-Sõjamäe, a major thoroughfare on which the waste disposal site, operated by Epler&Lorenz, is situated.

The fire started Tuesday, and necessitated warning messages being sent to local residents within a 3km radius, to keep their windows and doors closed despite the hot weather.

Tallinna Vesi production director Ivar Ruubel said that the company has been carefully monitoring Ülemiste järv's water since the blaze started.

The water, which is brought to the lake via canals, is treated before entering the public water supply.

So far, no changes in water quality have been detected, Ruubel said, adding that samples are taken at surface level and 30cm below the surface, "so as to assess the content both of possible floating pollution and suspended pollution."

The lake is around 4m in depth, at its deepest point, depending on rainfall.

Tallinna Vesi will be analyzing heavy metals content Wednesday and Thursday, Ruubel added, whereas this process is usually only undertaken on a monthly basis.

General organic matter and dissolved organic carbon is also being regularly analyzed (this is usually done on a weekly basis) he added.

The samples are sent to the Estonian Environmental Research Center,

Additional water samples and analysis will be ongoing, Ruubel said.

Tallinna Vesi is a private company which serves over 470,000 end customers in the capital and in some surrounding municipalities, making it by far the largest water company in the country.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

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