Building trust in target groups for ALUM treatment - an effective, yet misunderstood method for water quality improvement

Kickoff event in Uppsala, Sweden

06 October 2023
The TRUST ALUM journey has officially set sail, and oh, what a dynamic kickoff event we have had! The kickoff event showcased insights and experiences and covered everything from understanding the Interreg Baltic Sea Region to diving into ALUM water treatment methods. The event concluded with an insightful excursion to lake Uttran which is currently treated by the ALUM method. Join us as we recap the highlights of this thrilling event!
Technical details

🌐 Understanding Interreg Baltic Sea Region:

Our day started with a special guest – Ekaterina Latysheva, the project officer and representative from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region. She unraveled the mysteries behind the Interreg BSR programme and introduced the future phases of our project. We feel very secure under the wing of our project consultant – Ekaterina.

🎤 Meet the Maestros – Project Manager and Communication Dynamo:

Next, Inta Dimante-Deimantovica, the project manager from the Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, presented the project’s essence and how we’re steering this ship for the next two years. Inga Retike, the communication manager, guided everyone through the communication labyrinth and introduced all to what lies ahead. The TRUST ALUM project “ship” is in capable hands!

👥 Getting to Know Our Partners:

Nine partners, one vision! The spotlight then turned to our partners, each offering a sneak peek into their daily tasks and great expectations from the project. It was like meeting the Avengers but for water treatment!

💦 Dive Deep into ALUM Water Treatment:

The second half of the day delved into the nitty-gritty of ALUM water treatment methods. Brian Huser from Lake Restoration Sweden Incorporated took us on an enlightening journey through aluminum treatment principles. Fun fact: Aluminium is not just your kitchen foil hero – it’s a game-changer in lake restoration! Brian’s insights from a meta study of 118 lakes proved that aluminum treatment is a powerhouse in restoring water quality, emphasizing the importance of planning (including proper monitoring) and calculating the correct amounts of treatment dose.

🌿 Life GoodWater IP Project:

Laura Jukame-Kerus from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development took us on a tour of one of Latvia’s largest projects – the Life GoodWater IP Project. A whopping 14 million euros are set to fund initiatives that combat waterbodies at risk. From wastewater treatment improvements to innovative green infrastructure solutions, the project is a beacon for sustainable water management in Latvia.

🔍 Piloting Success in Riga’s Velnezers Lake:

Juris Tunens from the Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology introduced to the pilot lake Velnezers in Riga – a testing ground for ALUM water treatment in a densely populated area. From somewhat contradicting first monitoring results to destroyed water level measurement points – all challenges were discussed with our experienced Swedish experts.

🎙️ Invited Speakers:

Signe Noresson from Växjö municipality and Matilda Valman from the Swedish water authority wrapped up the day with experiences from ongoing lake treatment progress and the complexities of implementing the Water Framework Directive in Sweden.

🌊 Exploring ALUM Treatment at Lake Uttran: Insights from the second day

The second day (27th September, 2023) of the event consisted of an excursion to Lake Uttran. Guided by the experienced hand of Goran Andersson and his dedicated team, we delved into the principles that underpin the innovative ECOBENTIK approach. At the heart of the ALUM method lies a targeted precision—treating only the bottom areas enriched with phosphorus-rich sediments. These areas, often deep hollows with limited vegetation and animal life due to oxygen and light constraints, form the focal points of treatment. From temporary building permits and consents from water owners to the transportation of dangerous goods and policy security – all possible challenges were discussed to ensure smooth pilot lake Velnezers treatment. A key aspect emphasized was the necessity for clear communication with local communities—a proactive effort to dispel misinformation surrounding the ALUM method. Goran underscored the importance of leveraging social media platforms and organizing guided tours to demystify the process and foster community understanding. As the ripples of knowledge spread, the second day of TRUST ALUM not only showcased the science behind ALUM treatment but also highlighted the meticulous planning, regulatory considerations, and community engagement that formed the bedrock of this innovative initiative.

As we wrapped up the TRUST ALUM event, project leader Inta Dimante-Deimantovice shared practical insights from our journey so far and outlined specific tasks for each project partner to keep the project running. All were invited to meet in Riga next spring to become a part of the first ALUM water treatment pilot demonstration in the Baltics at the lake Velnezers.

Stay tuned for TRUST ALUM’s transformative journey towards cleaner Baltic lakes ⚓💙