Pilot activity to identify sources and flow patterns of pharmaceuticals in St Petersburg to the Baltic Sea



The task of the project is to identify sources, substance flow and release patterns of pharmaceuticals (Ethinylestradiol and Diclofenac ) in St. Petersburg to the Baltic Sea.

Specific activities include:

  • screening activities in WWTPs (inflow/outflow) and receiving water bodies
  • evaluation of the efficiency of treatment methods at municipal waste water treatment plans
  • assessment of potential sources and flows of pharmaceuticals
  • evaluation of consumer use patterns and other sectors' use (e.g. industry, hospitals and pharmacies)

The tasks in the assignment are based on previous cooperation and activities as well as practical links established during BALTHAZAR. A screening study on "Identification of sources for hazardous substances" was carried out in St. Petersburg complementing the work of the EU project COHIBA which carried out similar research in the EU member countries around the Baltic Sea. The aim of the activities was to contribute to the harmonisation of assessment methods in the whole Baltic Sea region in order to have comparable and reliable results for assessments and evaluation of sources for hazardous substances.

The activity provided information from Russia contributing to HELCOM assessments thereby completing the picture of sources of hazardous substances covering all Baltic Sea countries. Sampling and analysis of water and sediment in St. Petersburg area for a range of hazardous substances, including the 11 HELCOM priority substances was carried out.

The assignment to identify sources and flow patterns of pharmaceuticals in St Petersburg to the Baltic Sea is building on the experiences of the abovementioned BALTHAZAR activity contributing to further identification of sources for pharmaceuticals as well as harmonisation of assessment methods in the Baltic Sea region.

The Centre for Ecological Safety, Russian Academy of Sciences together with the EU expert, Envieno are carrying out this activity in close cooperation with SUE Vodokanal of St. Petersburg.

A study tour to Finland was arranged in March 2013 in order to build capacity of relevant St Petersburg experts. An entire roundtable discussion on pharmaceuticals was moderated and led by BASE experts at the Baltic Sea Days in St Petersburg 21-22 March 2013.

BASE was also presented at the "Make the Baltic Sea Region a Lead in Sustainable Management for Pharmaceuticals" seminar in Riga, Latvia, in June 2013. The seminar was organised under the auspices of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and Priority area 3: Reduce the use and impact of hazardous substances.