Water emissions and their reduction in village communities – villages in Baltic Sea Region as pilots

March 2016 -
February 2019
2. Natural resources 2.1 Clear waters


Discharge from households not connected to urban waste water treatment plants, called scattered dwellings, is the third largest diffuse of nutrient loads to the Baltic Sea. The main challenge of this project is to find the most cost effective and environmentally friendly wastewater treatment solutions for the households in order to decrease wastewater emissions into the Baltic Sea.


The main objective is to support the needs of households to avoid unnecessary investments and operating costs when shifting to improved waste water treatment and thus encourage them to implement new treatment systems. The project will be conducted in pilot villages where technological solutions will be assessed and built for the households. Wastewater treatment systems are assessed for technological, economic, environmental and social aspects in order to find out the potentially best fitting systems for the improved wastewater treatment in the households of scattered dwelling regions.

Preparation of the information tool (SOME based IT service) is the most important result of the project. It is an easy to use information retrieval, exchange and processing system designed to help users to find appropriate, specific and helpful information on the small scale wastewater treatment solutions for their needs. It will provide the best fitting suggestions for wastewater treatment systems meeting the circumstances and the priority criteria set by any individual user primarily in the partner countries. A large part of the information included in the tool are relevant for all users interested in the topic all across the Baltic Sea Region, the EU and beyond. The tool considers the topic of waste water treatment from technological, environmental, economic and social points of view. It will also include discussion and communication forums through which it connects and brings the target groups together to discuss, exchange data and ideas, assess and commit planning, implementation and management of waste water treatment systems.

The main target group of the project are the municipalities and the end uses are households and people of scattered dwelling communities. Other important target groups are the policymakers and authorities who are involved in the preparation of waste legislation, environmental NGOs, technology, development and advisory SMEs, research institutes. The services of the information tool are useful and practical for all who are making decisions related to the waste water treatment issue. They can provide information tailored for many special areas of expertise and interest, and thus benefits a broad set of users making decisions on the waste water treatment issue. Hence the tool will help to improve the state of the local waters and the Baltic Sea in such a way that total environmental impact would not increase.

Highlights by mid-term:

This project supports smaller municipalities and environmentally oriented families from scattered dwelling households in finding out sustainable wastewater treatment technologies, where connecting to larger wastewater plants is not an option. The partners studied various technologies for sparsely populated areas: holding and septic tanks, package plants, constructed wetlands, infiltration beds, and soil filters.

Test villages started realising pilot water purification solutions in Finland (Gennarby and Nurmijärvi), Estonia (Kolgaküla and Valkla), Latvia (Svētciems and Ainaži), Lithuania (Leitgiriai), and Poland (Krynica-Zdrój and Sokoly). The trials check the purification efficiency of the chosen solutions. They analyse requirements for construction, needed investment budget and operating costs.


€ 3.01
€ 2.42
Eni + Russia
€ 0.00
€ 0.00


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Project manager

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Virpi Vorne

+358 295 326 649

Legal representative

Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke

Sari Forsman-Hugg


Financial manager

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Raimo Vepsä

+358 295 326 615

Communication manager

SYKLI Environmental School of Finland

Jari Heiskanen

+358 503 752 657