Getting control over stormwater emissions
Smart & Clean Stormwater Quality Management
The Stormwater Quality Management project tested stormwater treatment and management methods in a real environment. Cities, businesses and universities worked together to test new solutions in seven locations.
By covering half of the built area in the Helsinki Region with filtration chests, 193 tonnes of microplastics could be gathered from stormwater every year.
→ Equals the amount of plastics used by nearly 2 000 Finnish residents annually.
Currently in the Helsinki Region, approx. 2 300 tonnes of microplastics end up in stormwater annually.
What is it all about
Stormwater management can significantly reduce the amount of emissions and harmful substances ending up in water bodies, such as heavy metals or micro plastics. The solutions also help recover nutrients.
High-quality management of stormwaters improves the functionality of urban environments, by, for example, reducing the adverse effects of storms and floods on urban citizens.
There are significant growth opportunities for stormwater management business both in Finland and abroad, as urbanisation accelerates and the need for solving the stormwater challenges of old cities increases.
Unique commercial-sized solutions for stormwater quality management are created as a result of cross-sectoral cooperation.
Four Smart & Clean cities develop stormwater quality management solutions in collaboration with each other and use the testbed and share its results with companies and universities.
The solutions developed in the change project are, for example, an underground wetland meant for airport stormwater treatment, a filtration chest for street water purification and a floating dock solution for managing mixed sewer overflows. The project also developed measurement technology for stormwater quality management. The solutions were tested in seven different locations in Lahti, Espoo, Vantaa and Helsinki.
The development work of stormwater treatment solutions improves the capacity to respond to the growing demand for quality management, and therefore the project also looked into the export opportunities of Finnish solutions. The ecosystem exports of stormwater projects were promoted through a market survey and a corporate network.
The next steps
The solutions developed in the project will stay in operation and their functionality will be monitored. The cities involved in the project are chiefly responsible for the monitoring. The City of Helsinki is looking into the possibility of introducing the filtration chests elsewhere as well.
From the export point of view, potential customers and suitable locations were identified in, for example, China, the Baltic States, California and airports around the world. Export work will be continued by the businesses involved.
Stormwaters carry harmful emissions, such as microplastics and heavy metals, into water bodies and the rest of the environment. The Stormwater Quality Management change project tackled this environmental challenge with the goal of developing practical solutions for stormwater treatment. In addition to creating and testing practical solutions, the project aimed to disseminate research information on stormwater quality requirements and the need for quality management.
The Stormwater Quality Management project received AIKO funding awarded by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council for launching regional innovations and trials. The project was led by the City of Lahti and the project partners were the cities of Espoo, Helsinki and Vantaa, Finavia Oyj, the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY, Aalto University and Helsinki University.
Other project stakeholders included the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Sensmet Oy, Bluet Oy, Fortum, WSP Finland Oy, Sitowise Oy, Ruskon Betoni Oy and LECA Finland Oy. The design and implementation of stormwater locations also involved Rakennusbetoni ja -elementti Oy, Rudus Oy, Seepsula Oy, Carbons Finland Oy, KAP-TEK Oy, Vahanen yhtiöt, VRJ Group, Fescon Oy, Ramboll Finland Oy, Luode Consulting Oy and Noireco Oy.
The Finnish Water Forum, Solved, Pöyry Finland and a larger group of companies and other stakeholders are also involved in the export promotion.
Where are we going
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Jorma Mikkonen is the Director of Corporate Relations and Responsibility at Lassila & Tikanoja plc, which is turning the circular economy into reality. He is also a member of the Closed Plastic Circle Project’s Task Force.