Stinky business: sewage pump bust causes havoc

Sewage pumped into Motława River, Gdańsk. Photo: PAP/Adam Warżawa

As Gdańsk’s wastewater pumping station experiences a shutdown, 2,300 cubic meters of sewage have flown down the Motława river straight into the Baltic Sea.

The public services have been working overtime to clean up after a major malfunction of the Ołowianka wastewater pumping station that happened on Tuesday. Citizens are asked to limit their water consumption until further notice.

The spokesperson of the company responsible for the maintenance of the city water and sanitation system said “The water is being pumped out of the pump chamber, which was flooded along with four its electric engines found, causing the machinery to seize up.”

As the company spokesperson said, 2,300 cubic meters of sewage is spewing into the river every hour – an amount that constitutes five percent of the “flow rate of the Motława river”. According to a sanitary inspector, such an amount does not pose any harm to human lives.

The beaches of the Baltic Tri City of Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia are a major draw for tourists and so prospective bathers will be keeping a look out for sanitary alerts. So far the sanitary services have discouraged locals from swimming in the Gdańsk Bay, where the Motława river flows into.