Top Experts Joined Their Forces in MUSTBE Project’s First International Seminar

On 18–19 October, an international seminar of the MUSTBE project was held in Riga. It was organized by Riga University of Technology in cooperation with other project partners. In addition to project partners and interest groups, top specialists in the field from Estonia, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands also participated in the seminar. This combination provided a lot of good insights for the storm water treatment concepts that are being developed in the project.

Two day seminar included presentations from international experts and brainstorming sessions to support the development of the concepts at the seven pilot sites. Photo: Vineta Fortina.
Two day seminar included presentations from international experts and brainstorming sessions to support the development of the concepts at the seven pilot sites. Photo: Vineta Fortega.

The seminar presented the latest trends in rainwater treatment and recycling technologies and future trends. The main goal of the seminar was to jointly conduct co-creation workshops with interest groups and sectoral experts, where solutions for the technical challenges of the storm water treatment model areas created by the project partners are sought.

The seminar was conducted within the framework of the Interreg Central Baltic MUSTBE (Multidimensional storm water treatment in urban areas for cleaner Baltic Sea) project. The aim of the project is to develop and test new multifunctional rainwater solutions. One aspect that the project focuses on is the improvement of the quality of rainwater discharged into the Baltic Sea. One of the reasons for the poor ecological condition of the Baltic Sea is partially polluted rainwater, which contains nutrients, heavy metals and suspended solids, which enter the rainwater when it is washed from roadways into the rainwater network. Based on the above, one of the goals of the project is to reduce the content of pollutants in water by 40–60% by creating sample areas. In order to set this goal, the project partners carried out the determination of the base level of water quality in the sample areas in the spring.

External Support Highly Valuable

The following guests spoke at the seminar, presented their previous projects and shared their experiences: Kelsey Flanagan from Sweden (Associate Senior Lecturer, Urban water), Floris Cornelis Boogaard from the Netherlands (professor, University of Applied Sciences), Olof Jonasson from Sweden (stormwater specialist, consultant, Tyrens Sverige AB), Nils Kändler from Estonia (researcher of Tallinn University of Technology), Margit Kõiv-Vainik from Estonia (associate professor, University of Tartu), and Jurijs Kondratenko, Latvia (research assistant, Riga Technical University).

In the presentations, it was pointed out which measures have been implemented in previous projects close to nature to measure hazardous compounds and which methods were applied to reduce hazardous compounds. The presentations were very comprehensive and all MUSTBE project partners will certainly find them helpful in preparing, designing, and implementing their future projects.

Brainstorming for the Most Economical and Effective Solutions

The event also included brainstorming sessions. All partners introduced their future pilot projects, and before participants were split to groups, the top problems to be solved were raised. The goal of the group work was to reach the most economical and effective solution that would work most effectively in the respective priority area. There were 7 pilot areas in total, and as a result of the brainstorming, a lot of good ideas were obtained, which all those conducting pilot projects can start implementing in the future.

There was also a field trip, during which participants got to know the demo area planned for Riga. Jurijs Kondratenko gave an overview of the pilot project and spoke in more detail about the problems of the region and ideas for solving them. In general, the two-day seminar was very productive, the project partners were able to exchange useful information, solve problems and find solutions for future projects.

Text: Siim Jürima/Municipality of Viimsi