Achieving healthier water quality in urban small rivers of the Baltic Sea catchment by restoration of water bodies and preventing of nutrients and hazardous substances inflow from watersheds.

P2 Sustainable use of common resources

2.4. Reduced nutrients, hazardous substances and toxins inflow into the Baltic Sea

Central Baltic

01.03.2018 - 28.02.2021

€1 898 349

€1 488 789

Project Summary:

Local authorities located on the Baltic Sea coastal areas face the same challenges regarding small urban water bodies and their watersheds. These watersheds are the source of nutrients, hazardous substances, toxins and micro-litter. All municipalities involved in the project need to reduce nutrient loading in small urban water bodies in order to minimize the negative impacts nutrients have on the Baltic Sea and on the surrounding urban ecosystems. Yet, they do not have the resources to identify and test the most effective solutions for all environmental problems.

The objective of HEAWATER is to verify and test the most effective technological solutions that may help to reduce pollution loads from/to small urban rivers in Tallinn (EE), Turku (FI) and Söderhamn (SE). The project will identify the best solutions for each challenge, and through cross-border cooperation, it will enable decision-makers to implement them. Implemented solutions will also help to raise local population awareness about the impact of human activities.

Implemented methods will help to restore water quality (WQ) and biota of the rivers, reduce pollution from at least 2-3 sources per partner municipality by ca. 10%. The benefits of restoration will be underlined by costs-benefit analyses. The result is the improved ecology and WQ in urban streams. The project results will be combined into a decision support tool (DST) meant for decision makers in coastal BSR municipalities. New watersheds-based solutions implemented in HEAWATER can be applicable in other regions of the BS and will be promoted through different networks and other projects. HEAWATER will support the achievement of the goals set by HELCOM BSAP.

Lead Partner

Tallinna Linnavalitsus

Country: EE


Partner budget: 535.275 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 451.772 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Turun ammattikorkeakoulu

Country: FI


Partner budget: 302.745 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 224.636 EUR ERDF

Tallinna Tehnikaülikool

Country: EE


Partner budget: 251.136 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 211.959 EUR ERDF

Söderhamns kommun

Country: SE


Partner budget: 509.457 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 378.017 EUR ERDF

Suomen ympäristökeskus (SYKE)

Country: FI


Partner budget: 299.735 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 222.404 EUR ERDF

Associated Partners

Turun Kaupunki

Country: FI

John Nurmisen Säätiö

Country: FI

Expected results

The main results of the HEAWATER project are:
1. New technical and technological solutions, specially designed for small rivers, will be developed and implemented through pilot investments, which will reduce the pollution leakage into the sea. Expected result of implementation of all pilot investments is decreasing the level of pollution approximately 10%. Implementation will target at least 2-3 pollution sources in each pilot investment (totally at least 7 sources). Monitoring of nutrients, hazardous substances, toxins and litter will give indication about pollutants and their sources at the beginning and at the end of the project.
2. Stakeholder awareness survey will be carried out to assess the awareness level related to WQ issues and their willingness to pay for better WQ. The results of the survey will be used for the light social CBA which will show the monetary value (willingness to pay) of increased WQ.
3. Project results will be combined in the DST to support decision making of coastal BSR municipalities regarding future restoration of urban water bodies.