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Protecting Baltic Sea from untreated wastewater spillages during flood events in urban areas (NOAH)


Climate change comes with intense rainfalls and storms in the Baltic Sea region. Urban drainage systems are not capable to handle this, and therefore floods are becoming more common in the densely populated areas. Floods raise the risk of flushing untreated wastewater from urban drainage systems into nature. This is harmful to people and environment due to the excessive amount of nutrients, hazardous substances and pathogenic microbes in wastewater.

Urban areas can be prepared for floods by improved planning and self-adaptive drainage operations. The NOAH project has brought together nine towns and water utilities, seven academic and research institutions and two umbrella organisations from six countries around the Baltic Sea to join their forces. NOAH’s approach is to create a concept for holistic planning and implement smart drainage systems in real urban environments. Holistic planning combines stormwater management with spatial planning. This is followed by development of smart drainage systems to make the existing facilities resilient to the impacts of climate change.

The NOAH concept is easily scalable to any urban area around the Baltic Sea. Implementation of the concept could reduce the inflow of pollutants into the Baltic Sea by half. 


Project information


Tallinn University of Technology, Latvia


Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Gdansk University of Technology, Poland

City of Haapsalu, Estonia

City of Rakvere, Estonia

Liepaja municipal authority "Komunālā pārvalde", Latvia

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Finland

Estonian Waterworks Association, Estonia

City of Pori, Finland

Halmstad University, Sweden

Economic Chamber Polish Waterworks, Poland

Riga Technical University, Latvia

Ogre municipality, Latvia

Slupsk Water Supply, Poland

Technical University of Denmark, Denmanrk

Jurmalas udens Ltd, Latvia

The municipality of Söderhamn, Sweden

Rakvere Water Company, Estonia

Published in Climate-ADAPT Nov 15 2022   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Nov 15 2022

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