Every summer, Helsingborg and Malmö are affected by unsanitary bathing waters at their popular beaches. During the summer of 2012 and 2015, for example, the bathing area at Västra Hamnen was closed for a long time, to the disappointment of local residents and tourists.
It is unclear what caused the water quality to drop. One explanation may be that water and wastewater systems are connected to old water mains. During severe storms, water treatment facilities can be overwhelmed are forced to release untreated water into the sea. This is one of several possible explanations.
In the Urbana Bad project we will investigate the reasons why water in bathing areas becomes unsanitary and try to find solutions. Municipalities will identify potential causes of contamination and engage with companies to develop solutions. There are two primary research goals. The first is to determine how bacterial embedding is influenced by the changing currents in the Öresund Straight. The second is to understand how the suspension of bacteria affects water quality. The results of the project will be interesting for other coastal municipalities.
Helsingborg City and Malmö City are leading the project. Activities included are:
- Exchange knowledge about causes, risk costs and communication strategies
- Formulate the challenge in economic terms
- Develop market dialogue and public-private innovation cooperation
All activities in Urban Magma will help meet the 2030 goals. Urban Baths contributes to the goals:
6 CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION
6.3 Improve water quality by reducing pollution, stopping dumping and minimizing emissions of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and significantly increasing recovery and safe reuse globally by 2030.
9 SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
9.4 By 2030, set up the infrastructure and adapt industry to make them sustainable, with more efficient use of resources and more clean and environmentally friendly technologies and industrial processes.
11 SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES
11.7 By 2030, universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible green spaces and public places, especially for women and children, elderly people and people with disabilities.
14 LIFE BELOW WATER
14.1 By 2025 prevent and significantly reduce all types of pollution in the sea, especially from land-based activities, including marine junk and nutrient supply.