The Port of Gdansk Authority SA is required to perform tests of the level of pollutants in the surface waters of the port's basins.
Currently, PGA SA is conducting tests at 7 points which were designated in the central part of the port's basins and at the entrance to the Inner Port:
The tests of the level of pollutants are performed twice a year, in April and October, and they include measurements of the level of the following substances:
- biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5)
- chemical oxygen demand (CODCr)
- total suspension
- petroleum-derived hydrocarbons
Presented below are the results of the tests of the port basin waters for 2009-2016, which were studied separately for samples taken at points marked 1-3 (Gorniczy Basin, Wladyslaw IV Basin, Entrance to the Inner Port) and at points marked 4-7 (Fuel Basins no. 1 and 2, Turning Area, Inner/Operational Basin). In order to prepare the assessment of the quality of the port's waters, limit values from the Ministry of Environment regulation on classifying the status of bodies of surface waters were used, taking into consideration current values for the given year. The results of the tests for the former years were compared with the limit values for water quality indices for rivers and the results of the measurements at the remaining points were compared with the limit values for water quality for transitional waters.
The results of the tests on the level of pollutants in the port basin waters were compared with the limit values for indicators of water quality for bodies of surface waters (BSW) in terms of the degree to which the tested parameters overlap with the parameters included in the classification for BSW - BOD5, pH, total suspension, and CODCr (CODCr przestudiowano wyłącznie w odniesieniu do wód rzecznych czyli pkt 1-3). Stężenia parametrów z grupy substancji szczególnie szkodliwych dla środowiska wodnego tj. cynku oraz węglowodorów ropopochodnych również porównano z wartościami granicznymi z ww. rozporządzenia w sprawie klasyfikacji stanu wód.
Additionally, in order to assess the quality of port waters in terms of the concentration of metals, environmental quality standards for priority substances included in the same regulation were used.
For the purposes of assessment, the physico-chemical indicators were attributed to one of two classes:
- class I indicates very good status (orange),
- class II indicates good status (red)
Indicators whose concentrations exceeded the limit value for class II were classified as below the permissible level.
Test results, along with the general assessment of the quality of port waters in 2009-2016 measured twice annually:
Average annual BOD5 values compared with permissible values in 2009-2016 for river waters (Gorniczy Basin, Wladyslaw IV Basin, Entrance to the Inner Port)
Average annual BOD5 values compared with permissible values in 2009-2016 for transitional waters (Fuel Basins no. 1 and 2, Turning Area, Inner/Operational Basin)
Since 2015, the BOD5 parameter has not been classified, because it has been removed from the regulation on the classification of water status
Average annual CODCr values compared with permissible values in 2009-2016 for river waters (Gorniczy Basin, Wladyslaw IV Basin, Entrance to the Inner Port)
Average annual pH values compared with permissible values in 2009-2016 for river waters (Gorniczy Basin, Wladyslaw IV Basin, Entrance to the Inner Port)
Average annual pH values compared with permissible values in 2009-2016 for transitional waters (Fuel Basins no. 1 and 2, Turning Area, Inner/Operational Basin)
Average annual total suspension values compared with permissible values in 2009-2016 for river waters (Gorniczy Basin, Wladyslaw IV Basin, Entrance to the Inner Port)
The test results indicate that the level of pollution in the port's waters is low. Within the last 8 years, the concentrations of the tested substances have remained within the same range (apart from incidental cases in which they were exceeded for the parameters of lead, petroleum derivatives, and CODCr). The majority assume values included in class I or II of purity for chemical status.
Thinking about the need to improve the existing system for controlling pollution level in sea waters in Poland, the PGA SA has decided to complement the basic tests with additional sampling points, and biological and physico-chemical parameters in the near future. Expanding the knowledge about the status of port waters is aimed at providing reliable and more accurate information on the status of the water environment, and at monitoring the changes taking place in the environment. Complementing the tests with additional parameters and sampling points is also supported by the fact that the tests have shown incidental cases where individual parameters in some PGA basins have been exceeded. Therefore, there is a need for better control of the water status, and a need to carry out an assessment of the effects of accidental cases of exceeding the parameters and of the resulting pollution. Expanding the range of the tests is part of good environmental practice and an important feature of the PGA, which constantly strives to shape a better attitude towards the natural environment.