Port Water Testing

Pursuant to the Regulation of the Minister of Environment dated 16 June 2011, Port of Gdańsk Authority SA is obligated to conduct testing of contaminant levels in the surface waters of port bodies of water.

Currently the testing is being conducted at 7 sites, which are located in the central sections of the port basins and at the entrance to the inner port, i.e.:

Measurement point 1 – Węglowy/Górniczy Basin
Measurement point 2 – Władysława IV Basin
Measurement point 3 – Port Entrance
Measurement point 4 – Fuel Basin no. 1
Measurement point 5 – Fuel Basin no. 2
Measurement point 6 – Turning Basin in the North Port
Measurement point 7 – Internal Working Basin

Contaminant testing is conducted twice a year, i.e. in April and in October, and includes measuring the levels of the following substances:

  • biological oxygen demand (BOD5)
  • chemical oxygen demand (CODCr)
  • pH
  • total suspensions
  • lead
  • cadmium
  • zinc
  • oil-derivative hydrocarbons

The tests are conducted in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Department of the Maritime Institute of the Gdynia Maritime University, supervised by an Environmental Protection Specialist from Port of Gdańsk Authority SA. Sampling is performed with the use of the “PORTOWIEC” vessel.

Port water contaminant measurements are performed for substances and parameters in compliance with the reference methodologies listed in appendix 4 to the regulation of the Minister of Environment dated 16 June 2011 concerning requirements related to performing measurements of substance or energy levels in the environment by entities managing roads, railway and tram lines, airports, ports. Below is a summary of results from tests conducted from 2019 to April 2021.


Tests of bottom sediments in port channels

One of the tasks of Port of Gdańsk Authority SA is the construction, expansion, maintenance and modernisation of the port infrastructure. This includes port water bodies – fairways, canals, manoeuvring areas and basins. Dredging works are required for the maintenance of the navigation bottom of fairways and the depth at the quays, their renovation or reconstruction, and the construction of new quays or terminals. They consist in the partial removal of sediments accumulated at the bottom. Ships with a large hull draft passing through the port channel cause the movement of sediments, especially silty ones. This applies mainly to the channel axis and causes a slight shallowing in its central part and on each side of the fairway. Smaller ships that use their own propulsion check its operation at the quay by making from a few to a dozen or so turns of the propeller. Repeating this operation in the same place may cause local shallowing or deepening, exceeding the acceptable bottom depth tolerance. Periodic pre-cleaning dredging works are performed to remove the bottom shallowing in relation to the technical (operating) depths and the inclination of the underwater slopes in the reservoir. Before starting the task, the bottom sediments in the area of planned works are examined to determine whether the spoil is contaminated. The test is to determine the contents of:

  • arsenic
  • chromium
  • zinc
  • cadmium
  • copper
  • nickel
  • lead
  • mercury
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

The number of samples taken for testing depends on the expected volume of the dredging works. The tests of bottom sediments performed in most of the water bodies managed by PGA SA show that the dredged spoil is not contaminated and are suitable for disposal at sea.

Noise measurements

Port of Gdańsk Authority SA is obliged to perform periodic noise measurements. The last one was made in 2016. They take into account ship traffic, including noise from the operation of equipment and systems as well as the infrastructure used for the port activity and the infrastructure for transshipment located outside the premises of PGA SA, but related to the activity of the Port of Gdańsk. The measurements were made both during the day and at night. The tests were carried out for a total of 75 points located inside and outside the port area; to illustrate the noise emission by the port facilities over the water, 10 points were located in Gdańsk Bay within 500 m of the shore or port infrastructure. Measurements of the noise in the environment did not show any exceeded values during the day. At night, they occurred at three measurement points, with the maximum exceedance of 10.8 dB. These points were located on the border of areas requiring sound protection. According to the simulation, the exceeded values were road noise, not industrial noise related to handling operations. At night, those were much lower than the acceptable level of 45 dB.

Air pollution

In 2003, Port of Gdańsk Authority SA requested the development of the “Study of air protection for the Port of Gdańsk”. It covered areas under the authority’s control and those leased by clients whose activities caused emissions of pollutants into the air. Based on these documents, the Pomeranian Voivode issued permits to discharge gases and dust into the air. The analysis of the nuisance of emission sources in the port area showed that there were no exceeded values of particulate matter on the border of individual terminals and port companies or on the border of PGA SA. In the following years, comprehensive inspections were carried out at PGA SA and in companies operating in port areas. These also showed no irregularities in emissions into the air. In 1996-2006, PGA SA modernised the heating system. The central coal-fired boiler room was closed and replaced with 9 new high-efficiency gas and oil boiler rooms and a heat pump. Several buildings were also thermally insulated. The modernisation led to a considerable environmental effect, reducing the amount of pollutants emitted into the air. Equivalent gas and dust emissions decreased by 98.9%. The ultimate reductions in air pollutant emissions are as follows: sulphur dioxide by 65.7 t/year, nitrogen dioxide by 6.2 t/year, carbon monoxide by 230.9 t/year, dust by 82.2 t/year, carbon dioxide by 8,111 t/year. At the same time, the port eliminated the emissions of benzo-a-pyrene (0.072 t/year) and soot (3.8 t/year) as well as fugitive emission from coal and combustion waste landfills (disposal of solid waste from the combustion of coal).

Outer PortKrakowskie QuaySzczecińskie QuayMarynarki Polskiej Str.Duty Free ZoneZakręt Pięciu Gwizdków QuayOliwskie Quay


Air quality monitoring points:

Location of points
Location 1: Duty Free Zone

Accumulation risk:

Waste management

Waste is collected from sea ships at the Port of Gdańsk in accordance with the Act of 12 September 2002 on port facilities for collecting waste and cargo residues (Journal of Laws No. 166 of 2002, item 1361) and the rules set out in the “Port plan for the management of waste and cargo residues from ships” approved by the decision of the Marshal’s Office of the Pomeranian Voivodeship No. DROŚ-SO.7240.10.2017 of 03.10.2017 [document PDF, 84 KB] Port of Gdańsk Authority SA ensures the collection of the following generated as a result of operation of sea ships, as listed in the MARPOL 73/78 Convention:

  • Waste oils and mixtures thereof
  • Solid waste
  • Sanitary sewage
  • Residues from flue gas treatment

Combating threats and pollution

Activities related to combating threats and pollution at the Port of Gdańsk are carried out according to the “Plan for combating threats and pollution in port waters managed by Port of Gdańsk Authority SA” approved by the Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia by decision no. 8201/5/04 of 02.12.2004. The plan was updated in April 2012 and approved by the Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia by decision no. 076/46/12 of 22.06.2012. Potential sources of threats and pollution in port waters are:

  • sewer outlets for discharge of sanitary, industrial and rainwater sewage
  • transshipment processes at the quays
  • construction, renovation or maintenance works
  • operation of ships
  • collection of waste from ships

Any reported irregularities are immediately handled by the port fire service: Portowej Straży Pożarnej “FLORIAN” Sp. z o.o. or Straż Ochrony Portu Gdańsk Sp. z o.o. Emergency telephone number – 111 Municipal telephone number – (+48) 58 343 11 20

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