Helsinki drinking water to be drawn from River Vantaa from mid-April
Päijänne tunnel undergoing repairs until year's end
As soon as scheduled repairs to the Päijänne Water Tunnel start in mid-April, the residents of Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa will have to drink water coming from River Vantaa until the end of December.
The quality of this water is not as good as that of water from Lake Päijänne, but after going through a purification process, hardly any difference can be noticed, says limnologist Heli Vahtera, while collecting water samples from the river at the request of Helsingin Sanomat.
”Quite clear”, assesses Vahtera, looking at one of the samples. ”A little muddy, containing some organic compounds, judging from the light brown colour”, she adds.
Working as a researcher for a local association for water conservation, Vahtera knows the quality of the Vantaa River water quite well.
Even though water in the River Vantaa is not as good as that conveyed by the Päijänne Water Tunnel, it is substantially better than water in other European rivers, which can be circulated many times, Vahtera notes.
”This is good raw water, and after having been purified one can hardly notice the difference. However, the temperature of this water cannot be brought down as low as that in Lake Päijänne, which is why it might feel a little musty, particularly in the summer”, Vahtera continued.
The water samples are being tested at MetropoliLab, a laboratory located in Helsinki’s Viikki district, which has been examining all food, water and environmental samples brought from Vantaa, Espoo, Helsinki, and Kauniainen since the beginning of the current year.
The Päijänne Water Tunnel, which is the longest tunnel in the world at 120 kilometres, was built during the 1970s, and can hold 2.5 billion litres of water.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Study finds tap water purer than bottled water (15.2.2008)
Helsinki.fi: The renovation of the Päijänne tunnel starts 15th April
Päijänne Water Tunnel (Wikipedia)