POLLUTION SOURCES
Airborne pollution.

The main pollution source in the catchment is the "Pechenganikel" smelter, operating since 1946. Prior to the "Pechenganikel" company the Finns operated the smelter a few years before and during 2 world war.

From 1971 Norilsk high-sulphur copper-nickel ore, containing 30% of sulphur was used. Sharp increase of sulphur emissions in 1974 (+150 000 t/year) is caused by increased use of the Norilsk ore. Yearly emissions account for 512 tons nickel, 308 tons copper and 20 tons cobalt.

Air-borne pollution load to the Pasvik River catchment is mainly from local air pollution by the "Pechenganickel" smelter emissions, but also, to less extent, long range transboundary airborne pollution. The prior pollutant to the water catchment is anthropogenic sulphur. It is shown that pollution by Ni, Co, Cu, Sr, Mg, Ca and S compounds are mainly a result of smelter emissions (Makarova and Ratkin, 1991).

The water catchment of Kuetsyarvi has the highest depositions of pollutants. The annual Ni deposition here ranges from 30 to 160 mg/m2 and anthropogenic sulphur from 600 to 1700 mg/m2. On the major part of the Pasvik River catchment the annual nickel precipitation is less than 100 mg/m2 and anthropogenic sulfur 300 - 700 mg/m2.


Waste water

The pollution of heavy metals from the smelter and the pits represents only a small part of the total load of Ni ( ca 50 tons) to Kolosjoki. Resent unpublished investigations by INEP/HYDROMET/NIVA show that most of the load of Ni and Cu runs into Kolosjoki above the factory area. The sources are not yet identified, but it is reasonable to assume that weathering of waste rock dumps is a major source.

According to HYDROMET data (1990-1992) the river Kolosjoki is also polluted by toxic organic matters, e.g. phenols - 3 -14 g/l, hexachloroethane - 2 - 53 g/l, lindan 3 - 69 g/l and oil products 26 - 360 g/l.

In addition to industrial wastes the Kolosjoki Stream and Kuetsyarvi also receive domestic sewage (13 000 ton/yea) from the Nikel town (30 000 inhabitants). On the bank of the Pasvik River there also are situated a number of small Russian and Norwegian settlements with municipal wastes containing nutrients accelerating the process of eutrophication.


Estimating total input of pollution into the Pasvik River from Russian territory

To discover the basic pollution sources and pollution loads from the water catchment the largest tributaries of the Pasvik River from Russian side were studied.

The main load of pollutants (Ni, Cu, SO4) come with the Kolosjoki Stream into Kuetsyarvi. Further, Shuonijoki River receives runoff from the Kuorpukas Mountain. This mountain is situated southward from the smelter and is heavily polluted by smoke emissions. Total input of pollutants into the Kuetsyarvi are approximately : Ni - 55 ton, Cu - 4 ton and sulphates -23000 tons. Only parts of the total inputs of P and N are determined.

Kuetsyarvi serves as a sink for pollutats into the Pasvik River. Approximately one half of the nickel and copper precipitate in the lake before the water runs into Pasvik River. The loads to Pasvik River from Kuetsyarvi are approximately: Ni - 36 tons, Cu - 3 tons, Ptot - 7 tons and N - 3700 tons. The contribution of nickel from the other tributaries are very small compared to the outlet of Kuetsyarvi, while the contributions of P, N and Cu are smaller but in the same order of magnitude as from Kuetsyarvi.


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