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Water quality monitoring Royal Eijkelkamp in Azerbaijan
Water quality monitoring Royal Eijkelkamp in Azerbaijan

Water quality and quantity monitoring of Lake Boyuk in Azerbaijan

Water research
Water Management & Research
Water quality monitoring Royal Eijkelkamp in Azerbaijan

Water quality and quantity monitoring of Lake Boyuk in Azerbaijan

Baku was the location for the first ever European Games in June 2015. The stadium, overlooking Lake Boyuk Shor, brought attention to this heavily polluted waterbody, so the Ministry of Economics and Industry in Azerbaijan instigated a clean up operation.

Royal Eijkelkamp supplied and installed the equipment that will monitor the water quality and water quantity in Lake Boyuk Shor now the European Games are over. Lake Boyuk Shor is the second largest lake in Azerbaijan, but it is heavily polluted.

Remediation of nine lakes around Baku

The major remediation project is being implemented by Dutch engineering consultants, Witteveen+Bos. They are working on landscape improvement and water quality remediation of nine lakes around Baku, including Lake Boyuk Shor. Each of the nine contaminated lakes must be cleaned by 2030.

The rehabilitation of Lake Boyuk Shor is split into two stages. The first stage is now complete, and included the separation of the most polluted part from the rest of the lake using a dam. The second stage will take the longest time as it is focused on the reconstruction of the lake’s ecosystem and aims to return the lake to its natural historic state.

The second stage will be implemented from 2015-2020. The work done so far has already improved the water quality in the lake. Lake Boyuk Shor is rated by international specialists as one of the most complexly polluted lakes in the world, so there is a lot of remediation work still to be done.

One of the most complexly polluted lakes in the world

Oil is a major natural resource in Azerbaijan; it is drilled on both land and sea. Historically, this resulted in serious pollution in and around the lakes of Baku. The pollution issue was compounded by other industrial waste, untreated sewage and general waste ending up in and around the lakes. The condition of the lakes poses a threat to the health of local people and creates conditions favourable to the emergence of different diseases.

The main pollutants in the lakes are heavy metals such as copper, cadmium, iron, zinc and manganese. There are also much higher than normal levels of:

  • Cation and anion concentrations
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Chlorides
  • Sulfates
  • Synthetic detergents
  • Biochemical oxygen consumption

Remediation activity so far

As part of the first stage of remediation work, the highly polluted bed of Lake Boyuk Shor has been dredged; over 2.8 million cubic meters of heavily oil polluted silt have been dredged, temporary storage for the contaminated dredging spoils has been created, and dams constructed to isolate the project area.

Monitoring stations

Royal Eijkelkamp’s Technical Projects team installed four water quality stations with floats to keep the probes at a set depth.

The monitoring stations monitor water quality using a multi-parameter set. The set comes as standard with sensors that measure optical dissolved oxygen, pH, ORP, conductivity, resistivity, salinity, TDS, SSG, and temperature. Royal Eijkelkamp then added additional parameters into the user configurable sensor ports: refined oil, chlorophyll and turbidity.

John de Geest

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