Absence of environmental education prevents efficient management of lakes in Chisinau


Chisinau annually spends 4 million lei on maintaining lakes and rivers in the municipality. 731 workers of the municipal enterprise Green Areas Association during a week clean about 6 ha of areas situated by the water. About 10 tonnes of waste is collected weekly from the surface of rivers and lakes. Despite the performed works, swimming is banned in all the lakes in the city. The water is polluted and poses risks to health.

Safe swimming area is an (un)accomplishable initiative

The director of the Green Areas Association Victoria Covali said the taken measures are not sufficient and the lakes need to be profoundly cleaned. Drainage works and works to clean all the channels and filtering systems are necessary at least once in five years. These are very costly works for which no funds have been earmarked now. These works also include the complete removal of water. In winter, they cannot be performed as the weather conditions do not permit. In summer, they can create discomfort to the citizens. These works should be executed together with surface cleaning works.

The municipal services can remove from water surfaces only vegetal waste brought by rain. The mud is deposited and vegetal waste comes out and can be easily collected. This is not the case of chemical waste or wastewater deriving from economic activities. When these are discharged into ponds and rivers, they pose the most serious water pollution threat.

Along the Durlești brook that flows into the Byk River in the Park “Valea Morilor”, many business entities illegally discharge different pollutants. As a result, the aquatic ecosystem is affected and the fish in the lake die. Those who discharge wastewater should be identified as some of the connections in the Byk River, for example, are removed, but many remain unnoticed and the process continues. The authorities should lend a hand, said deputy mayor Ilie Ceban.

Tudor Puiu, hygienist of the Chisinau Public Health Center, said that there are coliform bacteria in all the lakes of the municipality of Chisinau and these can cause acute diarrheal diseases. There are also lakes where the layer of water is five times smaller than the layer of mud. “The water is bacteriologically polluted and there are no tendencies for the quality of water to improve as most of the lakes are not protected from external pollution,” stated the specialist.

The pollution sources include sewerage, thrown waste, water used to wash units of transport. As a result of torrential rain, all the waste flows into lakes as these are located on peaks, inclines and the heavier precipitation mingle waste with sewage that is later taken to the lake. “The pond manager, based on our results and our recommendations, should set up billboards for the population to know that the water is polluted. Those who risk swimming in the water can endanger their health,” said the public health specialist.

Lakes in Chisinau are laid out for sports and fishing

If the lakes in the municipality of Chisinau are not suitable for swimming, at least fishing is possible there. All the lakes in Chisinau were populated with fish. About 12 species. Fishing is not possible only in several lakes that are being rehabilitated, such as the Park “Valea Trandafirilor”. The lakes in “Valea Morilor” Park and in Ghidighici attract most of the fishermen. Deputy mayor Ilie Ceban said the lake “La Izvor” in Buiucani district last year was populated with three tonnes of fish of different types. The fishing permit is issued by the Pisciculture Service. The fisherman must be a member of the Society of Hunters and Fishermen. The services are for money and the fees are collected by the Pisciculture Service.

In the Parks “Valea Morilor” and “La Izvor”, sports can be also practiced. Students of the Canoe School train on the lake in “Valea Morilor” as this ensures the necessary conditions. “We would like the lakes to be accessible for swimming or for activities that are safe for health. Any recreational area needs appropriate infrastructure for the people who come to the beach to be able to practice all kinds of activities,” said Victoria Covali, the manager of the Green Areas Association.

Project to investigate urban biodiversity

In January, the Chisinau City Hall will launch a project to study urban biodiversity, including aquatic animals and animals that live in the parks of the municipality. “We want to know the situation. There can be large populations that can endanger human health. We should see what measures we shall take. It is good that biodiversity expands, but it should be somehow controlled so as not to cause discomfort. As part of this project, we conducted extensive inventorying. Based on scientific research and arguments, we intend to come up with appropriate solutions,” stated Victoria Covali.

The municipal enterprise manages the lake in Ghidighici, the lakes in the Parks “La Izvor”, “Valea Morilor”, “Dumitru Râșcanu”, “Valea Trandafirilor”. The lake near Dumitru Râșcanu St is under extensive rehabilitation. The circulation system, alleys, playgrounds, recreational areas will be renovated there. Financial resources are being looked for to also renovate the Park “Valea Trandafirilor”. There are discussed projects to create infrastructure for persons with disabilities for these to have free access to parks and beaches. The quality of water in lakes is permanently monitored and improved.

However, these efforts made by the authorities are useless if the people are not conscience and do not leave litter in recreational areas after them and maintain order. The green areas are a living organism that should be looked after daily by each of us.

Milena Macarciuc, IPN