Aquatic ecosystem: how Moscow monitors the ponds purity

June 11

In Russia, the International Cleanup Day was celebrated on June 6. In fact, this is an environmental action; its purpose is to draw attention to the state of rivers, lakes and ponds. Every year, Mosvodostok ((Moscow drain sewerage organization) specialists collect and dispose of almost 350 tons of garbage, and among the ‘usual’ (such as plastic bottles, bags and wrappers) there were bins, car tires and even concrete benches.

What they do in Moscow to preserve the ecosystem of water bodies, how they take care of their inhabitants and what kind of participation the residents can take in this - in the material.

Water quality is under control

Mosvodostok maintains 250 Moscow reservoirs. The largest and most famous of them are the Borisovsky and Tsaritsynsky ponds in the Southern District, the Beloye Ozero (White Lake) and the Serebryano-Vinogradny (Silver-Grape) pond in the Eastern Administrative District, and the Bolshoy Sadovy (Large Garden) (Academic) pond in the north of the city. Specialists also keep order at such remarkable water bodies as Chistye, Novodevichy, Patriarshiye, Golovinsky and Lefortovsky ponds, and the Big City pond in Zelenograd.


According to Svetlana Butushina, water samples are regularly collected at decorative water bodies. In the summer, a quantitative chemical analysis of water is carried out: the hydrogen pH, the content of suspended substances, petroleum products, chemical compounds, and oxygen in the water are determined. This is done by the analytical control laboratory of Mosvodostok.

Aeration like artificial respiration

Fish, ducks and other waterfowl populate the Moscow water bodies. For example, on the Patriarshie ponds you can meet silver carp, pike, crucian carp and common carp, of the birds - roody shelduck (Tadorna), bullhead, tufted duck, dunbird, teal, but most of all mallard ducks.

In cold winters, the water bodies freeze, this is dangerous for their inhabitants: under the layer of ice, they do not have enough air. Depending on the depth of the pond, a layer of ice of a certain thickness freezes on it - 10 centimeters or more, so the underwater space is reduced. Since the air does not penetrate through such a thickness of ice, it is difficult for fish to breathe.

To help the water bodies ecosystem, Mosvodostok specialists conduct aeration - a kind of artificial respiration procedure through the holes. There are two types of aeration: natural and forced. In the first case, a hole is drilled, and it is filled with air itself. This option is suitable for not very severe frosts. In the second case, oxygen is supplied to the holes using a compressor. This method is necessary if the ice is thicker than 10 centimeters, and the drilled hole freezes completely after an hour and a half.

"There are summer and winter modes of operation. In winter, ice is removed, aeration is carried out. There are more things to do in summer: we clean the water surface, monitor the growth of aquatic vegetation and grass on the banks, always clean the adjacent three-meter coastal band, fill the water bodies so that the water level in them corresponds to the standard marks, clean the water area from garbage," Svetlana Butushina said.

‘Repairs’ on water bodies

For 10 years, the specialists of the municipal economy complex have cleaned up 67 Moscow water bodies. Among the largest ones are Ambulatorny pond, Kirovogradskie (Upper, Middle, Lower), Upper and Lower Varshavsky ponds. This year, it is planned to improve 30 ponds. Among others, the works will be carried out at Golyanovsky, Medvedkovsky, Vladimirsky and Lazorevy ponds.

"During the reconstruction, ponds are cleaned of silt, shore line paving and spillway structures are repaired, the water-confining stratum (waterproofing layer) is restored, pedestrian paths are repaired and restoration landscaping is carried out. Today, zones of recovery with higher aquatic vegetation are increasingly used in water bodies to improve water quality. It all depends on the specific water body," Svetlana Butushina explained.

She added that the reconstruction can be carried out all year round.

Mosvodostok is currently working on 11 water bodies, including Lazorevy, Kapustyansky and Yasny ponds, Vladimirsky, Sobachy, and Kozhukhovsky ponds. It is planned to start work on five more reservoirs.

Duck chalets: caring for the inhabitants of the water reservoir

For ducks, houses and floating pontoons are installed on the ponds, where both adult birds and newly hatched chicks can find shelter.

"At the residents’ request, Mosvodostok installs small houses and ramps for birds. Their purpose is to allow the ducks and their chicks to rest on the water. Before installation, we study the water reservoir, identify the demand in houses for birds and make a decision, " Svetlana Butushina said.

She also told about the problem that Mosvodostok faced last summer: some residents used duck chalets as floating swimming areas. In addition, the houses are anchored in the middle of the pond, away from the shore, because the ducklings are afraid of the dogs with whom the Moscovites walk in the parks.

Not to stay out

Mosvodostok receives the most complaints about the pollution of water bodies and the territory next to them.

"Garbage does not appear by itself: it flies from the overturned bins, some park visitors throw wrappers and sweetie papers on the pavement," Svetlana Butushina reminded.

According to regulations, the Mosvodostok specialists conduct daily work on water bodies and recreation areas. During the year, almost 350 tons of garbage are collected and disposed of.

"To keep the site clean you must you must prevent litterbug. It is important that the citizens remember this. We do not disclaim responsibility: it is our duty to maintain the water bodies in good order. At the same time, each citizen must keep clean the places of rest, protect them," Svetlana Butushina added.


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