Our general goal is to reduce the consumption of clean water and the amount of wastewater produced by our operations, and to make the wastewater we produce less harmful. We make every effort to ensure our operations cause no harm to bodies of water near our facilities.
We value ponds, lakes and waterways
Reducing water consumption through continuous monitoring
Koskisen’s facilities in Järvelä use groundwater for both household purposes and as process and cooling water. Most of the water is pumped from Tolkonlähde, which is a spring owned by Koskisen, and a borewell located in the grounds of our Mäntsäläntie facility. Some of the water comes from Kärkölä’s municipal water supply network.
We monitor our water consumption closely, allowing us to locate and fix leaks immediately. We constantly try to find ways to use groundwater more efficiently. Our facilities in Hirvensalmi rely solely on water supplied by the local water department.
In 2020 (Q1–Q2), our water consumption per cubic metre produced was 0.28 cubic metres. The last time we were at this level was in 2015.
We always process our wastewater appropriately and make sure to minimise its volume
Koskisen Oy has an industrial wastewater transfer agreement with the municipality of Kärkölä. All water from our plywood log soaking basin is pretreated with dissolved air flotation before it enters the municipal sewer network. Under normal conditions, our operations meet the requirements of the agreement to the letter. The wastewater produced by our Hirvensalmi operations is discharged to the municipality’s sewer network. Our facility in Hirvensalmi also has an industrial wastewater transfer agreement with the local municipality.
Pursuant to the decree by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on household water quality requirements and monitoring tests (Finlex 1352/2015), the quality of the household water used by our Järvelä functions is monitored through a monitoring test programme. This ensures that our household water is safe to use.
Nature and industry in harmony on the shores of Hähkäjärvi lake
Hähkäjärvi is a company-owned lake in the immediate vicinity of Koskisen’s Tehdastie mill area. The lake was formerly used to store logs, which caused wood material, such as tree bark, to accumulate at the bottom of the lake. As the wood material decays, it releases nutrients into the lake while also consuming oxygen. Because of this, the lake has become heavily eutrophic. The lake’s nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations are many times higher than the average, but the lake’s status is slowly improving as it is no longer subject to an external nutrient load.
By the shore of Hähkäjärvi lake, we have built closed-circuit pools for circulating log irrigation water, which enable us to recycle that water for log irrigation. We do not draw any log irrigation water from Hähkäjärvi. As the irrigation water is in closed circulation, the only sources of occasional overflow to the lake from the mill area are storm waters and clean cooling water.
Koskisen’s environmental permit includes a provision for restoring Hähkäjärvi. We have commissioned reports on the need for restoration and presented them to the authorities. The latest report, the Hähkäjärvi nature survey, was completed in 2014. The survey concluded that the area is home, in addition to a diverse birdlife, to protected moor frogs and bats. Hähkäjärvi and its shores are a valuable habitat for many animals because of its low use, which makes it an apt example of the coexistence between industry and natural habitats.
Remediation of chlorophenol-contaminated groundwater at Koskisen in Järvelä
In 1976, Koskisen’s sawmill was destroyed in a fire. As a result of the fire, some of the chlorophenol-based anti-bluing agent used for preserving sawn timber (KY-5) was released into the soil and groundwater through fire-fighting water runoff. At the time, nobody could have predicted that local groundwater would become contaminated. In 1987, chlorophenols were detected at the municipality of Kärkölä’s Kukonmäki pumping station, and the site’s groundwater was found to be contaminated. Starting from 1988, Koskisen, the Finnish authorities and various research institutions started to explore different remediation options. However, they were unable to develop a sufficiently effective remediation method at this point. In 2008, the Supreme Administrative Court ordered Koskisen to create a groundwater remediation and monitoring plan. The order to start the actual remediation process never came, however.
Being a responsible company, Koskisen decided to nevertheless initiate the process as soon as a sufficiently effective remediation method became available. Remediation began on 25 June 2012 with advisory support from Pöyry Oy. The selected remediation method is based on the combined action of microbes and oxygen. This marked the first time this method was used in Finland for groundwater remediation. The method proved to be highly successful. Koskisen had an additional extraction well built for pumping out contaminated water. The well was commissioned on 21 April 2016.
The new well was intended to speed up the remediation process. The pumping continued without a break until 20 April 2017, at which point pumping operations were discontinued due to technical difficulties.
The remediation pumping of groundwater was restarted on 26 September 2018 based on a new pumping plan, on a smaller scale than before and according to a phased process. Peroxide-based oxidation in one of the groundwater pipes is continuing. The concentration of chlorophenols is being monitored at 21 points and groundwater levels at 20 points. Remediation will continue until November 2020 in accordance with the current plan. The collaborating consultant is AFRY Finland Oy (formerly Pöyry Finland Oy) and the authority supervising the remediation project is the Tavastia centre for economic development, transport and the environment.
More information on the groundwater remediation method: YouTube video (in Finnish): Remediation method for Järvelä groundwater (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE9hkRTsVas)