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Clean Water Cleans Sea on Croatia’s Famed Coastline

Second Coastal Cities Pollution Control Project

June 26, 2013

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regions along Croatia’s Adriatic coastline are participating in the project, which expects to triple the number of the costal area’s households and businesses that are connected to sewage treatment services

PROJECT MAP

Tens of thousands of cubic meters of liquid waste pour into new treating facilities on Croatia’s Adriatic Coast on a daily basis. 

Until recently, the waste poured through old tubes, directly into the sea, says Grga Peronja, who heads the Waste Water Utility in the coastal city of Zadar. 

“It was really not nice to see.  The area was un-useful for catching fish (or) for swimming, absolutely.  There were more than a hundred of those tubes all around the city,” says Peronja.

The new waste water treatment facilities were built under a government-run project to combat pollution in Croatia’s coastal areas, which represent millions of dollars in needed tourist revenue.

The World Bank is supporting the project, which – by connecting more people to waste water treatment facilities – is cleaning the sea and bringing Croatia more in line with EU standards.

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The biggest problems are buildings which are directly on the coast, but not connected to the system, and which have their own outlets into the sea. With the construction of the waste water system, those have disappeared and the quality of the water where people bathe is excellent Close Quotes

Alenka Turkovic
technologist at Opatija Waste Water Plant

“The biggest problems are buildings which are directly on the coast, but not connected to the system, and which have their own outlets into the sea. With the construction of the waste water system, those have disappeared and the quality of the water where people bathe is excellent,” says Alenka Turkovic, who works as a technologist at Opatija Waste Water Plant, one of the newly built treatment facilities.

21 regions along Croatia’s Adriatic coastline are participating in the project, which expects to triple the number of the costal area’s households and businesses that are connected to sewage treatment services. 

That is sure to clean the sea, cut down on bad odors, and pave the way for even more tourists to visit Croatia’s famous sites, says Vedrana Rakovac, a Waste Water Utility official from the ancient coastal city of Pula.

“The sewage will go to the waste water treatment plant and we will have no problem anymore,” she says.


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There is no smell and no swimming objects that we saw before. Close Quotes

Davor Stanbulic

As a result of the waste water project, treatment technology has also increased in Croatia, and advanced cleaning methods are being piloted in some of the coastal areas, like Zadar, where eco-friendly microscopic organisms are now bred to help out in the cleaning process.

“They eat all the sewage from the water and they grow. We clean our water strictly just with biological microorganism, nothing else; it is a completely ecological type of cleaning of water,” says Branka Viduka, a technologist at the new Waste Water facility in Zadar.

Once cleaned of its pollutants and other negative elements, the water from the new waste water treatment plants is released into the sea, but this time in tubes reaching as far out as 2,000 meters.

That makes retirement even more pleasant, says retiree and Davor Stanbulic, who has worked and lived on the Adriatic coast for more than 50 years.

“There is no smell and no swimming objects that we saw before,” he says.