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But things are about to change. When the treatment operation ends in the summer of 2006, it’s not just the animal and plant life that will get another chance. Local inhabitants, who frequent this large recreation area, will enjoy new benefits too. The results have now revealed that the majority of the sludge is not as contaminated as was first feared. It contains leaves, branches and other completely harmless natural materials. So rather than depositing it at great expense at special waste disposal sites, the sludge from three lakes will be used to expand Aarhus harbour.
This will save close to 95% on costs, which for this project amounts to almost DKK 3 million. But perhaps the best thing is that the new method has huge potential for other uses, such as determining the actual level of oil contamination in a range of different materials, and it can be used anywhere in the country. "Used on a nationwide basis this method could save millions", conclude the two environmental experts behind the method, Helle Ravn-Sørensen of COWI in Aarhus and Kim Gulvad Svendsen, Head of Department of Nature & Environment at the municipality of Aarhus. Helle Ravn-Sørensen is project manager of the lake treatment project. By Eva IsagerPublished: 24.04.2006