Greenpeace launched Water Patrol on the Moskva River

Feature story - 17 June, 2013
Today Greenpeace has launched the Water Patrol on the rivers of the capital. During one week, Greenpeace boats will be plying along the Moskva River and its tributaries and examine wastewater discharged by industrial enterprises. The results of the research will be available to everyone on the Greenpeace website.

Within the work on Moscow rivers Greenpeace will provide detailed information - independent and objective – on the situation in the water bodies. To solve the problem of water pollution, Greenpeace conducts its own surveys of the quality of rivers’ water and industrial wastewaters, and bring this information to the citizens’ attention. During one week, two boats will be examining discharges of the factories into the Moskva River. The results of this monitoring will be sent to the state supervisory authorities and published on the site

Boat crews composed of Greenpeace experts and volunteers are intending to take water samples, detect illegal sewers and cases of emergency discharge of pollutants by factories, and to measure the level of industrial water pollution. According to the plan, approximately 50 kilometers of coastline will be inspected, and the largest polluters’ drains examined, including Moskovskiy Oil Refinery, Lyuberetskaya and Kuryanovskaya aeration stations. Water samples will be analyzed in specialized laboratories.


In addition to data provided by Greenpeace experts on major polluters, the itinerary was developed on the basis of information received from Moscow citizens. Earlier, Greenpeace appealed to the residents of the capital asking for assistance in locating the discharges of untreated sewage. Thanks to these concerned citizens, information on several dozens of such illegal points was collected.
Greenpeace has been working on the issue of river pollution caused by industrial discharges for 6 years already. Previously, the main work was focused in St. Petersburg, and in the future Greenpeace is planning to investigate the pollution of other major Russian rivers - Volga, Ob, Yenisei, Angara, Amur, Lena.


Additional information

Water pollution in Russia continues to be widespread. Thousands of factories dump the toxic substances into the rivers and lakes, which then inevitably get into our bodies - through drinking water and food, while swimming. The government does not encourage the adoption of clean technologies and hardly counteracts offenders poisoning our water. Greenpeace strives for reducing discharge of dangerous substances into Russian rivers - we carry out independent surveys and inform people about the real situation with the river pollution; our water patrols fix location of illegal discharges from the factories; we appeal to the officials for effective control of water pollution and adoption of laws that would protect our rivers and population health.


Even Rospotrebnadzor (Federal service on customers' rights protection and human well-being) data for 2012 states that more than half of samples (56%) from the central water supply sources in Moscow do not meet safety standards. According to the official terminology, water quality at the entrance to the city is assessed as “conditionally clean”, while the output is classified as slightly polluted.

Water Patrol - one of the most efficient methods that Greenpeace uses in its work. During 6 years Greenpeace hold Water Patrol in St. Petersburg and Leningradskaya region, examining the factories’ discharges into the city rivers. Over 120 kilometers of water area were inspected by the boats’ crews, more than 250 wastewater discharges were detected, 75 wastewater samples were collected and analyzed.

Greenpeace sent over 50 appeals to the supervisory authorities upon the facts of law violations. As the results of water patrol in St. Petersburg, polluters were repeatedly brought to responsibility and numerous illegal discharges were stopped. Due to our pressure and publicity of our activity, the number of cases in the courts and regulatory bodies related to water pollution, has increased to several hundreds per year.