Schwerin (dpa/mv) – The number of accidents involving water-polluting substances in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania increased noticeably again in 2021 after years of comparatively low incidence. As reported by the Statistical Office in Schwerin on Monday, a total of 29 such incidents were registered in the north-east last year. That was 10 more than the year before and the highest number since 2015.

Accordingly, 14 of these accidents occurred during transport and 15 when handling water-polluting substances. In the majority of cases, these were small amounts of petroleum products and liquids from agriculture such as manure, liquid manure or silage leachate. A total of 878,600 liters of these “substances with water pollution potential” were released, it said. According to the statistics, the most extensive incidents occurred in warehouses and during internal transport.

94 percent of the water-polluting substances were recovered through immediate and follow-up measures – such as pumping from defective tanks – and then put to their original use or disposed of. Where this was not possible, the contaminated soil was recorded and removed. Of the 4,500 liters of “clearly water-polluting” substances, about 300 liters could not have been salvaged, resulting in environmental pollution at the accident sites.

The massive fish kill in the Oder made headlines this year. Experts see the reason for this being salt discharged by Polish companies combined with low water and high temperatures, which led to a massive increase in a toxic species of algae (Prymnesium parvum).