Wood cleans up runoff waters of forestry

Wooden "filter" made to clean runoff waters from forest.

Contact information

  • Leading Research Scientist Kari-Matti Vuori, Finnish Environment Institute, tel +358 295 251 754, E-mail kari-matti.vuori(at)ymparisto.fi

Runoff waters from forestry can be cleaned with wood, logging residues and small trees, says Finnish Environment Institute. Effectiviness of the new method is researched in the PuuMaVesi project on several testing areas in Finland.

Dead wood has been discovered to clean up water, increase waterway biodiversity and improve the status of fish stock. ”We take advantage of this by bundling branches and tree trunks to logs, which are then set in to ditches, settler pounds and streams”, says Kari-Matti Vuori, Principal Scientist at the Institute.

Bacteria and fungi start to grow on the surface of the underwater wood. Organisms exploiting them filter impurities out of the water. At best, the status of water and fish stock improves significantly.

The method is being researched in several field studies in Finland. The target is to create an operating model and a guidebook for taking the method in to use in water protection of ditching, wood harvesting and forest nature management operations.

The method is natural, cheap and presumably does not need any maintenance. ”The same method could be applied for wastewaters of agriculture, peat production and mining, as well as cleaning rainfall waters,” says Vuori.

The project will last until 2020. In addition to Finnish Environment Institute, also the forest industry company Metsä Group, Savitaipale municipality, Finnish Forest Centre, Department of Biological and Environmental Science of University of Jyväskylä as well as Natural Resource Institute Finland participate in the project.