Veden Taika (The Magic of Water)
Halikonlahti Bird Pools, Salo, Finland
Veden Taika is a collaboration with local volunteers, regional science experts, the students and faculty of the Salo Polytechnic Institute, the Salo Parks Department and Office of Environmental Protection,the Ecovilllage Institute and artist Tuula Nikulainen.
The Salo Bird Pools are large lagoons that were formerly used in the sewage treatment processes of the Salo Municipal Sewage Treatment Facility. Because an abundance of migrating and nesting birds now use the lagoons, the pools have been established as an EU-directive conservation site. The birds need nesting areas separated from surrounding land so that the eggs and young birds will be protected from small mammals. Analyses of the sediment at the bottom of the Bird Pools revealed residues of oils and fatty organic pollutants, as well as some heavy metals, the legacy of the former uses of the pools.
Veden Taika consists of three floating islands. The largest island (7.45m x 28m) provides nesting sites for the birds and the two smaller islands (11.45m x 6m) contain plants for phytoremediation, These islands are vegetated with plants specially chosen to remove pollutants from the water and sediments, completing the cycle of trans- formation that began years ago with the sewage treatment process.