Mystically, another dam of same firm fails

With bottom gate for Kunda hydroelectric plant reservoir administrated by AS Generaator pried open for unknown reason this weekend, Monday night Valgejõgi River dam in Kuusalu Parish, Harju County owned by same company gave way. 

Environmental Board says the reservoir created next to Valgejõgi River was illegal, lacking licence for special use of water. Even so, chief specialist Rein Urman said no-one had been there to demolish the dam – in all likelihood, the dilapidated structure just gave way.

The reservoir had a licence till May 25th this year but extension thereof has not been applied for. Even so, it was used by tourism fishing provider Kotka Forell to fill his pools. From it fish farm, the company brought trout into the pools and let tourists fish them out. At the moment, signs at Kotka Forell gate say the enterprise is temporarily closed. Meanwhile, pools still hold enough water to keep the fish alive for some time.

«Owners of Kotka Forell attempted to begin fixing the dam on Monday but Environmental Board halted the activity,» said Mr Urman. «The Board keeps an eye on the reservoir and sees to it that no illegal activity happens. Also, local fishermen are keeping an eye on the reservoir, to my knowledge they watched it the whole night.»

According to Mr Urman, Kotka Forell needs to file application if they want to pump water straight from Valgejõgi River. «For Environmental Board, licence for the dam to be rebuilt is excluded as Valgejõgi River had great potential for natural renewal of salmon and trout and the dam was in the way of that,» explained Mr Urman.

Valgejõgi River is among the ten main rivers in Estonia where salmon spawns. According to scientists, with all spawning areas accessible for salmon, 16,000 young salmons would yearly descend into the sea from there. «That’s a very large amount,» underlined Mr Urman.

While Environmental Board says the dam on Valgejõgi fell apart by itself, its administrator AS Generaator was not aware of the assessment at noon yesterday.

Its chief Jan Niilo said that Kotka Forell got alarmed on Monday as water was disappearing from behind the dam. Mr Niilo said it was discovered that two dam poles had been pulled up and water was gushing out. «Highly suspicious, at any rate, very difficult to comment. What is happening is outright unbelievable,» said Jan Niilo.

This, Kotka Forell head Yury Zelezinskiy confirms: «Indeed, on Monday we discovered the water had flowed out and we had trouble on our hands.» Mr Zelezinskiy desired not to speculate if it was a baddy at work or just the nature.