Reservoirs in the Kherson, Odesa, and Mykolaiv regions of Ukraine are facing a grave environmental crisis as certain indicators surpass established hygiene and sanitary standards.
At least 30% of water samples taken from surface water and recreation areas fail to meet hygiene requirements, according to a report by Ukraine’s Ministry of Health.
The Odesa region emerges as the epicenter of this hazardous situation, with constant and significant breaches in sanitary-chemical, microbiological, and toxicological indicators.
Deputy Minister of Health and Chief State Sanitary Doctor Ihor Kuzin highlighted the findings of daily monitoring by experts.
Microbial contamination of surface water bodies, including the Black Sea, rivers, and the Dnipro riverbed, has been alarmingly widespread.
Studies in virology, microbiology, and parasitology reveal that the Odesa region exhibits the most significant deviations from safety indicators.
In response to the escalating concerns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention promptly notify local authorities of changes in water quality and safety indicators, while also issuing public warnings and implementing swimming bans.
Presently, swimming bans are in effect in the Odesa, Kherson, and Mykolaiv regions.
To address the critical situation, approximately 40 monitoring points have been established along the riverbed in areas affected by the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.
Additional monitoring locations have been set up along the seacoast in the Odesa, Mykolaiv, and Kherson regions.
These monitoring efforts are crucial, as dangerous pathogens such as salmonella, rotavirus, worm eggs and larvae, and Escherichia coli have been detected in the contaminated waters.
In response to the escalating crisis, the Ministry of Health has formed 97 rapid response teams specializing in biological, chemical, and radiation threats.
These teams operate under the auspices of the Centralized Center for Chemical and Biological Defense.
The Ministry of Health urgently appeals to citizens to prioritize their health and abstain from swimming in the affected water bodies.
Furthermore, fishing in these regions and the collection of dead fish in areas experiencing mass mortality is strictly prohibited.
The fish in these waters may harbor pathogens, parasites, or hazardous chemicals, rendering them unsafe for consumption regardless of cooking methods.
The partial collapse of the Kakhovka dam has caused significant damage and threatens to become Ukraine’s worst ecological disaster since the Chornobyl nuclear meltdown.