A letter has been delivered via the Norwegian “Posten”. It was sent by the local medical officer, Dr. Geir Strømmen, and is in fact a report of the results of the meeting that took place at E-CO power station in Hovet, on April 18, 2016. The theme of the meeting is the noise pollution created by E-CO Energi’s hydro power plant. The report finished with an advice for E-CO.
I have decided to create a special post with a summery of the meeting and the letter. To get informed about all what happened before this positive message has been received, it is needed to start here. Photo: the letter with the positive news.
- In the intro of the letter is explained, shortly, the history of the case, of the E-CO power station in Hovet. In 1949 the turbine has been installed that has been replaced by the new one in 2009. This from 1949 turbine became too old, and to avoid accidents and damage, plans have been made for new turbines, which have been realized in 2009. Additional info from the owner of the house, who was in the meeting: The other reason for installing new turbines was to create more electricity, to increase the production. However, the material of the new turbines was not the same: it was lighter, and soon the problems started. The project leader of E-CO, Eirik Bøkko, has searched, together with a team of specialists, where the problems might come from, what exactly was creating the noise. The power station has even been closed for a while. When dismounting the new turbines, the blades showed even little bursts. A lot of adjustments have been made, not only in the power station, also outside, around the pipes: material to muffle the pipes has been built around the pipes, all to diminish the noise pollution. However: the noise pollution is still created from the top, there where the pipes are not muffled.
- There are two different sources of noise pollution: one from the power station itself, and the other one from the top of the pipes: the not muffled parts. This was a remark of the owner of the house in the meeting, so: an excellent and important add, a new point of view within the case.
- During the night the noise pollution is experienced the strongest, not because the electricity production goes up, but because all other daily sounds or noises are completely gone. All is silent, and then the intense monotonous zooming has a much stronger effect. (When all instruments of an orchestra stop and just one little triangle is sounding pianissimo, this is heard with a huge impact, on the audience.)
- Stopping the turbines in the night is impossible because of the frost: the water in the pipes will freeze, and when melting in the morning the ice will damage the turbines and the pipes. Note: in Norway even huge water falls are frozen in winter. The turbines are a kind of an artificial water fall, about 230 meters high.
- Though the decibels are not above the limit of 50, in case human beings get health problems with it, one has to search for solutions.
- There are already plans for a new E-CO power station, in Hovet, and this will be built beneath the surface of the earth.
- There are also plans to increase the production. This will increase the noise pollution.
- Chapter three of the Folkehelseloven (the law about public health) writes that measurements for noise pollution must take place on several (different) locations outside the power station, in the surroundings, on several times (day-evening-night). Also measurements from inside the power station: the production power, on which hour and day, to be able to compare the production power, on which hour, day, with the noise pollution results from the measures taken outside.
- There is an advice from the Kommuneoverlege to E-CO, on behalf of public health care, to make more research as there has been via Stamina group. (Hjelp24)