Illustrative photo – The vicinity of the bridge over the Bečva River near Hustopečí nad Bečvou in the Přerovsk region, where fishermen recorded the first poisoning of fish in the picture from September 15, 2021.
Vsetín – Energoaqua Wastewater Treatment Plant Technologist Radek Vetyška denied that the company caused the accident on the Bečva River. He stated that two days after the September 2020 poisoning, for which Energoaqua is being sued together with its director Oldřich Havelka, he took water samples at the company's outlet and in the operation of the treatment plant and handed them over to the company's laboratory. According to him, the laboratory workers determined the amount of cyanides and pH in the water. “The samples were fine, they were below the limit, they were low,” Vetyška said today at the Vsetín District Court, which is hearing the ecological disaster.
According to the indictment, Energoaqua caused pollution of Bečva with cyanide and hexavalent chromium on at least 37 kilometers of the river. The representative of the company Vladimír Kurka and Havelka denied the guilt. For damaging and endangering the environment and unauthorized handling of protected wild animals and wild plants, Havelka faces up to five years in prison, a ban on the company's activities and a fine.
Energoaqua manages the factory site in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm in the Vsetín region. It also provides wastewater treatment. They leave the area via the canal that flows into Bečva in Valašské Meziříčí. According to prosecutor Jiří Sachro, it was through this channel that cyanides and hexavalent chromium got into the river, which resulted in the massive death of more than 39 tons of fish.
Witness Vetyšek stated that he was in charge of treating all cyanide waters that flowed into the waste water treatment plant of the Energoaqua company. “I last treated these waters in June 2020,” Vetyška said. The crash happened on September 20 of the same year.
According to Vetyška, only the Liss company delivered cyanide water to Energoaqua for cleaning, in containers. Cyanide water was subsequently stored in pits, where Vetyška treated it chemically. Only when the amount of cyanide and chlorine in this water was below the set limits, he pumped it to the treatment plant for further processing, according to the technologist's testimony. The witness denied that the waste water from the Tesla site leaves anywhere other than through the waste water treatment plant.
After the accident, representatives of the Czech Environmental Inspectorate (ČIŽP) were at the treatment plant for inspection. According to Vetyška, one of them informed the workers of the Energoaqua company that the poisoning came from there, as there were dead fish 300 meters below the outlet of the company. However, a number of fishermen, other witnesses and representatives of the defendant company claim that the first caught fish appeared approximately 3.5 kilometers below this outlet, and the source of the pollution must therefore have been further down the stream. During the next visit to the treatment plant, according to Vetyška, the ČIŽP inspector denied his previous statement about the location of the first dead fish. “Since then, I've been thinking that it's been recorded on us,” Vetyška said.
The poisoning hit the river in the section below Valašský Meziříčí as far as Přerov. The main trial began at the end of January this year, and should continue on March 22.