Russian investigators have opened a criminal case after finding pollution levels in a local river far exceeded norms, with ethyl alcohol levels charted at 5,400 times the acceptable limit.
This was just one of several indicators reported Friday by the North-Western Transport Investigation Department that the Novaya river in St. Petersburg is over-polluted.
Investigators found high levels of butyl alcohol, isopropanol, and acetone as well as ethylene glycol. These chemicals are flammable, solvent or used in anti-freezes and can be toxic.
Regional authorities recently filed a case against the local Pulkovo airport to cease sewage runoff into nearby rivers and canals. Officials believe the airport is responsible for high levels of harmful substances.
Bad smells as well as dead fish and ducks have been reported in the river.