April 15, 2024

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St. Gallen: Hundreds of projectiles found on the banks of the Citter River


St. GallenWhat are hundreds of old projectiles doing in Citter?

On the north bank of the Sitter, hundreds of old shell casings are lying around and rotting. There is a shooting range nearby. Where do they come from and what impact does their fate have on the environment?

Jasmine's sister-in-law
  • A resident of St. Gallen found hundreds of old cartridges while walking through Citter.

  • The bullets were already heavily corroded by the weather.

  • According to the Office for the Environment, projectiles do not pose any danger to nature, people or animals. But a survey of affected areas is planned for this year or next.

A resident of St. Gallen found hundreds of old cartridges while walking through Citter. These must have been deposited on the banks of the river for ages due to climate. As the inventor reported in his report to the city registrar, they were badly rusted.

The resident is concerned about the environment and contacts the city with a request: “Next time Sitter flood Some of it is likely to wash away. Please feel free to clean this trash.

Given the close proximity of the cartridge residues to the Osenweed shooting range, it is reasonable to assume that they were fired from there. However, their leader Markus Enns can deny this with a clear conscience.

“We haven't shot there in probably 20 years.”

“These projectiles are probably a good 50 or 60 years old. But when our club took over this shooting range 20 years ago, the entire facility was renovated,” says Ens. Bullet trap boxes were retrofitted to ensure that no projectiles end up in nature.

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“As a shooting club, we collect all our bullets. The way it works is that the projectiles hit the steel plates and scatter there, landing directly in the bullet trap boxes. Once a year, a special company comes to take away the leftovers and dispose of them properly.

According to Enz, the city has been aware since last fall that old munitions are still washing up at the site and they are working to fix the problem.

How complex are old projectiles in nature?

The Environment Office of the Province of St. Gallen has made it all clear. “This area has been used as a training ground by the military and various clubs for many years. Before such bullet trap boxes were used, firing was done directly at the earth wall. Heinrich Adler, an expert on contaminated sites, explains, “It is still full of projectiles.

However, due to erosion of the sitters and changes in the course of the river, these can be washed away and then end up in the river or on the banks. “The projectiles don't have any impact on water quality because of the great dilution. But you don't want waste in the water and you don't want people coming in contact with munitions residue, so we take care of that,” Adler said.

According to Adler, projectiles inside the earth wall pose no immediate danger: “If the area is used for agriculture it will only be a problem for people and animals. But since this area is a nature reserve, there will be no problem in the future,” he said.

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What happens now to the projectiles in the sitter?

The Environment and City Office plans to dredge the river bed and banks around the river in the affected areas. According to Adler, the project will be implemented this year or next year.

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