Braviken Paper Mill is located on Bråviken, which is a relatively deep bay in the Baltic Sea.
Bråviken as a receiving body of water is monitored by the Motala Ström Water Conservation Association, of which Braviken Paper Mill is a member. This association submits an annual report of tests on the level of pollution and other factors of significance to the condition of the water throughout the aquatic system.
The description of the condition of Bråviken below is based on data from the Motala Ström Water Conservation's compilation for 2016. The Motala Ström Water Conservation Association's compilation for 2017 will be posted on the website motalastrom.se in May 2018.
The north coast of Bråviken is a fault scarp with a few vertical, tall cliffs that tumble down to the bay. The southern shore of Bråviken is significantly flatter and largely consists of farmland. At the innermost point of the bay, Bråviken is fairly shallow and has a large inflow of freshwater from the River Motala Ström. Water turnover is relatively rapid in the bay, and the entire volume of water is replaced in about one month. The coastal waters of Bråviken are affected by nutrient inputs from agriculture in the southern reaches and by inward transport from the whole catchment basin of the Motala Ström.
An overall assessment has been made of the status of the coastal points with regard to nutrients according to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's principles of assessment. The assessment was carried out over three years (2014–2016). The assessment includes summer values for total nitrogen and total phosphorus with winter values for total nitrogen, total phosphorus, dissolved inorganic nitrogen and dissolved inorganic phosphorus. The status of the inner reaches of Bråviken, which are close to the Braviken Paper Mill, was unsatisfactory in 2014–2016. According to the Motala Ström Water Conservation Association summary for 2014–2016, the status was unchanged in inner Bråviken compared with measurements for the previous year. The status as regards total nitrogen was much better than the status for total phosphorus.
Points which were not below the limit value stated in the principles of assessment (3.5 ml/l in the bottom water) in any measurement have been classified as having high status (no oxygen deficiency occurs). The status of the inner reaches of Bråviken was high in 2014–2016.
The status of the coastal points with regard to visible depth has been assessed on the basis of the principles of assessment. The status of the inner reaches of Bråviken was unsatisfactory in 2014–2016. In the coastal waters, there is a clear link between visible depth and chlorophyll levels. The visible depth is often less in the summer, due to the higher quantity of particles in the water, in the form of plankton. Visible depth can therefore be a good indicator of plankton levels in the water, which in turn is affected by the supply of nutrients. If sampling is performed close to major freshwater inflows with high levels of humus and clay particles due to high surface run-off, this may have an impact on the visible depth.