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Pristine Siberian Maldives offers stunning beach views…but the pollution can damage your health

By The Siberian Times reporter
09 July 2019

A favourite for glamorous pictures by Instragram fans yet visitors are warned to take extreme care.

The English translation of it’s name - Lake Ash Dump - gives a clue that, this is not an exotic location for your next beach vacation. Picture: @tweezer_nsk

The electric blue waters are perhaps not the stereotypical image of Siberia. 

And, sadly, something IS too good to be true here, although you wouldn’t know it at first from the sumptuous pictures and videos posted from this ‘paradise’ within the boundaries of Novosibirsk, Russia’s third most populous city. 

The English translation of it’s name - Lake Ash Dump - gives a clue that, well, this is not an exotic location for your next beach vacation.

by Max Frolov


by Max Frolov


by Max Frolov


by Mikhail Reshetnikov


by Mikhail Reshetnikov

Professional photographers Max Frolov and Mikhail Reshetnikov chose the site for their photo shoots. 

And if you do come here, please don’t swim. Or fall in searching for a selfie.

The dazzling turquoise  waters are far from a natural phenomenon or a Siberian Seychelles but rather the result of a chemical reaction from the waste from a nearby power plant.  

As the company owning the plant has recently warned: ‘We beg you not to fall into the ash dump in the pursuit of selfies! 

‘That is the biggest danger.’

GV


Dead trees


Pipes


TPP-5

'It is not just a reservoir, but a hydraulic structure.’ Pictures: Dmitry Sidorovets, @maldives_nsk, Tatyana Zholobova, SGKonst

Ulyana Artamonova, co-organiser of eco-division Chisty Bereg (Clean Shore), filmed a dreamy video here as if she was on a tropical beach but soon paid a price. 

'After visiting, my face was covered with a small rash,’ she said.

She suffered from ‘a dry throat and nose’.

Other visitors say that the soles of sandals flake off after walking along the water line.

Several dozen shrivelled up trees in or near the water testify to the reality that all is not well here but as blogger Stanislav Razhev recounted ‘tens of thousands of Novosibirsk citizens and guests’ have descended on the place ‘by car, horse, quad bikes, with barbecues (and) beer’.

The lake has been described as a ‘must see fairytale location’ but visitors say it smells like washing power. 

Worse, reports allege poisonous vapour, shrivelled plants and alarmingly-tinged blue seagulls.

The Siberian Generating Company has denied any harmful radiation.

Siberian Maldives


Siberian Maldives


Siberian Maldives


Siberian Maldives


Siberian Maldives

‘This is not a city beach - there are no lifeguards on the shore and there cannot be.' Pictures: Rina Kove, @tatiana_shady_lady, Lilita Galieva, @maldives_nsk, Yana Ruppel

Indeed the power plant here uses brown coal to make electricity.

The vivid colours are a consequence: previous owners burned black coal which lacks the Maldives Effect. 

While the water is, strictly speaking, not poisonous, it can be harmful to human skin due to the high content of minerals.

It is also exceptionally muddy - so bathers can find it hard to extricate themselves from the blue waters. 

by Eva Shafran

Novosibirsk designer and photographer Eva Shafran was one of the first, who discovered the strange beauty of this location.

Officially swimming here is ‘prohibited’.

Photographer Mikhail Reshetnikov said: ‘When you drive up to this lake, there is a very strong smell of laundry detergent, of alkali… 

‘Naturally, there is no desire to touch such water. 

‘You just feel that this is not a safe place.' 

The company said: 'Walking along the ash dump is like walking at a military training ground - dangerous and undesirable, as it is not just a reservoir, but a hydraulic structure.’

This refers to the piping structure that gushes the ash-laden water into the lake. 

The company has warned: ‘This is not a city beach - there are no lifeguards on the shore and there cannot be. 

Wedding


Mom with newborn

Locals celebrate here the weddings and come with newborn children. Pictures: Social media

‘The water in the ash dump is not for drinking, but technical, that is, it contains dissolved salts of calcium and other metal oxides, as well as high pH. 

‘This water is used only to transport ash. 

‘Skin contact with such water may cause local allergic reactions due to high mineralisation.' 

As one user stated: ‘It’s not Chernobyl, for sure, but still unsafe.’

And as Razhev said, visitors are only adding to the solution here by littering the local environment. 

He urged people not to spoil it even more.

It’s not Chernobyl, for sure, but still unsafe.’ Pictures: @elenmild, @cvetyvvolosah, Nsk Life 

Siberian Maldives


Siberian Maldives


Novosibirsk city on the background

Comments (2)

Toxic lake, but It looks to grow beautiful women.
Charlie, Nashville, TN USA
11/07/2019 12:16
1
0
must be something bad indeed. not one of the local beauties are being photographed in the water...
MORAK Benedikjt, Moscow
10/07/2019 03:56
3
0
1

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