Arholma Island sits far out in the Baltic Sea off Stockholm; now relies on sea water for all its fresh water needs

Former Swedish Baltic Sea artillery base battles climate change with unique off-the-grid water solution

Stockholm, Sweden, May 8, 2019 – Climate change driven water scarcity almost achieved what Cold War threats failed to do – drive people off a small Swedish island far out in the most northern reaches of the Stockholm archipelago.

In a swords-to-ploughshares true life story, Bluewater – a world leader in residential, commercial and public water purification – has helped a former heavy artillery battery built deep into low granite cliffs on remote Arholma Island go off the water grid by taking water directly from the Baltic Sea to create a self-sufficient holiday lodge and restaurant for nature lovers.

“The island’s two wells unexpectedly dried up completely in 2018 because of climate change that has sparked shorter winters and dryer summers and threatened the viability of providing fresh drinking and washing water to tourists,” said Bluewater Nordic sales chief Gustaf Hagstrom.

He said Bluewater was able to save the island as a tourist attraction by using its unique second-generation reverse osmosis technology and engineering knowhow to pump water from the Baltic Sea, purify it to remove everything from viruses and bacteria to chemicals and micro-plastics and serve back to the public as drinking or shower water.

Just five kilometers long and two kilometers wide, Arholma is the northernmost island in the Stockholm archipelago.

Comprising mostly craggy rocks and old farmland, Arholma’s main claim to fame apart from its unique island environment is the once top-secret heavy artillery battery built deep into the rocks during the cold war in the 1960s to protect Sweden from a Soviet invasion.

No enemy forces ever turned up and finally the Swedish military shut down the military garrison of 340 soldiers.

For a while, the gun emplacements, kitchens, barracks and medical quarters stood empty until the local authorities decided to put the facilities to even better use, creating overnight lodgings and a welcoming restaurant for nature lovers between early June and mid-September as well as conference facilities for those looking for an unusual setting.

The water generating system used to meet all the hydration and bathing needs of staff and visitors alike incorporates three compact Bluewater Pro water purifiers, each able to generate up to 7,000 liters per day of water as clean as nature intended.

The Pro units, each little larger than old fashioned computer tower, utilise a unique Swedish technology that constantly ‘washes’ the contaminant removing membrane, which helps ensure greater water scrubbing efficiency as well as reducing energy consumption and increasing the life of the filtration system.

Additionally, the unique water generation systems leverages new advances in connectivity being applied by Bluewater to fault find, pre-empt late filter changes and check ongoing water quality.

“This facility is the first of its kind giving a chance of survival to remote island communities that can no longer rely on rainfall – and we are doing in a way that is completely sustainable by taking water directly from the brackish Baltic Sea,” said Gustaf Hagstrom (photo below).


For more information, please contact communications director David Noble at or +44 7785 302 694