Urban wastewater treatment
Assessment made on 01 Jan 2001
ClassificationWater (Primary theme)
Policy issue: How effective are Europe's policies for urban wastewater treatment?
The Directive sets out what sort of treatment systems (primary, secondary and tertiary) are required in different situations - for example making secondary treatment systems, which use biological processes to break down organic material, essential wherever discharges flow directly into fresh waters or estuaries.
The Directive is resulting in increased treatment capacity in all EU countries except Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands, where it was already sufficient. The largest increase will be seen in southern Europe and Ireland.
As a result, the EU's collection and treatment systems should be able to cope with all organic discharges from most Member States by 2005, reducing nutrient and organic matter pollution further. The most significant improvements are expected to be seen in levels of phosphorous and biochemical oxygen demand in southern Europe.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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