Freshwater - National Responses (Poland)

SOER 2010 Common environmental theme (Deprecated) expired
This page was archived on 21 Mar 2015 with reason: A new version has been published
SOER Common environmental theme from Poland
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 21 Mar 2015

Water protection in Poland has a strong legal basis in the form of the Water Act and its implementing regulations, the Environment Protection Law, the Inland Waterways Act and the Fisheries and Inland Fisheries Act (

Strategic documents:


Poland is currently working on a National Strategy for Water Management until 2030, which will formulate the main lines of action to ensure universal access to clean water and the reduction of the risks associated with floods and droughts.

Current programmes and initiatives limiting the pollution of waters with phosphorus and nitrogen in Poland are as follows:

  • The National Programme for Municipal Waste Water Treatment (NPMWWT) which aims to construct, expand and modernise communal sewage networks and waste water treatment plants and implement the provisions of the Accession Treaty (referring to Council Directive 91/271/EEC). The programme assumes that Poland will achieve the EU quality standards for waste water discharged into the aquatic environment from sewage treatment plants and achieve a 75 % reduction in the total nitrogen and phosphorus load in municipal waste water across its territory in order to protect surface waters, including marine waters, from eutrophication.
  • The HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan – one of the objectives is to improve the ecological status of the waters of the Baltic Sea, mainly by gradually reducing nutrient discharges from land-based sources entering the Baltic through river basins, or as a result of wet and dry atmospheric deposition. The objectives of the Baltic Sea Action Plan are consistent with the objectives set out in Poland’s water and environmental programmes and the tasks defined to prevent eutrophication do not go beyond the actions set out in other programmes.
  • A law limiting the phosphorus content in detergents and washing powers to 6 % has been in force in Poland since 1991
  • An obligation to mark detergents and washing powders, indicating an approved phosphorus content below 6 % of product weight has been in force since December 1995. Certificates are issued by the Polish Centre for Testing and Certification (PCTC).

In the framework of agricultural pollution prevention activities in Poland over 900 projects to allow the secure manure storage have been carried out. Educational activities and guidance on good agricultural practices have also been provided. The result of NPMWWT implementation is productivity growth of over 35 % in municipal sewage treatment plants during the period 1995-2008. At the same time, the percentage of the population served by municipal sewage treatment plants has increased from 42 % to 63.1 % (86.9 % for urban and 25.7 % for rural areas). The number of sewage treatment plants serving villages has risen from 433 to 2 213. In 2008, 98.6 % of cities were served by sewage treatment plants.

Fig. 11 Urban population using water supply-sewage networks and sewage treatment plants (Source: GUS)


The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

Sign up to receive our reports (print and/or electronic) and quarterly e-newsletter.
Follow us
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100