Urban Waste Water Treatment
Wastewater is a term that is used to describe waste material that includes industrial liquid waste and sewage waste that is collected in towns and urban areas and treated at Urban Wastewater Treatment Plants (UWWTPs).
A system for the licensing or certification of Waste Water Discharges (WWD) from areas served by Local Authority sewer networks was brought into effect under the Waste Water Discharge Regulations, 2007. This framework ensures that the urban wastewater treatment plants that are operated by the Local Authorities are regulated by the EPA.
The European Council Directive 91/271/EEC concerning urban waste-water treatment was adopted on 21 May 1991. Its objective is to protect the environment from the adverse effects of urban waste water discharges and discharges from certain industrial sectors (see Annex III of the Directive) and concerns the collection, treatment and discharge of:
- Domestic waste water
- Mixture of waste water
- Waste water from certain industrial sectors
All discharges to the aquatic environment from sewerage systems owned, managed and operated by water service authorities will require a waste water discharge license or certificate of authorisation from the EPA. The authorities are required to apply to the Agency for a license or certificate of authorisation by set dates depending on the population equivalent of the area served by the sewer network.