Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
Water use and wastewater discharge
In 1998 the volume of
wastewater discharged into surface water was reduced by 3.5 km3 as
compared to 1997 (Table 7.11). This
reduction was the result of a reduced use of water for irrigation and for
industrial production, because of the further close down of industrial and
agricultural enterprises. In 1998, only 13.7% (2.5 km3) of the
produced wastewater, which requires treatment, was treated according to the
standards. The reasons were overloading and low efficiency of the operating
wastewater treatment plants (State Water Inventory, 04/1999).
Table 7.11: Water
use and wastewater discharge of the Russian Federation
in 1997 and 1998 (million m3)
||% to 1997
of water users (enterprises)
|Total water use
|Municipal drinking-water use
|Other water use
|Total wastewater discharge
|Wastewater discharge into surface waters
|Of which: polluted water
|Of which: without any treatment
|Wastewater, which do not need
according to the standards
|Of which biological treated
|Capacity of treatment plants
bulletin of the State Water Inventory, No. 01/99 of the Ministry of Natural
Data on water abstraction and
wastewater discharge are also available for all 89 administrative regions of
the Russian Federation.
of wastewater in 1998 for the Russian Federation are shown in table 7.12. Data
were taken from the information bulletin of the State Water Inventory, No.
Table 7.12: Wastewater
characteristic for 1997 and 1998 of the Russian Federation (1000 t)
|Surface-active synthetic substances
In 1998, 39% (21,985 km3) of all wastewater, discharged
into surface water, was polluted. Of these polluted wastewater 31% came from
industry and 55% from municipalities. In industry the largest amount of
wastewater is produced by the energy and heating sector, the chemical and oil
producing industry, the paper industry and black metallurgy.
In general, since 1990 the
volume of discharged wastewater decreased (see Figure 7.6). Only in some
economic sectors an increase of polluted wastewater occurred which is linked to
the fact that wastewater which was not treated in the past now belongs to a
wastewater category which is subject to treatment.
Figure 7.6: Overview of the discharge of wastewater
in the Russian Federation for 1990-1998
Source: State Water Inventory,
No. 03/99 of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
In Russia, in 1998, 55.7 km3
of wastewater (including water from mines and irrigation) was discharged into
surface water. Out of this amount, about 33% (18.3 km3) received
treatment. Out of this 33% treated wastewater, only 13.7% was treated according
to the standards, i.e. by biological treatment (State Water Inventory,
04/1999). Furthermore, most of the Russian municipal wastewater treatment
plants were built 20-30 years ago. The
aim was to achieve BOD and SM values of 10-15 mg/l in wastewater. During
biological treatment, the content of heavy metals is reduced by about 40-80%,
for oil pollution about 20-80%, for surface active synthetic substances up to
50%, for N-NH4 and phosphorus by 25-30% etc. At present, the
efficiency of the treatment plants is however not always satisfactory because
of overloading, difficulties in maintenance and reconstruction, etc.
Thus, the projected treatment level can not
always be reached (Zhmur, 1999).
Quite often, the biological
treatment already includes some nitrogen and phosphorous removal, as well as
the removal of oil products. In the tertiary treatment, after filtering, the
BOD20 will be reduced from 15-20mg/l to 6-8 mg/l, which is still
higher than the 3mg/l demanded by law for discharge into surface water.
In smaller rural settlements more and more
compact pre-build treatment facilities are used.
As it was already the case in
the former USSR, industrial enterprises are obliged by law to build
pre-treatment facilities. Whether these pre-treatment facilities are used
depends mostly on the financial situation of the enterprise. There is a lot of
research to improve treatment processes, but the practical implementation of
R&D results is still to costly. In previous times, there was a trend to
centralise wastewater treatment and build a large treatment plant per region.
Today, wastewater treatment will be decentralised, depending on the main
sources of pollution and on the degree of pollution. A growing problem is the
oil pollution in cities as well as in areas where the oil is withdrawn.
Only a few big cities in
Russia have separate rainwater systems. St. Petersburg is equipped with a
combined system, but in newly built areas a separate system has been
introduced. In other Russian cities, separate systems are only available in
smaller parts of the city area. As a general rule, storm-water receives only
mechanical treatment. In some cases oil products are taken out by membrane
Treated wastewater is not
reused, neither for irrigation, gardens, parks etc. In the summer month, some
grey-water of rural households is used for irrigation of gardens and green
areas around holiday homes. For the time being, freshwater is less expensive
than treated wastewater, so people mostly use freshwater for gardens, parks and
Sludge is not yet reused or
incinerated, but there are some pilot projects running. Only a small amount is
used in forestry as fertiliser. Human
excreta is disposed on land, sometimes staying in the pit, which will be closed
down. Animal excrement is sometimes used as fertiliser on fields, depending on
the transport capacity of the agricultural enterprise. Chemical fertilisers
were in the past always available being less expensive and having a better
storage capacity. Now most of the former large agricultural enterprises
(kolchos) do not exist anymore. Private enterprises often do not have the
transport capacity to carry the composted sludge to remote fields. Disposal
fields and the distribution as fertiliser in rural areas are often not controlled.
The use of cooling water has
also declined during the last years. It is mostly used in closed cycles and
only 10-15% of the cooling water is being discharged. The high salt content of
this water requires treatment by law. Treated cooling water is often reused as
cooling water or for the irrigation of nearby gardens and holiday homes.
is used in Russia. Because of the high fees and penalties for exceeding the
water quality standards, most of the resources were invested into industrial
pre-treatment (tertiary treatment) of wastewater. Before a pre-treatment
facility is approved by the administration, it has to be projected in such a
way that it achieves the stringent water quality standards. In practice, however,
these standards will rarely be achieved by pre-treatment facilities.
Most enterprises get
exceptional contracts which are limited in time within which they are allowed
to exceed the pollution standards to a certain extent for selected parameters.
If the enterprises does not comply with the contact conditions, they have to
pay penalties to the Ecological Funds, of which 50% goes to the Federal and 50%
to the Regional Ecological Fund. These funds are one financial basis for
modernisation and construction of new municipal treatment plants. An
appropriate financial stimulation for enterprises to improve technology and
install environmentally- friendly technology is lacking. An attempt to switch
gradually to international standards for Water Quality, like those of the
European Union, would also encourage foreign and national investors to
strengthen the economy in the country.
Furthermore, enterprises have
to pay for water abstraction and wastewater treatment to the responsible State
enterprise Vodokanal. The price depends on the region and the river basin where
the enterprise is situated. For water abstraction, the costs are between 39 -
104 Rubels/1000m3 and for wastewater discharges between 4,5 - 17.7
The urban and rural
population has to pay for centralised drinking water supply (cold and warm
water), heating and wastewater collection/treatment.
Prices differ throughout the country and can be up to 30% of the
apartment rent. Until now these expenses for centralised services show little
impact on the drinking water demand for households, which is still slightly
increasing. In rural areas with decentralised systems (water abstraction from
wells) people pay for freshwater abstraction and energy. Not all households are
able or willing to pay for these services.
To further stimulate
the rational water use, a new reform was introduced in 1999. The expenses for
water and heating for the population will further increase (depending on
capita/family income) and the expenses for enterprises will decrease to
encourage economic growth. Today about 80% of the Russian population pays for
water and heating. To increase that percentage and to make payments more
reliable, water-meters will be stepwise introduced. At present, water-meters
exist mostly one per house and every household pays an average. In some
buildings the upper floors do not always get water due to a lack of water
pressure. To stimulate the rational use of water per household, every apartment
will get its own water-meter in the future. First this will be implemented for
Moscow and some other industrial centres.