space
About UNEP
space
space
United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
top image
space
space space space
space
space
Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>

7.3.3 Wastewater treatment in the other transition countries and the CIS

For other transition countries it is difficult to come to any conclusion. In countries facing wars, like in the states of former Yugoslavia, or in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia large improvements cannot be expected. Unfortunately, no data or information were available for these countries.

In the Russian Federation wastewater treatment experiences huge regional differences. In the cities, treatment facilities exist but their efficiency is dependent on the degree of maintenance and reconstruction. A good example is the wastewater management projects within the watersheds that provide drinking water for Moscow. With the support of USEPA, World Bank and international enterprises, in three regions around Moscow (Tver, Dimitrov, and Smolensk) modern industrial and municipal wastewater treatment and disposal facilities are establish to improve considerably the situation in this densely populated and polluted area (WHO, 1996). In rural areas wastewater treatment facilities are rare and mostly of low efficiency.

In most CIS countries the major problem is the poor quality and inefficiency of treatment plants due to the technical state and capacity of existing installations. Insufficiently trained personnel, lack of treatment chemicals and spare parts are other general problems. In most rural areas there are no treatment facilities at all. Often, in less developed rural parts, most of the people are not informed about the potential hazards of untreated sewage on human health and so not much effort is undertaken from the community level to improve the situation.

In Albania there are no wastewater treatment facilities at all to serve the collection systems in any municipality. Therefore, collected domestic and industrial sewage is discharged untreated into surface waters and the Mediterranean, regardless of beaches used for bathing (WSSCC, 1997).

According to the EPR, 1999, in Croatia in 1997, just over 20% of all wastewater was treated, with large regional disparities. Special emphasis is given along the Adriatic coast in order to improve bathing water quality. Sea outfall pipes have been built in four towns on the coast. It is considered, that for the time being mechanical treatment is sufficient, because of the inefficiency of biological treatment during two or three months in summer when the population increases up to 30-fold at the coastal region.

Within the Danube Convention, 22 pollution hotspots were listed in Croatia, mostly municipal wastewater discharges of large towns. In 1994, a new municipal treatment plant was built in Rijeka, and other projects are under construction in Split and Kastela Bay (first step: only mechanical treatment). The war destroyed several treatment plants, which are not yet rebuilt, because priority has been given to the reconstruction of the water supply system.

On Croatian islands there are only a few sewage systems. For the most part, wastewater is discharged into the sea after simple preliminary settling. Biological facilities are rare and the quality of their treatment is questionable.

In general, the bulk of Croatian wastewater (81% in 1997) is only mechanically treated, which means poor performance yields, except for suspended solids, and a poor effect on dissolved pollution. About 6% of wastewater is biologically treated and 13% is subjected to combined treatment. The reduction in pollution load is estimated at about 25% of the water treated. Sludge production by wastewater treatment plants is not recorded. Wastewater from industry (30% in 1996) is discharged through domestic sewer systems into municipal treatment plants, as industry is obliged to use and contribute to the plants where they exist. Another part of industrial wastewater is discharged directly or after preliminary treatment into surface waters.

Since wastewater treatment was made a priority a few years ago, many municipal installations have been or are being built, but their ability to operate is not always a given. Quit often, municipalities invested in installations, but now do not have the money to cover the loans and so operation and maintenance is hampered. The result is bypassing the often non-operational treatment facilities and discharging the effluents untreated. The water agency (Hrvaske Vode) is trying to finance, at least partly, new projects to equip more urban areas.

7.3.4 Three EEA baseline scenarios for the implementation of the UWWTD in the AC10

At present, about 40% of the population of the AC 10 is not connected to sewers. Thus, the effect of implementation of the UWWT-directive will depend significantly on the development of sewage treatment in the coming years. To make the possible effects more visible, the European Environmental Agency (EEA, 1999) proposed three future “what ifEscenarios for the AC 10. All three scenarios are based on the following assumptions:

- the AC 10 population remains constant at 105 million persons,
- only the population connected to wastewater treatment and not industrial discharges to urban wastewater plants will be considered and
- the rural population (31 % of the total population) will not be connected to sewers.

Scenario A

Moderate development of sewage and wastewater treatment as a requirement for normal areas (secondary treatment).

All cities larger than 10,000 inhabitants (50% of the population) will be connected to sewers and all their wastewater will receive secondary (biological) treatment. In cities with 2,000 to 10,000 inhabitants (19% of the total population) half of the population will not be connected to sewers and half will receive secondary treatment. Except for the Czech and Slovak Republics where all wastewater will receive secondary treatment. In this scenario the population not connected to sewers will fall by 1 million compared to the present situation. About 41 million persons or 39 % of the total will not be connected to the sewers. The majority of wastewater will be treated by biological treatment according to the UWWT Directive. A small proportion of the wastewater will be treated by secondary treatment plus nutrient removal.

Scenario B

High effort on sewage development and wastewater treatment as a requirement for normal areas (secondary treatment).

All cities larger than 2,000 inhabitants (69% of the total population) will be connected to sewers and wastewater treatment. All wastewater in the cities with more than 2,000 inhabitants will receive secondary (biological) treatment. In this scenario more sewage will be developed compared to scenario A. The population connected to sewers will increase by 9 million compared to the present situation. About 33 million persons or 31% of the total wastewater will not be connected to sewers. The majority of wastewater will be treated by biological treatment according to the UWWT Directive. A small proportion of the wastewater will be treated by secondary treatment plus nutrient removal.

Scenario C

High effort on sewage development and wastewater treatment as a requirement for sensitive areas (secondary treatment plus nutrient removal).

This scenario assumes a high effort on sewage development and wastewater treatment, with the whole country designated as a sensitive area. All cities larger than 2,000 inhabitants (69% of the total population) will be connected to sewers and wastewater treatment plants. All wastewater in the cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants will receive tertiary treatment (biological plus nutrient removal). In cities with 2,000 to 10,000 inhabitants (19% of the population) the wastewater will receive secondary treatment. In this scenario the percentage of the population not connected to sewers and treatment is similar to scenario B. In total 19% of the wastewater will be treated by secondary treatment and half of the wastewater will be treated by tertiary treatment. Finally, all countries except Slovenia, will have more than 40% of the wastewater treated in treatment plants with nutrient removal.

The predicted changes are illustrated in figure 7.3. The proportion of the population not connected to wastewater treatment is expected to decrease from current 40% to about 31% under scenarios B and C. At present most wastewater discharges are untreated or mechanically treated. In future wastewater will be either biologically treated (scenario A and B), or biologically with nutrient removal (scenario C). Scenario C is similar to the expected situation in the present EU following the implementation of the UWWT Directive. Only the proportion of population not connected to sewers is still higher in the Accession Countries.

Under scenario A and B, the extent of biological treatment of wastewater is expected to increase from the current 31% to 59% and 67%, respectively by 2010.

Figure 7.3: Development in wastewater treatment in the AC 10 according to EEA scenarios (EEA, 1999, ETC/IW, 1998)

The implementation of scenario A and B might result in a 60% reduction of discharged organic matter from currently 1.1 million tonnes to 0.45 million tonnes. Scenario C would give a reduction of about 65% compared to the current value. The discharged amount of nutrients for scenario A and B would decrease by 12% and 10% for phosphorus and nitrogen respectively. For scenario C a 50% reduction in phosphorus and 40% reduction in nitrogen discharges could be expected in 2010. This would potentially reduce the nitrate and phosphorus load from rivers in the AC 10 to both the Baltic and Black seas by around 15% and 28% respectively.

Figure 7.4: Change in emissions from urban wastewater plants in the AC 10 as result of the EEA scenarios (EEA, 1999, ETC/IW, 1998)

* Phosphorus discharges should be divided by the factor 10.
Note: (BOD5 and N tot in k tonnes, P tot in ktonnes/10)

The costs for the most radical implementation of the UWWT Directive (scenario C) in the AC 10 are estimated at 9 billion EUR (about 100 EUR per capita) only for the construction of treatment plants. Extra cost will arise for additional sewer construction and sludge treatment and its disposal.

For the AC 10, data on municipal wastewater treatment was gathered from the European Environmental Agency (EEA, 1995b and 1998c) and data on municipal and industrial wastewater was provided by UN/ECE IEDS. Both sources were checked by the countries and subsequently used in this chapter.

 

      Main Menu

          

  • Brochure
  • IETC Brochure


  • International Year of Forests
  • International Year of Forests


  • World Environment Day
  • ??????


  • UNEP Campaign
  • UNite to Combat Climate Change