Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive

The Directive regulates all stages of the waste water treatment process, and, to some extent, sewage sludge handling. In Article 14, the directive confirms the principles of the Waste Framework Directive, stating that sludge shall be re-used whenever appropriate, but it does not specify any more precise requirements except that “disposal routes shall minimise the adverse effects on the environment”. The same article prohibits sludge disposal to surface waters or dumping from ships and discharge from pipelines after 1 January 1999. The directive additionally obliges member states to establish secondary treatment of urban waste water by a process generally involving biological treatment with a secondary clarifier by 31 May 2005.

Article 16 of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive requires reporting on sludge disposal every two years: relevant authorities in the area transmit information to the Commission via the national level.