FEAD Welcomes the European Parliament Vote on the Revision of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive

FEAD, the European Waste Management Association, welcomes yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament’s plenary session on the revision of the Urban Wastewater treatment Directive. FEAD is aware of the importance of updated legislation on wastewater and the role of the waste management industry to “protect the environment from adverse effects of wastewater discharges from urban sources and specific industries”.

Three important issues affecting the sector have been addressed in the new proposal: micropollutants, which are now detected in all waters in the Union, the increasing pressure on water resources, resulting in permanent or temporary water scarcity in some areas and the energy consumption of the sector and its potential to produce renewable energy.

FEAD supports the introduction of the quaternary treatment to ensure the removal of a large spectrum of micropollutants from urban wastewater and the polluter-pays principle, as also reflected in the European Parliaments position. However, we believe that the Commission’s proposal to cover smaller plants (from 100.00 p.e.) should be maintained in the forthcoming negotiations. The need to extend the scope of the treatment to those products containing microplastics is essential, and we trust the Commission’s future evaluation work.

Recognising the potential value of treated urban wastewater and promoting its reuse reaffirms the strategic importance of the wastewater treatment sector also in reducing pressure on water resource. Therefore, the reuse of treated wastewater, especially in water-stressed areas and for industrial purposes, must be strongly encouraged.

The future delegated act on the requirements for nutrient recovery needs to be linked to the revision of the Sewage Sludge Directive, otherwise it may result in a burden for wastewater operators since they will have to plan investments in a scenario of uncertain deadlines and requirements.


Source: FEAD (Brussels, October 06, 2023)