ISSaR

WASTE WATER TREATMENT

Last update
09.11.2013

 


Key question

How much of the Czech Republic’s population is connected to sewerage systems and waste water treatment plants and what is the proportion of treated waste water?


Key message

Increase of the number of inhabitants connected to public sewers continues. In 2012, 82.5% of the Czech Republic’s population was connected to a public sewer, of which 94.9% were connected to a sewer system ending in a wastewater treatment plant. Compared to the previous year, the volume of waste water discharged into a sewage system (without precipitation water) decreased by 3.0%. A total of 97.3% of waste water discharged into sewage systems has been treated. Increase in the total number of wastewater treatment plants, and especially those with tertiary treatment, also continues. The average efficiency of a wastewater treatment plant measured by means of concentrations of the basic pollution indicators varies between 74.8% and 98.1%.

In the last interannual (2011/2012) comparison, there was slow-down in growth of the proportion of the population connected to a sewer system ending in a wastewater treatment plant.

Overall assessment

Change since 1990

Change since 2000

Last year-to-year change


References to current conceptual and strategic documents and their targets

Conceptual and strategic documents dedicated to policy in the area of water protection in the Czech Republic aim at protecting the environment from adverse effects of waste water discharge and they are linked to European legislation represented by the Council Directive 91/271/EEC concerning municipal waste-water treatment. The Conception of Water Management Policy of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic till 2015, in accordance with the general objectives and principles of national policy in the area of water, with the long-term objectives set out in the Plan of Major River Basin Districts of the Czech Republic and the above-mentioned Directive, puts emphasis on effective disposal of waste water without negative environmental impacts. It is particularly necessary to ensure secondary treatment of municipal waste water in the sensitive areas (according to the Nitrate Directive), especially through building of the missing water infrastructure (in particular WWTPs and sewerage systems), reconstruction and improvement of wastewater treatment technologies in all settlements above 2 000 PE.

The basic conceptual document which actually deals with waste water treatment is the Development Plan for Water Supply and Sewerage Systems of the Czech Republic. This is a mid-term strategy of state policy concerning water supply and sewerage systems prior to 2015 that is linked to other strategic documents, while respecting the requirements of relevant EU legislation (e.g. Council Directive 91/271/EEC concerning urban wastewater treatment). The primary objective in the area of waste water treatment is to increase the proportion of the population connected to public sewerage systems and the proportion of the population connected to sewers ending in a WWTP. For the Development Plans for Water Supply and Sewerage Systems of the Czech Republic’s Regions, the number of opinions that are issued by the Ministry of Agriculture on proposed changes to the technical solutions to drinking water supply, sewerage services and waste water treatment increases every year.


Indicator assessment – graphic part

Chart 1: The proportion of the population connected to sewerage systems and to sewerage systems ending in waste water treatment plants, the Czech Republic [%]
Source: The Czech Statistical Office

Population connected to sewerage systems and to systems ending in WWTP, the Czech Rep.

 
Data:
 

Chart 2: Waste water treatment plants according to treatment stages, the Czech Republic [number]
Source: The Czech Statistical Office

Waste water treatment plants according to treatment stages, the Czech Rep.

 
Note:
Primary treatment = mechanical waste water treatment plants.
Secondary treatment = mechanical-biological waste water treatment plants without nitrogen or phosphorus removal.
Tertiary treatment = mechanical-biological waste water treatment plants with further nitrogen or phosphorus removal.
 
 
Data:

Chart 3: Volume of wastewater discharged into municipal sewerage systems and their treatment, the Czech Republic [mil. m3]
Source: The Czech Statistical Office

Wastewater discharged into municipal sewerage systems and treatment, the Czech Rep.

 
Note:
Waste and mine water discharge into surface water is only monitored if it exceeds 500 m3/month or 6 000 m3/year.
 
 
Data:

Chart 4: The proportion of the population connected to waste water treatment plants according to treatment stages (the most recent year, see data link), an international comparison [%]
Source: Eurostat

The proportion of the population connected to waste water treatment plants | according to treatment stages, an international comparison

 
Data:
 

Indicator assessment – text part

The Czech Republic’s joining the EU, subsequent fulfilment of the EU legislation and using of the EU funding have had a key influence on the development of infrastructure for the collection and treatment of waste water. Compared to the year 2003 (the last year before the country joined the EU), the proportion of the population connected to a sewerage network in the Czech Republic rose from 77.7% to 82.5% in 2012. The increase in the proportion of the population connected to a sewer system ending in a wastewater treatment plant was particularly positive. The interannual increase of the population connected to a sewerage system is slowing down. In 2012, there has been slight increase in the number of inhabitants connected to public sewers, but due to faster population growth, the final proportion of the connected population decreased. The cause consists in the fact that most sewer systems and WWTPs in larger conurbations have already been built and now it is necessary to cover the smaller municipalities where there is less population and where there is not enough money in the budget.

In 2012, waste water produced by 21.6% of the population was not treated directly in a WWTP but it was collected in septic tanks and similar devices from which it was subsequently transported for treatment or it was discharged directly into watercourses, without proper treatment. Compared to the year 2011, the total volume of water discharged to public sewerage systems (without precipitation water) decreased by 3.0% and amounted to 473.2 mil. m3 in 2012, which represents almost half the volume of the year 1989. A total of 14 mil. m3 of this waste water was treated. Nevertheless, the proportion of treated wastewater that is discharged into sewerage is very satisfactory – in 2012 it was 97.3% compared to the year 1990 (only 75.0%). In long terms, the value of this proportion has been between 94% and 98% since 2000. A value lower than this range was recorded only in 2002, and it was caused by limited operation of wastewater treatment plants that were affected by floods. A part of rainwater is also treated in WWTPs. Its quantity has shown large interannual fluctuations which correspond to precipitation levels in the respective years. In 2012, 377.3 mil. m3 of rainwater were treated.

In the Czech Republic, the total number of WWTPs for public use doubled to 2.318 compared with the year 2000. Their total capacity decreased slightly (by 3.7%) because of reconstruction of older plants but the volume of wastewater discharged into sewage systems has been decreasing gradually, too. Due to construction and modernization of waste water treatment plants, the total number of WWTPs with nitrogen or phosphorus removal (tertiary treatment) increased by 72 in all agglomerations of the Czech Republic, the number of those with basic mechanical-biological treatment decreased by 5 and the number of mechanical WWTPs remained unchanged compared to the year 2011. The significant increase in the number of WWTPs in 2004 was caused by changes in statistical reporting. At present, all agglomerations above 10,000 PE have tertiary treatment, although not all of them fulfil the requirements of the Directive concerning the quality limits for discharged wastewater. By the end of 2012, wastewater treatment for all agglomerations with PE over 2,000 had not been ensured as it is required by the Council Directive 91/271/EEC, but in the course of the year, new WWTPs were put into operation and the existing ones were reconstructed or extended.

In the Czech Republic, the average efficiency of WWTPs (the amount of pollution removed) is very high – in 2012 it was for BOD5 98.1%, for suspended solids 97.5%, for CODCr 94.6%, for Ptotal 82.9% and for Ntotal 74.8 %. The values are similar to those in previous years, which is connected with the fact that reconstruction of most large waste water treatment plants is complete and the amount of pollution produced in individual agglomerations has stabilized.

In an international comparison, there is a generally better situation in the countries of northern, western and partly also southern Europe as far as the population’s connection to WWTPs and treatment stages are concerned. The states of Eastern Europe and the Balkans lag behind the EU average. The Czech Republic holds the leading positions among the new EU member states in the share of the population connected to sewer with a waste water treatment plant and in the proportion of tertiary treatment. In these terms, the worst situation is in Romania and Bulgaria (EU members since 2007), which began to build sewerage infrastructure intensively with regard to implementation of the EU legislation in the last few years. Existence of great regional differences in these indicators between the cities and rural regions is also typical for these countries.


Data sources

The Czech Statistical Office
The T. G. Masaryk Water Research Institute (a public research institution)
The European Environment Agency (EEA)
Eurostat, The Statistical Office of the European Union


Links to additional information

The European Environment Agency, international indicators (CSI 024)
Water Supply, Sewerage and Watercourses, The Czech Statistical Office tables
Report on the state of Water Management in the Czech Republic

 

MP CENIA HM

List of indicators by themes