ISSaR

WASTE WATER TREATMENT

Last update
29.12.2014

 


Key question

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


Key message

The slow increase of the population connected to a sewerage system continues; in 2013, 82.8% of the Czech Republic’s population was connected to a public sewer, 95.0% of them to a sewerage system ending in a WWTP.

Compared to the previous year, the volume of waste water discharged into a sewerage system (excluding rainwater subject to charge) decreased by 3.7%. A total of 97.4% of wastewater discharged into sewerage systems has been treated.

Increase of the number of WWTPs with tertiary treatment also continues. The average efficiency of a WWTP measured by means of concentrations of the basic pollution indicators varies between 74.0% and 98.1%.

Since 2012, there has been a slow-down in the growth of the share of population connected to a sewerage system ending in aWWTP. So far, 21.3% of the population are not connected to a sewerage system ending in a WWTP.

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 urban 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 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 waste water 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. The Plans form a basis for using EC funds and national financial sources to build and renew water management infrastructure.


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: 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: 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: Czech Statistical Office

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

 
Note:
Till 2003 (including 2003), data for the main operators’ sewerage systems are concerned. This time series of selected indicators is influenced by changes in statistical surveys and consequences of gradual transformations of the former water companies (ownership of sewers and water mains was transferred onto the respective municipalities). In 2013, there was a change in reporting of waste water discharged into sewerage systems. Rainwater subject to charge is newly included in this category, which also covers municipal sewage, industrial waste water and other waterWaste 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 rose from 77.7% to 82.8% in the Czech Republic in 2013. The increase in the proportion of the population connected to a sewerage system ending in a WWTP was particularly positive. The interannual increase of the population connected to a sewerage system is slowing down. The cause consists in the fact that most sewerage 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 2013, waste water produced by 21.3% 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 2012, the total volume of water discharged to public sewerage systems (without rainwater) decreased by 3.7% and amounted to 455.3 mil. m3 in 2013, which represents almost half the volume of the year 1989. In 2013, rainwater subject to charge was newly included in waste water discharged into public sewers and therefore the total volume was higher (517 mil. m3). Altogether 12 mil. m3 of these waste waters were not treated.

Nevertheless, the proportion of treated wastewater that is discharged into sewerage is very satisfactory – in 2013 it was 97.4% 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 WWTPs that were affected by floods. A part of rainwater that is not subject to charge is also treated in WWTPs. Its quantity has shown large interannual fluctuations which correspond to precipitation levels in the respective years. In 2013, 468.9 mil. m3 of rainwater were treated, compared to 377.3 mil. m3 in 2012.

In the Czech Republic, the total number of WWTPs for public use doubled to 2.382 compared with the year 2000. Due to construction and modernization of WWTPs, the total number of WWTPs with nitrogen and/or phosphorus removal (tertiary treatment) increased by 75 in all agglomerations of the Czech Republic, the number of those with basic mechanical-biological treatment (secondary treatment) decreased by 9 and the number of mechanical WWTPs decreased by 2 compared to the year 2012. 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. In case of pollution sources bigger than 2,000 PE, 12 new municipal WWTPs were built and 30 existing municipal ones and 2 industrial ones were reconstructed or enlarged during the year 2013.

In the Czech Republic, the average efficiency of WWTPs (the amount of pollution removed) is very high – in 2013 it was for BOD5 98.1%, for suspended solids 97.6%, for CODCr 94.4%, for Ptotal 83.4% and for Ntotal 74.0 %. The values are similar to those in previous years, which is connected with the fact that reconstruction of most large WWTPs is complete and the amount of pollution produced in individual agglomerations has stabilized.

An international comparison
Concerning connection of the population to WWTPs and respective wastewater treatment stages the situation is generally better in the countries of western, southern and northern Europe. The Czech Republic holds the leading positions among the new EU member states in the share of the population connected to sewerage system with a WWTP and in the proportion of tertiary treatment. The situation gradually improves in Romania and Bulgaria, which have been intensively building the sewerage infrastructure with regard to implementation of the EU legislation since 2007. The percentage of the population connected to WWTPs increased significantly after 2006 in Hungary, too. What is positive is the fact that the proportion of tertiary stage of wastewater treatment increases gradually in most countries. The worst situation in water treatment is in the states of former Yugoslavia and other states of south-eastern Europe, with the exception of Greece. 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