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By Manuel Marino

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Additional info for An Integrated Approach to Wastewater Treatment: Deciding Where, When, and How Much to Invest (Directions in Development (Washington, D.C.).)

Sample text

However, it has had a major impact on the cost of water (water charges on the order of US$14 per cubic meter are being discussed to cover expected costs). This, in turn, is creating concern among consumers and those involved with national economic policy. 3 Page 13 A water pollution charge (Abwasserabgabe) has existed in the territory of the former Federal Republic of Germany since 1981. The charge applies to a wide range of pollutants, and is closely linked to a system of discharge standards and discharge permits.

As a result of this situation, important water quality deficiencies are common in most of these countries. Many wastewater treatment plants suffer from poor designs that respond to local demands or to the desire to meet, at the local level, centrally designed, homogeneous, and usually unrealistic and untenable effluent standards (only the Czech Republic and Bulgaria depend upon centrally issued receiving water standards for the control of wastewater discharges). These plants usually contain low-quality, outdated equipment that has a high energy demand.

Later sections of this paper will argue that cost-effectiveness and sustainability are best achieved through a coordinated regional approachLevel 2. Yet most industrial countries have moved to a Level 3 approach, and many developing countries are moving in the same direction. To understand these trends in context, it is necessary to review the practices of a number of representative countries. 1 Industrial Countries Following is a review of wastewater management policies in the United States and several countries within the European Union.

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