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Three Valleys Water Witness Session: Further Information 1

EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007

WASTEWATER RECYCLING AND REUSE IN EUREAU COUNTRIES:
With Emphasis on Criteria Used

A.N. Angelakis
1
, B. Durham
2
, M.H.F. Marecos do Monte
3
, M. Salgot
4
,

T. Wintgens
5

and

C.Thoeye
6

1
Hellenic Union of Municipal Enter. for Water Supply and Sewerage, 41200 Larissa
and National Foundation for Agricultural Research, Institute of Iraklio, 711 10
Iraklio, Greece
2
Technical Secretary, EUREAU Water Recycling and Reuse Working Group, Veolia
Water, 52 rue dAnjou, 75384 Paris.
3
SANEST - Saneamento da Costa do Estoril S.A., Rua Flor da Murta, 2770-064 Pao
de Arcos, Portugal
4
Edafologia. Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona, Joan XXIII s/n. 08028
Barcelona, Spain.
5
RWTH Aachen, Turmstrasse 46, 52056 Aachen, Germany
6
AQUAFIN,Dijkstraat 8,B-2630 Aartselaar, Belgium

SUMMARY

Among Eureau countries, most of the northern ones traditionally have abundant water
resources, stringent environmental standards and higher water prices. Until the
drought of 2003, 2005 and 2006 the need for additional water supply through the
reuse of treated wastewater is not always seen as a priority, but the protection of the
receiving environment is considered important. However many large cities such as
London and other conurbations in large river basins are dependent upon appropriately
treated wastewater to recharge the surface and groundwater bodies so that a reliable
source of freshwater is available. During dry weather conditions London and Berlin
are dependent on appropriately treated recycled water for 70% of the freshwater
source for potable treatment enabling London to operate with a water availability of
265m3/inhab.yr (Planet Water). Unplanned treated wastewater reuse is common place
as the prime use of treated wastewater is surface water recharge. This surface water
with dilution recharges the groundwater from which most of the water for potable
treatment is abstracted.

The southern Eureau countries with reduced water resources available have benefited
from the additional resources brought by wastewater reuse. This brings significant
advantages to agriculture (e.g. crop irrigation), industry (e.g. cooling water) and
tourism (e.g. wetlands, landscape and golf course irrigation) and through potable
substitution increases the availability of water for potable treatment. There,
wastewater is reused but under very diverse regulatory environments. Therefore,
considering its various potential benefits (protection of water resources, prevention of
coastal pollution, recovery of nutrients for agriculture, augmentation of river-flow,
savings in wastewater treatment, groundwater recharge, source for industry and
sustainability of water resource management, etc.) wastewater reuse can be applied to
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EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007
the advantage of both northern and southern Eureau countries. The importance of
wastewater reuse has been clearly prioritised in the Integrated Pollution Prevention
Control legislation (IPPC) for industry as described in the best available techniques
Reference documents (BREF) (IPPC http://eippcb.jrc.es)

In order to take advantage of its full potential in a planned and sustainable way,
Eureau would like to be involved in setting up international good practices and
guidelines related to the reuse of treated wastewater. Such criteria and/or guidelines
would contribute to improved management of water resources, increased protection of
public health and of the environment and sustainable development. This would also
support IPPC legislation, which is included in the legislation covered by the Water
Framework Directive. (WFD 2000/60/EC) Reclaimed wastewater is a reliable,
valuable, drought proof source of water that must be taken into account in formulating
a sustainable water policy. There is a need to encourage planned and appropriate
wastewater reclamation and reuse in all countries and to establish safe reuse practice
European guidelines for most applications must be developed.

KEYWORDS

EU; reuse guidelines and good practice; water resources management; water
availability; wastewater reclamation; wastewater treatment; water reuse criteria;.

INTRODUCTION

Europeans have a long history on water reuse. There are examples of rainwater reuse
since the Minoan time, ca. 3,500-1,100 B.C. Wastewater reuse has been practiced
since the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations (Angelakis and Spyridakis, 1996).
Land application of wastewater is an old and common practice, which has gone
through different development stages with time, knowledge of the processes,
treatment technology, and regulations evolution (Angelakis et al., 2005). Wastewater
has also been used by the Mediterranean civilizations, for example in the 14th and
15th centuries in the Milanese Marcites and in the Valencia huerta and the North
European ones, like in Great Britain, Germany, France, and Poland (Souli and
Trma, 1992).

Raw or partially treated, wastewater has been used for agriculture in many locations
all over the world not without causing serious public health consequences and adverse
environmental impacts, but improving the yield of several crops. This has been
generating the existence of endemic, and quite epidemic diseases. Slow rate (SR)
systems have a long history in the treatment and disposal of municipal wastewater.
These systems have been widely employed in the treatment/disposal of municipal
wastewater since 1850 (Folsom, 1876). In the recent history, the expansion of
mechanical wastewater treatment plants had as consequence the application and
development of SR systems to decline. During the last two decades, there has been
renewed interest in the use of SR systems due to their significant advantages such as
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EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007
low construction, operation, and maintenance costs especially in small rural
communities.

Treated wastewater has been an important means of augmenting river flows in many
countries and the subsequent use of such water for all the applications constitutes
indirect reuse of wastewater. The developments in technology for wastewater and
drinking water treatment have ensured that the indirect recycling that has been
common place for many years is not only safe but can be demonstrated to be safe.
(UKWIR Reuse framework 2005) Regulatory control is provided by environmental
and drinking water legislation without including best available techniques or quality
guidelines for all the different reuse applications. Raw or partially treated wastewater
has been inappropriately applied in many locations all over the world and has caused
serious public health consequences with endemic and epidemic diseases as well as
damage to the environment.

In Europe, particularly in south region, the volume of wastewater is increasing.
Consequently, there is a major opportunity to use recycled water in the region. The
need for alternative sources of water was emphasized in the 2003 drought which
resulted in a 30% reduction in agricultural production. The 2003 drought was a
dramatic example of the measured 20% reduction in annual precipitation from 1900 to
2000 (EEA 2/2004). It is essential that the development of water reuse in agriculture
and other sectors be based on scientific evidences of its effects on environment and
public health (Kamizoulis et al., 2005). Although several studies have been conducted
on wastewater quality and for different purposes, at this time, there are no guidelines,
good practice or regulations of water reuse at an EU level other than the Urban
Wastewater Directive which states that treated wastewater should be reused
whenever appropriate . However, reclaimed water is of fundamental importance to
European environment and economy for:
(a). Stimulating of economic growth by providing an additional supply of water.
(b). Providing a reliable source for cooling and boiler feed for industry.
(c). Providing an appropriate and nutrient rich source for agricultural and landscape
irrigation.
(d). Reducing the demand on the limited fresh water resources, reducing the discharge
of pollutants to the environment, and energy consumption.

The beneficial use of treated municipal and industrial wastewater as well as the
increasing demands on finite water resources has prompted the emergence of
wastewater reclamation and reuse as an integral component of water resources
management. The inherent benefits associated with reclaiming treated wastewater for
supplemental applications instead of discharge or disposal include preservation of
higher quality water resources, environmental protection, and economic advantages.
A major catalyst for the evolution of wastewater reclamation and reuse has been the
need to provide alternative water resources to satisfy water requirements for
irrigation, industry, urban non-potable and potable water applications due to
unprecedented growth and development in many regions of the world. Water
shortages, particularly during periods of drought, have necessitated stricter control
measures on rates of water consumption and development of alternative water sources
(Asano, 1998).
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EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007

Advances in the effectiveness and reliability of wastewater treatment technologies
have improved the capacity to produce reclaimed wastewater that can serve as a
supplemental water source in addition to meeting water quality protection and
pollution abatement requirements. In developing countries, particularly those in arid
parts of the world, reliable low-cost technologies (both for water and wastewater
treatment and reuse) are needed for acquiring new water supplies and protecting
existing water sources from pollution. The implementation of wastewater recycling
and reuse promotes the preservation of limited water resources in conjunction with
water conservation and watershed protection programs (Asano, 1998).

In most developed areas of the world, wastewater reclamation and reuse is recognized
as a means to augment existing water resources against the spectre of continued
droughts and water supply shortages, as well as to provide water supply reliability to
operating systems. Characteristic examples are California, Singapore, Australia,
Japan, and China; where legislation and technologies and good practice on wastewater
recycling and reuse have improved markedly and are more developed than in Europe.
However, in some EUREAU countries there is limited technology and long term
experience has been gained (Angelakis et al., 2001).

This paper summarises the Eureau experience and investigation on wastewater
recycling and reuse practices of various member countries. In addition, water
resources status, national or regional legislation and guidelines on wastewater reuse
and a variety of approaches in regulating wastewater reuse are briefly presented.

WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN EUREAU COUNTRIES

According to current European Population Committee the total population of the
Eureau countries is expected to remain stable until 2030 after which it will decline
due to the reduction in birth rates. (European population papers). The planned
enlargement of the EU to 28 member states will increase the population to around 470
million. Although the population is ageing and declining the following problems
need to be addressed: (a) long-term pollution is affecting an increasing number of
drinking water supplies (e.g. by nitrates, pesticide residues, drugs and by products) ;
(b) the protection of sensitive areas will require the reduction of discharges ; (c)
irrigation is likely to increase its water consumption, in particular in the
Mediterranean area (Anonymous, 1997a) ; and (d) global climate change is pushing
the European climate towards more extreme seasonal variations with more droughts
in the dry seasons and more floods in the wet season, calling for a more robust water
resources management (Angelakis and Bontoux, 2001). Climate change is also
predicted to increase migration resulting in demand management challenges in our
cities.

Another approach used to evaluate water scarcity is the exploitation rate of water
resources (the ratio between the volume of the annual withdrawals and available
renewable water resources). When the exploitation rate exceeds 20% of existing
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EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007
reserves, water management becomes a vital element in a countrys economy. In the
Mediterranean region, this is currently the case in Italy (22%) and Spain (28%), Malta
(60%) and Cyprus (66%) (Mediterranean region exploitation rate ranges from 28
to145%). In Western Europe (Fig. 1), it is the case in Belgium (44%), the Netherlands
(7%), Germany (27%) and France (16%) (Western Europe range 21 to 108%). The
situation is most critical in some countries wishing to join the EU, such as the Rep. of
Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and Rep. of Poland (25 to 296%).

Moreover, several regions and islands in Europe, especially in Bulgaria, Greece,
France, Portugal and the south east of England, have already reached an exploitation
rate of almost 100% of their local water resources. These data suggest that to meet
future needs, many European countries will have to manage water resources far more
efficiently than they do now. Over abstraction of groundwater is common place
resulting in sea water intrusion and in some regions soil salinization due to irrigation
with brackish water

In view of the current outlook for the use of water resources over the whole Eureau
area, existing policies need to be re-oriented towards an integrated water cycle
management strategy to minimising health and environmental risks. The European
Water Framework Directive (WFD) lays the foundation for such an approach,
including river basin based management and water quality objectives. This should
translate in a better control of polluting discharges over the long-term. In all EU
countries, hydrological plans are being drawn up. These plans can be effective tools
for action but the existing ones: (a) do not include integrated water resources schemes,
(b) are dominated by the significance of short-term requirements, and (c) are still
mostly turned more towards increasing water availability than towards better
management of the water demands in spite of recent efforts to address these new
challenges. For comparison grounds, it should be noted that the river basin
management strategy adopted in Australia has resulted in a reduction in the water
resource available as more water is kept in the ground and surface systems to protect
quality and the environment.

The European WFD and its daughter directives are already reducing the availability of
water through the restriction of abstraction licences by 15 to 20% in some regions to
protect the ecology. In addition diffused pollution is dramatically reducing
groundwater availability in some areas. Europe needs water reuse guidelines and
agreed good practice to safely and economically benefit from sustainable reuse.
Perhaps Europe should consider the benefits that the mediteranean climate regions of
Australia have gained by introducing a directive to reuse 20% of its wastewater by
2012 (Government of Western Australia, 2003).

The reuse of reclaimed treated wastewater should and must become recognized as an
important part of integrated water cycle management strategy to recharge
conventional water resources for indirect potable applications, to directly substitute
potable applications for industry and irrigation and to reduce the environmental
impact of discharges. Reuse is already a key part of water management in Europe but
Three Valleys Water Witness Session: Further Information 1






EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007
a number of technical and regulatory issues remain to be addressed to make sure it has
no undesirable impact on the environment or on public health. In addition, safe reuse
practices require good practice, water quality guidelines and appropriate training.

ADDRESSING WATER SHORTAGES

Almost all Mediterranean Eureau members regularly experience severe water supply
and demand imbalances, particularly in the summer months. This is due to the
simultaneous occurrence of low precipitation, high evaporation and increased
demands for irrigation and tourism. However, water shortages have also affected
regions less used to such events, where periods of drought are becoming more
frequent and long lasting as a result of global climate change, as indicated before.
Numerous regions in France, Italy, Belgium, and the UK have suffered the negative
impact of successive droughts over the last ten years (Angelakis and Bontoux, 2001).
Same situation should be considered for Spain and Greece. Renewable water resource
exploitation in European countries and water stress index for several countries are
shown in Figures 1 and 2, respectively.

Several strategies have been developed in order to face water shortages. One is the
construction of required infrastructure for transferring water from rich watersheds to
deficient areas. Such projects require very expensive investments and a large civil
engineering works, potentially creating a large environmental impact due to energy
demands and carbon impact. Additionally, as most of the easy projects have already
been built (e.g. canal de Provence in France, trasvase Tajo-Segura in Spain), such an
approach becomes more and more difficult as the areas likely to benefit from the
water transfer become ever more remote. One must also note that this practice also
raise economic, institutional, socio-cultural and political issues, as shown by the
discussions surrounding the recently failed water transfer project between the Rhne
river in France and Catalonia in Spain. Reuse has been demonstrated as a safe and
lower cost solution to water importation in California (approximately half the energy
costs) as long as the regulation and good practice is provided to ensure safety.

Other solutions can be implemented such as water savings (e.g. reducing the leakage
from supply networks, using more efficient irrigation techniques such as drip
irrigation and small flush toilet systems), tapping other resources (e.g. desalinating
seawater or brackish water), and diversification of wastewater reuse practices
(Lazarova et al., 2000). Reducing demand through pricing (e.g. applying the demand
elasticity) is also a possible option, but it raises many political difficulties, in
particular in countries where water is either free or paid through a flat fee.
Nevertheless, due to the comparatively low prices of water, such economic tool does
not generate appreciable saving.
Three Valleys Water Witness Session: Further Information 1






EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007
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Treated wastewater reuse can have many important benefits. The most obvious is the
provision of an additional dependable water resource. The second is the reduction of
environmental impacts by reducing or eliminating wastewater disposal, which results
in the preservation of water quality downstream. Therefore, in the framework of an
integrated water management strategy at a catchments scale, the benefits of
wastewater reuse should always been assessed taking into account that water
recycling and reuse contributes to both enhancing a region's water resource and
minimizing wastewater outflow. In addition, using recycled wastewater for irrigation
can reduce the need for fertilizer thanks to the nutrients it contains. This may even
remove the requirement for tertiary wastewater treatment in sensitive areas that is
stipulated by the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.

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Figure 2. Water stress index (abstraction/availability ratio)

Three Valleys Water Witness Session: Further Information 1






EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007
The use of recycled wastewater for irrigation has been progressively adopted by
virtually all Mediterranean countries (Marecos do Monte et al., 1996). Israel was
pioneer in this field, soon followed by Tunisia, Morocco, Cyprus, and Jordan. More
recently, European Mediterranean countries started considering wastewater reuse for
irrigation. Although irrigation with wastewater is in itself an effective purification (a
sort of low-rate land treatment), appropriate treatment must be performed for the
protection of public health, the prevention of nuisances during storage and the
prevention of damage to the crops and soils (Asano and Levine, 1996). So far, in only
a few countries worldwide (Unites States, Australia, Israel, Japan and China),
wastewater recycling and reuse is well enough established to have led to the drawing
of specific regulations or guidelines. In a number of other countries (Cyprus, Spain,
and France,) regulations concerning the use of recycled wastewater for irrigation are
under discussion, preparation and/or revision. Italy has adopted a new regulation in
2003. Notice that regulations refer to actual rules that have been enacted and are
enforceable by governmental agencies. Guidelines, on the other hand, are not
enforceable but can be used in the development of a reuse program.


BRIEF OVERVIEW OF WASTEWATER RECYCLING AND REUSE IN
EUREAU COUNTRIES

Traditionally, most Eureau countries are characterized with abundant water resources;
thus, up to now and the recognised impact of climate change we have not invested
heavily in planned wastewater recycling and reuse. However indirect potable reuse is
common practice in the river basins where cities have developed over the centuries
and the treated waste water from the conurbations in the upper catchment are mixed
with the surface drainage become the freshwater supply in the lower catchments.
However, this general situation hides very diverse realities. In Southern Europe,
planned wastewater reuse is still a limited, but rapidly growing source of irrigation
water. In Northern Europe, it is barely practiced, but can be developed for sanitation
or environmental protection purposes in response to increasingly stringent
environmental regulations, even in the absence of any water shortage (see the case of
Sweden for example). It should be noticed that in Eureau countries, wastewater reuse
has rarely been considered as an integral component of sanitation and overall water
resources management (Anonymous, 1997b) although many river basins rely on
appropriately treated wastewater to maintain the availability of freshwater for the
ecology and as a water source for treatment to produce potable water. In this section
we review the current practices and the potential of wastewater recycling and reuse in
various Eureau countries under three headings depending on the status of wastewater
reuse.

Countries with Regulations and/or Guidelines Concerning Wastewater Reuse

Cyprus. In Cyprus the wastewater generated by the main cities, about 25 Mm
3
/yr, is
planned to be collected and used for irrigation after tertiary treatment. Because of the
high transportation cost, it is anticipated that most of the recycled water, about 55 to
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EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007
60%, will be used for amenity purposes used as hotel gardens, parks, golf courses, etc.
A net of about 10 Mm
3
is conservatively estimated to be available for agricultural
irrigation. The cost of recycled water is low, about 0.07/m
3
. This will reportedly
allow irrigated agriculture to be expanded by 8-10% while conserving an equivalent
amount of water for other sectors (Papadopoulos, 1995).

The criteria related to the use of treated wastewater for irrigation purposes in Cyprus
are presented in Table 1. These criteria have been established in June 2005 (Decree no
296/03.06.05). They are stricter than the WHO guidelines and take the specific
conditions of Cyprus into account. These criteria are followed by a code of practice to
ensure the best possible application of the water for irrigation (Kypris, 1989).
However, these criteria are someway apart from California regulations philosophy.

France. France has irrigated crops with wastewater for years (close to a century), in
particular around Paris because, until 1940, it was the only method of treating and
disposing of the wastewater of the Greater Paris conurbation. This practice is still
going on in the Achres region, where some of the wastewater is used after an
advanced primary treatment. Interest in wastewater reuse rose again in the early 1990s
for two main reasons: (a) local water deficits hindering the development of profitable
agricultural activity, particularly in Atlantic and Mediterranean islands, and (b) the
necessity to protect bathing waters, shellfish breeding areas and, also, rivers
threatened by eutrophication. Even though France has an ample availability of
freshwater with an average rainfall of 600mm/yr thirty municipal wastewater reuse
projects have been implemented. These include 15 projects for agricultural irrigation,
9 projects for irrigation of golf and 6 projects for irrigation of urban areas. (Durham et
al., 2005).

The projects have been implemented to:
overcome water stress from lack of rainfall and maintain the local agriculture
industry
overcome water stress from the increased population due to tourism
protect high quality surface water from recharge with treated wastewater
reduce the need to over abstract groundwater that has resulted in saline
intrusion
improve the attractiveness of the area through irrigation of urban landscapes
and sport facilities
increase the availability of fresh water for potable production by irrigating golf
courses (where the water demand for one golf course is equivalent to a
population of 36,000
reduce surface water eutrophication, protect bathing water quality and shell fish
help the community recognize that a responsible and sustainable approach to
water management is being taken by their local government authority

Table1. Provisional quality criteria for irrigation with reclaimed wastewater in Cyprus.

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EUREAU EU 1/2
RECYCLING & REUSE WORKING GROUP
EU1/2-07-WR-40(1) January 2007
Irrigation of:
BOD
5
(mg/L)
SS
(mg/L
)
Fecal coliforms
(MPN/100mL)
Intestinal
nematodes
(No/L)
Treatment required
All crops
c
A) 10
a


10
a

5
a
15
b

Nil

Secondary, tertiary, and disinfection

Amenity areas of
unlimited public access -
Vegetables eaten cooked

A)

10
a

15
b


10
a

15
b


50
a

100
b


Nil

Secondary, tertiary and disinfection


A)

20
a

30
b


30
a

45
b


200
a

1000
b


Nil Crops for human
consumption - Amenity
areas of limited public
access

B)
- -
200
a

1000
b


Nil

Secondary, storage >1 week and
disinfection
or tertiary and disinfection. Stabilization
maturation ponds total retention time
>30 d or secondary and storage >30 d

A)

20
a

30
b


30
a

45
b


1000
a

5000
b


Nil Fodder crops

B)
- - 1000
a
Nil

Secondary and storage >1 week or
tertiary and disinfection. Stabilization
maturation ponds total retention time
>30 d or secondary and storage >30 d or
secondary and storage > 30 d

A)

50
a

70
b

-
-

3000
a

10000
b

-
-
Industrial crops

B)
- -
3000
a

10000
b

-
-

Secondary and disinfection.
Stabilization maturation ponds with total
retention time >30 d or secondary and
storage >30 d

a
These values must not be exceeded in 80% of samples per month.
b
Maximum value allowed.
c
Irrigation of leaved vegetables, bulbs, and corns eaten uncooked is not allowed.
Note:
The irrigation of vegetables is not allowed.
The irrigation of ornamental plants for trade purposes is not allowed.
No substances accumulating in the edible parts of crops and proved to be toxic to humans or animals are allowed in the effluent.

Because of the interest for wastewater reuse, the Health Authorities issued in 1991 the
Health guidelines for reuse, after treatment, of wastewater for crop and green spaces
irrigation (CSHPF, 1991). These guidelines essentially follow the WHO guidelines,
but also add restrictions for irrigation techniques and set back distances between
irrigation sites and residential areas and roadways. Furthermore, each new wastewater
reuse project must be authorized by the representatives of the Ministry of Health and
monitored on a permanent basis (Bontoux and Courtois, 1996). In February 1996, the
Association of Water Supply and Sewerage Practitioners (AGHTM) published
technical recommendations about the wastewater treatments necessary to ensure
compliance with the French guidelines. A review of these guidelines is being
considered (Angelakis et al., 2003).

Only 30 projects have in fact been carried out up to now, mainly because of the
relative abundance of water resource. The projects implemented cover more than 3000
ha of land, and quite a wide variety of applications: market gardening crops, orchard
fruits, cereals, tree plantations and forests, grasslands, gardens and golf courses (Faby
et al, 1999). The Clermont-Ferrand recycling scheme for irrigation of over 700 ha of
maize with a 40 km distribution system is today considered to be one of the largest
projects in Europe. The recent development of new treatment processes, such as
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membrane bioreactors (MBR) (ultrafiltration, microfiltration), produce a very high
quality purified water, disinfected and with no suspended solids. This is changing the
approach to municipal and industrial applications and may and open the door to
recycling for domestic purposes (cleaning, toilet flushing, etc.). The reuse of industrial
wastewater after purification to supply cooling water, wash water or even process
water after sophisticated complementary treatment is widely developed in France.
There are more than 10 MBR projects in industrial wastewater treatment in France
with examples in the automotive, textile, paper, food industries of industrial
wastewater. In some of these applications for the paper and food industry the treated
water is reused. The applications also include rainwater catchment and reuse at a large
automotive plant.

The reuse of industrial wastewater after purification with conventional technology to
supply cooling water, wash water or even process water after sophisticated
complementary treatment is widely developed in France. Financial incentives have
been available from the Agences de Basin (Catchment Authorities) for reuse
projects in industry that demonstrate an environmental benefit.

Italy. A first survey of Italian treatment plants estimated the total treated wastewater
flow at 2,400 Mm3/yr of usable water. This gives an estimate of the potential resource
available for reuse. In view of the regulatory obligation to achieve a high level of
treatment, the medium to large-sized plants (>100,000 inh. served), accounting for
approximately 60% of urban wastewater flow can provide re-usable wastewaters with
a favourable cost/benefit ratio. The use of untreated wastewater has been practiced in
Italy at least since the beginning of this century, especially on the outskirts of small
towns and near Milan. Among the oldest cases of irrigation with wastewater is the
Marcite where water from the Vettabia river, which receives most of the industrial
and urban untreated wastewater, is used. Nowadays, treated wastewater is used
mainly for agricultural irrigation covering over 4,000 ha. However, the controlled
reuse of municipal wastewater in agriculture is not yet developed in most Italian
regions because of a stringent normative which ignores the findings of recent research
work and experiences of uncontrolled reuse so common in Southern Italy. One of the
largest projects was implemented in Emilia Romagna where over 450,000 m3/yr of
treated wastewater are used for irrigation of more than 250 ha. The real costs for the
distribution of recycled wastewater (power, labour, network maintenance) are covered
by the users. New wastewater reuse systems have been recently completed in Sicily
and Sardinia for agricultural irrigation.

The use of wastewater for irrigation in Italy was regulated, since 1977 and till 2003,
in the frame of the 1976 Water Protection Act (Annex 5, CITAI, 1977), being
considered an extensive treatment process. The approach was in some respects
1
- from
an hygienic point of view - quite stringent, especially if we consider that, in many
cases, Italian surface waters generally used for irrigation display a consistently lower


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microbiological quality (often in the 10
4
10
5
range for TC and 10
2
10
3
for FC) and
that waters standards for recreational uses allow 2,000 MPN/100 mL (TC) and 100
MPN/100 mL (FC). No standards were set for toxic or bio-accumulative substances
and a specific evaluation of the volume of wastewater which can be yearly applied,
depending on soil and crops, was required. Other guidelines dictated by the previous
Italian legislation required warnings of possible hygienic dangers around the irrigated
area (access had to be kept under control) and it had to be surrounded by a buffer strip
of at least 80 m (without buildings or roads), regardless of the quality of the
wastewater and of the irrigation system. Some other Regional Governments (e.g.:
Puglia and Sicilia), using the powers given by the 1976 Water Protection Act,
prepared and issued regional standards.
Finally, following the frame of Law-decree n. 152, a new legislative set of rules was
promulgated on June 12
th
, 2003 (Ministry Decree, D.M. no 185/03). The new
standards are summarised and compared with the previous ones; as it can be easily
recognised, a quite different approach was used. In fact, the new standards seem to
have, at least partially, accepted previous independent proposals (see for instance,
Nurizzo and Mezzanotte, 1994): this is the case of electric conductivity and Boron
(Table 2). In fact Boron in treated effluents (not routinely checked) can reach pretty
high concentrations in some districts: a survey carried out on the effluents of 10
biological plants (Mezzanotte et al., 2003) showed an average concentration of 0.76
mg B/L (on an yearly basis)
2
. Some other important parameters like nematode eggs,
viruses, and protozoa are, on the contrary, not taken into consideration.

The proposed standards seem to follow a quite restrictive approach, especially for
some chemical compounds: in many cases the quality standards for reclaimed
wastewater are the same of drinking water (see Table 2, data in bold). This approach
will surely lead to some difficulties in promoting wastewater reuse, when the
compliance with some very strict standards will ask for advanced treatments, with all
the related consequences on the economics of the reclamation. Another negative
aspect is the overabundance of parameters taken into account and their related
monitoring protocols. In fact the number of parameters to be monitored exceeds 50
items and the sampling frequency can be very high, depending on the regional
provisions.
It must be also considered that no distinction
3
is established among various crops to be
irrigated with reclaimed wastewater (restricted, unrestricted irrigation) and no
attention is paid to the influence of different irrigation options (i.e.: subsurface drip
irrigation, versus spray irrigation) in reducing sanitary risks.

Table 2 - Reclaimed wastewater to be used for irrigation: the new national standards
(D.M. 185/03, 2003), compared with the previous ones
4
(CITAI, 1977).



4
If the standard is the same of that for drinking water, its value is in bold; darkened #
cells indicate parameters not taken into account by drinking water standards.
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# PARAMETERS
NEW
STANDARDS
OLD
STANDARDS
NOTES
1 pH 6.0 9.5 -
2 SAR 10.0 < 15.0
3 Coarse solids absent -
4 TSS [mg/L] 10.0 * *Low enough to avoid soil-
clogging
5 BOD
5
[mg/L] 20.0 -
6 COD [mg/L] 100.0 -
7 Phosphorus [mg P/L] (total) 2.0 -
8 Total Nitrogen [mg N/L] 15.0 -
9 Ammonia [mg NH
4
/L] 2.0 -
10 EC
W
[S/cm] 3,000 -
11 Aluminium [mg Al/L] 1.0 -
12 Arsenic [mg As/L] 0.02 -
13 Barium [mg Ba/L] 10.0 -
14 Boron [mg B/L] 1.0 -
15 Cadmium [mg Cd/L] 0.005 -
16 Cobalt [mg Co/L] 0.05 -
17 Chromium [mg Cr/L] (total) 0.1 -
18 Chromium hexavalent [mg
Cr
VI
/L)
0.005 -
19 Iron [mg Fe/L] 2.0 -
20 Manganese [mg Mn/L] 0.2 -
21 Mercury [mg Hg/L] 0.001 -
22 Nickel [mg Ni/L] 0.2 -
23 Lead [mg Pb/L] 0.1 -
24 Copper [mg Cu/L] 1.0 -
25 Selenium [mg Se/L] 0.01 -
26 Tin [mg Sn/L] 3.0 -
27 Thallium [mg Tl/L] 0.001 -
28 Vanadium [mg V/L] 0.1 -
29 Zinc [mg Zn/L] 0.5 -
30 Cyanides[mg CN/L] (total) 0.05 -
31 Sulphides [mg H
2
S/L] 0.5 -
32 Sulphites [mg SO
3
/L] 0.5 -
33 Sulphates [mg SO
4
/L] 500 -
34 Chlorine residual [mg/L] 0.2 -
35 Chlorides [mg Cl/L] 250 -
36 Fluorides [mg F/L] 1.5 -
37 Animal/vegetal oils & fats
[mg/L]
10.0 -
38 Mineral oils [mg/L] 0.05 -
39 Phenols [mg/L] (total) 0,1 -
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40 Pentachlorophenol [mg/L] 0.003 -
41 Aldehydes [mg/L] (total) 0.5 -
42 Tetra/tricloro-ethylene
[mg/L]
0.01 -
43 Chlorinated solvents [mg/L]
(total)
0.04 -
44 TTHM [mg/L] 0.03 -
45 Aromatic solvents [mg/L]
(total)
0.001 -
46 Benzene [mg/L] 0.01 -
47 Benzo(a)pyrene [mg/L] 0.00001 -
48 Org. nitr. solvents [mg/L]
(total)
0.01 -
49 Surfactants [mg/L] (total) 0.5 -
50 Chlorinated biocides [mg/L] 0.0001 - 0.03 g/L for Aldrin, Dieldrin,
Heptachlor epoxide
Table 6 follows
51 Phosphorated pesticides
[mg/L]
0.00001^ - ^ for any single item
52 Other pesticides [mg/L]
(total)
0.05 -
53 E. Coli [UFC /100 mL]
(80% of samples)
(Constructed wetlands)
(Stabilisation ponds)
10*

50
100
- * 100 CFU/100 mL will be
allowed as a maximum for a
single isolated sample and for
the first three years of
application of the new Act.
54
Salmonellae [UFC /100 mL] absent -
- Helminths eggs [n/L]
(viable)
- -
-
FC [UFC /100 mL]
- -
-
TC [MPN/100 mL] - 2
(a)
20
a)
unrestricted irrigation.

In synthesis: in a set of 54 parameters - which is probably too large to assure an
effective enforcement and monitoring - 20% of them ask for the same quality of
drinking water; 37% of them are not even considered for drinking water (some of
them are anyway justified), and the indication of some other parameters (for instance
biocides and pesticides) is difficult to be explained in an agricultural environment.
Under these conditions, the total cost (construction, operation and maintenance)
requested for reclamation, in addition to the costs for the distribution of reclaimed
water and the monitoring of the whole reuse system, will be difficult to attain and will
be probably tolerable only for large WWTPs, thus reducing the benefit of reclaiming
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water and hampering the development of wastewater reuse practices for the smaller
ones; moreover, several successful reuse activities operating since a few years in
small communities of Southern Italy inland areas, will certainly be obliged to face
problems difficult to cope with.

Spain. The changes in March 2004 of the party in the Government, lead to the
abandonment of the National Hydrological Plan commissioned and approved by the
Partido Popular. Instead of the Plan, the called Programa AGUA (WATER Program)
define alternative ways to the actuations implied in the old Plan, having been the most
controversial with a huge infrastructure for transportation of Ebro river water 600 km
to the South. Instead, the new Program relies mainly on seawater desalination.
Although in its initial phases, it seems that the Plan will further support wastewater
reclamation and reuse.

In any case, the reuse of treated wastewater is already a reality in several Spanish
regions for four main applications: golf course irrigation, agricultural irrigation,
groundwater recharge (in particular to stop saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers) and
river flow augmentation. There are more than 126 reuse projects that have been
implemented. 86% for agriculture, 12% for municipal and golf and 2% for industry
and aquifer recharge.(Cajigas) Commercial interest exists and some private water
companies invest in Research and Development activities, in collaboration with the
Universities (e.g. AGBAR and Canal de Isabel II). National guidelines are being
developed and at least three autonomous regions (Andaluca, Catalonia and Balearic
Islands) have either legal prescriptions or recommendations concerning wastewater
recycling and reuse. Multiple projects have been implemented treating brackish
wastewater for irrigation and seawater desalination for irrigation in water short
regions.

There is an initiative backed by the Ministry of the Environment, the CEDEX, AEAS
(the EUREAU Spanish branch), ACA (Catalonia Water Agency), the Greater
Barcelona Entity, several foundations (AGBAR, Canal de Isabel II and EMASESA)
and the University of Barcelona to develop Good Reuse Practices and a Wastewater
Reclamation and Reuse Risk Analysis, and since the end of 2004, there is an ad hoc
Committee analyzing the old reuse draft never issued.

Countries Contemplating Regulations and/or Guidelines Concerning Wastewater
Reuse

Belgium. As a result of its dense population, several indicators show that Belgium
can be considered as one of the most water-stressed EUREAU Countries. Amongst
others, the amount of renewable water is relatively low (817m/inh. yr). This is
indirectly translated in a poor groundwater and surface water quality.

Despite the fact that the amount of wastewater reuse so far remains limited (less than
2% of the total treated wastewater), the reuse of treated wastewater is becoming an
essential and reliable option especially in industry, such as power plants, food
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processing, and other industries with high rates of water utilization and in areas of
dropping water tables of high summer water demand such as the coastal regions
during the tourist season. Industrial wastewater reuse is being fostered by the Flemish
Government. In general, the Government wants to restrict groundwater abstraction to
these applications requiring the superior groundwater quality, and hence to promote
wastewater reuse by increasing the groundwater extraction fees.

Eight municipal wastewater reuse projects are now operational (Table 3). Many other
projects are in a more or less advanced planning phase. In Wulpen WWTP, 2.5
million m/yr of urban wastewater is treated by microfiltration (MF) and reverse
osmosis (RO), stored for 1-2 months in the aquifer, and used for water supply
augmentation. Specific infiltration consents have been introduced for this project.

A similar project has been under investigation in Heist, where different options to
increase the potable water supply have been considered, such as MF/RO filtration of
surface water. The reuse of 10,000 m/d WWTP wastewater after MBR and RO
treatment has been rejected because of the fact that a natural treatment step through
e.g. infiltration was technically impossible. A natural treatment step was considered
imperative for safety reasons and social acceptance, although the quality obtained
through MBR/RO was sufficient to be considered for direct potable reuse.

In another case, in Waregem, a 3.0 M m/yr direct WWTP reuse project for textile
industry has been investigated. The technological feasibility has been demonstrated,
but the ideal financing construction is still under discussion. There is a documented
case of established wastewater reuse in Belgium for agricultural purpose for the
irrigation of crops, mainly in summertime. Additionally, the University of Gembloux
had developed a system, called Epuvalisation, to reuse the wastewater wastewaters
in hydroculture (Xanthoulis and Guillaume, 1995).


Table 3 Municipal wastewater reuse projects in Belgium
Location End-use Size (m/yr) Start-up
Liedekerke
Nature enhancement/recreational
(bird watching) 11,979,000 1999
Wulpen Drinking water aquifer recharge 2.500.000 2001
Tienen Industrial cooling makeup water 2.000.000 2003
Brugge
Industrial cooling makeup
water/process water 640.000 2000
Aartselaar Industrial cooling makeup water 80.000 1997
Roeselare
Industrial cooling water/process
water 70.000 2004
Houthalen Industrial cooling makeup water 35.000 2003
St. Niklaas Industrial cooling makeup water N.A. N.A.
Gent/Eke Industrial washing 18.000 N.A.
Leuven Industrial washing 5.000 2004
Oostende Industrial washing N.A. N.A.
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Wulpen Polder irrigation N.A. N.A.

The Regional Government has started the discussion on the introduction of guidelines
and consents for wastewater reuse practice. Aquafin, the company responsible for the
waste water treatment infrastructure in Flanders, has submitted a first proposal for
consents, based on the Australian EPA guidelines.

Greece. In Greece, water demand has increased tremendously over the past 50 years.
Despite adequate precipitation, water imbalance is often experienced, due to temporal
and regional variations of the precipitation, the increased water demand during the
summer months and the difficulty of transporting water due to the mountainous
terrain. In addition, in many south-eastern and island areas there is severe pressure for
water demand, which is exacerbated by especially high demand of water for tourism
and irrigation. Therefore, the integration of treated wastewater into water resources
management master plans is a very important issue (Angelakis et al., 2003).

Today, more than 65% of the Greek population is connected to over 350 centralised
WWTP with a total capacity of over 1.45 Mm
3
/d (Tsagarakis et al., 2001). An
analysis of data concerning the water balance of the areas of the treatment plants
demonstrated that more than 83% of the treated effluents are produced in regions with
a deficient water balance (Tchobanoglous and Angelakis, 1996). Therefore, treated
wastewater reuse in these areas would satisfy an existing water demand. Several
research and pilot projects dealing with wastewater reclamation and reuse are
currently under way in Greece (Angelakis et al., 1999). In addition, few small projects
on wastewater reclamation and reuse are in practice, such as in Archanes, Chalkida,
Hersonissos, and Thessaloniki. Few other projects are under planning, such as Iraklio,
Agios Nikolaos and several Aegean cities. Also, several indirect reuse projects are in
use in the central Greece ( Larissa, Trikala, Karditsa, Lamia, and Tripolis). However,
no guidelines or criteria for wastewater reclamation and reuse have been yet adopted
beyond those for discharge (No E1b/221/65 Health Arrangement Action). A
preliminary study on the necessity for establishment of criteria in Greece has been
implemented (Angelakis et al., 2000). Proposed criteria are aimed to increase
protection of human health and environment (Tsagarakis et al., 2003).

Malta. As it has been referred, the water deficit in Malta is acute. Since agriculture is
the main source of income, wastewater reuse for irrigation has been contemplated as
early as 1884 in order to preserve freshwater for domestic use.

Since 1983, the treated wastewater from the Sant Antnin sewage treatment plant has
been used for irrigation. The current output of 10,800 m
3
/d is expected to be increased
to 17,000 m
3
/d after expansion of the plant. The plant uses an activated sludge process
followed by rapid sand filters (9 m
3
/m

h). The water is then disinfected with gaseous


chlorine (12 mg/L and contact time 30 min) and pumped into irrigation reservoirs with
a free chlorine residual ranging from 0.1 to1.0 mg/L. Due to low water consumption
per inhabitant, the raw sewage in Malta is strong (BOD
5
=530 mg/L and SS=445
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mg/L) and has a high salinity (sodium and chloride) due mainly to the high levels of
these ions in the domestic water supply.

The recycled water is used to irrigate 600 ha of crops by furrow and spray irrigation.
The water quality is suitable for unrestricted irrigation and is used to produce
potatoes, tomatoes, broad and runner beans, green pepper, cabbages, cauliflower,
lettuce, strawberries, clover, etc. Despite the high salinity, there are no problems with
crops. This is probably associated with high permeability of the calcareous soil. Soil
monitoring has shown a salt accumulation in the top soil during the irrigation season
followed by leaching to the groundwater with the winter rains (Angelakis, 2003).

In 1986, the possibility of industrial wastewater reuse was considered. There are two
large industrial water consumers on Malta: Enemalta, a thermal power plant and
Malta Drydocks, a shipyard. In the thermal power plant, 1,150 m
3
/d of demineralized
water are needed for boiler feed make-up (de Ketelaere, 2001).

Therefore, water of adequate quality for reuse in industry can be produced after
extension of the Sant Antnin treatment plant. The use of the recycled water for
industrial purposes depends primarily on the economic circumstances, namely on the
comparison of the total costs of recycled water with other sources of water such as
desalinated seawater. At the moment, recycled water is in use exclusively in industrial
laundry.

Portugal. In Portugal, treated wastewater is a valuable potential resource for
irrigation. On the other hand, the volume of treated wastewater available today in
Portugal exceeds 600 Mm
3
/yr. (According to Plano nacional da Agua (2002) the
treated wastewater volume in 2001 was 201 Mm
3
/yr) Even without storage, this
amount could be enough to cover about 10% of the water needs for irrigation in a dry
year. The use of treated wastewater for irrigation could significantly contribute to the
agricultural development in the driest Portuguese provinces (Algarve, Beja, Evora,
Setubal, Lisboa and Santarem). Roughly, between 35,000 and 100,000 ha, depending
on storage capacity could be irrigated with treated wastewater. Interest is also growing
for the irrigation of golf courses. There are a few cases of planned irrigation with
treated wastewater, especially orchards, vineyard and golf courses in the southern half
of the country. There are plans to reuse the wastewater of four large WWTP in the
area of great Lisbon for agriculture (1000 ha with tertiary treated wastewater from an
existing 460,000 p.e. WWTP in Loures ), golf irrigation (future WWTP for 720,000
p.e. in Estoril) and landscape irrigation and urban uses (two existing WWTP in Lisbon
). Very little monitoring data is available.

UK. The UK has used treated wastewater to maintain river flows (and ecosystems)
and through river abstractions to contribute towards potable water and other supplies.
This practice is particularly developed for the major rivers in the South and East
where it is not always feasible to abstract upstream of treated wastewater discharges
to surface water. This enables the London region to operate with a water availability
of 265m3/person.year. (Planet Water) The Langford recycling scheme, operated by
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Essex and Suffolk Water, provides 40 ML/d of reclaimed wastewater that is
discharged to the river and then abstracted to augment the Hanningfield freshwater
catchment reservoir prior to treatment for potable water
production.(www.eswater.co.uk) (Angelakis et al., 2003). Beside this indirect reuse,
there are some examples of direct treated wastewater reuse, mainly for irrigation
purposes (golf courses, parks, road verges), but also for commerce uses such as
process water for power generation (Flag Fenn), car washing, cooling, and fish
farming. There many industrial projects where the wastewater from the manufacturing
site is being reuse and thereby recovering heat, reducing potable and wastewater
treatment costs. These projects include food, aerospace, paper and other industries.

The projects implemented have been complicated due to lack of clear guideline on
ownership of the wastewater, and of agreed quality issues. Information and guidance
notes on the installation, modification and maintenance of reclaimed water systems
and pipework was published by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme in August
1999. (WRAS).

Several schemes are being piloted for greywater recycling (wastewater from washing
machines, baths and showers) at Loughborough University for the flushing of toilets
that accounts for a third of domestic wastewater reuse. In some of these, rainwater
collected from the roof of the house in question is combined with the treated
wastewater. Overall, there is no consistent or extensive pattern of treated wastewater
reuse in the UK. Historically, there has been sufficient water to meet demand, so
relatively few schemes for reuse have been developed. After the droughts of the last
few years, these are expected to increase significantly with considerable public,
political and climatic pressure in the UK to use water wisely, subject to appropriate
assurances about quality and costs. The government added water reuse with
membranes in 2006 to the Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA) scheme that
provides financial incentive for industry to reuse wastewater through tax reductions
under the previously applied for energy efficiency schemes.(Non fossil fuels etc). This
ECA scheme is already operating for water saving devises and rainwater catchment.
Water UK research group UKWIR with AWWA and Water Reuse Foundation
published in 2005 a Framework for developing water reuse criteria with reference to
drinking water supplies as an aid to the decision making process and to identify the
factors that need to be taken into account when planning and implementing a water
reuse project.

Countries with no Regulations and/or Guidelines on Wastewater Reuse

Austria. Austria has a mean yearly rainfall of ca. 1,100 mm. The water consumption
for drinking water corresponds to about 0.06% of rainfall, and for both agriculture
and industrial purposes to about 1.5%. Due to this favourable situation, water
scarcity in Austria is only a limited local problem mainly in some eastern and
southern parts. Average drinking water consumption is about 159 L/inh.d, which is a
moderate figure and has little changed during the last decade. About 98% of the
drinking water derives from ground water and needs no or nearly no treatment. In
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Austria, the reuse of wastewater is only relevant where it contributes to reduce
pollution and/or costs. Due to the Water Act, Austria has a very strong precautionary
principle for ground and surface water protection. For a number of industries, the
specific water consumption is limited by law to a value, which can only be reached
by recycling water (e.g. pulp and paper industry, sugar industry). As water is a
renewable resource its reuse is only recommended if it results in overall economic
and ecological advantages. Therefore, the basic goal of water protection in Austria is
to make rational use of water and to minimise material flows to the receiving waters.
Source control of water pollution has a high priority.

Bulgaria. In Bulgaria, there have not been any specific investigations related to reuse
of treated wastewater. Possible final wastewater reuse systems have been usually
considered in particular cases concerning the quantity, contents and the treatment
technology of industrial wastewater. Generally, the following summarization could be
made.
The cooling water in Thermal Power Plants is used after cooling in different
types of cooling towers in reversible cycle;
The cooling water from specific facilities, refrigerating installations as well
as condensate water, etc. is recycled after cooling in cooling towers,
cooling ponds and others
In the food industry, wine production, machine building, metallurgy,
chemical- pharmaceutical and other industries.
Wastewater from the paper industry is reused after mechanical treatment
In processing of non-metal mineral resources (kaolin, for example) an
internal recycling of industrial wastewater after mechanical treatment is
envisaged as well as external recycling through the use of the settled water
in the tailings dams.

Czech Republic. (to follow)

Croatia. Croatia consists generally of two climatic regions. The northern part belongs
to the central European region, with typical continental climate and abundant in water
resources. In this region there are no major problems related to water supply. The
coastal western part belongs to the Mediterranean Region, with climate conditions
characterized by long, dry summers and more humid autumn-winter periods. These
conditions, together with specific karstic hydro-geological features contribute to the
relatively low water resources availability. In certain parts of that region (most of the
islands) the available water resources have already being exploited to their full
capacity, creating water supply problems for domestic, industrial and especially
agricultural use. Water supply problems in this region manifest in the fact that the
largest water consumption for both the tourist resorts and the agricultural needs
coincide with the dry season.

Water supply problems in Croatia manifest in the fact that the largest water
consumption for both the tourist resorts and the agricultural needs coincide with the
dry season as it happens in most of the Mediterranean areas Treated wastewater reuse
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in Croatia in any form of water supply has not been practiced so far. Water supply for
population and tourists in the coastal areas has been practiced by transporting the
water from the coast to the islands by submerged pipes and from locations rich in
water (coastal rivers and springs) to other coastal areas. Nevertheless, future
development of these systems becomes expensive, both because of investment and
operation costs. Such practices do not include water supply for agricultural purposes.
Then, in this area there are needs for new water supply sources like desalinisation,
which have already been practiced for water supply for population and tourism on the
small islands near the coast, (Margeta, 2002). Most of the towns in the coastal areas
although small, are characterized with high fluctuation of population (tourists) and
consequently uneven production of wastewater. The pretreated wastewater is
discharged into the sea through long submerged outfalls. Prior to the wastewater
discharge there is only preliminary treatment.

In coastal, tourist area, there has been some private initiatives regarding reuse of
waste water for irrigation. Yet, it is not a water resources policy, and no guidelines or
criteria have been adopted. The main possible future use of treated wastewater could
be irrigation of tree crops, vineyards, olive trees, etc. as well as landscape irrigation.
Water recycling and reuse should be considered a disposal option for protection of
surface and coastal waters, on national level. So far, there are no official plans or
policy for reuse of treated wastewater in Croatia.

Denmark. Denmarks 5 million inhabitants can count on a freshwater availability of
approximately 2500 m3/inh.yr. (1200 cbm/yr (Eurostat).The water supply almost
entirely relies on groundwater resources. Thus managing groundwater quality and
quantity is of paramount importance for a sustainable water supply and use. As in
other Scandinavian countries, the issue of wastewater reuse has so far never been
considered seriously. High water prices encourage industries to recycle process and
cooling water. One of the best known examples is the industrial symbiosis of
Kalundborg where several companies inter alia mutually provide and recycle
wastewater.

During the 1990s there were several initiatives financially supported by the Ministry
of Environment to introduce in-house greywater recycling for domestic uses. But due
to the inconsistency of political acting and several operational set-backs the practice
was almost abandoned (Andersson, 2004).

Estonia. In Estonia a lot of attention is paid to sewage treatment. In several towns
new wastewater treatment plants supplied with modern technology have been
implemented in the last years. In 2003 the amount of sewage to be treated was 119 M
m
3
/yr

from which the rate of untreated sewage was less than 1%. The main treatment
method is biological-mechanical treatment that forms ca 50% from the total amount
of sewage to be treated. Biological treatment forms 46% and mechanical treatment
4%.

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Wastewater involves also mine water that consists mainly of drainage water from the
oil shale mines. In 2003 the amount of mine water was 212M m
3
/yr. This kind of
wastewater which is not typically clean wastewater is treated mainly mechanically in
the sedimentation pools. Part of the mine water does not need any treatment. Thus the
discharged sewage can be divided in Estonia as follows: (a) drainage water from the
mines 212 mill m
3
/yr from which 87% is treated in the sedimentation pools and (b)
household and industrial sewage that needs treatment 119 mill m
3
/yr (Jankovski, 2004).

Pollution loads of the discharged sewage are almost at the same level during the last
years. In 2003 the pollution loads were as follows: 1660 tons/yr acc. to BOD
7
, 2350
tons/yr acc. to N
TOT
, and 170 tons/yr acc. to P
TOT.

In Estonia the procedure on discharging wastewater into water bodies or soil is
specified with the regulation of the Government of Estonia that harmonizes with the
Council Directive 91/271/EEC of 21 May 1991 concerning urban waste-water
treatment. Recycling of wastewater is not applied in Estonia except to a limited
amount is some industrial enterprises. In this case it can be called recycling of
conditionally clean wastewater (Jankovski, 2004).

Finland. With water availability per capita of more than 20,000 m3/yr, Finland never
needed to consider the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation. The consumption of
drinking water is 423 Mm3/yr) and over half of that is groundwater. The industrial
use of water is 1000 Mm3/yr and the use of cooling water is 5700 Mm3/yr. The need
of irrigation in agriculture is quite low. The use of water for irrigation is less than 1%
of the runoff and most of is high quality surface water.

Germany. In Germany, the available amount of water reaches 182 billion m3/yr.
Only 25.8% of this is used: 15.8% by power stations 6% by industry, 3.1% by public
water supply and 0.9% by agriculture. Therefore, there is little incentive for the
recycling of wastewater. Nonetheless, direct wastewater reuse is practised just in the
agricultural sector. This is due to historical development where in regions with sandy
soils agriculture has always only been feasible when irrigated. Formerly this was
accomplished by untreated wastewater, but with the implementation of sewage
treatment the method remained.

The wastewater treatment is operated in line with the requirements of the intended
use: low nutrient degradations are achieved in summer during the vegetation period
whereas during winter the sewage is denitrified and removed of phosphorus and use
for groundwater replenishment. Remarkably amounts of 10 and 20 Mm/yr are reused
that way in Wolfsburg and Braunschweig.

In some regions (e.g. Ruhr valley and Rhine valley) the artificial recharge of
groundwater is practiced. In these cases, surface water or riverbank filtrate is used as
raw water for drinking water production. In some federal states, new regulations
about the seeping of collected storm water have been issued, but only when economic
and ecological advantages could be achieved. The federal water act
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(Wasserhaushaltsgesetz) gives Germany a high level of protection for water, the best
opportunity for the reuse of wastewater is through environmental protection schemes.

The City of Berlin for 120 years has relied on the recycling of appropriately treated
wastewater which is mixed with the surface water. This water is subject to bank
filtration as it recharges the aquifers from which 100% of the potable water source is
abstracted. Under dry weather conditions 70% of the available water has been
recycled through the different water bodies.

Besides, there are endeavours ongoing in the sector of greywater recycling and
rainwater harvesting. Four regional areas in Germany provide subsidies for rainwater
reuse and rainwater catchment is included in building regulations with a fee for
discharging rainwater into the sewer. This has resulted in 100,000 new rainwater
reuse facilities a year. (Klaus Konig 2004). The latest research and demonstration
project (DEUS 21) financed by the Federal Government establishes a decentralised
sanitation infrastructure for newly built residential area of 100 houses (BMBF, 2004).
Germany has one of the lowest water leakage in the EU. The main leakage focus is
on water pipelines. The mean domestic daily drinking water consumption is now 128
L/inh., the same level as 20 years ago.

Hungary. After Hungarys EU accession, Directives for water and sewerage
services has been adopted into Hungarian legal regulation. As a framework for this
National Sewage Disposal and Water Treatment Program has been created for the
period of 2000-2015. The total cost of this program was 800 billion HUF, the main
goals are the following:
(a) Wastewater must be disposed of safely and stored through the whole country;
(b) Biological treatment must be provided in the settlements with more than 2000
inhabitants, as well as smaller territories with a sensitive hydrological environment;
(c) In smaller settlements where sewerage system can be installed economically,
efficient supplemental public utilities must be set up; and
(d) treated wastewater has to be reused when possible.

By optimal usage and division of environmental friendly sewage treatment systems
and traditional treatments plants with mechanical systems, with additional
supplemental public utilities the population of the whole country can be fully
supplied. At this rate by the year 2015 the quality of supply requested by the EU can
be achieved. In recent years the realization of the National Program progresses
proportionately, but with some delays (Table 4).





Table 4. Typical statistics of the National wastewater Programme.
Categories 2000. 2015.
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Length of the Sewerage
network
20000 km 33500 km
Rate of connected houses 45% 75%
Number of treatment
facilities
400 1400
Capacity of treatment
facilities
1,7M m3/d 3,1M m3/d
Rate of population provided
with supplimental public
utility
approx. 10% 25%

One part of the total amount wastewater produced in 2005 (approx 500 M m3/yr) is
created by households and institutions, while the other part of it is industry
originated and the rainwater collected in unified sewage systems. More than of the
3000 settlements (over 800) is connected to a sewerage network, over half of the
population has a sewerage service. 15% of the wastewater gets into the soil without
treatment, 85% is drained to the sewerage system. 65% of the latter goes to treatment
facilities, 20% today still goes to recipients. The rate of biological treatment method
in treatment plants reached 95% in 2005., this rate projected to the whole of the
population is 65%, with at least biological level treatment. It will be a significant
improvement when in a few years 2 new WWTP in Budapest, and biological
treatment plants in Gyr and Szeged will be built with EU support.

During draining and treating wastewater, 660,000 tons of waste water sludge is
produced annually, containing 140,000 tons of dry material (by 2015 the expected
amount will be 350,000 tons). Treating and safe storing of this sludge will be
especially difficult, given the stricter environmental regulations, and its energetically
usage will be more expensive.

The potential for reuse of treated wastewater is very limited. However, reuse of
treated wastewater for agricultural irrigation, during the summer months, is possible
in agricultural areas

Iceland. With renewable water resources over 170km
3
and water availability per
capita of more than 550,000 m3/yr, Iceland never needed to consider the reuse of
treated wastewater for irrigation. The consumption of drinking water is 500 Mm3/yr
and it is groundwater. The need of irrigation in agriculture is very low. The use of
water for irrigation is less than 1% of the runoff and most of is high quality surface
water. Also, the potential for industrial reuse of treated wastewater is limited.

Ireland. About 75% of Irish drinking water is abstracted from surface water, the
remainder being supplied by wells and boreholes. Some 1000 public water supply
schemes deliver in excess of 1.2 million m3 of water per day. Because of the mild
and wet Irish climate, the need of irrigation in agriculture is practically non-existent.
Cooling water tends to be pumped directly from rivers or lakes. We are not aware of
any voluntary reuse of wastewater in Ireland.

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Latvia. (to follow)

Lithuania. Before 1990, according to the currently valid regulations, the scope of
wastewater treatment did not exceed 25% of the total volume of the wastewater
collected. Upon restoration of the independence of the country, the state largely
focused on the treatment of urban wastewater, in the field of environmental
protection. Over the recent 14 years, approximately 1,2 billion LTL have been
invested in the construction of wastewater treatment plants for major cities.
Therefore, presently, in line with the valid requirements, about 70% of the
wastewater collected by means of centralised sewer networks is subjected to a
treatment (Table 5). It is only the wastewater of small towns or rural settlements,
which are treated inadequately, or not treated at all, for the time being. This kind of
wastewater only represents a small share in the total volume of wastewater.
However, the number of facilities is high, which raises the cost of problem resolution
(investment demand per capita, etc.) significantly over that in major cities of the
country, related to implementation of similar solutions. There are a total of
approximately 600 WWTP, which are worn down in small towns and rural
settlements, which need to be rehabilitated, or new facilities must be constructed,
alternatively. The service of centralised disposal and treatment of wastewater is
accessible to approx. 60% of the countrys inhabitants, however, the value is much
lower in countryside.

By the end of 2004, the Lithuanian Water Suppliers Association united 47 water
utilities responsible for supplying and subsequent treatment of over 90 per cent of the
gross volume of potable water in Lithuania. These water utilities have been treating
approx. 98% of the wastewater disposed of in centralised systems, of which 90% is
treated biologically. About 2/3 of the Lithuanias inhabitants make use of the
services of centralised water supply and waste water treatment. As consumption of
water shrinks, it is only a small percentage of the capacity of the treatment facilities,
which is utilised. According to the 2002 data, average degree of utilisation of the
treatment facilities (LWSA members) was 37.40%. Some areas had this indicator as
low as 15-20%. The existing wastewater treatment plants treated 140,471 thou. m in
2002, including 114,334 thou. m treated biologically.

Table 5. Non-uniformity assessment in Lithuania.


Indicator


Indicator unit of
measure

Year
Indicator
value in
Lithuania
Indicator value
in EU
(average)
Degree of
non-
uniformity
Treatment of waste
water to set
requirements
Share of total waste
water treated to set
requirements (%)
2003 69 % 492% High


So as most of the industry have their own in-house treatment facilities, and they only
contribute a small part of the gross volume of wastewater, the content of trace metals
in the wastewater sludge tends to stay within the allowable limits. Sludge of this
quality could be utilised as a fertiliser. However, as most of the large agricultural
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companies shrunk or disappeared at all, the consumption of sludge for fertilisation
needs dropped many times. It is only a small share of gross quantity of the sludge,
which is consumed for regeneration of gravel pits and other destroyed landscape
areas. Most of the sludge generated by the treatment plants must be stored by the
LWSA member companies on the sludge storage grounds, with only a tiny share used
for fertilisation in agriculture, or regeneration of damaged landscape. There are a few
companies who make use of the sludge for breeding forest or willow groves, or
production of biological gas. Nevertheless, the problem of sludge utilisation is far
from being solved for the time being. Many companies encounter the need of sludge
storage, as a result. Efforts have been launched to seek solutions. Sludge composting
represents one of the most prospective outlooks. As the area of arable land decreases,
and the stock of waste in the landfills grows, environmental concerns become sharper,
which makes composting a prospective solution. Composting technology is not a
legacy tradition in Lithuania, no composting companies exist. However, pilot testing,
carried out to date, suggests the sludge of wastewater could be composted
successfully in an industrial, not only a laboratoric, manner. This kind of compost can
be used for vegetation around urban areas, roadside lawns, gardening, etc.

Reuse of treated wastewater has not been developed yet. Most of the treated domestic
effluent is discharged into surface water bodies. No instances of reuse of treated
wastewater in industrial factories have been publicised so far. Believably, it is only a
small share of such wastewater which could be reused in auxiliary technology
processes.

Luxembourg. The average yearly rainfall is 785 mm (two billion m3). National
consumption of drinking water is around 60 Mm3 yearly corresponding in average to
300 L/inh.d. Industry needs 25%, agriculture 30% and households 45%. Today,
surface water (maximum 60,000 m3/d) covers about 1/3 of the average water
consumption and up to 2/3 of the summer peaks. For more security of the surface
water, complementary new groundwater wells (maximum 50,000 m3/d) were dug
some years ago. As Luxembourg has no real problem in providing fresh drinking
water, wastewater reuse does not rank high on the agenda of the country.
Nevertheless, in order to protect its watercourses especially in summer, when the
levels are low, some provisions have been made: industry generally is encouraged to
recycle process and cooling water. Also, storage of rainwater is encouraged for
irrigation and cleaning purposes in industry, agriculture and households. The use of
treated wastewater is being considered for humidification in the compost industry.

Norway. Approximately 87% of the population of Norway receives water from local
watersheds and 13% from groundwater. 90% of the population is supplied with water
from 1600 waterworks and the rest is supplied from small private works. 400 of the
public water works produce water with quality according to EU requirements,
supplying 70% of the population (including Oslo). 1200 smaller waterworks produce
water not up to these standards, supplying 30% of the population. According to
national statistics, Norwegian waterworks deliver nearly 600 L/inh. But only 130
L/inh. are used in private households. Industrial consumption equals to 100 L/inh.,
and an additional 100 L/inh. are used in business undertakings, institutions and
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municipal technical works. These figures indicate a total leakage of 40-50%. The
Norwegian Government has recently decided to allocate approximately 820 million
(NOK 100 million) each year for 5 years for upgrading and improving local water
supplies. As Norway is blessed with an abundance of fresh water, the issue of
wastewater reuse is rarely considered. Nevertheless, because of high water tariffs, in
certain areas some industrial companies are recycling its process and cooling water.
This represents, however, a very low percentage of the total industrial water
consumption.

Poland.
Water supply and sewage disposal conducted in Poland aims at both decrease of
consumption of water resources and reduction of water environmental impact of
sewage through reducing of the amount of sewage and pollutant load, eliminating
extremely environmentally dangerous substances from sewage, application of closed
circuits and water reuse as well as wastewater treatment before its discharge into the
environment.
Achieving good water purity state before 2015, with accordance to the EU
water policy, is implemented in Poland, in particular, by compliance with the
Councils Directive 91/271/EEC as of 21.05.1991, regarding municipal wastewater
treatment, having been implemented in the Polish law in 7 acts of law.
Even before the Council of European Union adopted the directive in Poland,
the Polish districts were obliged, by the power of The Local Government Act (March
8, 1990), to ensure disposal and treatment of municipal wastewater. Additionally,
Water Act obliged the Minister of Environment to make and submit the National
Program of Municipal Wastewater Treatment (KPOSK) to the Council of Ministers,
which was adopted by the Council of Ministers as of 16.12.2003. The schedule
describes the acts concerning equipping agglomerations with combined sewerage
systems and sewage disposal plants, which will be undertaken till the end of 2015,
and also for the intermediate periods 2005, 2010, 2013.
As of June 7, 2005, the Council of Ministers approved the KPOSK updating.
The updating of annexes to the KPOSK caused the increase of investments, which
will be implemented in 1577 agglomerations. The KPOSK assumes buildings of ca.
37,000 km of sewerage network and building, extension, and/or modernization of ca.
1734 sewage disposal plants. According to the Ministry of Environment report,
presenting the implementation of the KPOSK in the years 2003 2005, 112 new
sewage disposal plants were built, out of 64 assumed in the schedule. 78 sewage
disposal plants were modernized, out of assumed 255, and 25 treatment plants were
extended, out of 52 planned. 108 treatment plants were both modernized and
extended, out of 66 planned. 62% degree of biodegradable pollutant reduction was
achieved, out of 69% assumed. Generally, before the end of 2005, 323 investments
were implemented and 63 of them were postponed for the next years.
According to the data of the Central Bureau for Statistics (GUS) as of
31.12.2004, the length of sewerage network in Poland amounts to 73,900 km,
including: 41,500 in towns and cities, whereas 32,400 km in the country. The volume
of industrial and municipal sewage discharged into water or ground amounts to
9119.7 hm, including the sewage volume discharged directly from the plants,
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amounting to 7826.1 hm (cooling water 6984.8 hm), whereas sewage discharged
through sewage network amounts to 1293.6 hm. The amount of sewage requiring
treatment, out of the general volume of sewage discharged into water or ground
amounts to 2134.9 hm, out of this, 1943.1 hm undergo treatment, including 581.5
hm - mechanically, 107.5 hm - chemically, 585.5 hm - biologically, 668.5 hm -
with the raised level of bio genes removal. 191.8 hm remain without any treatment.
The number of industrial sewage disposal plants is 1339, including 465
mechanical, 131 chemical, 690 biological, 53 with the raised level of bio genes
removal ones.
The number of municipal sewage disposal plants is 2875, including 106 mechanical,
2080 biological, 689 with the raised level of bio genes removal ones. The percentage
of population using sewage disposal plants amounts to 59%.


Romania. Concerning the volumes of wastewater collected in Romania in 2004, it
has been established that:
(a) the total volumes of collected wastewater were of 4840.944 M m
3
, out of
which 2910.658 M m
3
(60%) wastewater that needed to be treated; and
(b) out of the volume of 2910.658 M m
3
wastewater, 740.403 M. m
3
(25%) were
treated; 1290.421M m
3
(44%) were insufficiently treated and 879.834 mil. m
3

(30%) remained untreated.
In Romania in 2002, about 75% of the wastewater that originates from the main
pollution sources has reached the natural receivers (especially the water flows)
untreated or insufficiently treated. The most difficult situations have been registered
in the case of the hydrographic basins Prut and Arges Vedea with 99% and the
Seaside with over 98% untreated wastewater. The biggest volumes of untreated
wastewater came from communal husbandries (88%), from the chemical industry
(3%), from the metallurgical industry (1%), from the electric power and the thermal
energy industries (8%).

Only 263 municipalities and 374 rural localities have public sewerage networks, so
about 53% of the Romanias population benefits from this service. The total length of
the sewerage network is 16,348 km, from which 15,092 km in the urban area. The
length of the streets supplied with sewerage system is of about 12,540 km, which
means only 49% of the total length of the streets and 71% of the length of the streets
that are supplied with water.

In order to reduce water pollution, the main works realized were based especially on
purifying stations. At present, 1535 pumping stations are operating but they are
generally technically and technologically out-of date, an aspect that is evidenced by
their functioning mode and by the degree of water treatment obtained.

Only 77% of the discharge collected through the public sewerage networks is treated
in the 206 pumping stations for wastewater that exist in the municipalities. 47 urban
localities, such as Bucharest, Craiova, Drobeta Turnu Severin, Braila, Galati and
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Tulcea, discharge their wastewater directly in the receiving water bodies, without
water treatment.

Slovenia. In Slovenia development of the technology of treatment of various types of
wastewater by constructed wetlands has recently started. One of the priorities of the
constructed wetlands technology is water recycling and reuse. Unfortunately, so far
the constructed wetlands are only used for small communities and consequently
rather limited amounts of water to be recycled are generated. It is expected, that in
the very near future, that technology, including water recycling and reuse, will be
used widely and mainly in tourist areas. Some relevant projects have been already
implemented (Vrhovek, 2002).

Slovakia. As in Croatia treated wastewater reuse has not been used since now due to
the lack of effective sewerage systems and non-existence of secondary treatment
plants. Most of the towns in the coastal areas although small, are characterized with
high fluctuation of population (tourists) and consequently uneven production of
wastewater.

Sweden. In areas where water is scarce, especially for irrigation, wastewater is
considered as an obvious resource. In Sweden, wastewater has been collected in
large reservoirs for up to nine months before irrigation. The benefits with these
projects have been mainly two fold: (a) Wastewater treatment in a safe and
financially attractive way and (b) creation of water resources for agricultural
irrigation. These schemes have meant that wastewater treatment is handled in a
cheap but very efficient way. Nutrients in the wastewater are recycled to farmland
and the farmers are provided with cheap irrigation water. It is profitable for the Water
Utility since it is selling water instead of constructing and operating expensive
sewage treatment plants; and for the farmers because they secure and increase their
harvests and they can also buy water cheaper than had been able to do, if they had
constructed their own irrigation systems. This is also an ecological solution that
avoids all discharges of more or less treated sewage water. Wastewater reuse could
also provide a more direct path to sustainable wastewater treatment than is normally
the case in the western world.

Switzerland. Wastewater treatment in Switzerland has reached a high level: 95% of
the population is connected to sewage treatment plants. All plants are equipped with
mechanical and biological treatment and 75% of the wastewaters are purified with
supplemental chemical treatment. Water quality in surface waters is good or very
good, but in regions with intensive agriculture nitrate concentrations in groundwater
are often higher than 25 mg/L, and in some cases over 40 mg/L. Groundwater from
other sources (>70%) is used directly or can be processed with a single purification
step to produce drinking water of good quality. For larger agglomerations, lakes
serve as reservoirs for the production of drinking water.

The amount of water used for irrigation is not well known: abundance of water
resources does not favour tight control. Because of well-developed hydraulic
infrastructure and enough rain, Switzerland has not a high demand for wastewater
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reuse. However, high quality standards for surface waters and stringent concentration
levels for hazardous substances in wastewater discharges favour water reuse in
industrial processes in order to minimise high treatment costs.

The Netherlands. Some regions in the Netherlands (in the south-west, east and
north-east of the country) can experience water shortages during dry spells. Reuse of
water for irrigation is only possible when the quality of the water is sufficient: for
crop irrigation, chlorine and iron are the limiting substances at present. The
bacteriological quality of the water is mostly too poor to meet the standards for
drinking water for cattle and for bathing waters. Reuse of wastewater can be a good
option for certain industrial applications such as cooling systems, water for cleaning,
etc. A pilot plan for the preparation of boiler feed water was successfully run in
Hoogvliet (Netherlands). It is intended to commission a full-scale plant with a flow
of 2.5 Mm/a (van Naerssen et al., 2001).

So far, the total amount of wastewater recycling and reuse in the Netherlands is
small. In few cases, recycled water is used for maintenance of the aquifer water
level, water for fire-fighting and other urban uses. The use of recycled water depends
on the local situation: availability of good-quality reclaimed water at a
competitive distance, compared to surface water. In the near future, reuse will
probably increase. Water reuse for industry in order to substitute drinking water
prepared from groundwater is initiated by water and wastewater companies in
Tilburg (Maas, 2003). The long-range perspective also foresees reuse as fire
extinguishing water and industrial water. The infiltration and the use for irrigation
are additional options.

In agriculture, wastewater will be stored and even treated to meet the standards
required for this purpose. Water boards are also considering an additional treatment
(sand filtration) after tertiary treatment if the wastewater can be used for
groundwater recharge in forest areas or other natural areas. For industries, the reuse
of wastewater will be an option if it is cost-efficient. With the Dutch government
imposing taxes and limits on aquifer abstraction to reinstate original groundwater
level, industrial wastewater reuse is becoming increasingly interesting. The
installation of constructed wetlands as an option to realise environmental benefits by
reusing wastewater was demonstrated for several locations in the Netherlands
(Claasen, 2004).

GUIDELINES AND/OR REGULATIONS ON WASTEWATER RECYCLING
AND REUSE

Introduction
Advances in the effectiveness and reliability of wastewater treatment technologies
have improved the capacity to produce reclaimed wastewater that can serve as a
supplemental water source, in addition to achieve water quality protection and
pollution abatement requirements. In developing countries, particularly those in arid
parts of the world, reliable low-cost technologies (both for treatment and reuse) are
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needed for acquiring new water supplies and protecting existing water sources from
pollution (Marecos do Monte et al., 1996). The implementation of wastewater
reclamation, recycling, and reuse promotes the preservation of limited water
resources in conjunction with water conservation and watershed protection
programs. In the planning and implementation of water reclamation and reuse, the
intended water reuse applications dictate the extent of wastewater treatment required,
the quality of the finished water, and the method of water distribution and
application (Asano, 1998).

In several countries and states in the United States, water reclamation and reuse is
well established and the value of reclaimed water has been fully recognized. In these
countries and states, laws and regulations exist that mandate water reuse under
certain conditions. In several states, regulations require that a study should be
conducted to investigate the possibility of using reclaimed water for applications that
currently use potable water or freshwater (Crook and Surampalli, 1996). In the
United States, as of March 1992, 18 states have adopted regulations regarding the
use of reclaimed water, 18 states had guidelines or design standards, and 14 states
had no regulations or guidelines (US EPA, 1992 and 2004).

Standards, criteria, rules, guidelines, good practices, and other; which try to regulate
wastewater reclamation and reuse, can be prepared, as for any activity related with
the environment, and made public before they are adopted. This generates certain
number of comments from the public and subsequent modifications that can
influence often decisively, the type of criteria that will be finally published and
enforced (Salgot et al., 2003).

Historical Developments

The evolution of reuse good practice and guidelines cannot be understood
completely without a historic review of the standards that have been created since
1918. In this year the legislative fever on wastewater reuse in California started. A
summary of this evolution can be found in Table 6.

For many years, the State of California regulations were the only legal reference for
reclamation and reuse. They became the benchmark for water reuse practice
everywhere in the world with the assumption that they were the truth, axiomatic and
indisputable. It has even been stated that these standards were copied and recopied
until they were recognized officially. During the seventies and eighties, some
evolution took place and the different states in the USA, and several international
agencies, like the World Bank and the WHO were extremely active. After the
appearance of the US EPA recommendations in 1992, little evolution has been made
anymore. In Europe, as it is referred before, there is some legislative movement for
reclamation and reuse in the EU (Salgot and Angelakis, 2001).

As explained before, California has been the only state that had regulation for years,
so, it is considered to be the best by many technicians and scientists. Nevertheless,
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the statement that this legal piece was restrictive and, as mentioned before, it was
implanted in temporal, legal and socio-economic circumstances with considerable
expenses should be considered.

Several supranational entities have been discussing the possibility to implement new
guidelines and regulations, different from California ones or suggest modifications.
WHO (1989) and the World Bank (Bartone, 1991) sponsored several studies on this
item. Later on, the US EPA performed also several studies and compared the existing
state laws, issuing recommendations in 1992 (US EPA, 2004). At present time, both
California and Israel regulations are under revision. In addition, a committee of
experts has been established for an initial revision of the WHO guidelines. Finally,
various studies are in progress for establishing guidelines or regulations in various
countries such as UK and Belgium. Finally, in several regions and/or countries of the
South of Europe (Spain), studies have been undertaken for establishing guidelines or
regulations (Marecos do Monte, 1998).

WHO Guidelines for Wastewater Recycling and Reuse

International organizations such as the World Bank and WHO, on the other hand,
call for epidemiological studies to defend the less stringent WHO quality guidelines.
In contrast to the California approach, the WHO guidelines say that the
microbiological water quality requirements for irrigation can be met by a series of
stabilization ponds (Table 7). Microbiological monitoring requirements also vary:
the WHO guidelines require monitoring of intestinal nematodes whereas the
California criteria rely on the required treatment systems and the sole monitoring of
the total coliform count to assess microbiological quality (Asano and Levine, 1996).
Similarly, the US EPA criteria emphasize fecal coliforms removal.

Table 6. Historical data of the water quality for unrestricted irrigation (Salgot and Angelakis, 2001)

Year Data and quality criteria
1918 California State Board of Public Health set up the "First regulations for use of sewage for
irrigation purposes in California"
1952 First regulations of Israel
1973 WHO 100 FC/100 mL, 80% of samples
1978 State of California wastewater reclamation regulations: 2.2 TC/100 mL
1978 Israel regulations: 12 FC/100 mL in 80% of samples: 2.2 FC/100 mL in 50% of samples
1983 World Bank Report (Shuval et al., 1986)
1983 Florida State: No E. coli detection in 100 mL
1984 Arizona State: Standards for virus (1 virus/40 L) and Giardia (1 cyst / 40 L)
1985 Report of Feachem et al., 1983
1985 Engelberg report (IRCWD, 1985)
1989 WHO Recommendations for wastewater reuse: 1000 FC/100 mL < 1 nematode egg/L
1990 Texas State: 75 FC/100 mL
1991 Sanitary French recommendations: Based on WHO
1992 US EPA Guidelines for water reuse: No FC detection in 100 mL (7 d median. No more of 14
FC/100 mL in any sample)
2000 State of California Criteria (Title 22) was revised
2003 WHO State of the Art Report on Artificial Recharge of Groundwater with Recycled Water
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(Aertgeerts and Angelakis, 2003)
2004 Revised US EPA Guidelines for Water Reuse
2006 WHO Guidelines for using Treated Wastewater in Agriculture

Pathogens are difficult (and expensive) to monitor. Therefore, the WHO guidelines,
prepared to keep the needs of developing countries in mind, only prescribe a limit for
faecal coliforms (<1000/100 mL) and intestinal nematodes eggs (1/L). As a
consequence, the whole argument about standards revolves around the validity of
such limits as a sufficient guarantee of safety for the water used in irrigation
(Marecos do Monte et al., 1996). A large part of the answer lies in the treatment
requirements associated to the limit values. One must also realize that in the case
where raw wastewater is directly reused, the WHO guidelines, merely by requiring
treatment, are already a major step forward (Table 7). Based on an extensive analysis
of existing guidelines worldwide, the need for developing health-related chemical
criteria for land application of reclaimed wastewater has been reported by WHO
(Chang et al., 1995).

Table 7. 1989 WHO guidelines for using treated wastewater in agriculture
a


Category Reuse conditions
Exposed
group
Intestinal nematode
b

(arithmetic mean no.
of eggs per litre
c
)
Faecal coliforms
(geometric mean
no. per 100mf)
Wastewater treatment expected
to achieve the required
microbiological guideline
A

Irrigation of crops
likely to be eaten
uncooked, sports fields,
public parks
d


Workers,
consumers,
public

1

1000

A series of stabilization ponds
designed to achieve the
microbiological quality
indicated, or equivalent
treatment
8

Irrigation of cereal
crops, industrial crops,
fodder crops, pasture
and trees
e


Workers

1

No standard
recommended

Retention in stabilization ponds
for 8- 10 days or equivalent
helminth and faecal coliform
removal
C

Localized irrigation of
crops in category if
exposure to workers
and the public does not
occur
None

Not applicable

Not applicable

Pretreatment as required by
irrigation technology but not
less than primary sedimentation

a
In specific cases, local epidemiological sociocultural and environmental factors should be taken into account and the guidelines modified
accordingly.
b
Ascaris and Trichuris species and hookworms.
c
During the irrigation period.
d
A more stringent guideline limit ( 200 faecal coliforms/100 ml) is appropriate for public lawns, such as hotel lawns, with which the
public may come into direct contact.
e
In the case of fruit trees, irrigation should cease two weeks before fruit is picked, and no fruit should be picked off the ground. Sprinkler
irrigation should not be used.

Blumenthal et al. (2000) using empirical epidemiological evidences and studies
measuring real exposures that occur over time and based on experimental data have
developed recommendations for revising WHO (1989) guidelines (Table 8). In the
revised WHO guidelines, besides, reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture, urban
settings, aquaculture and artificial recharge of groundwater shall be included.
Recently, WHO in collaboration with EUREAU have organized a Workshop on
water recycling and reuse in Mediterranean region. This workshop was held in
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Iraklio, Greece on September 24, 2002; and during that workshop a draft of
guidelines on water recycling and reuse in the Mediterranean region was proposed
(Bahri and Brissaud, 2002).

The revised 1989 WHO guidelines for using of treated wastewater for agricultural have
been published (WHO, 2006). The interest in use of treated wastewater for irrigation has
driven by water scarcity, lack of availability of nutrients, and concerns about health and
environmental effects. In the revised guidelines emphasis is given in both relevant
epidemiological studies and risk assessment.

Guidelines and/or Regulations for Wastewater Recycling and Reuse in the USA

Total coliform and faecal coliform organisms are often used in conjunction with
specified requirements for treating wastewater, and in such cases it is assumed that the
need for expensive and time-consuming monitoring of treated water for pathogenic
microorganisms is eliminated. In practice, however, this approach has led to guidelines
that require zero faecal coliform bacteria/100 mL for water used to irrigate crops that
are eaten raw in addition to a requirement for secondary treatment, filtration and
disinfection. The US EPA and the US Agency for International Development have
taken this approach, and consequently have recommended strict guidelines for
wastewater use (US EPA, 1992 and 2004). For unrestricted irrigation (that is, for uses
that include crops likely to be eaten uncooked), no detectable faecal coliform bacteria
are allowed in 100 mL (compared with the 1989 WHO guidelines of 1000 faecal
coliform bacteria/100 mL), and for irrigation of commercially processed and fodder
crops the guideline limit is 200 faecal coliform bacteria/100 mL (for which only a
guideline limit on the presence of nematode eggs is set by WHO). In the USA, the
setting of actual standards is the responsibility of individual states, and different states
take different approaches (some specify treatment processes, others specify water
quality standards) and a range of standards is in use (Blumenthal et al., 2000).

Table 8. Recommended revised microbiological guidelines for treated wastewater use in agriculture
(Blumenthal et al., 2000)
a

Category Reuse conditions
Exposed
group
Irrigation
technique
Intestinal
nematodes
b

(arithmetic
mean no. of
eggs per litre
c
)
Faecal
coliforms
(geometric
mean no. per
100 ml
d
)
Wastewater treatment
expected to achieve required
microbiological quality
A Unrestricted irrigation
A1 For vegetable and
salad crops eaten
uncooked, sports
fields, public parks
e

Workers,
consumers,
public

Any

0.l
f
10
3

Well-designed series of
waste stabilization ponds
(WSP), sequential batch-fed
wastewater storage and
treatment reservoirs (WSTR)
or equivalent treatment (e.g.,
conventional secondary
treatment supplemented by
either polishing ponds or
filtration and disinfection)


Restricted irrigation











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Cereal cops, industrial
crops, fodder crops,
pasture and trees
g


B1 Workers
(but no
children < 15
years),
nearby
communities

Spray or
sprinkler

1 10
5

Retention in WSP series
including one maturation
pond or in sequential WSTR
or equivalent treatment (e.g.,
conventional secondary
treatment supplemented by
either polishing ponds or
filtration)





B2 as B1

Flood/fur
row

1 10
3

As for Category A





B3 Workers
including
children < 15
years, nearby
communities
Any

0.1 10
3

As for Category A

C

Localized irrigation of
crops in category B if
exposure of workers
and the public does not
occur
None

Trickle,
drip or
bubbler

Not applicable
Not
applicable
Pretreatment as required by
the irrigation technology, but
not less than primary
sedimentation


a
In specific cases, local epidemiological, sociocultural and environmental factors should be taken into account and the guidelines modified
accordingly.
b
Ascaris and Trichuris species and hookworms; the guideline limit is also intended to protect against risks from parasitic protozoa.
c
During the irrigation season (if the wastewater is treated in WSP or WSTR which have been designed to achieve these egg numbers, then
routine effluent quality monitoring is not required).
d
During the irrigation season (faecal coliform counts should preferably be done weekly, but at least monthly).
e
A more stringent guideline limit ( 200 faecal coliforms/100 ml) is appropriate for public lawns, such as hotel lawns, with which the
public may come into direct contact.
f
This guideline limit can be increased to 1 egg/L if (i) conditions are hot and dry and surface irrigation is not used or (ii) if wastewater
treatment is supplemented with antihelminthic chemotherapy campaigns in areas of wastewater reuse.
g
In the case of fruit trees, irrigation should stop two weeks before fruit is picked, and no fruit should be picked off the ground.
Spray/sprinkler irrigation should not be used.

The well-known California criteria California Code Regulations, Title 22, Division
4 (Dept. of Health Services, 1978) stipulate conventional biological wastewater
treatment by tertiary treatment, filtration and chlorine disinfection to produce
wastewater that is suitable for irrigation. In support of this approach, Asano and
Levine (1996) have reported two major epidemiological studies that were conducted
in California during the 1970s and 1980s. These studies scientifically demonstrate
that food crops that were irrigated with municipal wastewater reclaimed according to
the California approach could be consumed uncooked without adverse health effects.
However, the nutrients removed by the tertiary treatment are not available for
fertilizing. Recently, California regulations have been revised (State of California,
2000). The revised California regulations are based on establishing four basic
recycling water qualities and are shown in Table 9.

The area requirements by the California water recycling criteria are:
(a) No irrigation with disinfected tertiary recycled water shall take place within 15 m
of any domestic water supply well without some provisions.
(b) No impoundment of disinfected tertiary recycled water shall occur within 30 m of
any domestic water supply well.
(c) No irrigation with or impoundment of disinfected2.2 or 23 secondary recycled
water shall take place within 30 m of any domestic water supply.
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(d) No irrigation with or impoundment of, undisinfected secondary recycled water
shall take place within 45 m of any domestic water supply.
(e) Any use of recycled water shall comply with the followings: (i) any irrigation
runoff shall be confined to the recycled water use area, unless the runoff does not
pose a public health threat, (ii) spray, mist or runoff shall not enter dwellings,
designed outdoor eating areas or food handling facilities, and (iii) drinking with
recycled water spray, mist or runoff.
(f) No spray irrigation of any recycled water, other than disinfected tertiary recycled
water shall take place within 30 m of a residence or a place where public exposure
could be similar to that of a park, playground or school yard.

Legislation and Guidelines for Wastewater Recycling Reuse at European Level

So far, no regulation, quality guidelines or good practice of wastewater reuse exists at
European level. However reference to reuse is made in the article 12 of the European
Wastewater Directive (91/271/EEC) (EU, 1991) stating: Treated wastewater shall be
reused whenever appropriate. In order to make this statement reality, common
definitions of what is appropriate are needed.

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) introductory booklet Tap into it! (Tap
into it! ISBN 92-894-1946-6) states on page 8 Living with water Scarcity - as
water shortage increases worldwide, people are looking for ways to reuse water. This
makes sense because it allows a double use for the same pumping costs and
mandatory wastewater treatment costs reuse is an important and natural method of
managing water drainage.

The WFD (WFD Directive 2000/60/EC) states The following is a non-exclusive list of
supplementary measures which Member States within each river basin district may choose to
adopt as part of the programme of measures required under Article 11(4): (x) efficiency and
reuse measures, inter alia, promotion of water-efficient technologies in industry and water-
saving irrigation techniques(EU, 2000).
Although the WFD does not include reuse in the body of the directive it introduces a
quantitative dimension to water management, on top of the usual qualitative
dimension, which may stimulate the consideration of wastewater reuse. It also states
water resources should be of sufficient quality and quantity to meet other economic
requirements. Wastewater reuse being a water resource often mobilised for
economic reasons, such a statement does have economic implications (Angelakis et
al., 1999). The Integrated Pollution Prevention Control legislation (IPPC) does
encourage water reuse and is included in the legislation within the WFD

Table 9. California water recycling criteria: treatment and quality requirements for nonpotable uses of
reclaimed water (State of California Title 22 Water Recycling Criteria, 2000).
Type of use
Total coliform
limits
a

Treatment required
Irrigation of fodder, fiber, & seed crops, orchards
b
and
vineyards
b
, processed food crops, nonfood-bearing trees,
ornamental nursery stock
c
, and sod farms
c
; flushing sanitary
sewers
None required Secondary
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Irrigation of pasture for milking animals, landscape areas
d
,
ornamental nursery stock and sod farms where public
access is not restricted; landscape impoundments; industrial
or commercial cooling water where no mist is created;
nonstructural fire fighting; industrial boiler feed; soil
compaction; dust control; cleaning roads, sidewalks, and
outdoor areas
23/100 mL
240/100 mL in more
than one sample in
any 30-day period
Secondary
Disinfection
Irrigation of food crops
b
; restricted recreational
impoundments; fish hatcheries
2.2/100 mL
23/100 mL in more
than one sample in
any 30-day period
Secondary
Disinfection
Irrigation of food crops
e
and open access landscape areas
f
;
toilet and urinal flushing; industrial process water;
decorative fountains; commercial laundries and car washes;
snow-making; structural fire fighting; industrial or
commercial cooling where mist is created
2.2/100 mL
23/100 mL in more
than one sample in
any 30-day period
240/100 mL
(maximum)
Secondary
Coagulation
g

Filtration
h

Disinfection
Non restricted recreational impoundments
2.2/100 mL
23/100 mL in more
than one sample in
any 30-day period
240/100 mL
(maximum)
Secondary
Coagulation
Clarification
i

Filtration
h

Disinfection
a
Based on running 7-day median.
b
No contact between reclaimed water and edible portion of crop.
c
No irrigation for at least 14 days prior to harvesting, sale, or allowing public access.
d
Cemeteries, freeway landscaping, restricted access golf courses, and other controlled access areas.
e
Contact between reclaimed water and edible portion of crop; includes edible root crops.
f
Parks, playgrounds, schoolyards, residential landscaping, unrestricted access golf courses, and other
uncontrolled access irrigation areas.
g
Not required if the turbidity of the influent to the filters is continuously measured, does not exceed 5
NTU for more than 15 minutes and never exceeds 10 NTU, and there is capability to automatically
activate chemical addition or divert the wastewater if the filter influent turbidity exceeds 5 NTU for
more than 15 minutes.

h
The turbidity after filtration through filter media cannot exceed 2 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU)
within any 24-hour period, 5 NTU more than 5% of the time within a 24-hour period, and 10 NTU at
any time. The turbidity after filtration through a membrane process cannot exceed 0.2 NTU more than
5% of the time within any 24-hour period and 0.5 NTU at any time.
i
Not required if reclaimed water is monitored for enteric viruses, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium.

Treated wastewater is nowadays regarded worldwide as water resource and not as a
waste for disposal. The principles of the WFD should fuel the discussion on recycled
water use, management and its economic analysis which will give to the recycled
water the prospective of an economic good. The WFD discusses fresh water, but as
recycled water is a by-product of potable water use, it can be analogously extended to
cover recycled water (as a product of wastewater treatment). This entails applying on
recycled water all the principles and articles concerning other water sources
management (Tsangarakis, 2005). Recycled water demand is expected be growing
with time at higher rates than supply, when relevant projects being implemented.
Thus, the WFD could evidently be extended to cover recycled water as water resource
( Tsagarakis, 2005).

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As we have just seen, there are many different attitudes towards wastewater reuse
across Europe. There is now an effort to harmonize the various approaches to
wastewater reuse at European level (Angelakis et al., 2001) just as the Australians
have combined their different state guidelines to produce national guidelines and best
practice in 2006.

Approaches in Regulating Wastewater Reuse

So far, a variety of approaches have been taken by different Agencies to regulate water
quality for wastewater reuse systems across Eureau countries. These differences
pertain mostly to the existing irrigation practices, local soil conditions, and the desire
to protect public health, the choices of irrigation and wastewater treatment
technologies and the need to keep costs down.

Existing wastewater reuse guidelines typically cover four areas for each application:
physico-chemical standards, microbiological standards, wastewater treatment
processes and use irrigation or application techniques. The degree of treatment
required and the extent of monitoring necessarily depend on the specific use (e.g.
groundwater recharge, landscape irrigation or crop irrigation) and crop (e.g. eaten
cooked or raw). In general, irrigation/application systems are categorized according to
the potential degree of human exposure (e.g. long-range exposure through spray
irrigation and short exposure through drip irrigation). The highest degree of treatment
is always required for irrigation of crops that are consumed uncooked (the so-called
unrestricted irrigation) or domestic, individual, and private reuse. Health risks
associated with both pathogenic microorganisms and physico-chemical constituents,
including persistent organic pollutants, need to be addressed where recycled water is
used for indirect potable water supply augmentation or other hazardous uses.

Angelakis et al. (1999) gives a brief comparison of criteria (maximum limits) for
recycled wastewater reuse. Outside of Europe, most countries, such as Israel (a
notable Mediterranean exception) and South Africa, and recently Japan and Australia,
shy away from accepting the 1989 WHO guidelines (WHO, 1989); considered too
lenient for public health protection in industrialized countries. Around the
Mediterranean however, and particularly in Europe, while the competent authorities
recognize the limitations of the WHO guidelines, most existing regulations and
guidelines follow them but contain additional criteria such as treatment requirements
or use limitations in order to ensure proper public health protection. This is in
particular the case of the French guidelines. Traditional practices and economic
considerations appear to be weighing heavily on the debate. While there appears to be
a wide agreement that the 1989 WHO guidelines are only a minimum requirement
(i.e. insufficient), there is so far no general consensus on the best approach to follow.
The California approach has developed the most data in its own support and seems to
become established in some parts of the world. Its basic advantage is its safety first
philosophy, but it is the most expensive and disregards established traditional
practices and local socio-economic conditions in many areas of the world. As a result,
there remain a number of experts in favour of a Third Way, somewhere between
the California and the WHO approaches. Developing a consensus on such a Third
Way would make a lot of sense, in particular for the areas where international
tourism and the export of agricultural products are significant and the areas where
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wastewater reuse is mainly performed for environmental protection (Angelakis et al.,
1999). Nowadays, WHO guidelines are under revision. In addition, various studies
are under way which are directed in developing minimal physicochemical and
microbiological criteria for wastewater recycling and reuse in Greece, in Spain and
other countries. These criteria are closest related to California regulations, however,
the 1989 WHO philosophy is in some way included. An additional approach that
seems to be gaining momentum is the implementation of additional tools, like Good
Reuse Practices and hazard/risk based concepts leading to HACCP systems (Hazard
Assessment and Critical Control Points).

CONCLUSIONS

Most of the northern Eureau countries have historically benefited from abundant
water resources and they all give priority to the protection of water quality. In these
countries, the need for extra supply through the reuse of treated wastewater has not
been considered as a major issue, but the protection of the receiving environment is
considered important. In all the Eureau countries, industry is generally encouraged to
recycle water. The situation is more severe in the southern Eureau countries, where
the additional resources brought by wastewater reuse can bring significant advantages
to agriculture (e.g. crop irrigation) and tourism (e.g. golf course irrigation).
Considering its various potential benefits, wastewater recycling and reuse can be
applied to the advantage of both northern and southern Eureau countries (protection
of water resources, prevention of coastal pollution, recovery of nutrients for
agriculture, augmentation of river flow, savings in wastewater treatment, groundwater
recharge, and sustainability of water resource management, etc.). Eureau would be
keen to be involved in preparing international good practices and guidelines related to
the reuse of treated wastewater in a similar format to the horizontal BREF documents
prepared for IPPC legislation. Such criteria and/or guidelines should contribute to a
better management of water resources for all applications, protection of public health,
the environment and result in a more sustainable development as we all develop a
better understanding of our water resources and their management under the Water
Framework Directive.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This work has been supported by the EU-93 AVI 076 Project. In addition the
contribution of members of the Eureau Board and EU2, Dr. A. Abromavicius
(Lithuania), Dr. J. Bebin (France), Dr. Costin Berevoianu (Romania) Mr. J.-P. Feller
(Luxembourg), Mr. F. Folkerstsma (Netherlands), Dr. E. Glotzl (Austria), Mr. F.
Johansen (Norway), Mr. A. Martinez Herrero (Spain), Mr. J. O' Connell (Ireland), Dr.
U. Oehmichen (Germany), Dr. P. Romano (Italy), Mr. H.U. Schweizer (Switzerland),
Mr. P. Ockier (Belgium), Dr. Maria Papp (Hungary) Dr. T. Thairs (UK), Prof. T.
Peitchev (Bulgaria), Mr. H. Westerlund (Sweden) and Dr M.Tloczek (Poland) is
gratefully appreciated.

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