Legal regulations for sanitation

The introduction of wastewater and wastewater treatment are key issues for active water protection. Which regulations and laws in Germany and Europe should protect the water quality in water bodies, and everything that applies to the discharge and treatment of wastewater, you can read here.

Europe-wide regulations

In the EU, the European Water Framework Directive applies to all member states. It is a binding guideline for all member states that was passed in 2002 and must be transposed into national law in each of the member states.

Water Act

In Germany, the corresponding law is the Water Resources Act. It regulates all areas from water protection to water abstraction and water discharge.

It applies to:

  • above-ground waters
  • underground waters and
  • the groundwater

Cross-border cooperation

Since the rivers in Germany always extend beyond the national borders, there is the Länderarbeitsgemeinschaft Wasser (LAWA). It regulates the cooperation of countries with regard to individual rivers, and also enacts state agreements on regulatory cooperation and coordination between individual countries.

State Water Regulations

The Water Framework Directive is an EU-wide law, the Water Resources Act (WHG) a national law, but also a national directive. Individual provisions within the state water regulations must comply with the requirements of the WHG, but can also provide more detailed regulations.

The provincial water regulations vary slightly from one federal state to another. In some federal states there are often very different regulations, for example in the new federal states.

Decisive for the citizen and in the country resident enterprises are always the national water regulations. In addition there are the so-called sewage substitutes of the municipalities, which can contain even more advanced and detailed regulations.

Fees for the wastewater

Another basic law is the Wastewater Tax Act. It is a national law that is valid throughout Germany. However, the Länder are given the opportunity to issue detailed provisions, which are reflected in the respective implementing laws.

The decisive factor here is therefore always what the Implementing Act on the Wastewater Levy Act stipulates in the respective federal state.

The AbwAG also states that the amount of sewage tax in Germany must always be measured according to the degree of harmfulness of the wastewater.

water protection

In order to ensure adequate water protection, the Water Framework Directive also adopted the Ordinance on the Protection of Surface Waters (OWV). It also contains important provisions on how wastewater should be treated as environmentally friendly as possible.

Environmental Quality Standards Directive

In 2008, a new directive of the European Parliament was adopted, which is binding for all EU member states. She is mainly concerned with water quality in the EU and overrides some older directives in this area.

water pollutant substances

The "Ordinance on Installations for the Handling of Substances Hazardous to Water and for Specialist Enterprises" also contains provisions which are important for wastewater disposal and must be complied with.

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