What distinguishes process water?
Wastewater ends up in the mains drainage system – process water from trade and industry is also part of this. Ideally, process water from industrial plants is purified by a functioning process water circuit in such a way that it can be used continuously – in the water composition required for the area of application. Something that distinguishes process water from plain tap water. At some point, every process water has its intended use – and flows into the mains drainage system as process wastewater. But first you have to treat process wastewater and feed it into the water recycling system.
Why do you need a wastewater treatment plant?
Before you discharge process wastewater into public wastewater systems, you must limit its pollutant content to a minimum by means of production and wastewater engineering measures. Wastewater treatment in Germany requires that industrial wastewater, like process wastewater, passes through a company’s own wastewater treatment plant. Strict legal discharge conditions define how this is to be done: Solids are to be separated and filtered, dissolved substances are to be separated by precipitation and much more.
Process water treatment: What are the regulations for water treatment in Germany?
According to the Water Resources Act (WHG), water management serves the public good as well as the benefit of individuals. In water use, therefore, economic and ecological interests have to be reconciled – current water law aims to meet both requirements. Process wastewater is subject to high water recycling requirements here. Since 2006, the WHG has contained the most important provisions – since the reform of federalism, as a full federal regulation, with the exception of certain options for the Länder to deviate. Higher-level water protection legislation is implemented at regional, national, European and international level. Regulations that think globally, but act in detail locally – including surface water, groundwater and wastewater regulations. Anyone who wants to discharge process wastewater into the public sewerage system must comply with the specific catalog of specifications of their regional water management authority when recycling water.
What are the minimum requirements for water recycling?
Since 1976, federal minimum requirements for wastewater discharges have been in effect – including wastewater generation, wastewater prevention, and wastewater treatment. However, it is only since 1996 that this has been founded firmly upon use of state-of-the-art technology: The permissible pollutant load is determined by how well – depending on the industry – the latest technology on the market manages to minimize emissions to water. The details on that? You can read about this in Germany’s Federal Wastewater Ordinance (2004). Sector-specific annexes specify exactly which concrete minimum requirements process wastewater must meet. It is the responsibility of the Länder and their authorities to implement federal and Land (regional) legislation. State law also supplements the provisions of the WHG, e.g. in the area of wastewater treatment plants, oriented e.g. to European legal requirements. Accordingly, European water protection law has been uniformly represented by the comprehensive Water Framework Directive (WFD) since 2000 – its requirements are reflected nationally in the WHG, in the Waste Water Levy Act and in numerous ordinances.
Why do you need a permit for wastewater treatment in Germany?
Against this background, every wastewater discharge from industry and trade is subject to permission or approval – in the spirit of the legislatively compliance disposal of wastewater. What is the procedure for granting a permit under water legislation? Frameworks of requirements exist for wastewater discharges and installations, the operation of a wastewater treatment plant and the setting of the wastewater levy. In addition, the installation permit and discharge permit must be issued no later than seven months after receipt of all application documents (available in Section 3 IZÜV). The spirit of this substantiating evidence: Identify the emissions expected from the operation of the wastewater treatment plant – in form, magnitude and environmental impact. Good documentation is documentation that demonstrates how a facility avoids or mitigates all of the above.
What do the IE Directive and IZÜV regulate?
Certain industrial activities have pollution potential: For these, the provisions of the IE Directive (IED) of 2011 apply. Your destination: A high level of environmental protection by avoiding and reducing emissions – whether to soil, air or water. Wastewater treatment in Germany is oriented towards this, but instead of uniform plant approval, approval procedures under immission control law, waste management law and water law continue to run in parallel. You will find the procedural regulations for the granting of approvals under water law for IED plants in the IZÜV (Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant Approval and Monitoring Ordinance).
Does your water recycling meet the technical requirements?
The public sewage treatment plant is not designed to treat your pollutants, which is why – in accordance with Section 60 Para. 1 WHG – you must set up and operate your wastewater treatment plant in such a way that the requirements for wastewater disposal (regulated by Section 57 WHG) are met. Only such a wastewater treatment plant has a chance of being approved. To this end, it must minimize the quantity and harmfulness of the effluent by means of a state of the art process and reconcile the discharge with the requirements relating to the characteristics of the water body. The AbwV (Ordinance on Requirements) of the Federal Government currently defines more than 50 areas of origin which are regarded as models for minimum requirements because they correspond to the state of the art. The technical regulations of the DWA apply to the actual operation of a wastewater disposal system. If there are deficits in this respect, adjustments must be made to the installation (Article 60(2) WHG).
Does your plant meet the requirements of the water management office?
The mode of action of new types of wastewater treatment processes must be scientifically and procedurally comprehensible, based on clear design principles, defined areas of application and expansion sizes. Under practical conditions, such a system operates stably even with changed loads or temperature fluctuations over the course of the seasons. There is no way around this – because it is inadmissible to achieve the requirements of the AbwV solely by shifting environmental pollution to environmental areas such as soil or air. And not only the use of chemicals and exhaust emissions, but also the amount of waste must be kept as low as possible. Why you may not discharge process water (e.g. in m³/h) without limitation. The requirements for a reduction of the pollutant load in wastewater are listed in Section 3 AbwV. As a discharger, you must document compliance with them – e.g. by means of a wastewater register or operating log. Here, a sampling point offers the possibility to check whether the AbwV concentration values are complied with. By the way, dilution is prohibited here – which is why you have to collect wastewater that does not require treatment, such as clean clean wastewater, separately from wastewater that does require treatment. Your obligations as a plant operator also include regular, proper maintenance of the wastewater plant (operator obligation pursuant to Section 61 WHG) – internally regulated by an operating regulation; the measures carried out must be presented in the annual report pursuant to Section 5 EÜV. With proper maintenance, an extension of the approval is not a problem.
How much is your wastewater levy?
According to Section 1 AbwAG you have to pay fees for the discharge of wastewater. Their amount depends on how harmful the wastewater is. For this purpose, a water-law permit is issued, determined on the basis of so-called damage units (defined in terms of parameters in the annex to Section 3 AbwAG). When is wastewater harmful? If it exceeds the stated thresholds for concentration and annual quantity. Your permit shows monitoring values for all parameters as concentrations or dilution factors and sets the annual pollutant load. This results in the permissible annual load per delivery parameter and the number of damage units. How much do you have to pay? To determine this, the amount of wastewater that you actually discharged during the calendar year is used – this is called the annual wastewater volume. The wastewater levy is always paid in advance for the coming year, with the annual volume of wastewater being estimated by an official expert. The data basis is the evaluation of existing measurement results and/or experience with comparable companies. At the end of the calendar year, the office checks whether you are above or below the estimate – and corrects the previously levied charge if necessary.
What does innovative wastewater treatment in Germany achieve?
What options do you have to comply with prescribed limit values? For example, you can use a pH neutralization system that neutralizes wastewater fully automatically and feeds it into the wastewater mains drainage system. Wastewater neutralization, which takes into account wastewater volumes and customer-specific requirements – and offers wastewater collection tanks, pH value determination, reaction tanks with CO2 dispensing, final pH control and a control cabinet (also built into a mobile container) for fully automatic operation. You should not do without a convenient evaluation station in order to cover all regulations concerning the quantity and harmfulness of discharged substances. What does such a wastewater control system – that is also mobile – actually look like? Innovative and modern, consisting of controller display module, pH probe (redox probe), opacity meter. The controller display module, as an intelligent command center, takes care of practically every operation – it controls the connected probes, reliably retrieves their measured values of opacity and wastewater load of solids – and can be coupled with more than 30 digital sensors.
On the safe side in terms of water legislation – with state-of-the-art water recycling
It’s good when all the components (of which there are many more) work hand in hand here! However, only a wastewater treatment plant that is tailored to your specific recycled water treatment needs can ensure optimum water quality and save fresh water while also reducing your wastewater costs. With intelligent machines at the cutting edge of technology, you are on the safe side in terms of water legislation!