Innovations in environmental protection: how Krasnystaw is changing the face of wastewater management with BGK support

Innowacje w ochronie środowiska: jak Krasnystaw przy wsparciu BGK zmienia oblicze gospodarki ściekowej

Poland’s most modern catchment station, a symbol of innovation in wastewater management, has been opened in Krasnystaw. The project, supported by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and the Institute of Environmental Education, prioritizes environmental security and cross-sector cooperation, creating the future of wastewater management in Poland.

Sink stations in Poland – considerable investment needed

With increasing environmental awareness and tightening environmental regulations, modernization and development of wastewater management infrastructure, especially catchment stations, is becoming a key challenge. Central Statistics Office data for 2022. They alert that more than 90 percent of wastewater from unsanctioned areas is illegally discharged into the environment. This means that only a fraction of the liquid waste ends up at the catchment stations. An additional problem of the circulation system is the state of the art of the catchment stations.

Survey conducted in 2023. showed that as much as 45 percent. Containerized catchment stations in Poland do not have adequate equipment for separating solids, and 89.3 percent. of them do not meet the applicable legal requirements under the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure on the conditions for introduction of liquid wastes to the transfer stations. Nearly 90 percent. of these facilities do not keep records of the waste they receive, and some do not even confirm receipt.

Agata Sobolewska of the National Bank commented on the challenge:

Water catchment stations in Poland require a number of investments to bring them into compliance with the requirements imposed by the law. Modern, digitized catchment stations not only mean a sealed system for the circulation of liquid waste, a better state of the environment, but also a huge facilitation of the reporting of inspections of zero-waste tanks, which local governments’ environmental departments are required to do. At BGK, we recognize the challenges faced by local governments that want to meet the requirements of the law regarding the circulation of liquid waste, the state of the catchment stations and wastewater treatment plants. Hence our involvement in the study of such facilities in Poland and in the pilot modernization of the Krasnystaw station.

Modern sink station

The modernized water catchment station in Krasnystaw, which was ceremonially opened on March 21 in the presence of the city’s mayor and representatives of the Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego and the company Ścieki Polskie and the Institute of Environmental Education, can be considered an example worthy of emulation. It is the most modern facility of its kind in Poland, equipped with advanced technology that allows, among other things. Authorization and identification of the drivers of the wastewater collection companies; identification of the addresses of the properties from which the wastewater originates; automatic recording of data on each discharge or reporting in real time.

Wodne Sprawy 34 2024 5
pic. Ścieki Polskie Sp. z o.o.

The commissioned mobile catchment station is very important and necessary for the entire sewerage network and the system we were able to create after the modernization of the wastewater treatment plant. It can be said that just put dot over i. Thanks to the company Ścieki Polskie and Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, we can now monitor and analyze wastewater discharges and respond quickly to irregularities. Thus, this is another element that will serve to protect our environment – Krasnystaw Mayor Robert Kościuk stressed. It is also worth mentioning that the modern catchment station allows not only effective control of the amount of supplied wastewater, but also its quality – measuring selected parameters, i.e.: pH, conductivity, temperature, turbidity, density, chemical oxygen demand (COD).

The future of catchment stations

The future of the country’s catchment stations lies in further modernization and adaptation to current and future regulatory requirements. The technological innovations used in Krasnystaw point the way forward for similar facilities throughout Poland. According to Wojciech Witowski, president of Ścieki Polskie, the key to effective wastewater management is the constant monitoring and control of incoming wastewater, which makes it possible to identify and quickly respond to potential threats to the treatment plant and sewage network. Implemented solutions, such as at least customized software, enable not only control, but also increase residents’ awareness and responsibility for the environment.

Wodne Sprawy 34 2024 6
pic. Ścieki Polskie Sp. z o.o.

What to look out for

Modernization of catchment stations, as the example of Krasnystaw shows, is crucial for effective wastewater management, especially in rural communities. In the face of existing challenges, such as illegal wastewater discharges and the failure of existing facilities to meet regulatory requirements, further investment and the implementation of modern technologies are needed. Cooperation between local governments, financial institutions and companies specializing in wastewater technologies can bring significant benefits to the entire water and wastewater management system in Poland. The example of Krasnystaw is an example of how advanced solutions can contribute not only to efficiency in wastewater management, but also to the protection of the environment and public health.

Poland’s underinvestment and outdated infrastructure of catchment stations pose a major challenge for wastewater management. Only the right investments and use of technological innovations can bring sustainable and effective solutions. The ordering of wastewater management outside agglomerations, in unsanitized areas, will depend on the continuation of activities aimed not only at meeting current standards, but also at ensuring environmental safety, protecting water resources and improving the quality of life of local communities.

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