Late last year, the European Commission published a proposal to amend Council Directive 91/271/EEC of May 21, 1991. Concerning the treatment of municipal wastewater, the so-called. wastewater directive. Reducing the boundaries of agglomerations covered by wastewater regulations from the previous 2,000 p.e. to 1,000 p.e. is indicated as a key change. Great emphasis is also being placed on the reduction of nutrients in wastewater and the so-called “biofouling”. new contaminants (microplastics, PFAS substances, pharmaceuticals, hormonal substances), as well as on the safety of municipal sewage sludge.

The new regulations also point to the need for proper management of rainwater in urban areas. They define the concept of urban runoff and assume the reduction of pollutant emissions from stormwater through the introduction of integrated stormwater management plans. The draft directive outlines an initial timetable for implementing the plans. It defines transition periods from effective monitoring of stormwater management in 2025 to the need to have ready documents in 2040.

Reducing pollution caused by water from urban runoff is indicated as a primary goal of the stormwater management plan. It is indicated that the new directive will pay special attention to the implementation of measures to prevent and minimize surface runoff. Equally important will be the implementation of green infrastructure-based solutions and the optimization of existing rainwater collection systems and better management of water quality and quantity in urban areas.

Implementation and execution of the plans are expected to help cities better adapt to climate change. The draft directive here shows direct links to the Biodiversity Strategy, which supports the implementation of green and blue infrastructure in cities.

The plans are to be drawn up at the local level, taking into account specific hydrological and meteorological conditions. They should be based on integrated quantitative and qualitative water management in the agglomeration, taking into account the effects of urbanization and ongoing climate change. The Commission’s expectation is to develop plans for all sites where stormwater overflows or urban runoff pose a threat to the environment and public health. The draft stipulates that member states will be required to develop and implement rainfall management plans in agglomerations exceeding 10,000. RLM.

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