Three steps to… fertilization, or how to get a permit for agricultural use of wastewater


STEP I. Before you proceed with your intention

Agricultural use of wastewater (if the total volume is greater than 5m3 per day), according to the Water Law, requires a water permit. Fertilization with wastewater is possible without a permit if the total amount is no more than 5m3 per day. That is, the total annual volume will not be more than 1825m3:

365 days times 5m3 per day = 1825m3.

Otherwise, you must obtain a water use permit.

Whether or not the use of wastewater for fertilizer will require a water permit, it must meet quality requirements.

Quality conditions are defined in paragraph 16 of the Decree of the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Inland Navigation dated July 12, 2019. on substances particularly harmful to the aquatic environment and the conditions to be met when discharging wastewater into waters or into the ground, as well as when discharging rainwater or snowmelt into waters or into water facilities. The regulations indicate that the following quality requirements must be met:

  • The BOD5 of wastewater is reduced by at least 20%, and the total suspended solids content is reduced by at least 50%;
  • wastewater meets the sanitary conditions specified in Annex 9 to the Regulation;
  • wastewater does not pose a threat to the quality of groundwater and surface water, and in particular will not pollute them with substances particularly harmful to the aquatic environment;
  • wastewater does not contain pollutants in excess of their maximum permissible values specified in:
  • lp. 1 and 2 in Table I in Annex 4 to the Regulation;
  • lp. 2 and 21 – 58 in Table II in Annex 4 to the Regulation.

Wastewater used for agricultural purposes is subject to condition and composition testing, as well as microbiological and parasitological testing at least once every two months.

STEP II. Necessary documents

If you use wastewater in excess of 5m3 per day for fertilizer, apply for a water permit. It is, according to Article 389 of the Water Law, required for special use, that is, in the issue at hand, for agricultural use of wastewater.

A water permit is issued upon application for a water permit. You will obtain them from the relevant unit of the Polish Water Authority – the nearest catchment area board.

The fee for the issuance of a water permit for agricultural use of wastewater is PLN 250.00 and should be paid to the account of the Polish Water Authority.

The permit application shall be accompanied by a written water supply report, in descriptive and graphic form, as well as on computer storage media as a text document.

The operative must meet the requirements set forth in Art. 409 para. 1 and paragraph. 2 of the Water Law, and the descriptive part should be adapted to the type of activity to which the permit applies.

The operative must contain all the information indicated in Art. 409 para. 1 and paragraph. 2. If any point does not apply to wastewater discharge, the operative should state “not applicable.” Omission or deletion of a particular item will result in a call for supplementation.

The contents of the operative, on the basis of which a water permit for agricultural use of wastewater is issued, are supplemented by paragraph. 5 Art. 409 of the Water Law. It expands the information to include data specific to wastewater activities in agriculture. He indicates that the operative should include, among other things.

  • The quantity, condition and composition of wastewater;
  • Annual watering rates and application dates;
  • Numbers and area of fertilized plots and characteristics of land for agricultural use of wastewater.

Operat mark the date of its execution. It is also important to include a description of the project that does not include specialized terms.


You can proceed with agricultural work with all other applicable regulations.

Agricultural use of wastewater is not charged by the Water Authority.

You need to pay attention to where you use wastewater. The regulation on …conditions to be met when discharging wastewater into water or land… in fact, specifies the location of land where wastewater can be used agriculturally and the permissible content of heavy metals in soils. This is stated in Annex 11 to the aforementioned regulation.

In areas where you use wastewater agriculturally, perform tests every 5 years to determine the content of heavy metals in soils.

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