Three steps to… proper discharge of industrial wastewater, or how to get a permit to put wastewater into the sewer system

Trzy kroki do… prawidłowego odprowadzania ścieków przemysłowych, czyli jak uzyskać pozwolenie na wprowadzanie ścieków do kanalizacji

STEP I. Before you proceed with your intention

The introduction of industrial wastewater containing particularly harmful substances into sewerage facilities owned by others is classified as special use of water in accordance with the Water Law. This activity requires a water permit regardless of the amount of wastewater discharged. In this case, their origin and chemical composition are important, or more precisely, the fact that they contain particularly harmful substances.

The list of particularly harmful substances is contained in the regulation[1] and counts 47 substances. In addition to phenols and hydrocarbons, it lists, among others. Ammonium and nitrite nitrogen.

STEP II. Necessary documents

Gather the necessary documents and apply for a water permit to discharge wastewater into the ground. A permit, according to Article 389 of the Water Law, is required for the use of water, or in this case for the introduction of wastewater into the sewage system of another entity.

A water permit is issued upon application for a water permit. You will obtain them from the relevant unit of the Water Authority. If the wastewater comes from the operation of an installation associated with projects that may always have a significant impact on the environment, you will obtain a permit from the Regional Administration. If you are engaged in activities that do not fall into this group – at the nearest catchment area board.

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

Attach to the application for a permit a water supply operation – prepared in writing, 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 tailored to the type of activity to which the water permit applies. The operative must contain all the information indicated in Art. 409 para. 1 and paragraph. 2. If any of the points does not apply to the introduction of wastewater, the operative should state “not applicable.” Omission or deletion will result in a call for supplemental documentation.

An application for a water permit for the introduction of industrial wastewater containing substances particularly harmful to the aquatic environment into sewerage facilities shall be accompanied by the consent of the owner of such facilities or a wastewater collection agreement with the owner of the facilities in effect as of the date of the application.

The contents of the operative on the basis of which a water permit is issued for the discharge of wastewater into sewerage facilities are supplemented by paragraph (2). 4 Art. 409 of the Water Law. It expands the information to include data specific to this form of use and indicates that the document should include, among other things:

  • technological scheme with mass balance and types of materials, raw materials and fuels used relevant to environmental requirements;
  • permissible quantities of polluting substances, in particular, the quantities of substances particularly harmful to the aquatic environment, expressed in mass units per unit of raw material, material, fuel or resulting product used, and the expected method and effect of their treatment;
  • Determination of the condition and composition of industrial wastewater fed into the combined sewer systems supplying wastewater to the treatment plant;
  • information on the manner and scope of conducting measurements of the quantity and quality of wastewater discharged into sewerage facilities.

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

The permit is issued for a period of no more than 4 years, calculated from the date on which the decision became final.


You can proceed with implementation with all other applicable regulations.

No fee is charged by the Water Authority for discharging industrial wastewater containing particularly harmful substances into the sewerage facilities of another entity.

A special case of introduction of industrial wastewater, containing particularly harmful substances, into the sewerage facilities is its delivery to the catchment station by a special septic tanker truck. In this case you also need a water permit. Only the trucking of non-hazardous domestic or municipal wastewater to treatment plants or transfer stations is not subject to the requirement for a water permit.

Download in PDF

[1] Ordinance of the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Inland Navigation on substances particularly harmful to the aquatic environment, the introduction of which in industrial wastewater into sewerage facilities requires a water permit (Journal of Laws 2019.1220)

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