Three steps to… proper sewage disposal, or how to get a permit to put sewage into the ground

odprowadzania ścieków

STEP I. Before you proceed with your intention

According to the Water Law, the discharge of wastewater into water or land is a water service that requires a water permit. The same is true for the introduction of wastewater into water facilities (e.g., dam reservoirs). In Issue 10 of Water Matters, in the article “Three steps to…”, we described the path to obtaining a permit to discharge wastewater into surface waters. In this issue, we will focus on getting them into the ground.

Unlike the layout of the other texts in the “Three Steps to…” series, this time we will not present a step-by-step path to obtaining a water permit, as we assume that as an entity discharging wastewater and operating (or intending to operate) a wastewater treatment plant, you have the basic points mastered. We’ll focus on the details and the grind of the Water Law in this regard.

The most common case of wastewater entering the ground is into a ditch.

Each water permit for the introduction of wastewater is issued taking into account the provisions of the Law of April 27, 2001. Environmental Protection Law and the regulations derived therefrom. The basic and necessary condition for a permit to discharge wastewater into the ground is to meet quality requirements. These conditions are set forth in paragraph 11 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.

It is equally important to obtain approval in terms of where wastewater enters the ground. This is stated in paragraph 11 (para. 1(2) indicating that the insertion site or the bottom of the water facility is to be separated from the highest usable groundwater aquifer by a soil layer of at least 3 meters in thickness.

When obtaining a water permit for the discharge of wastewater into the ground, you must demonstrate compliance with the quality conditions for discharges and the condition for the location of the discharge site in relation to the highest usable groundwater aquifer.

STEP II. Necessary documents

Gather the necessary documents and apply for a water permit to discharge wastewater into the ground. A water permit, according to Article 389 of the Water Law, is required for water services, or in this case, the introduction of wastewater. In addition, you will need a permit for the construction of water facilities or their reconstruction, that is, the construction of an outlet or, for example, the reconstruction of a ditch into which you will discharge wastewater.

A water permit is issued upon application for a water permit. You will obtain them from the relevant unit of the Water Authority, at the nearest water 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. If several water permits that are not identical in type are issued in a single decision, the fee of PLN 250 is multiplied by the number of these permits.

Example: 1 x introduction of water + 1 x execution of the outlet = 2 x £250, i.e. total fee of £500

The application for a permit shall be accompanied by a water supply operation, prepared in writing, in descriptive and graphic form, and on computer data 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 is to 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 is issued for the discharge of wastewater into the ground are supplemented by paragraph (2). 4 Art. 409 of the Water Law. It expands the information to include data specific to wastewater injection activities. He indicates that the operative should include, among other things. information on how and to what extent to conduct measurements of the quantity and quality of wastewater discharged into the ground.

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 the construction work in compliance with all other applicable regulations.

For the discharge of wastewater, according to Art. 268 of the Water Law, a fee will be charged by the Water Authority. The relevant Water Board will provide you with information on the amount of the fee after the water law decision becomes final. The fee consists of a fixed part and a variable part, depending on the quantity and quality of wastewater introduced under the water permit.

The amount of the fixed fee is determined as the product of the rate, the time expressed in days and the maximum quantity of wastewater discharged into the ground expressed in m3/s, as specified in the water permit.

The amount of the variable fee is determined as the product of the fee rate and the quantity of substances introduced with wastewater into the ground, expressed in kg. In this case, the largest value resulting from the indicators of BOD5 or COD or total suspended solids is taken.

You are required to measure the amount of wastewater discharged into the ground and use measuring instruments or systems that make this possible.

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