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Summary chapter

Summary chapter for national stats

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2018

Belgium has 95.2% of its generated load compliant to the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC).

In 2018, Belgium counted 379 agglomerations generating ≥2,000 p.e. each, of which:

  • 375 agglomerations, generating 8,768,300 p.e. of waste water, complied with the requirements of the Directive; and
  • 4 agglomerations, generating 438,000 p.e. of waste water, did not comply with the requirements of the Directive.

The waste water load generated in Belgium in 2018 was reported to be 9,206,300 p.e.

In 2018, Belgium had not yet reached the target for treating waste water to fully comply with the Directive.

  • 0.1 % of the waste water load must still be collected (approximately 12,700 p.e.); and
  • 0.4% of the collected waste water load must still undergo secondary treatment in line with the requirements of the Directive (approximately 37,900 p.e.),
  • 0.7% of the collected waste water load from agglomerations generating >10,000 p.e. and discharging into sensitive areas must still undergo more stringent treatment in line with the requirements of the Directive (approximately 55,300 p.e.).

0% of waste water load is addressed by means of individual or other appropriate systems (IAS) i.e. non-centralised sanitation systems (approximately 0 p.e.).

For the 379 agglomerations, there are 403 urban waste water treatment plants, with a total design capacity of 10,570,000 p.e., of which:

  • 4 plants are active but not connected to collecting system,
  • 60 plants equipped with technology only for primary and secondary treatment,
  • 339 plants equipped with technology for more stringent treatment than secondary.

For the 403 urban waste water treatment plants, there are 2 discharges without treatment with a total load of 6,813 p.e.

Based on the 2018 data, it seems that the load generated is lower than the design capacity.

Compliance rate by Article

Agglomeration Waste water load
Belgium in 2018 Total
[No]
Comply
[No]
Comply
[%]
Total
[p.e.]
Comply
[p.e.]
Comply
[%]
Article 3 (collection) 379 379 100 % 9,206,300 9,206,300 100 %
Article 4 (secondary treatment) 379* 377 99.5 % 9,193,571** 9,178,691 99.8 %
Article 5 (more stringent treatment) 149* 147 98.7 % 8,120,523** 7,697,523 94.8 %

Notice : This table contains only agglomerations with expired deadlines.

*The total [No of agglomerations] includes only those agglomerations that must provide secondary treatment / or more stringent treatment than secondary before discharging waste water from their treatment plants.

**The total [p.e. waste water load] is the sum of the load of all of the agglomerations that must provide secondary treatment or more stringent treatment than secondary before discharging waste water from their treatment plants.

Data source for table: Register, summary of MS data

230 agglomerations were not taken into account in the calculation of the compliance rate for Article 5 because these agglomerations generate ≤10,000 p.e. each.

Distance to target

Waste water load
Belgium in 2018 Target
[p.e.]
Distance to target
[p.e.]
Distance to target
[%]
Collection 9,206,300 12,729 0.1 %
Secondary treatment* 9,193,571 37,874 0.4 %
More stringent treatment** 8,120,523 55,277 0.7 %

*The target [p.e.] for secondary treatment represents the waste water load (collected and not collected) from all agglomerations that must be subject to secondary treatment, regardless of whether or not the agglomeration complies with Article 3.

** The target for more stringent treatment represents the waste water load (collected and not collected) from all agglomerations generating >10,000 p.e. and discharging into sensitive areas (regardless of whether or not the agglomeration complies with Article 3).

Data source for table: Register, summary of MS data

The expected annual investment costs per capita for installing and renewing waste water collecting systems and treatment plants is 6 EUR/inhabitant/year.

The investment needs for ensuring adequate urban waste water collection and treatment, i.e. compliance with the Directive, as estimated by the national authorities and included in their national plan, are at the level of EUR 5.75 million for the period 2020-2024. This covers works on treatment plants, with the forecasted investment cost of EUR 5.75 million (2020-2024) , and works on collecting systems and/or IAS, with a forecasted investment cost of EUR 0 million (2020-2020).However, as indicated in a recent OECD study, Belgium would need to increase their investments further to reach and maintain compliance. The OECD projected that the financing needs by 2030 (total cumulative additional expenditures for sanitation) is EUR 5.3 billion.

For the reference year 2018, Belgium reported the production of 158,372 tonnes of sludge. The sludge is mainly disposed for incineration (67 %) or re-used for soil and agriculture (20 %) and others (11 %).

At 1 discharge point, treated waste water is reused for infiltration.In 2018 0.0124 % of treated waste water was reported to be reused (Industrial process, services, infiltr. in aquifer)

No information was reported on storm water overflows by Belgium.