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Summary chapter

Summary chapter for national stats

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2018

Spain has 83.8% of its generated load compliant to the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC).

In 2018, Spain counted 2059 agglomerations generating ≥2,000 p.e. each, of which:

  • 1579 agglomerations, generating 54,102,996 p.e. of waste water, complied with the requirements of the Directive; and
  • 480 agglomerations, generating 10,432,406 p.e. of waste water, did not comply with the requirements of the Directive.

The waste water load generated in Spain in 2018 was reported to be 64,535,402 p.e.

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

  • 0.4 % of the waste water load must still be collected (approximately 268,200 p.e.); and
  • 9.5% of the collected waste water load must still undergo secondary treatment in line with the requirements of the Directive (approximately 6,031,900 p.e.),
  • 16.2% 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 3,923,900 p.e.).

1% of waste water load is addressed by means of individual or other appropriate systems (IAS) i.e. non-centralised sanitation systems (approximately 638,800 p.e.).

For the 2059 agglomerations, there are 2019 urban waste water treatment plants, with a total design capacity of 99,794,000 p.e., of which:

  • 181 plants are active but not connected to collecting system,
  • 634 plants equipped with technology only for primary and secondary treatment,
  • 1204 plants equipped with technology for more stringent treatment than secondary.

For the 2019 urban waste water treatment plants, there are 220 discharges without treatment with a total load of 1,344,791 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
Spain in 2018 Total
[No]
Comply
[No]
Comply
[%]
Total
[p.e.]
Comply
[p.e.]
Comply
[%]
Article 3 (collection) 2059 2054 99.8 % 64,535,402 63,505,818 98.4 %
Article 4 (secondary treatment) 1951* 1511 77.4 % 63,508,419** 56,486,242 88.9 %
Article 5 (more stringent treatment) 276* 213 77.2 % 19,218,294** 15,210,782 79.1 %

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

108 agglomerations were not taken into account in calculations of the compliance rate for Article 4 because the agglomerations use IAS for more than 98% of the collected load.

1783 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
Spain in 2018 Target
[p.e.]
Distance to target
[p.e.]
Distance to target
[%]
Collection 64,535,402 268,248 0.4 %
Secondary treatment* 63,508,419 6,031,864 9.5 %
More stringent treatment** 24,294,059 3,923,912 16.2 %

*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 14 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 7015.73 million for the period 2020-2030. This covers works on treatment plants, with the forecasted investment cost of EUR 6016.65 million (2020-2030) , and works on collecting systems and/or IAS, with a forecasted investment cost of EUR 999.08 million (2020-2030).However, as indicated in a recent OECD study, Spain 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 24.9 billion.

For the reference year 2018, Spain reported the production of 552,310 tonnes of sludge. The sludge is mainly re-used for soil and agriculture (77 %) or disposed for incineration (10 %) and landfill (10 %).

At 953 discharge points, treated waste water is reused for irrigation or others or infiltration.

Storm water overflows case was reported on 4 agglomerations for a total of 16,416,947 m3