SWITZERLAND: Government announces micropollutant tax
AFM and the removal of micro-pollutants
Many of the most toxic micro pollutants are bound up in solids and bacterium cell biomass and discharge from waste water treatment facilities. AFM is used to filter waste water to remove over 99% of all particles down to 1 micron. AFM is therefore a potential solution that can reduce most of the micro pollutants from waste water. The graph shows the performance of AFM grade 0 and grade 1. Data is from an independent accredited laboratory IFTS tested under standardised ISO procedures.
SWITZERLAND: Government announces micropollutant tax (07/10/14)
The Swiss government has announced that from 2016 it will introduce a SFr9 ($9.63) tax per resident to fund treatment for micropollutants under new national legislation.
The tax will finance 75% of the cost of equipment to be installed at around 100 wastewater treatment plants serving over 80,000 people, or for populations of over 24,000 in river basins that drain to lakes across the country.
Equipment will also have to be installed where the treated wastewater represents over 10% of the volume of the receiving water body. Cantons will also be able to request upgrades for wastewater treatment plants serving over 1000 people in areas that are ecologically sensitive or close to drinking water sources.
The equipment will remove micropollutants including pharmaceuticals, hormones, cosmetics and insecticides that can have an adverse impact on fish and other aquatic life.
The aim of the tax is to raise around SFr1.3 billion ($1.36 billion) over 20 years to finance the upgrades. Once all treatment plants have been upgraded the government has said the tax will end.
Opening the EAWAG Info Day, EAWAG director Janet Hering noted that Switzerland’s plans for river restoration and the control of micropollutant discharges from wastewater treatment plants mean that the country ‘stands at the forefront of water protection worldwide’.