Two regulations – one goal:
environmentally sustainable and resource-sparing management of sewage sludge.
Knowledge of the contamination of our soils and waters through sewage sludge and increasing environmental and health awareness have led to a change of thinking. After years of discussion in 2017 the legislator prepared the way for a far more environmentally sustainable management of sewage sludge.
Significantly stricter limits for harmful substances.
Changes to the German Fertilizer Regulation (DüMV) affect the kinds of sludge which can be used agriculturally. From the beginning of 2019 fertilizers containing synthetic polymers may only be used if the amount of synthetic polymers applied does not exceed 45 kilograms of active substance per hectare within three years. This means that from 1 January 2019 many kinds of sludge will no longer be able to be used as fertilizers.
Binding protection of resources.
The recently passed amendments to the Sewage Sludge Regulation (AbfKlärV) are also aimed at reducing the agricultural use of sewage sludge and ensuring the recovery of phosphorus. From 2029 phosphorus recovery will be compulsory for sewage treatment plants with an expansion range of at least 100,000 population equivalents (PE). Three years later the same will apply to plants with at least 50,000 population equivalents. Around two thirds of the sewage produced in Germany is treated in the affected plants. According to the Sewage Sludge Regulation, besides the duty to recover phosphorus large sewage plants also have a duty of thermal disposal. If phosphorus is to be recovered from the sewage sludge before incineration its phosphorus content must be reduced by at least 50 percent or to less than 20 grams per kilogram of dry mass.
For many municipalities the implementation of these regulations creates a need for immediate action. As a partner of the municipalities we are on hand to develop customised solutions for a groundbreaking, resource-sparing sewage sludge recycling.