On 15 & 16th April 2008 at Pembroke College, Cambridge, UK EWA held a workshop of invited international experts on the Knowledge and Practices of using Treated Sewage Sludge on Land.. More than 70 delegates took part in the event from 14 different countries around Europe.
The current EU Directive on the use of sewage sludge in agriculture was agreed in 1986. It was formulated using the knowledge of the risks of spreading treated sludge on land provided by the COST 68/681 programme during the early 1980’s. There is a current wave of interest in re- evaluating the risks, using modern techniques with the benefit of some 25 years experience of using the Directive.
Mr Bartosz Zambrzycki, representative of the European Commission, has informed EWA that a renewed discussion, concerning the 1986 EU Directive will start at the end of 2008. EWA will contribute to this discussion by sending a report of the results of the Pembroke Workshop.
The spreading of treated sewage sludge on agricultural land is common practice in many European countries - almost half the total production in the European Union is spread on agricultural land. The practices currently in use in different countries were described by both farmers and operators during the workshop. They illustrated a continued high interest in the use of sludge on land.
Specific topics were discussed in focus groups such as food production, community health, environmental issues, community relations, sustainable use and water management, and risk management techniques.
EWA will immediately form an international group to identify best practice for quality assurance systems for the treatment of sewage sludge and the control of its spreading on agricultural land.
EWA will prepare a full report on the proceedings of this important event for submission to the European Commission in July.
The European Water Association (EWA) is an independent non-governmental and non- rofit making organisation promoting the sustainable and improved management of the total water cycle and hence the environment as a whole.
It is one of the major professional associations in Europe that covers the whole water cycle, wastewater as well as drinking water and water and wastewater treatment related wastes. With member associations from nearly all European Countries, EWA includes most of the current European Union Member States as well as Norway and Switzerland. Today, EWA consists of 25 European leading professional organisations in their respective countries, each representing professionals and technicians for wastewater and water utilities, academics, consultants and contractors as well as a growing number of corporate member firms and enterprises. EWA thus represents about 50,000 professional individuals working in the broad field of water and environmental management.
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