Waste Water Disposal from Coastal Communities Economic and Environmental Consequences of Green Politics

by Peter Head, North West Water Ltd, Warrington, United Kingdom,
David Crawshaw, North West Water Ltd, Warrington, United Kingdom,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


As a result of increasing pressure from the European Commission and environmental groups the UK Government announced, in March 1990, that it would no longer allow the discharge of untreated sewage to the sea. This decision has resulted in a reappraisal of the scope of many coastal and estuarine improvement schemes and it has been necessary to determine how existing schemes can be adapted to allow for building primary or secondary treatment works, depending on the populations and the nature of the receiving waters. The potential environmental impact of new works and of sludge disposal causes considerable concern to populations near to potential sites and extensive consultations are required to ensure that an acceptable location is found. Such consultations are difficult at times when the objectives are fully supported by existing legislation but even more difficult when there is a good chance that more stringent objectives are soon to be adopted. As a result of the decisions so far made by the UK Government the cost of providing sewage treatment facilities will increase considerably over the next few years. Since these costs must be borne by the customers it will be interesting to see whether they regard the environmental improvements as good value for money and continue to support moves for even higher standards.

Subject Headings: Environmental issues | Sewage | Sea water | Water pollution | Water treatment plants | Water policy | Sustainable development

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