This work provides an overview of the present state of wastewater treatment in Poland's small communities and makes recommendations for future development.
Wastewater treatment is among the most important stumbling blocks facing Poland on its path to European Union accession. Compliance with the European Unionís wastewater treatment directive is likely to be a costly environmental investment. Although significant progress has been made in wastewater treatment for urban areas, rural areas lag far behind. This is significant because 40 percent of Polandís population live in communities with less than 10,000 people. Large investments in urban areas are unavoidable, but costs may be minimized in rural areas by utilizing innovative wastewater management strategies. Lowering costs is especially important in Poland, where gross national product is about one fifth of that in western nations.
This project uses case studies of small communities in Poland and abroad to describe the current state of wastewater infrastructure development in rural regions. A review of available wastewater collection and treatment technologies for small communities is given with reference to their applicability in Poland. A comparison of technologies is formulated into a matrix to serve as a basis for decision-making in small communities. Final recommendations for future wastewater infrastructure development in Poland's rural regions are made based on the case studies and the review of available technologies.