Our offer

Due to radical changes in fees and demands in the new water law, and possible sanctions, we provide help in the following areas:

  • comparison of factual circumstances and new law demands
  • development of environmental frames and help in gaining necessary permits
  • designing and building process water recycling and recirculating systems in industries – lowering the costs of functioning

Using the water

The legislator has distinguished the following ways of using the water:

  • common use of water – to fulfill own needs or the needs of households and agricultural holdings, without using special technical devices, as well as for recreation, tourism, water sports and, under the laws of other acts, fishing purposes.
  • ordinary use of water – to fulfill the needs of household and agricultural holdings. It includes surface and ground water intake in the amount that cannot surpass 5m3 per 24 hours, annual average, and pumping wastewater into the ground or the water in the amount that cannot surpass 5m3 per 24 hours, annual average.
  • special use of water -that exceeds ordinary and common use of water, including:
  1. Ground and cultivation dehydrating
  2. Using water from ponds and ditches
  3. Entering into sewage system belonging to another subject wastewater that contains substances extremely harmful to the environment
  4. On a property whose area exceeds 3500m2, conducting works that lead to a decrease in natural retention by excluding over 70% of property’s area from the biologically active surface in terrains not included in open or closed sewage systems
  5. Fishing in inland surface waters
  6. Using the water for shipping and rafting
  7. Water transfers and artificial groundwater supply
  8. Extracting from surface waters – including marine internal waters, internal waters of the Gulf of Gdańsk and territorial sea waters – rock, gravel, sand and other materials as well as felling of plants in the water or on the shores
  9. Doing sports, tourism and recreation using watercrafts with an engine whose power exceeds 10kW, excluding waterways
  10. Fish breeding
  11. Providing water for devices that enable fish migrations
  12. Hydration of grounds and cultivation in the amount that exceeds 5m3 per 24 hours, annual average
  13. Use of waters in industries
  14. Agricultural use of wastewater, if its amount exceeds 5m3 per 24 hours
  15. Using the water from artificial water tanks situated on flowing water in order to breed fish and other water organisms
  16. Organizing recreation activities and water sports as a part of economic activity

Water services

Water services enable households, public bodies and entities engaged in economic activities to use water in a range that exceeds common, ordinary and special use of water.

 

Water services include:

  1. Abstraction of ground and surface waters
  2. Impoundment, storage and retention of surface and ground waters and their use
  3. Purification and distribution of ground and surface waters
  4. Wastewater collecting and wastewater treatment
  5. Entering sewage into water or ground, including entering sewage into water devices
  6. Using the water for energetics, including hydropowering
  7. Draining rainwater and meltwater into water or water devices included in open or closed plumbing systems that enable drainage in sewerage systems in cities
  8. Permanent dehydration of grounds, buildings, construction excavations and mining plants, as well as drainage of water from ground dehydration in cities
  9. Draining unused waters into water or ground.

The subject that uses water services for ground and surface waters abstraction is obliged to use measuring devices that enable the control of the amount of abstracted water. Analogically, the subject that uses water services to enter wastewater into water or ground is obliged to use measuring devices or systems that enable the control of the amount of sewage and its temperature, if the average daily amount exceeds 0,01m3/s.

Water services fees

Water services fees need to be paid, inter alia, for:

  1. Abstraction of ground and surface waters
  2. Entering sewage into water or ground
  3. Draining rainwater and meltwater into water or water devices included in open or closed plumbing systems that enable drainage in sewerage systems in cities
  4. Abstraction of ground and surface waters for fish and other water organisms breeding purposes
  5. Entering into water or ground sewage from fish and other water organisms farms
  6. On a property whose area exceeds 3500m2, conducting works that lead to a decrease in natural retention by excluding over 70% of property’s area from the biologically active surface in terrains not included in open or closed sewage systems

Water services fee consists of fixed fee and variable fee that depends on the amount of water intake. The fee for entering sewage into the ground or waters also consists of fixed and variable fee that depends on sewage quality and quantity.

 

Subject that uses water services without the necessary permissions or breaks the terms and conditions will be charged with an extra fee that does not depend on variable fee.

Water management control

Water management control includes, among others, control of use of the water or compliance of terms and conditions. Subjects legally allowed to conduct control are: Polish Waters, Maritime Authorities directors, The State Sanitary Inspection and Inspection of Environmental Protection.

 

During controls, inspectors use the protection provided for public officers on the terms set out in the provisions of the Act of June 6, 1997 – The Penalty Code (Official Gazette from 2016, position 1137, with subsequent change 10). The competent authority of the Polish waters may call on the plant to remove negligence in the field of water management within a specified period if the negligence may be found harmful to the environment, health and life of humans and animals or legally protected interest of third parties. If the negligence is not removed, the Polish Waters will decide to stop the operation of the plant.

The water law permit

The water law permit is given by:

  1. Issuing water law licence
  2. Accepting the water law application
  3. Water law evaluation
  4. Making a decision from article 77, paragraphs 3 and 8, article 176, paragraph 4

The water law evaluation is a new kind of decision introduced in the Act. It is given by the competent authority of the Polish Waters if the investment has a positive or zero impact on the environmental targets. With the impact evaluated as negative, the decision can only be given if the investor can prove that he’s made all the possible actions to lower the negative effects and that there exists an overriding public interest in the investment, which cannot be achieved by different actions.

Sanctions

There are many possible sanctions and penalties for illegal use of water. Apart from extra fees, they include arrest penalty, restriction of freedom and fines. The same penalties are used in case of subjects that disobey duties stated in their water law permits. Therefore, in order to avoid sanctions, every entrepreneur should carefully check is his activity requires such permits.

Obligations towards the EU

There is a number of regulations in the Act that constitutes a commitment to take specific actions to improve the quality of the aquatic environment:

 

1. By 22 December 2018, the Chief Inspector for Environmental Protection shall prepare and submit to the European Commission an additional monitoring program for surface water, performed as part of the state environmental monitoring referred to in art. 23 of the Act of 20 July 1991 on the Inspection of Environmental Protection (Journal of Laws of 2016, item 1688 and 2017 item 1566), for the following priority substances:

  • dicofol
  • perfluoroctane sulfonic acid and its derivatives
  • quinoxyphen
  • dioxins and dioxin-like compounds
  • aclonifen
  • bifenox
  • cybutryne
  • cypermethrin
  • dichlorvos
  • hexabromocyclodecane (HBCDD)
  • heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide
  • terbutryn

2. The minister responsible for water management will also prepare and provide the European Commission with proposals for actions aimed at achieving a good chemical status of surface waters for the aforementioned substances. The Act imposes an obligation to implement good water status in this respect by December 22, 2027.

 

3. By 22 December 2021, good chemical status of surface water shall be achieved with regard to the following priority substances:

  • anthracene
  • brominated dyphenylethers
  • fluoranthene
  • lead and its compounds
  • naphthalene
  • nickel and its compounds
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

These commitments concern the reduction of specific substances entering the environment in a specific time horizon. That is why it is worth analyzing the technological process in the company today in terms of adapting to those changes.

Ecokube sp. z o.o.

ul. Wólczańska 128/134

90-527 Łódź

tel. + 48 42 630 66 00

biuro@ecokube.pl