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Lithuania is among leading wastewater managers in the EU


The European Commission (EC) has announced its 7th report, which reviews the situation and progress of wastewater management in the EU Member States. Based on the European Commission’s evaluation, Lithuania, along with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, is referred to as one of the best wastewater managing countries in the EU. Lithuania’s sewage system complies with EU requirements by 100 per cent, secondary wastewater treatment by 98 per cent and tertiary (the most stringent) wastewater treatment by 85 per cent. EC thinks it is one of the best results across the EU.

“I am extremely pleased with what we have achieved, but we don’t intend to stop here. In the future, as well as building new wastewater networks in smaller settlements, we will upgrade existing wastewater systems. To date, small settlements have raised greatest concern, but we are going to look for the best solutions to address these issues: in some locations creating closed wastewater treatment systems may be an option and we may establish connections to the centralised systems in others – what matters is efficient use of EU support. We are among leaders and intend to keep this position,” Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis said.

Wastewater management in settlements with population under 2,000 appears to be one of the greatest concerns Lithuania is now facing because settlements of this size have had no opportunity to use EU support for introducing wastewater management systems. Given this, the EU financial perspective for 2014–2020 will be mainly focused on improving the quality of wastewater management and drinking water in these settlements.

The report also rates EU capitals by wastewater treatment indicators. The Lithuanian capital is one of the eleven cities (Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Bratislava, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Vienna and Vilnius) with 100 per cent compliance of their wastewater systems with the provisions of directives.

Based on the figures from 2012, Lithuania completely refined about 93 per cent of wastewater and its insufficiently refined wastewater stood at around 7 per cent. In 2002, the amount of completely refined wastewater was only 21 per cent.

EU funding for wastewater management has helped to achieve these results. From 2000 to 2013, about LTL 2.9 billion has been invested in the water supply wastewater management system and LTL 1.5 billion was allocated under the EU financial perspective for 2007–2013. This funding was earmarked to build and reconstruct water supply and wastewater management systems (pipelines and alternative wastewater management systems).

Early in 2013 Lithuania joined the group of EU Member States that will transfer their wastewater management systems to the electronic domain. This EC-funded project will enable each resident with an Internet access to view how the city’s wastewater treatment facilities operate, monitor the quality of wastewater after treatment, the amount of wastewater released into the system and of what quality and at which spots wastewater is released into the environment. The project is funded by the European Commission.

Public information division

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas