The environmental aims were declared binding for all Member States in the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC) of 23 October 2000 at European level. It was intended to achieve a good status for all water bodies. Unfortunately, this aim has not been achieved in any European Member State, not even in Germany. Therefore, a new deadline was set for this important goal - it is to be achieved now by December 22, 2021. It is particularly necessary to treat polluted effluents to protect European water bodies from harmful discharges.
In Germany, any discharge of wastewater requires a permit according to water legislation on the basis of Section 57, 58 or 59 of the Federal Water Act (Wasserhaushaltsgesetz - WHG).
Within Germany, the discharge requirements for effluents are governed by the applicable Wastewater Regulation (Abwasserverordnung - AbwV). Here, the requirements and limits for waste waters are defined separately by origin or nature in the Annexes 1 to 57 (as at June 17, 2004).