Taxes, Fees, Levies
Denmark; Netherlands; Germany
Wastewater taxes apply to various entities that discharge wastewater, based on either pollutant levles or compliance. The Danish wastewater tax applies to sewage treatment plants, industry, and dwellings not connected to sewer. It is based on units of nitrogen, phosphorus and biological oxygen demand (BOD) discharged in wastewater. In the Netherlands, the wastewater tax is imposed on all direct and indirect discharges to surface waters. The tax base is the specific pollutants discharged, including nitrogen, and organic material. The German wastewater tax affects only point sources, such as industries and municipal sewage outlets. It is a penalty tax (for non-compliance with standards). The tax is reduced when standards for sewage discharges are adhered to.
In Demark, the discharges from sewage treatment plants have declined by 20-25% from 1996 to 1998 due to the implementation of wastewater tax which serves to put a price on pollution, incentivizing sewage treatment plants to reduce discharges. In The Netherlands, the revenues from the wastewater taxes have been recycled both for support of municipal sewage treatment plants and to support in-house pollution abatement in industry. In Germany, the wastewater tax helps reduce industrial wastewater. It also improves compliance with the standards linked to the tax. The tax revenue is recycled for support in investments in municipal sewage treatment plants.
Wastewater tax in Denmark, Netherlands and Germany