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Heavy polluters - individual and polluter-pays charging models

Assessment of wastewater charges with heavy polluter surcharge

Assessment of wastewater charges

Municipalities are responsible for wastewater disposal in their catchment areas. It is therefore also their task to assess the costs of wastewater transport and treatment in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Charges Act on the basis of the polluter-pays principle. Often the fresh water scale is used for the levying of wastewater fees, with which a purely volume-dependent assessment of wastewater fees is carried out. However, this is only suitable for a polluter-pays assessment if there are only insignificant differences between the discharged wastewaters.

If the concentrations of the relevant pollution parameters differ, e.g. in case of industrial/commercial compared to domestic dischargers, these differences must be taken into account in the cost allocation. A fee model in which higher fees are levied for more heavily polluted wastewater, offers the possibility of levying appropriate surcharges on indirect dischargers who make greater demands on the treatment capacity of the wastewater treatment plants. These surcharges are called heavy polluter surcharges (SVZ).

Introduction of a fee model with a heavy polluter surcharge

The FiW supports municipalities in the introduction and updating of fee models with a heavy-polluter surcharge.

In a first step, a scenario analysis is carried out to illustrate the potential effects, as the introduction is always associated with additional costs, e.g. for sampling and additional administrative work. Furthermore, there are legal foundations that oblige municipalities to introduce the system under certain conditions.

If a municipality decides to introduce a heavy polluter surcharge, basic provisions for sampling/analysis and the determination of the surcharges of a measurement guideline are defined in advance. In the subsequent development of a differentiated calculation formula, the individual conditions of the municipality are always examined and taken into account.

Finally, the municipalities receive a calculation file that can be used in calculating heavy polluter surcharges independently in the future and integrating them into their fee budgets.


Dr.-Ing. Natalie Palm
+49 241 80 2 39 50 / E-Mail

Mark Braun, M.Sc.
+49 241 80 2 68 46 / E-Mail