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The Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1995

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Requirements as to provision of treatment

5.—(1) Subject to paragraph (5), treatment plants which provide secondary treatment or an equivalent treatment shall be provided—

(a)by 31st December 2000 or, in an exceptional case, such later date (not being later than 31st December 2005) as the Commission may agree pursuant to a request under Article 8(1) of the Directive, in respect of all discharges from agglomerations with a population equivalent of more than 15,000;

(b)by 31st December 2005 in respect of all discharges from agglomerations with a population equivalent of between 10,000 and 15,000; and

(c)by 31st December 2005 in respect of all discharges to fresh waters and estuaries from agglomerations with a population equivalent of between 2,000 and 10,000.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), treatment plants which provide more stringent treatment than that described in paragraph (1) shall be provided by 31st December 1998 in respect of all discharges from agglomerations with a population equivalent of more than 10,000 into sensitive areas, or into the relevant catchment areas of sensitive areas where the discharges contribute to the pollution of these areas.

(3) Paragraph (2) shall not apply in relation to a sensitive area where the Department is satisfied, as a result of monitoring, that the minimum percentage of reduction of the overall load entering all urban waste water treatment plants in that area, and all urban waste water treatment plants in the catchment of that area the discharges from which contribute to the pollution of that area, is at least 75% for total phosphorus and at least 75% for total nitrogen.

(4) Where, following a review of the identification of waters as sensitive areas or high natural dispersion areas under regulation 3, an area ceases to be identified as a high natural dispersion area or becomes identified as a sensitive area, then, as respects that area, paragraph (1) or, as the case may be, paragraph (2) shall have effect as if the relevant date specified in that paragraph were the seventh anniversary of the change of identification or, if later, the date so specified.

(5) Discharges of urban waste water from agglomerations with a population equivalent of between 10,000 and 150,000 (or, in an exceptional case and with the agreement of the Commission pursuant to Article 8(5) of the Directive, of more than 150,000), to coastal waters which are in high natural dispersion areas, and discharges from agglomerations with a population equivalent of between 2,000 and 10,000 into estuaries which are in high natural dispersion areas, may be subjected to less stringent treatment than that described in paragraph (1) so long as—

(a)the discharges receive at least primary treatment in conformity with the control procedures set out in Part II of Schedule 3; and

(b)the Department is satisfied that comprehensive studies have indicated that such discharges will not adversely affect the environment.

(6) Appropriate treatment of urban waste water entering collecting systems shall be provided by 31st December 2005 in respect of—

(a)discharges to fresh waters and estuaries from agglomerations with a population equivalent of less than 2,000; and

(b)discharges to coastal waters from agglomerations with a population equivalent of less than 10,000.

(7) In this regulation—

(a)“appropriate treatment” means treatment of urban waste water by any process and/or disposal system which after discharge allows the receiving waters to meet the relevant quality objectives and the relevant provisions of the Directive and other Community Directives; and

(b)“primary treatment” means treatment of urban waste water by a physical and/or chemical process involving settlement of suspended solids, or other processes in which the BOD5 of the incoming waste water is reduced by at least 20% before discharge and the total suspended solids of the incoming waste water are reduced by at least 50%.

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