The treatment of household wastewater is necessary to ensure clean water supply from private and neighboring wells and to maintain the good quality of swimming areas and other nearby water bodies. Poor-quality well water poses health risks to residents in sparsely populated areas.
Wastewater can be treated in various ways as long as the environmental impact is minimized. The quantity and harmfulness of wastewater can be reduced through the use of dry toilets. All or a portion of the wastewater can also be collected in a sealed tank. The actual treatment methods can be categorized into three main types: soil absorption systems, soil filtration systems, or prefabricated treatment plants.
Renovating the wastewater treatment system requires a permit from the municipal building control authority, and a plan is needed for obtaining the permit. It is advisable to engage a qualified designer for the planning of the wastewater treatment system.
The Phases of Building a Wastewater System
- Planning: The first step is to develop a plan for the wastewater system, which includes determining the appropriate treatment method and designing the system layout. It is advisable to involve a qualified professional or designer for this stage.
- Permit Application and Plan Approval: Once the plan is ready, the property owner must apply for the necessary permits from the relevant authorities. The plan needs to meet the required standards and regulations. The authorities will review and approve the plan if it complies with the guidelines.
- Construction and Installation: After obtaining the necessary permits and plan approval, the construction and installation work can begin. This involves implementing the designed wastewater system, including installing tanks, pipes, treatment units, and any other required components. During this phase, inspections and compliance checks may be conducted as per the building or operation permit requirements.
- Operation and Maintenance Guidelines: Once the wastewater system is constructed, the property owner should receive operation and maintenance instructions. These guidelines provide information on how to use and maintain the system effectively, ensuring its proper functioning and longevity.
It is important to note that even if the existing wastewater system does not require an upgrade, the property owner should have documentation detailing their system and follow the provided operation and maintenance instructions.
Deviation from Requirements
For properties that are required to meet wastewater treatment standards by a specific deadline (e.g., October 31, 2019), property owners or holders have the option to apply for deviations from the treatment requirements for up to five years at a time from the Rauma City Environmental Protection Authority. Deviations can be granted if the conditions defined in the Environmental Protection Act are met. The criteria include demonstrating that the environmental impact of the wastewater discharge is significantly low or that the required actions are unreasonably burdensome for the property holder. When evaluating the reasonableness of the required actions, factors such as the property’s location in the intended sewer network area and the property holder’s age, health, or socio-economic circumstances may be considered.
The application forms for deviations from wastewater treatment can be obtained by contacting the Rauma City Environmental Protection Authority. A fee, as per the Rauma City Environmental Protection Fee Schedule, is applicable for processing the application.