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Implementation of Improved Wetland Systems (IWS) as a “zero-discharge-technology” in Poland



This paper discusses results from the implementation of a “zero-discharge- technology”primarily for single households, as well as hotels and small residential urban and rural areas.  During a 15 year span, 5,600 Improved Wetland Systems (IWS) were built, and from this reason an imported part  of treatment wetlands in Europe are located in Poland. The first section of this paperdiscusses water and wastewater management and its development trends. Particular attention is paid to creating sustainable water management in rural areas due to increased necessity in these regions. The second section presents the principle of the Improved Wetland System, which consists of two options. The third section discusses the current requirements regarding the quality of treated wastewater in Poland. The fourth section presents the effectivenessof the implementation of this system by the Institute for Applied Ecology and the further prospects of "zero-discharge-technology" development. The last section discusses the obtained results in the reduction of pollution.

Keywords: wetland wastewater treatment, effluent quality, decentralization, sustainable water management, groundwater pollution.