Environmental pollution due to nitrate water pollution? But we're not

where is the nitrate in the ground water? A part of the farmers see wastewater treatment plants as the main cause. Experts say something else. come Where a lo

Environmental pollution due to nitrate water pollution? But we're not

where is the nitrate in the ground water? A part of the farmers see wastewater treatment plants as the main cause. Experts say something else.

come Where a lot of manure up, a lot of nitrate in the water photo: Michael Loewa/laif

unlike many of the farmers claim are waste water, only the smaller part of the water pollution, with potentially harmful nitrate responsible. "According to estimates, the proportion of sewage treatment plants and leaking sewers to the nitrate emissions at only 22 percent," said Antje Ullrich, the water expert of the Federal Environment Agency, the taz.

The lower Saxon state Department for waterway, coastal and nature conservation, confirmed this trend for the state with the most farm animals.

nitrogen compound nitrate from fertilizers such as manure or indirectly from human excrement impacted the ground water from which most drinking water is obtained. In the environment too much fertilizer to the extinction of plants and animals contributes to the species as well as climate change. In addition, a high money penalty, the EU threatens Germany because the nitrate limits will always be exceeded again. Therefore, the Federal government plans to limit the application of fertilizer, especially in particularly polluted areas stronger.

Also, by contrast, tens of thousands of farmers demonstrated recently in several large cities. Because less fertilizer often means smaller Harvests and higher costs to dispose of the manure in other ways. Therefore, the movement called behind-the-farmer demos, "Land creates the connection", to a Petition against the pollution of water through sewage treatment plants and sewers to sign.

More than 11,000 people to the Text. In Interviews, representatives of the movement to counter allegations against the agriculture with regard to the nitrogen sources in households and industry. Also, the farmers ' Association Schleswig-Holstein, for example, suggests such as through posts on Internet sites like Facebook, that the waste water to the environment were at least as harmful as the emissions from fertilizer.

calls The Petition to the German Bundestag, in the case of domestic sewage "may no longer be introduced untreated into waters." In the case of "rain events" would waste water from the mixing water channels for rain and household waste water "in an uncontrolled manner in the streams". In the Text of the Petition, it also means that many channels are "ailing".

"so Far, it seemed a political consensus that for the nutrient loads, as well as all the undesired substances agriculture, in the rivers solely responsible," the Petition reads. "This view is now untenable." Also, because the fertilizer should really be re-tightened, had to be initiated, "the Nutrient load is determined" and politically "rating".

Martin Weyand, General Manager of water and wastewater, German Association of energy and water industries (BDEW), directed the Petition "failed": "In science, all sources of nitrate loads are listed. Of unilateral representations can therefore be no question,“ he told the taz. The waste water regulation is to protect the surface water, specifically prior to entry, for example, from households.

However, the farmers are considered to be the main cause. "More than 50 percent of the reactive nitrogen compounds into Germany about agriculture in the environment," writes the Federal environment Agency. Industry, transport and private households were responsible for less emissions.

"Overall, about 75 percent of the Nitrogen inputs in surface waters are attributable to agriculturally-influenced entry paths," says Ullrich. Only about 2 percent would, therefore, that the mixing water channels to overflow. Another 2 percent came from rain water, which is introduced directly, for example in rivers. Small wastewater treatment plants less than 50 inhabitants according to the Federal environment Agency, only 1 percent of the nitrogen entries into surface water responsible.

Less fertilizer often means smaller Harvests and higher costs

In the land of water, 88 percent of the nitrate from agricultural areas below the root zone, such as the environmental protection Agency of the taz is telling. It is based on a study, which wants to release it soon officially. "The quantities from sewers are sure to be lower than in agriculture," says Frank brewer, wastewater expert at the Federal Environment Agency.

If mainly leaks in sewers, the groundwater would have an impact on, should be measured under the settlements, particularly nitrate. However, according to the Federal environment Agency, the threshold is exceeded, a value of 50 milligrams per Liter in only 6 percent of the measurement. A whopping 33 percent in the regions in which predominantly arable areas, or special crops.

"in Principle, it is not true that the farmers are solely for the nitrate loads responsible", according to lower Saxony's water management office. "You are, however, mainly because wastewater treatment plant account for no lines, and point sources called, in lower Saxony, only 3 percent of the total nitrogen inputs, respectively, 11 percent of the Phosphorus emissions into the surface waters."

The proportion of rain-water overflows in the case of the mixed-water sewage system, no was still significantly lower than the sewage pipes. Nitrogen entries in the "urban systems" in ground water, for example, leaking sewers, "but compared to a nitrogen surplus from agriculture is insignificant/negligible".

"This is the attempt by some representatives of the agriculture, of their own problems to distract," says therefore, water plants, representatives Weyand on the Petition. "In agriculture, the EU is not adhered to nitrate Directive limit value of 50 milligrams in the most polluted 'red' areas. We keep all the values of the urban waste water Directive and the wastewater regulation.“ The entries from the sewage be passed through the introduction of the third purification stage in sewage treatment plants decreased significantly.

How to Weyand finds that, in his words, "offbeat, not scientifically verifiable statements" about the causes of nitrate pollution are also widely used by institutions such as peasant associations? "There are elaborations that are made by the competent authorities and Bodies," says the functionary. The should all take note of.

the Name of The main petitioner is not accessible to the public. A request of taz to get in contact with the Secretariat of the Bundestag Committee on Petitions was unsuccessful.

"The nutrient creates fine inert of sewage treatment plants in surface waters of doubt are given freely and the amount is not qualified," said Dirk Andresen, spokesman of the "country connection" of the taz. The movement of wool point. These emissions must also be taken into account. "It is also clear that the contribution from wastewater compared to the contribution of agriculture is significantly lower," admitted Kirsten Hess, spokesperson of the farmers Association of Schleswig-Holstein against the taz. "But in the public discussion of this contribution has not been previously considered, accordingly. It was important for us in this wrong situation," says Hess: "We didn't want to distract from the Pro-rata contribution of agriculture to this Problem".

Updated Date: 27 December 2019, 10:00

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