Urban wastewater treatment: Parliament to adopt stricter measures  

MEPs will vote on Thursday on updated rules on the collection, treatment and discharge of urban wastewater to better protect the environment and human health.

The Environment Committee adopted its position in September. The report calls for treated wastewater from urban wastewater treatment plants to be reused more widely to prevent water scarcity. MEPs want chemical pollutants (including “forever chemicals”), microplastics, pathogens and antimicrobial resistance to be monitored more. They also agree that a system of extended producer responsibility (EPR) should be set up for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, which require additional treatment for micro-pollutants.

Talks with national governments on the final form of the law can start once the Council has also adopted its position.


In October 2022, the Commission tabled a proposal to revise the urban wastewater treatment directive, aligning it with the EU's policy objectives on climate action, circular economy and pollution reduction. The legislation is one of the key initiatives under the EU’s zero pollution action plan for air, water and soil.

Procedure code: 2022/0345(COD)

Procedure: ordinary legislative procedure, first reading

Vote: Thursday, 5 October