Critical assessment and recommendations for sewage sludge management in Poland


sewage sludge
wastewater treatment plants
metals fractions

How to Cite

Wisniewski, Z., Kuczmaszewski, J., Halicka, K., Kuboń, M., Kocira, S., Marczuk, A., & Oleksiak, B. (2024). Critical assessment and recommendations for sewage sludge management in Poland . Economics and Environment, 87(4), 641, 1–28.


The purpose of the article is to demonstrate practices used to supervise the use of sewage sludge for agricultural purposes. The presented research and conclusions are a trend analysis and are not to be used to penalise entities. Sewage sludge, which comes from the illegal dumping of wastewater into municipal wastewater by industrial plants, contains large amounts of heavy metals. Treatment plants transfer the sludge for agricultural use. Regulations specifically restrict the mode and conditions for such use of sludge. Methods: the research was carried out using a proprietary questionnaire, which is a supplement to the reporting questionnaire of the National Urban Wastewater Treatment Program implemented by the State Water Company "Wody Polskie". Results: The survey was conducted at 208 wastewater treatment plants in Poland. The results show that the majority of wastewater treatment plants do not properly supervise the process of introducing sewage sludge into the soil. They also lack supervision of how much heavy metals from wastewater are introduced into the soil. This means that there is a very high risk of contamination of agricultural soils. The results obtained could initiate a detailed analysis of this phenomenon in Poland. A comprehensive study of the scale of the practice and its current effects is required to determine the actual condition of soil treated with sewage sludge.


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