The Project area is the area served by the public water and wastewater association "Wasserverband Wittlage" - WVW. It is part of the catchment basin to the Lake Duemmer, a highly sensitive eco system of European importance (Natura 2000, FFH and bird protection zone). Within this area, not only tourism is of social and economic importance, but also agriculture and industries (especially food industry, some factories are among the largest in Europe).
To protect the Lake Duemmer as registered natural habitat, WVW has to meet stringent technical standards in compliance with the EU-Wastewater Directive;
the EU-Directive on Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) and the EU-Directive FFH (Flora, Fauna, Habitat). In recent years, large investments
have been spent to complete the wastewater collection system. The modernisation and upgrading of sewage treatment plants is partly completed.
The municipalities as owners of the WVW and the WVW itself have done their best, and the current EU-effluent standards are fulfilled, which are mainly
focused on concentration parameters of organic substances and nutrients (e.g. mg COD/l, mg N/l, mg P/l). As the Lake Duemmer suffers from eutrification,
this effort is not enough. The total annual loading of nutrients (kg/a) must be reduced further, not only the maximum concentrations (mg/l).
More information about the project area are available on the website of Wasserverband Wittlage.