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Wastewater treatment projects get new subsidies
Joke Schauvliege, Flanders’ environment minister, has agreed to a subsidy programme for sewage projects, increasing the designated budget by one-quarter to €138 million. The investment is to improve water quality in rivers and streams so Flanders can meet European requirements.
The 281 projects will bring sewers to remote areas and replace outdated sewage infrastructure. The total cost of the projects is €542 million, as streets and pavements will also be improved during the works. The Flemish Region, however, only covers the cost of actual sewage works.
In more remote areas it is sometimes cheaper to provide households with individual water purification systems; 554 such installations have been approved for funding, for a maximum of €2,250 each.
The amount of wastewater treated in Flanders rose from 71% in 2008 to 80% in 2013. More investment is needed, however, to meet the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive.