Water discharges, regulated by legislative Decree 152/2006 as amended, are defined as any input carried out through a system connecting, without any interruption, the waste production cycle with the receiving body (surface, ground and underground water and sewers system).
Water discharge types may differ according to the nature of the waste water: domestic, similar to domestic, industrial (hence from a production process), first flush rainwater etc.
All discharges are regulated according to compliance with the quality objectives of bodies of water, if required discharge is prohibited in certain receptacles and limit values of emitted polluting substances are set. What is more, pursuant to art. 124 of the aforementioned decree, “all discharges must be authorised prior”.
This has the ultimate goal of preventing and reducing pollution, and of protecting the soil and surface, marine and ground water.
This applies regardless of the polluting nature of the waste water, even if it has undergone purification treatment prior. Therefore, any entity that has water discharges at their site, whatever the type, must comply with the obligations set forth by the laws in force (national and local) in order to prevent incurring administrative or criminal penalties.