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Water purification devices, such as separators or settling tanks, require regular inspection, cleaning, servicing and sometimes even upgrading or reconstruction of the water supply network. The legal regulations in this area are clear and obvious, yet reality shows that the unsatisfactory condition of the equipment or repeated failures are the result of many years of neglect of their proper operation.

  • Proper maintenance and efficient operation
  • Obligations according to the Construction Code
  • Proper maintenance and the requirements of the Environmental Law
  • Protecting water against pollution
  • Waste management obligations
  • Ecol-Unicon – the partner with passion and experience


Proper maintenance is a prerequisite for smooth and efficient operation

Separators and settling tanks are most commonly used in the food industry (grease separators) and at petrol stations, car washes, airports, car parks or road construction sites (oil separators). Direct contact with water and pollutants makes them subject to corrosion, harmful compounds and clogging much faster and more frequently. Sedimentation and flotation processes also occur during treatment, resulting in contaminants deposited on individual components and impeding their proper functioning.


Therefore, in order to ensure the good condition of the devices, special attention must be paid to maintenance principles. Regular inspections and sludge removal are the basis for their correct, trouble-free and efficient operation. The frequency of such measures is usually determined by the capacity of the unit, the volume and the nature of the incoming wastewater.


Apart from cleaning, hazardous waste collection and the neutralisation of petroleum waste must also be taken care of. This type of devices also require periodic maintenance and repair in order to rectify any faults and defects in good time and ultimately avoid more serious failures. In the event of major problems, it may be necessary to upgrade the water and sewage infrastructure.


Obligations according to the Construction Code

The legal act that imposes the obligation to inspect buildings during their use is the Act of 7 July 1994. – Construction Code[1]. This type of periodic inspection should take place at least once a year, and in the case of buildings with a larger volume – twice a year. It involves checking the technical condition of building elements, structures and installations exposed to harmful atmospheric influences and destructive factors occurring during the use of the facility.

In addition, the owner or manager is obliged to keep a building book. This is a document designed to record examinations and inspections carried out, as well as renovations and alterations. It should be kept regularly and with care, as it will need to be made available to the authorities in the event of an inspection.

In the event of an inadequate technical condition endangering human life or health, the safety of property or the environment, the supervising authority may prohibit the use of the facility until the observed deficiencies have been rectified.


Proper maintenance and the requirements of the Environmental Law

The most important act on environmental protection in Poland is the Act of 27 April 2001. – Environmental Protection Law[2]. According to its articles,  facility must not exceed emission standards affecting the quality of the environment. Any activities that go beyond the so-called ordinary use of the environment, i.e. emission of gases or dust, discharge of sewage, production of large quantities of waste or significant water abstraction, require appropriate permits.

Improper operation, posing a threat of significant environmental deterioration or a threat to human life or health, may result in a limitation or revocation of the issued permit.

Also relevant is the Decree of the Minister of the Environment of 24 July 2006 on the conditions to be met when discharging wastewater into waters or into the ground and on the definition of substances that are particularly harmful to the aquatic environment. It defines the necessity to use specific devices for specific types of catchment areas and to carry out operational inspections of the treatment facilities at least twice a year.


Protecting water against pollution

Declared effective 3 December 2021. The Water Law[3] allows the discharge of rainwater or snowmelt into water or ground. Provided, of course, that this does not interfere with environmental objectives or water quality requirements. The maintenance of water facilities is the responsibility of their owners and consists of operation, maintenance and repair in order to maintain their proper function. Therefore, when discharging wastewater into waters or ground, they are obliged to ensure that the waters are protected against pollution.

proper operation of separators and settling tanks

Waste management obligations

The Waste Management Act of 14 December 2012[4] sets out measures to protect the environment, human life and health. The aim is to prevent negative impacts on the environment and human health resulting from the generation and management of waste. The classification of waste is based on the source of its generation, the properties that cause the waste to be hazardous waste and the components of the waste for which exceeding the concentration limits of hazardous substances may cause it to become hazardous waste.

The Decree of the Minister of Climate of 2 January 2020 on the waste catalogue imposes an obligation on the waste generator to manage the waste they produce. It is also possible to outsource the waste management obligation to entities with the relevant permit.


Control bodies and consequences of infringements

The institutions authorised to inspect the condition of water investments are: Inspectorate for Environmental Protection, General Office of Construction Supervision and State Water Management – Wody Polskie.

Particularly noteworthy is the close cooperation between the Polish Waters, the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection and the Voivodeship Inspectorates for Environmental Protection, which is expected to increase the effectiveness of the activities of these institutions.

The supervisory authorities have announced more effective water monitoring and intervention in crisis situations or cases of violation of the law. They want not only to prevent, but also to severely punish those who violate the law. Wody Polskie informs the environmental inspectorates of actions taken and reports identified violations to them, and in more serious situations requiring intervention, the police are notified. Continuous inspections have been carried out since the beginning of this year and can result in fines of up to several hundred thousand PLN.


Ecol-Unicon – the partner with passion and experience

As can be seen from the regulations outlined, periodic maintenance and cleaning are extremely important tasks. They should be carried out by specialist companies with not only the right equipment and the necessary permits, but also knowledge and experience.

Poland’s leading manufacturer of water protection solutions – Ecol-Unicon is a company with extensive experience. For years it has been offering solutions for municipal infrastructure, roads and private companies.

The 25 years of operation have resulted in the installation of around 10,000 sewage pumping stations, 28,000 oil separators, 420 sewage treatment plants and the construction of 520 retention tanks.

The company also offers maintenance, modernization and contracting services for the operation and cleaning of separators, such as:


In addition to typical operational activities, Ecol-Unicon also offers extensive support in the form of technology consulting during the creation and implementation of the Long-Term Investment Plan in the water and wastewater sector and providing opinions on technology projects. All water treatment solutions are supported by the innovative BUMERANG SMART system for effective management and ongoing monitoring of equipment operation in water and wastewater systems.