Recycled water coming from the tertiary treatment of waste water is a reliable source of water which adds important quantities to the water balance and at the same time, allows saving fresh water at the dams and underground aquifers.
In accordance with the Sewage Systems Law (L 108(Ι)/2004)
, which harmonized national legislation with European Directive 91/271 / EEC
on Urban waste water, for each residential settlement having a population over 2000 persons, a waste water collection network must exist and be in operation, to carry waste water at a waste water treatment plant and where it shall be subjected to at least secondary treatment. From the commencement of the implementation of the Directive in Cyprus, an additional programme for the tertiary treatment of waste water has been implemented, so that the produced recycled water is suitable to be used for irrigation purposes. This tactic was applied both at sewage systems of large urban areas and in rural areas.
Recycled water is now used in Cyprus for the irrigation of agricultural and livestock cultivations as well as green areas, subject to some conditions and upon the implementation of specific practices and the avoidance of others, in accordance with the Code on Good Agricultural Practice
. In the meantime, the process for the implementation of a programme for the reuse of waste water is also in progress at a European level as well as the preparation of a document providing guidelines and/or regulations from the European Commission
which encourages its exploitation as a significant water resource. This action is expected to establish the quantitative parameters which must characterize recycled water as well as the way it is to be used. However, it is noted that the existing corresponding parameters and the relevant measures in force in the Republic of Cyprus are already strict and within the limits studied at European level.
The Water development Department is competed for the tertiary treatment and management of recycled water produced by the Urban Sewage Boards of Nicosia, Limassol-Amathus, Larnaca, Paphos and Paralimni-Ayia Napa. The annual production of the said plants ( with the exception of the waste water treatment plant at Mia Milia) has reached 21.9 cubic metres of water in 2016 which are distributed through the government irrigation networks for the irrigation of agricultural and livestock cultivations and green areas.
It is noted that the recycled water produced by Paphos Sewage Board is channeled to Ezousa aquifer, with significant environmental benefits. From there, it is now pumped in the same manner as fresh water and is distributed for use through the government network for irrigation purposes only. Similarly, important quantities of recycled water produced by the Limassol-Amathus Sewage Board are channeled to Akrotiri aquifer used for irrigation purposes only.
Also, within the framework of the Directive, in accordance with the provisions of section 17, Cyprus submitted in June 2016, the National Implementation Programme (IP 2014) of Directive 91/271/EEC to the European Commission, with a list of 57 residential estates (7 urban and 50 rural) with an equivalent population above 2000, in respect of which it has an obligation to establish sewage networks and water treatment plants. In 36 out of these, the required works have been already concluded and as a result, significant quantities of recycled water are produced which are channeled to be used in accordance with the Waste Discharge Permits provided for by the law and the relevant legislation. The management of recycled water produced by rural sewage boards is done by the competent local Boards which channel this water to the areas of the municipalities/ communities concerned.
Also note that some quantities of recycled water are also produced by waste water treatment plants established in communities, with an equivalent population less than 2000, as well as in military camps and hospitals holding a Waste Discharge Permit provided for by the law and PI 379/2015.