Polluting cities

Published: Monday 30 April 2001

at least 37 major cities of Europe are discharging their waste without treating it, according to the European Commission (ec). The result is degraded habitats, including the eutrophication of the North, Baltic and Adriatic seas. One of the main culprits is Brussels, which did not have facilities to treat waste till 1998. At present it is treating one third of its wastewater but by using substandard techniques. Ireland also has a poor record on sewage treatment. Eleven cities of the uk also have no wastewater treatment facilities. In addition to this, France and Germany do not disclose any information about how they treat urban wastewater. "This is an unconstructive attitude," said Margot Wallstrm, ec's environment commissioner.

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