Krstović: The current solution is “Clean Serbia”

“In the short run, the fact remains that 140 plants are being built through the “Clean Serbia” project. According to the latest information we have, that’s about 85 plants. “Work has already progressed in the local governments, primarily on the construction of the sewage network,” said Slobodan Krstović, Director for Sustainable Development of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development in a guest appearance on the RTS channel.

During a conversation on the topic of wastewater treatment and clean water as the most important resource, Slobodan Krstović, director of NALED, told RTS that he is talking about a civilization’s legacy and that, in addition to sewage, we also have wastewater treatment that goes into our rivers and watercourses. “And that is precisely one of the reasons why we did a study that showed the current state of wastewater management, what necessary infrastructure we have, what else we need to build, what are the financial effects of all those investments and, of course, on the other hand, to shine a light on that environmental problem where every so often we have an incident,” said Krstović.

Krstović also presented current data from the Bureau of Statistics, according to which only about 14.7% of wastewater is treated. “That is the so-called secondary treatment, alongside the mechanical, one biological treatment is used. Which is really, really low. When we look at EU countries, we are somewhere at the rear. The average of 27 EU countries is 80% on 4/5 of waste water is treated. Not to mention that countries such as Austria or the Netherlands, for example, purify 100% of their waste water. And somewhere it is a lightbulb, that is, an alarm to really speed up investments in this area. It’s not that nothing is happening. Both the Ministry of Environmental Protection through EU projects and the Ministry of Construction through the “Clean Serbia” project have started a lot of infrastructure projects regarding purification. It is very important to give information and the fact that if we have less than two-thirds of the sewerage system built, the sewerage network should be built there first, and only after that can we start the treatment. And that is a long-term process that we have entered and it will go on for the next 15-20 years,” explained Krstović.

In his words, according to the plan and program, it is necessary to build 398 waste water treatment plants.” Here, we should point out the large ones especially, with the equivalent of over 150,000 inhabitants, such as Belgrade. There should be 4 of such plants. And that is a separate issue. We have 19 plants that are in the range of 50 to 150 thousand equivalent inhabitants. And precisely those 19 plants would cover about 50% of waste water in the entire Republic of Serbia and their treatment”, said Krstović and specifically pointed out: “In the short run, the fact remains that 140 plants are being built through the “Clean Serbia” project. According to the latest information we have, that’s about 85 plants. “Work has already progressed in the local governments, primarily on the construction of the sewage network”.