General Data
Name of instrument Consideration of extent of soil sealing of land parcels in the assessment of waste water fees (= Einbeziehung des Versiegelungsgrades in die Bemessung der Abwassergebühr)
Country DE
Spatial level local
Type Economic instruments
Subtype Consumptive fees
Description Water treatment fees are split into two category. The waste water treatment fee is levied according to the amount of freshwater obtained from the water network. A second fee is levied on runoff from private plots and is modified according to the extent of soil sealing of land parcels. The degree of soil sealing is determining the water absorption and filtering capacity of the ground, which again determines municipal waste water treatment costs (Treatment of surface runoff accrues makes up 30-45% of municipal waste water treatment costs, the remaining 55-70% of costs accrue for waste water). Plots with a high degree of soil sealing (e.g. shopping centers with extensive, asphalt-covered parking lots) will thus be charged higher fees, while plots with a high share of absorption area will be charged a smaller fee. The fee is charged according to the surface built-up area. In case sealed surface has been de-sealed, individuals and businesses can apply for a reduction of fees. It is important to note that the instrument does not constitute a new fee as it does not increase or decrease the overall fee revenue on waste water. Instead, it only burdens those more whose land parcels feed more waste water into the system.
General objectives Internalisation of external costs, Cost-efficient provision of public infrastructure and services, polluter-pays-principle, reduction and minimisation of soil sealing
General objectives keywords internalisation of external costs; municipal infrastructure costs;
Responsible Local authority/Municipal council
Stakeholder Involved Private individuals; Entrepreneurs/businessmen;
Reference Land Mark (2006): Information und Workflow zur Einführung der gesplitteten Abwassergebühr. =>
General assessment of strength and weakness Strength: Transparent fee with incentive function to reduce sealed surface area.
Weakness: Implies certain inconsistencies in the assessment of fees. Degree of soil sealing is not always easy to assess.
Date of entry 09/05/2007
Legal status mandatory for responsible body AND mandatory for end-user
Extension very frequent (> 50 % municipalities)
Comment Mandatory if relation between freshwater consumption and surface runoff differs substantially in more than 10% of residential and commercial land plots within municipality.
Type of monitoring Report basing on quantitative indicators
Preconditions for implementation Assessment of degree of soil sealing (GIS, Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry) Jurisdiction in the sense of the instrument => in Germany, the verdict of the Upper Administrative Court Münster (Oberverwaltungsgericht Münster: Urteil vom 05.08.1994 (AZ: 9 A 1248/92)) provides the basis, as it states that different fees for freshwater consumption and surface runoff are justified in case these levels differ substantially within a municipality. This is the case in almost all German municipalities.
General comment
Ranking 4
Status municipal administration, municipal residents, NGOs, superordinate authorities
Ranking 4
Remark In most cases, municipal residents will profit from the split fee assessment method, only installations with high soil sealing will oppose this instrument.
Ranking 4
Status Budget/hardware, legislation, political will
Ranking 3
Remark Compared to conventional waste water treatment fee collection, no more staff is necessary.
Status Direction of effect, type of effect, acceptability, perpetuity
Ranking 4