On May 2nd, 2019, the “Reglamento Técnico Salvadoreño: Aguas Residuales. Parámetros de Calidad de Aguas Residuales para descarga y Manejo de Lodos Residuales” (Salvadoran Technical Regulations: Wastewater. Parameters of Residual Water Quality for discharge and management of Residual Sludge) has been recently published in El Diario Oficial (The Official Gazzette) number 79, volume 429, which has come to replace the Obligatory Salvadoran Rule 13.49.01:09. Water. Residual Waters Discharged in a Receiving Body, which has been effective since 2009.
All the consumptive use of water, meaning that once used it does not have the same conditions, implies the generation of wastewaters. This new regulation rules the way in which water has to be treated before being returned to a receptive environment, such as rivers, lakes, ponds, brooks, sea, among others, to avoid contamination.
This new regulation seeks to establish aspects of great importance for wastewater management that were not regulated before. Among the changes this new regulation brought, we can mention:
- The inclusion of some technical conditions that must be considered for the building of treatment plants, as well as the distance it should have in terms of other project´s areas. All new treatment plants and those already in existence will have 1-year to present a program on environmental management or technical study that will demonstrate the no affectation in relation to its location.
- The prohibition of mixing special wastewaters with any other type of water meant for dissolution.
- The modification on the limits permitted in some parameters and others are added.
- It establishes the conditions that the holder has to abide for the reuse of the treated waters.
- Specifies the way, frequency and other technical aspects to be considered before recollecting samples, the proper maintenance of equipment and qualified personnel.
- Enforces the main holder to document the chain of command regarding the custody of the samples.
It points the obligations of the holder regarding the generation of residual sludge, as well as their proper characterization. The approval of this Technical Regulation is part of an integral change in the regulation for wastewaters. Also, a reform to the Special Regulation of Residual Waters is in process and is yet to be approved by the Ministry of Environment. The Technical Regulation will come into force six months after its publication in “El Diario Oficial” (The Offical Gazzette).