The data of the real-time management system of urban sewage treatment plants of the Ministry of housing and urban rural development shows a huge market space: by the end of June 2015, a total of 3802 sewage treatment plants had been built in cities and towns across the country, of which only 860 were class I a projects. "The improvement of standards will undoubtedly expand the market scale of environmental protection equipment manufacturers. In their favor, these enterprises will naturally support the bid." Fang ye, a senior industry person, said, "the question is whether the government finance is able to pay for it at present?"
"Sewage treatment plants are being demonized." In the face of media questions, Fang ye, deputy general manager of Zhuhai Water Group, gave a positive answer. This view has also been recognized by some people in the sewage treatment plant industry.
The "demonization" thought by insiders comes from a media review article "why does sewage treatment plant not treat pollution" in February 2016: "sewage treatment plant, whose job is to control pollution, has become a large household with excessive sewage discharge. The fundamental solution is to improve the pollutant discharge standard of sewage treatment plant." The article points out the problem of bid submission.
In order to refute the above article, Xiaqing, former vice president of the Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences, sent three comments on his personal wechat official account, saying that "improving emission standards is not a permanent solution". Refutation articles are widely forwarded in the environmental protection circle, which has become a hot spot for a while.
Immediately after that, a letter was delivered to the case of the main leader of the Ministry of environmental protection, which came from an environmental protection enterprise. "Where sewage treatment plants are built, where sewage is discharged, black and smelly water bodies will be formed. If the standards are not improved, the national large-scale action to control black and smelly water bodies may become a movement that wastes people and money and returns in vain." The above letter reads.
Since then, a large-scale "bid raising" debate has set off in the industry.
Up to now, the public consultation stage has been completed for the improvement of the discharge standard of the sewage treatment plant, and the relevant opinions have been summarized to the standard reviser for discussion and approval at the meeting of the Ministry of environmental protection.
The reason for this judgment stems from Xia Qing's analysis of those who hold different views: "this kind of people who favor the one size fits all approach and blindly raise the standard, in terms of the number, do not account for the majority in the environmental protection system at present." Moreover, "it is contrary to the management system with environmental quality as the core".
On November 4, 2015, the Ministry of environmental protection issued the draft for comments on the newly revised pollutant discharge standard for urban sewage treatment plants, soliciting opinions from 39 government departments, enterprises and institutions such as the national development and Reform Commission, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Bishui water source. The exposure draft mentioned that since July 1, 2016, the newly-built urban sewage treatment plant will implement class a standard; Since January 1, 2018, the existing urban sewage treatment plants in sensitive areas have implemented class I a standard.
The previous standard was that level a was implemented only when the effluent from the sewage treatment plant was introduced into rivers and lakes with small dilution capacity as urban landscape water and general reuse water. In addition, the effluent from the sewage treatment plant shall be subject to class I B to class III standards according to different functional categories discharged into the water area. This standard has been in use since it was formulated and issued in 2002. Effluent pollution control projects include chemical oxygen demand (COD), suspended solids, total phosphorus, total nitrogen, etc. The higher the level, the better the effluent quality.
"There are many problems in the sewage treatment system, and the standard is only one of them. In contrast, the bigger problem is that the sewage treatment system is backward. If the sewage cannot be collected, how can the river be clean if the standard is raised?" Zhang Chen, chief engineer of Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute, said.
Those who hold the same view as Zhang Chen and oppose the proposal of sewage treatment plant account for the vast majority in the above media interviews. "The real pollution is caused by the accumulation of direct discharge of industrial, agricultural and domestic sewage over the years. The problem of direct discharge and stolen discharge has been solved, and the sewage treatment plant absolutely does not need to mention the standard." Fang ye also said. Previously, the formulation of standards has fully considered the issue of environmental capacity, and local standards should be strengthened under the premise of national overall planning according to the actual situation of all localities, rather than across the country.
"At present, class A is still inferior to class V water. The water body has lost the function of circulation, which is a pool of sewage." He Yuanping said. For example, from the perspective of COD concentration, the value of Grade A is 50mg / L, while for the five types of surface water considered as polluted, the COD shall not be higher than 40mg / L according to the environmental quality standard for surface water. If the values are compared in this way, the water treated according to the first-class a standard is indeed worse than the five types of surface water.
In this regard, Jia Limin, technical director of Beikong water group, does not agree, because such a comparison ignores the self purification capacity of the water body. The two water standards, one belongs to the quality standard and the other is the discharge standard. Jia Limin believes that the two cannot be confused.
100 billion market ledger
Financial institutions are also concerned about the subject matter of sewage treatment plants.
According to the analysis of financial investment news, the bid raising will open a 100 billion market. It is predicted that there will be more room for the rise of sewage treatment costs in the future. The media quoted the estimate of the Ministry of environmental protection that the investment in sewage treatment transformation and new construction will reach 132.6 billion yuan in the future, with an annual operating cost of 65.6 billion yuan.
The data of the real-time management system of urban sewage treatment plants of the Ministry of housing and urban rural development also shows a huge market space: by the end of June 2015, a total of 3802 sewage treatment plants had been built in cities and towns across the country, of which only 860 were class I a projects.
"The formulation of standards should consider the affordability of the local economy. When Zhuhai, which is economically developed, can't afford it financially, let alone some other underdeveloped places." Fang ye said.
Such cost calculation has also been recognized by Wen Yibo, chairman of sound group.
"Due to the limitation of the government's own financial resources, the price increase requirements of enterprises may not be fulfilled." Beikong water operates a large-scale sewage treatment plant. Jia Limin said that in the process of improving standards in some places, it is not uncommon for the two sides to disagree. If we can't agree, the next thing we may face is to quit. "Since I can't do it, I'll quit and do it for someone else. This also happens."
He Yuanping made such a calculation: at present, the country produces about 170 million tons of urban sewage every day. If all the standards are raised, the cost will be increased by 0.2-0.3 yuan per ton. The whole country will need to spend more than 10 billion a year, which will bring a good environment and water cycle effect. This account is reasonable.
"Those who hold opposing views are more or less involved in their own interests. In the environmental protection industry, conservatives are still powerful. They lack capital, technology and strength. They always speak from the standpoint of their own interests, which hinders the promotion of bid upgrading." He Yuanping said.
Xia Qing said: "it is indisputable that enterprises with advanced technology should expand their business. However, it is not in line with corporate social responsibility to link their own technology with the raising of emission standards."
No standard revision in 13 years
With regard to the revision of national standards for sewage treatment plants, the latest policy guidance can be found in the action plan for water pollution prevention and control (i.e. "ten articles on water"). Among them, it is mentioned that the pollutant discharge standard for urban sewage treatment will be revised. Urban sewage treatment facilities in sensitive areas shall fully meet the class I a discharge standard by the end of 2017.
The pollutant discharge standard for urban sewage treatment plants (GB18918-2002) was first released on December 24, 2002, and has been more than 13 years. "Since the introduction of the standard, how much has the sewage treatment capacity increased? How much has the total economic output increased? Therefore, after more than ten years of great changes, the standard should also be improved accordingly." He Yuanping said.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of housing and urban rural development, when the standard was just released in 2002, China's sewage treatment capacity was about 37 million cubic meters / day. By the end of June 2015, this figure had increased to 161 million cubic meters / day. During this period, the national standards did not change.
According to Xia Qing, the upgrading and reconstruction of sewage treatment plants nationwide began with the outbreak of cyanobacteria in Taihu Lake in 2007, which directly promoted the large-scale upgrading and reconstruction projects in various regions.
In order to solve the pollution problem of Taihu Lake, the discharge limits of major water pollutants from urban sewage treatment plants and key industrial industries in Taihu Lake area were urgently issued that year. It is mentioned that the effluent discharge standard of sewage treatment plants in Taihu Lake Basin will be upgraded from level I B to level I a. Subsequently, the upgrading and reconstruction work began to be implemented in some places with strict requirements for water environment quality.
For example, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, is located in the Taihu Lake Basin. After the reconstruction work was completed in 2010, the sewage treatment rate in the main urban area reached more than 95%, and the effluent quality of the sewage treatment plant reached class a standard. Due to the improvement of the sewage treatment standard, the nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants entering Taihu Lake were greatly reduced, which contributed to the prevention and control of cyanobacteria.
Anyway, this is just a local optional action. Whether local governments implement stricter standards depends on the performance view of local decision-making departments. In Xia Qing's view, with the central government paying more and more attention to environmental issues, such a concept is gradually forming in various places. Therefore, the local optional action can achieve stricter standards.
With the gradual implementation of more stringent local standards and the requirements of the "ten articles on water", the revision of national standards finally began to be brewing from 2014 to 2015, during which it experienced about three times of bid raising. According to Jia Limin's recollection, the current draft for comments is different from the scheme proposed for each bid submission in the past.
The real problem behind "demonization" Fang Ye believes that the phenomenon of "demonizing" sewage treatment plants comes not only from outside the industry, but also from some people in the industry.
"What is demonization? To make a simple comparison between several indicators of surface water and sewage discharge from sewage treatment plants, we have to travel to the conclusion of five types of water to mislead people. This is demonization." Fang ye said. Therefore, the sewage treatment plant was labeled as the "culprit of sewage discharge".
The more people agree with the statement of "sewage treatment plant discharge", the more people will agree with the sewage treatment plant discharge standard. "If higher standards can really solve the pollution problem, it doesn't hurt to be more expensive. If the water pollution problem is not solved, the result is a waste of a lot of taxpayer money." Party forecast. Because the bidding of sewage treatment plant is putting the cart before the horse and icing on the cake, and can not finally solve the pollution problem.
Jia Limin believes that the problem of "demonization" does exist in some sewage treatment plants, and some indicators of sewage discharged do not meet the requirements of the standard.
In recent years, the news about the sewage treatment plant becoming a large sewage user has frequently appeared in the newspapers. On February 22, 2016, Gansu Provincial Environmental Protection Department released the list of suspected excessive pollution source automatic monitoring data in January. Among the 14 enterprises notified of excessive sewage discharge, there were 5 sewage treatment plants.
The reason for the non-standard emission lies in the two major problems of technology and capital.
"In terms of capital, some economically underdeveloped places can't afford to spend so much money, which leads to some facilities that cut corners on work and materials. In terms of technology, the operation of level a standard itself is unstable, which will cause some key indicators to exceed the standard. For example, in northern winter, total nitrogen may exceed the standard." Jia Limin said.
If the bid raising is imperative, it is more urgent to determine the corresponding price adjustment mechanism. Jia Limin proposed that considering the affordability of local governments, it is necessary to establish a certain price adjustment mechanism for the normal operation of the sewage treatment plant after the bid submission.
"An advanced sewage treatment technology may be good for enterprises, but it may not be applicable to the overall situation. We should consider the water quality improvement needs of different places separately, and we can't do it all at once. The national standard is to ensure the bottom line technology of national sewage treatment; the local standard and sewage discharge permit can solve the special problems of different places." Xia Qing said.