Our oceans and waters are under great pressure. If our lakes and oceans are to flourish and we are to continue having access to clean drinking water in the future, we must protect our waters from hazardous substances and start to see wastewater as a resource.

There are about 1,400,000,000,000 liters of water on earth. Only three percent of this volume is freshwater, the remainder is saltwater. Sweden has a history of having plenty of water in general. In recent years, this has changed in many places due to weather conditions and less rainfall.

Since the 1960s it is possible to see which years have had unusually low groundwater levels in Sweden. The periods 1976-1977, 1996-1997 and 2016-2017 were the most affected years in terms of water shortage.

Interest in saving water and seeing water as a resource is growing in both industry and municipal players. Most households in Sweden are connected to a municipal sewage treatment plant, but about 1 million people still have individual sewage treatment plants.

Sweden runs R&D in, among other things, advanced purification of wastewater but also source-sorting wastewater systems for efficient utilization of the water resource. In wastewater, in addition to the freshwater resource, there are also important plant netting substances and moles forming substances that can be better utilized. today, only one-third is returned to agricultural land.

The overall aim of the Swedish environmental policy is to hand over a society in which the major environmental problems facing the country have been solved. This is summed up in a ‘generational goal’, which describes what is to be protected and what changes need to be made in our society. This system entails the genera­tional goal and the 16 environmental quality objectives.

The work within wastewater and water has many connections to environmental quality objectives such as:

  • Good-Quality Groundwater
  • Flourishing Lakes and Streams
  • Thriving Wetlands
  • A Balanced Marine Environment, Flourishing Coastal Areas and Archipelagos Zero Eutrophication
  • A Good Built Environment
  • A Non-Toxic Environment


  • The 1800s: Sweden is beginning to build water and sewage systems
  • 1960-70s: Large-scale development of water and sewage systems. In the 1960s, around half of Sweden’s population was connected to the sewage system. Ten years later, that number had increased to 75 %.
  • 1994: Sweden’s EU membership led to improvements in water and sewage systems.

Related Companies

AB Evergreen Solutions

Evergreen Solutions focus is on standardised plants which are available in sizes for up to 400 people.

ACO Nordic AB

ACO Nordic offers complete plants for treating wastewater and runoff systems for rainwater recycling and a number of other water and wastewater products.

Acosense AB

Acosense is a Swedish high tech company that develops and markets Acospector® Acoustic Chemometer, an innovation for non-invasive fluid analysis in real-time.

Afriso Ema AB

Afriso’s product range consists mainly of products and services that contribute to a better environment and safer workplace.

Related Best Practices

Eco-city Augustenborg: Creating an attractive and resilient district

The district Augustenborg has been rebuilt during the last 20 years to manage problems with flooding and socioeconomic challenges. By planning and rebuilding through solutions based on ecosystem services, the area is now an attractive district that managed well during the flooding 2014 in Malmö.

Tummelsta community – fulfills requirements on phosphorus removal

Tummelsta community got requirements to reduce phosphorus in their wastewater with 90% and wanted at the same time a low-maintenance solution which was environmental friendly and chemical free. They chose to install reactive filter media, Polonite. The saturated filter media can be used as a fertilizer in the area.

HSB Living Lab – Shaping the Housing of Tomorrow

How will we live in the future? HSB Living Lab is a research and demonstration arena, consisting of actual homes for students and guest researchers. This exciting project innovates on site, enhancing the sustainability and quality of present and future homes and buildings.

MTC a test bed facility for waste materials

Increased efforts in environmental technology is crucial for a more sustainable use of society’s resources. MTC in Umeå specializes in the implementation of emerging environmental technologies focusing on waste, contaminated water and contaminated soil. Our customers include problem owners, companies looking to demonstrate new technology and academia focusing on applied research.

Related Visit Programs

Circular economy

Circular economy is all about a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design. Unlike in todays linear economy, in a circular economy we see everything as a resource for something else – waste doesn’t exist. How do business models need to change to suit a circular economy? What does this new way of thinking mean for the business community? How can profitable business models be combined with social and environmental responsibility? How can we design products right from the beginning, and do things even better, instead of just less bad?

Destination Stockholm Clean Tech

This program gives you an overview of the environmental technology in Stockholm. It includes a visit at the center for Sweden’s leading R&D activities in the field of wastewater treatment, as well as one of the world’s most well-known examples of sustainable city development.


Perhaps the world’s greatest challenge is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly fossil carbon dioxide. Several exciting and new innovative ways to replace fossil energy are under development in the area, such as the Algae pilot and Bioendev.

Sjöstadsverket – leading wastewater research

Visit Hammarby Sjöstadsverk, the center for Sweden’s leading R&D activities in the field of wastewater treatment.

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