Bank of Actions

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Are you seeking examples or inspiration for water protection? There are plenty of potential actions to choose from! The Bank of Actions will provide your organisation with concrete ideas and examples of water protection activities implemented by organisations in the Baltic Sea Challenge network. You can browse these according to the theme, type of actor, country, year or keyword.

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Audit tool for smart sludge management

Actor: University of Tarto   ●   Year: 2018   ●   Address:

Sludge audit tool - IWAMA © IWAMA - Interactive Water Management projectHuge amount of waste activated sludge is produced in the Baltic Sea Region. Waste activated sludge contains variety of pollutants (heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, pathogens) and nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous). In order to reduce flow of pollutants into water bodies and to promote recycling of nutrients, it is essential to support smart sludge management.

Audit tool was developed in co-operation with sludge management specialists to measure WWTPs efficiency and potential for improvements. 


Efficiency and feasibility of sludge management of the plant is analysed thoroughly in sludge audit. The audit considers full plants process analysis: analysis of the sludge management technology and flows, energy and chemical consumption, automatic calculations of operational parameters. Most of the results are showed in comparison with data collected in Key Figure Collection of 66 WWTPs in Baltic Sea Region. Thus, achieved values are comparable with other plants and developed benchmarks in the same region.

First sludge management audits were performed in 9 WWTPs (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany) in order to test and develop the tool.


Sludge audit tool is going to be a public instrument and operators of WWTPs will have an opportunity to perform a self-audit for their plants. Uniform and thorough audit concept considers regional and technological peculiarities which increases the potential of practical application of the tool. Based on achieved results, WWTPs will get knowledge about important operational parameters and possibilities for process improvement. Enhancement of sludge management leads to higher energy production, lower energy consumption and reduces loads of hazardous substances and nutrients in the effluent.

Background information

Sludge audit tool was developed within Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020 financed project IWAMA (Interactive Water Management). Baltic Sea Challenge had close co-operation with IWAMA. The project activities concentrated on developing the capacity of water sector operators and pilot investments to increase energy efficiency and advance sludge handling. All project activities were targeted at better environmental state of the Baltic Sea through reducing nutrient input, optimizing energy consumption of the wastewater treatment plants, training water sector’s employees and ensuring the transfer of knowledge. The partners of the IWAMA project joined the Baltic Sea Challenge network. 

© IWAMA - Interactive Water Management project

Further information

Name: Kati Klein   ●  Email: kati.klein(a)   ●  Web page: