The current proposal for a revised European Directive concerning the quality of bathing water significantly increases the demands for the control of wet-weather discharges. A densely urbanised combined catchment was modelled for a 19-year long rainfall series in order to assess the current situation and to evaluate the benefits of potential solutions. Storage and advanced physical-chemical treatment of stormwater in the STP may significantly contribute for the reduction of the overflow volumes but reductions of the spill frequency under 2.5 spill days per bathing season are hardly obtained. This study reveals the severe strains that the local rainfall pattern may place on the control of the frequency of wet-weather discharges, pointing to serious technical, social and economical implications, at the local and at the national level, if the current proposal for a revised European Directive on Bathing Water is enforced.

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