Plans by French supplier SEDIF to supply its four million Parisian users in the Île-de-France with low pressure reverse osmosis treated water are facing a massive backlash.

Almost all of the other water sector actors oppose the proposal by the largest public water service in France, because of downstream discharges of hyper concentrated volumes of pollutants.

Reverse osmosis (RO) technology has been practiced by water suppliers in other European countries, such as Sweden, for many years though typically to desalinate seawater at much higher pressures. New water reuse rules in place in the EU are expected to stimulate desalination use. The revised Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD) will focus on extra treatment in big cities because nearly half (46%) of unregulated wastewater pollution including chemical micropollutants, microplastics and some bacteria and viruses is coming from cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.

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