Surface water pollution levy (verontreinigingsheffing)

Who must pay the surface water pollution levy (verontreinigingsheffing)?

Private individuals
You pay the surface water pollution levy if you are the user of a so-called zelfstandige woonruimte (a housing unit with a bedroom/living room and its own kitchen and bathroom facilities) – for example, a tenant or the owner of the property who also lives there– and your wastewater drains directly into the surface water (for example, a drainage canal).

Businesses
You pay the surface water pollution levy if you are a user (e.g. the owner or a tenant) of a building or premises that is not a residence and the wastewater drains directly into the surface water (e.g. a drainage canal).

How is the amount for the surface water pollution levy determined?

Two fixed rates apply both for the wastewater treatment levy (zuiveringsheffing) as well as the surface water pollution levy for residences (verontreinigingsheffing voor woonruimten) – a single-person household rate (1 vervuilingseenheid (“unit of pollution”, 1 ve)) and a multiple-person household rate (3 units of pollution (3 ve). Two-person households will be charged the multiple-person household rate.

The RBG will assume that your household consists of the number of people as registered for your address in the municipal records Basisregistratie personen, BRP)*. If you come to live alone during the course of the year, we will automatically change the assessment. The amount paid too much will be recredited to your account or deducted from future assessments.

*Always notify the municipality if you move or if there is a death or birth in your household.

Why do I have to pay the surface water pollution levy?

The funds collected with this tax help the water board pay for the treatment of wastewater that is produced via the sewage system. This includes water going down kitchen or bathroom drains, and wastewater from the washing machine and toilet.
The water board also uses the funds from this levy to ensure clean water in drainage canals and ponds/lakes (including where people swim) and for local nature conservation.

Will I get a reduction of the surface water pollution levy if something in my situation changes during the course of the year?
Does the number of people in my household matter for the surface water pollution levy?
Can I submit an objection to the surface water pollution levy?
Can I request exemption for the surface water pollution levy?
Can I pay the surface water pollution levy in instalments?