Alzette river; Credit: AGE

On Sunday 14 September 2019, a stretch of the Alzette River in Walferdange was polluted following technical problems related to the wastewater treatment plant in Luxembourg-Beggen.

The Pollution Response Team of the Water Management Authority (Administration de la gestion de l'eau; AGE) responded to emergency (112) calls, made just after 16:00, reporting a large amount of dead fish in the Alzette near the football pitch in Walferdange. Upon arrival at the scene at around 17:00, an AGE agent confirmed the presence of dead fish and found the water to be very opaque and lacking oxygen.

Together with agents of the Grand Ducal Police and the Grand Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps (CGDIS; CIS Walferdange), the AGE determined the wastewater treatment plant in Beggen to be the cause of this pollution. The incident resulted from a technical problem related to the treatment plant's control systems, which caused a wastewater discharge without biological treatment in the Alzette.

At approximately 19:00, the control systems of the treatment plant resumed normal operation and the discharge of untreated sewage was stopped.

The duration of the spill and its environmental damage are not yet known. The AGE has taken a sample of water from the Alzette for further tests.