With a coastline of 7.314 km and 406 islands, water is a defining feature in Denmark’s past and present. It has always been significant for industries, transport and living conditions in Denmark.
The large cholera outbreak in 1853 with more than 7.000 dead in Copenhagen created a need for healthy water supply and efficient sanitation solutions, and in the following years, large underground sewer systems replaced wooden pipes and open sewers.
The birth of modern, urban water supply in Denmark was seen the same year, when the city of Odense constructed the first public water work in Denmark. From that time on, constant research and innovation has led us to a stage, where we now have highly efficient wastewater treatment plants and where 90% of the Danish households are directly connected to one of our treatment plants and the nutrient emission intensity for the domestic sector is among the lowest in Europe. The Danish Water Action Plan (1987) was the first of its kind in Europe to introduce national criteria for nutrient removal in wastewater treatment plants.
5.5 million inhabitants in Denmark consume on average 107 litres of water per day. The consumption has decreased 15% over the last 10 years. All supplied water is extracted from groundwater and is of a very high quality.
The price for water is amongst the highest in Europe as we pay on average €8 pr. m3 of water. This price also includes urban drainage, wastewater treatment and taxes. In Denmark, we have a very low rate of water loss in distribution networks – on average 5-7 % due to efficient water leakage management, energy efficient pumps, smart metering schemes, monitoring systems and other innovative technologies.