An integrated approach for monitoring efficiency and investments of activated sludge-based wastewater treatment plants at large spatial scale

TitleAn integrated approach for monitoring efficiency and investments of activated sludge-based wastewater treatment plants at large spatial scale
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsDe Gisi, S., Sabia Gianpaolo, Casella P., and Farina R.
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Keywordsactivated sludge, Activated sludge process, analysis, article, cost, Costs, decision making, decision support system, Decision support systems, Decision supports, Efficiency, Environmental impact, environmental impact assessment, Environmental impact assessments, Environmental monitoring, Environmental regulations, Europe, evaluation study, Fluid, Geographic distribution, integrated approach, Integrated control, investment, Investment costs, Investments, Municipal WWTPs, nutrient, Performance assessment systems, Portals, prioritization, priority journal, procedures, Process optimization, Productivity, Reclamation, sewage, Sewage pumping plants, spatial analysis, statistics and numerical data, Waste disposal, waste facility, Waste treatment, waste water, waste water management, waste water treatment plant, Wastewater, Wastewater treatment, Water conservation, water pollutant, Water Pollutants, Water pollution, Water treatment, Water treatment plants

WISE, the Water Information System for Europe, is the web-portal of the European Commission (EU) that disseminates the quality state of the receiving water bodies and the efficiency of the municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in order to monitor advances in the application of both the Water Framework Directive (WFD) as well as the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD). With the intention to develop WISE applications, the aim of the work was to define and apply an integrated approach capable of monitoring the efficiency and investments of activated sludge-based WWTPs located in a large spatial area, providing the following outcomes useful to the decision-makers: (i) the identification of critical facilities and their critical processes by means of a Performance Assessment System (PAS), (ii) the choice of the most suitable upgrading actions, through a scenario analysis. (iii) the assessment of the investment costs to upgrade the critical WWTPs and (iv) the prioritization of the critical facilities by means of a multi-criteria approach which includes the stakeholders involvement, along with the integration of some technical, environmental, economic and health aspects. The implementation of the proposed approach to a high number of municipal WWTPs highlighted how the PAS developed was able to identify critical processes with a particular effectiveness in identifying the critical nutrient removal ones. In addition, a simplified approach that considers the cost related to a basic-configuration and those for the WWTP integration, allowed to link the critical processes identified and the investment costs. Finally, the questionnaire for the acquisition of data such as that provided by the Italian Institute of Statistics, the PAS defined and the database on the costs, if properly adapted, may allow for the extension of the integrated approach on an EU-scale by providing useful information to water utilities as well as institutions. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


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