Journal of Environmental Protection

Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2019)

ISSN Print: 2152-2197   ISSN Online: 2152-2219

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.55  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

Sustainability Assessment of Wastewater Systems: An Environmental and Economic Approach

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2019.102014    565 Downloads   1,215 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

To address current challenges regarding sustainable development of wastewater treatment and provide scientific support in decision procedures towards sustainable solutions, new approaches, frameworks and methodologies about different possible solutions and their potential sustainability implications are needed. One way to facilitate sustainability assessment of wastewater is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology; however, it fails to map the full scope of wastewater impacts. This paper presents a framework to evaluate the performance of Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTF) taking into consideration various factors for insuring environmental sustainability. A total of nine indicators, seven environmental and two economic related to four wastewater treatment facilities, were assessed. Apart from evaluating the sustainability, this study also discussed the link of life cycle approach and social aspects of wastewater. The results show that for the environmental dimension using LCA provides information on different types of environmental activities and different impact categories. LCA can thus be used to quantify and compare the multiple types of impacts caused by one type of use or emission, as well as the various resource uses or emissions that contribute to one type of impacts. For the economic dimension, there is still a need for consistent and robust indicators and methods. The empirical results suggest that the environmental sustainability framework can be used in the first phase of the decision procedure that leads to a strategic choice for sustainable resource recovery from wastewater in developing countries. This motives researchers and decision-makers to consider the whole picture, and not just individual aspects, when considering different futures scenarios.

Cite this paper

Padilla-Rivera, A. , Morgan-Sagastume, J. and Güereca-Hernández, L. (2019) Sustainability Assessment of Wastewater Systems: An Environmental and Economic Approach. Journal of Environmental Protection, 10, 241-259. doi: 10.4236/jep.2019.102014.

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