Cost-effective development of urban wastewater systems for Water Framework Directive compliance

The project CD4WC will deal with optimising the efficiency of the urban wastewater system with regard to ecological consequences in natural water bodies and with regard to investment and operation costs. The need to solve this problem is a direct consequence of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) which requests to achieve good quality for ground and surface waters on a river-basin scale. With this new water-quality based approach (Figure 1), the design of the systems is by far less predetermined and the options to meet the goals become much more widespread. CD4WC will give guidance and support for this optimisation to operators inasmuch the potential to improve the systems performance is identified while the cost-benefit ratio ought to be increased. The implementation of the WFD is promoted by CD4WC and infrastructure investments are enhanced. It is to be expected that the investments in the public infrastructure will be carried out mainly by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The project will thus contribute to further employment in the field as well as to the enhancement of the skills of these SMEs. This again will promote their competitiveness. In CD4WC the benefits for the development of the urban wastewater system resulting from the WFD approach will be identified and quantified with regard to its ecological and economic consequences. Criteria to assess the ecological consequences are - besides the water quality - also secondary resources inputs such as energy, materials and chemicals. Various options and strategies to develop the wastewater system will be evaluated. Main emphasis is put on the dynamic interactions between the subsystems sewer system, WWTP and receiving water as well as on the possibilities of taking measures in the receiving water and at the sources. The methods applied are analysis of river basin managers data to gain insight in experience, the performance of measurement campaigns to close information gaps, numerical modelling to assess systems changes and extensions, and economic balancing to evaluate alternative pollution control instruments, such as permits, fees and pollution trading. In the project, knowledge will be gained that serves both the scientific community as well as the water managers in Europe. A major result will be the quantification of cost savings due to increased degrees of freedom induced by the WFD approach. Scientific knowledge is gained with regard to the coupling of models of the subsystems sewer system, WWTP and receiving water, and by the quantification of loads discharged to the receiving water that are caused by the various options of systems development. The practice of European water management will profit from the results of CD4WC in the sense that a basis for decision making is provided to improve the wastewater management and the associated cost/benefit ratio. The respective outcome will be provided on a CD.

Project duration: 2003-02-01 - 2006-09-30

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Lorenzo Benedetti
Department of Applied Mathematics, Biometrics and Process Control
Coupure Links 653
9000 Gent
Tel: +32 9 264 6196
Fax: +32 9 264 6220

Last update: 01 december 2008,

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