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A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Seminatural Wetlands and Activated Sludge Wastewater-Treatment Systems
Environmental Management (2008)
  • Daniel Franco
  • Ilda Mannino
  • Enrico Piccioni
  • Laura Favero
  • Erica Mattiuzzo
  • Gabriele Zanetto
Abstract
A cost-effectiveness analysis was performed to evaluate the competitiveness of seminatural Free Water Surface (FWS) wetlands compared to traditional wastewa-ter-treatment plants. Six scenarios of the service costs of three FWS wetlands and three different wastewater-treatment plants based on active sludge processes were compared. The six scenarios were all equally effective in their wastewater-treatment capacity. The service costs were estimated using real accounting data from an experimental wetland and by means of a market survey. Some assumptions had to be made to perform the analysis. A reference waste-water situation was established to solve the problem of the different levels of dilution that characterize the inflow water of the different systems; the land purchase cost was excluded from the analysis, considering the use of public land as shared social services, and an equal life span for both seminatural and traditional wastewater-treatment plants was set. The results suggest that seminatural systems are com- petitive with traditional biotechnological systems, with an average service cost improvement of 2.1-fold to 8-fold, according to the specific solution and discount rate. The main improvement factor was the lower maintenance cost of the seminatural systems, due to the self-regulating, low artificial energy inputs and the absence of waste to be disposed. In this work, only the waste-treatment capacity of wetlands was considered as a parameter for the economic competitiveness analysis. Other goods/services and environmental benefits provided by FWS wetlands were not considered
Keywords
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis,
  • Free water surface wetlands,
  • Service cost,
  • Wastewater treatment
Publication Date
2008
Citation Information
Daniel Franco, Ilda Mannino, Enrico Piccioni, Laura Favero, et al.. "A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Seminatural Wetlands and Activated Sludge Wastewater-Treatment Systems" Environmental Management Vol. 41 (2008)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/daniel_franco/2/