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Sustainability Assessment for Wastewater Treatment Systems—Case Studies in Egypt

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Document pages: 16 pages

Abstract: Low sanitation coverage is a significant problem in Egypt, especially in rural areas. The Rapid Sustainability Screening (RSS) model was developed to assess the sustainability of wastewater treatment systems (WWTS), both planned and existing, and support decision-makers in selecting alternatives. The model considers the three fundamental sustainability dimensions, namely, environmental, social, and economic. In the present paper, the model was successfully tested by evaluating the sustainability performance of three operating rural WWTS in Egypt (Constructed Wetland (CW)-BeniSuef, Constructed Wetland (CW)-Dakahlia, and Activated Sludge (AS)-Gharbia). CW-BeniSuef was the most sustainable system based upon environmental and social considerations with values of 2.50 and 2.71, respectively. On the other hand, CW-Dakahlia is the most economically sustainable system, with a value of 2.25. The highest sustainability overall ranking system was CW-BeniSuef with overall sustainability of 2.81, followed by CW-Dakahlia with a value of 2.18, and the least sustainable technology is AS-Gharbia (1.72). The RSS model can support the decision-makers and operators during the different phases of a wastewater treatment project development (e.g., feasibility, operation). The model has been developed in a user-friendly and straightforward manner. The simplicity of the model may encourage the decision-makers and EIA practitioners to expand the assessment to consider sustainability rather than focusing on one or two aspects only (i.e., environment and society) in isolation of the possible interaction between them.

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