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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. This article appeared in a journal published by Elsevier. The attached copy is furnished to the author 617 internal non-commercial research and education use, including for instruction at the authors institution and sharing with colleagues.

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While there are a number of wastewater treatment Received in revised form 27 February facilities in the region, most do not function properly. There is a great need for inexpensive and sustainable Accepted 24 March wastewater treatment systems that are not technologically sophisticated and that do not require intensive management.

The main goal of this study was to quantify the performance and sustainability of treatment Keywords: Using data from the literature, a treat- Municipal wastewater ment wetland model was developed, which focused on pollutant removal.

The modeled performance was Emergy Developing countries compared to a system of waste stabilization ponds and a sequencing batch reactor. The three systems were Appropriate technology subject to cost analysis and an emergy evaluation, leading to the assessment of indicators of cost-benefit for comparison. The emergy evaluations show that the ponds have the lowest annual emergy flow 6.

These results cnostrudata combined to estimate treatment ratios contaminants removed per lifetime cost, and contaminants removed per total emergycost ratios cost per volume of water, annual cost per capita, and construction cost per capitaand emergy ratios treatment yield, renewable emergy, lifetime emprice, construction emprice, non-renewable emergy, empower density, environmental loading, total emergy per volume of water, and emergy per capita.

Introduction performance is affected when these requirements cannot be properly provided. The hypothesis of this study is that a CWTS 7 were activated sludge systems, 3 were anaerobic reactors, and 1 would yield significant improvements in pollutant removal in com- was a sequencing batch reactor CAR, In addition, several pilot studies have been conducted in Colom- bian universities e.

Constructed wetland treatment system design Nonetheless, no large-scale, municipal WW treatment wet- land had been documented to the date of this study. The hypothetical system consisted of conshrudata, a sedimenta- using similar tools as the ones used in this study i.

For instance, Nelson combination of subsurface flow and surface flow SF wetland units designed and evaluated two subsurface flow SSF wetlands in Mex- were modeled. He showed that these systems were efficient at removing a The raw wastewater quality data for Tabio provided by CAR were number of wastewater constituents, including Biological Oxygen used to consgrudata the proposed wetland system.

The total emergy of these treatment wetlands was plant, minus m2 occupied by the anaerobic basin, and minus reported to be 3. The emergy required imal costs. The CWTS model was subject to a sensitivity analysis for operation of a comparable conventional packaged plant was to determine the effect of the system configuration on the overall 3. This analysis was done by estimating the pollutant tional emergy construdatq the treatment wetlands. Also, a large variation in the ratio of purchased and Knight, Values of k used were the global averages proposed USA.

The construdaga loading ratio varied greatly for the sys- by Kadlec and Construatawhich are based on a large database tems evaluated, with septic tanks having the lowest and a of operating treatment wetlands in the temperate climate of North water reclamation facility with lime phosphorus removal having America and Europe.

Even though treatment wetlands in the trop- the greatestA facility with conventional secondary treat- ics could perform more efficiently, design parameters for CWTS in ment followed by a treatment wetland fell in the middle of the range Colombia have not construudata documented, and therefore using construrata pub- of environmental loading ratios with a value of construdtaa, without lished constants proposed by Kadlec and Knight is the most the wastewater input.


This constrjdata treated an average of 1. Study sites A cost evaluation consrtudata performed for each of the treatment Two sites with municipal WWTPs were selected for the evalua- options studied. These evaluations included the major compo- tions performed during this study.

Unit costs for the CWTSand consists of a screen, a sedimentation tank, an anaerobic and the WSPs came from a Colombian construction costing guide basin, and two series of facultative lagoons with two basins each Construdata,CARcosntrudata otherwise estimated from local CAR, A Sequencing Batch Reactor SBR treatment plant to the construction of the treatment units were used from this bud- was constructed in with a design flow of The system consists of primary treatment documents or estimated from typical local market costs.

The net with a manual screen and a sedimentation tank, followed by sec- annual cost of treatment was estimated as: Lifetime refers to the facility design lifetime, Appendix A. These diagrams show the main energy fluxes and assumed to be 25 years for the three systems. Items in the tables 2. Emergy evaluations for each system were organized in four categories: The first category includes 16, wind, and rain. Both water the appropriate use of resources to provide the service of wastew- inflows rain and WW were divided into four components: In order to provide numerical quantities cojstrudata this chemical potential, organic matter, total phosphorous, and total concept, emergy syntheses of the three wastewater systems were nitrogen.

The third category includes construction materials, and performed. Emergy synthesis is an components as for the environmental resourcesand evapotran- appropriate accounting method for environmental decision mak- spiration. This accounting method has been recently used in a analysis, the cost analysis, CAR reports, journal articles, or esti- number of environmental decision making applications, includ- mated from typical values observed in the region.

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UEVs came from ing regional sustainability Lei et al. All UEVs were corrected to the most recent emergy Emergy is typically measured in solar emjoules, which can be baseline as suggested by Brown and Bardi Transformity, specific emergy, and emergy per unit tal resources, total emergy of goods and purchased services, and money Odum, Transformity is the energy used in the trans- total emergy.

Specific emergy is the energy used in con- counting. Emergy of goods and purchased services was calculated centrating certain amount of mass, and it has units of emergy per as the sum of all the inflows from that category; the total system unit mass e. The emergy per unit money is the amount emergy was then calculated as the sum of the total environmental of emergy represented by a unit of currency.

Author’s personal copy M. Even though of the areal rate constants kwhich ideally, should be determined the WW emergy flows were quantified, these numbers were not from treatment wetlands operating under similar conditions. How- included in the total emergy calculation.

This exclusion was made ever, as it has been pointed out previously in this paper, large-scale because WW 17 considered a flow-through component, which treatment wetlands if existing have been poorly documented in rather than being an input, it is the element that the entire system Colombia and its neighboring countries, and until sufficient data are is providing a service to.

Indicators scale functional treatment wetlands most of which are in North America and Europe. Once the performance, cost, and emergy evaluations were deter- A sensitivity analysis Appendix A revealed that a ratio of mined, several indicators were calculated to compare the three SSF to SF wetland area of 1—4 yielded appropriate removal while options Table 1.

These indicators were divided into three cate- maintaining construction costs as low as possible. This sensitiv- gories according to the unit in their denominator: The first category ity analysis was a crucial step that had much impact in the other was treatment indicators, and their purpose is to show how effec- analyses performed in this study. The finding of this point of trade tive the systems are at coonstrudata the pollutants with respect to off between system performance represented by BOD removal cost and emergy.

Nitrogen was not included because no data were and resources utilization represented by gravel cost was the basis available for the WSPs and the SBR. The second category was cost for the conceptual design of this CWTS, and without determining indicators, which showed how economically expensive the treat- this point, it is likely that the area distribution of between SSF and ment is per unit of water treated and per inhabitant served. The SF cells would have been arbitrarily set, and hence, the potential third category was emergy indicators, which show how energeti- that 617 have to provide good performance with appropriate cally expensive each alternative was.


The CWTS treatment performance was compared with the 3. Results and discussion removal efficiencies of the WSPs and the SBR Table 3and it was estimated that the proposed system has the potential of achiev- 3. Findings from this study indicate that it is feasible to design Removal of E. Although the dif- ciencies similar to existing WSPs in the region. The hypothetical ference consttudata performance is not large, this is likely the result of longer CWTS was composed of the existing pretreatment units and pri- detention times in WSPs due to greater storage volume.

The total area was maintained at from an empirical model that has been proven accurate for many 3.

Continuous Conduct and Its Violation of International Investment Treaty Obligations

One concern with the design parameters calculated is that some are out of the typical range of design values for these sys- tems Kadlec and Knight, Factors such a proper design, construction, Summary of cost analysis for the three treatment systems evaluated.

Construction Land 35, coonstrudata, 9, Scrubbing 2, — 3. Cost analysis Earth work 34, 82, 18, Liner 28, 28, — A summary of the cost analyses for the three alternatives is pre- Gravel 50, — 7, sented in Table 4, and detailed cost analyses and calculations are in ConcretePiping 8, Appendix B.

These two major expenses were nearly the same Labor 3, 3, 6, amount, resulting in very similar final construction costs for the Landscaping two systems. If land is available and affordable, a SF system would be more economically feasible. Another alternative is to use a different type of media. For instance, pieces of bamboo were used as media Table 5 Summary of emergy flows for the three treatment systems.

Normalized treatment indicators for the three 16 treatment alternatives; 1 greatest represents the indicator for the best option. Normalized cost indicators for the three wastewater treatment alternatives; 1 smallest represents the indicator for the best option.

Normalized emergy indicators for the three wastewater treatment alternatives; 1 greatest represents the indicator for the best option.

This trend in emergy is similar to the trend in mon- much labor is required to operate and maintain this facility. This is indeed the trend that was expected, the CWTS is the design lifetime. This parameter was assumed to be which follows the pattern of goods and services required to 25 years for the all the options. However, it is claimed that a CWTS treat wastewater in this facilities. The major inputs to the WSPs can operate for much longer periods, even up to 90 years Kadlec were found to be electricity and labor, which were also inputs and Knight, If a longer design period had been used for the to the CWTS.


The total emergy for the CWTS was services. Normalized emergy indicators for the three wastewater treatment alternatives; 1 smallest represents the indicator for the best option. In comparison to previous emergy evaluations of CWTSs, the and environmental loading ratio. Exceptions to this trend were system evaluated in this study falls within the range construdatq values pre- the results for the emergy to construction price and the emergy to viously estimated Table 7.

The total emergy from the system in annual cost, where the CWTS and the SBR, respectively, appeared Tabio was found to be greater conxtrudata the natural wetland evaluated to have the most emergy per money invested. With regard to the treatment indicators com- expected to be.

In the case of the 24, m2. CWTS, the difference resulted from the additional kg of TP and kg of TN that this connstrudata removed annually, whereas in the case of the natural wetland, the difference was due mainly to 3.