Assessing Urban Wastewater System Upgrades Using Integrated Modeling, Life Cycle Analysis, and Shadow Pricing

This study assesses the environmental impacts of four measures proposed for upgrading of the urban wastewater system of Eindhoven and the Dommel River in The Netherlands, against the base case, “do-nothing” option. The measures aim to reduce the overall environmental impact of the Eindhoven urban wastewater system (UWS) by targeting river dissolved oxygen depletion and ammonia peaks, reducing combined sewer overflows, and enhancing nutrient removal. The measures are evaluated using a life cycle analysis with the boundaries including the receiving river section by means of an integrated model of the UWS. An uncertainty analysis of the estimated impacts has been performed to support the outcomes. The study also uses the economic concept of shadow prices to assign relative weights of socio-economic importance to the estimated life cycle impacts. This novel integration of tools complements the assessments of this UWS with the inclusion of long-term global environmental impacts and the investigation of trade-offs between different environmental impacts through a single monetary unit. The results support the selection of deeper clarifiers as the most environmentally beneficial measure for upgrade ​
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