A novel method for rapid assessment of the performance and complexity of small wastewater treatment plants
Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences
The performance of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) depends on various technical, non-technical, and human factors. A total of 245 small and medium-size WWTPs were studied during 2014-2015 and evaluated according to a novel method for rapid assessment of their performance and complexity. The suggested method creates a comparable system of ratings for all treatment solutions by analysing simultaneously influential characteristics, system complexity, operational practices, and process
... s in comparison with designed and/or standardized values and their impact on the overall system performance. Total evaluation of complexity and total evaluation of performance are new unified tools, which were applied for comparing WWTPs that applied different technologies and had a wide variety of loadings. The study revealed that the greater the designed loading, the more treatment steps were usually needed and employed. The complexity of these treatment steps can vary a lot depending on the plant capacity. There was a positive relationship between complexity and performance: a higher complexity provided a better performance of WWTPs. This suggests that combining automation as a tool for the process control with a more advanced equipment (higher complexity) could prevent many process disturbances and therefore improve the overall plant performance.