Environmental performance of a full-scale wastewater treatment plant applying Life Cycle Assessment

Thaís Andrade de Sampaio Lopes, Luciano Matos Queiroz, Asher Kiperstok
2018 Revista Ambiente & Água  
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was applied to estimate and analyze the environmental impacts from the construction and operation phases of a full-scale wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) located in the municipality of Lauro de Freitas, Bahia, Brazil. The WWTP process consists of the association of an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor followed by four constructed wetlands (CWL) and a disinfection step. The functional unit was defined as one cubic meter of treated effluent during the
more » ... ul life of this WWTP (20 years). The LCA was carried out using SimaPro® software and the Centre of Environmental Science (CML) assessment method. The environmental impacts during construction phase were mainly from the wooden forms for concrete and the use of reinforcing steel. During the operation phase, the chlorine used as effluent disinfectant caused the greatest impacts in the abiotic depletion and acidification categories. Macronutrient concentrations present in the treated effluent and the methane generated also caused significant environmental impacts during the WWTP's useful life. The results obtained highlight the importance of the application of a methodology like LCA to assist in decision-making with regard to the implementation, construction and operation of a WWTP.
doi:10.4136/ambi-agua.2216 fatcat:aejxm5uwzjgh7petx6xsbm2j2e