Environmental legislation is increasing the amounts of bought-in electricity required for sewage treatment, and generating larger volumes of sewage sludge to be treated and disposed of. Concurrently, concerns over global warming and food safety from sewage sludge recycling on agricultural land is augmenting the costs of conventional sewage and sludge treatment technologies and practices. This paper reviews some emerging technologies and practices that may assist in mitigating these problems in the future. In addition, a number of potential renewable energy technologies available to water companies are reviewed. Results suggest that through the take-up of new technologies, current and future water quality standards could be delivered in a more sustainable way. However, this series of papers also highlights that institutional and political conflicts may have inadvertently failed to recognise the wider effects of improving water quality and lessened the financial support necessary for their widespread take-up. It is also suggested that through the use of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) approach, stakeholders could gain a better understanding of the broader environmental effects of achieving certain water quality standards and develop policy and long-term investment strategies accordingly. However, to fulfil the information requirements of an SEA, an appropriate appraisal tool that considers many of these factors in unison is required, and a possible technique is suggested.
- energy use
- sustainable wasterwater management
- low-energy treatment technology
- renewable enrgies
- strategic environmental assessment