Sustainability assessment of potential wastewater treatment techniques in Tupiza, Bolivia
Sammanfattning: Aiming for sustainable sanitation systems can provide benefits among a vast range of Sustainable Development Goals. In this study the sustainability of potential options for renovating or upgrading thewastewater treatment plant in Tupiza, a rapidly growing city in theSouthern highlands of Bolivia, was evaluated. The local context was characterized by increasing issues of flooding which in recent years has destroyed important wastewater treatment infrastructure and polluted sources of water for several downstream communities. Three system options consisting of different treatment technologies were evaluated against four criteria of sustainability; health,technical, environmental and financial and institutional. A "conventional" option consisting of waste stabilization ponds was compared against two more options with added steps of treatment, such as constructed wetlands, anaerobic reactors and alkaline and ammonia treatment of sludge. Social acceptance and demand of reuse of treated wastewater and sludge in agriculture was evaluated using qualitative research analysis. Results indicate that the systems with added treatment steps could help improve several areas of sustainability such as risks of disease transmission, space efficiency, treatment capacity and efficiency as well as enable safe reuse of sludge and wastewater in agriculture. Implementation of funding mechanisms covering the entire sanitation service chain as well as flood mitigation measures resulted essential in ensuring the long-term functionality of such improvements. This project was intended as a pre-study and identified several areas of future research including additional evaluation of nutrient content in effluent, investigation of a possible certification process for recycled byproducts from the wastewater treatment plant, risk assessment of floods of different magnitudes, evaluation of the long-term economic impact of having improved systems and evaluationof local institutional capacity surrounding the sanitation service chain in Tupiza.
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