Advertisement

AMBIO

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 352–360 | Cite as

Nutrient Abatement Potential and Abatement Costs of Waste Water Treatment Plants in the Baltic Sea Region

  • Sami Hautakangas
  • Markku Ollikainen
  • Kari Aarnos
  • Pirjo Rantanen
Report

Abstract

We assess the physical potential to reduce nutrient loads from waste water treatment plants in the Baltic Sea region and determine the costs of abating nutrients based on the estimated potential. We take a sample of waste water treatment plants of different size classes and generalize its properties to the whole population of waste water treatment plants. Based on a detailed investment and operational cost data on actual plants, we develop the total and marginal abatement cost functions for both nutrients. To our knowledge, our study is the first of its kind; there is no other study on this issue which would take advantage of detailed data on waste water treatment plants at this extent. We demonstrate that the reduction potential of nutrients is huge in waste water treatment plants. Increasing the abatement in waste water treatment plants can result in 70 % of the Baltic Sea Action Plan nitrogen reduction target and 80 % of the Baltic Sea Action Plan phosphorus reduction target. Another good finding is that the costs of reducing both nutrients are much lower than previously thought. The large reduction of nitrogen would cost 670 million euros and of phosphorus 150 million euros. We show that especially for phosphorus the abatement costs in agriculture would be much higher than in waste water treatment plants.

Keywords

Nutrients Abatement potential Abatement costs 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper is a part of the project “Cost-efficient instruments for the Baltic Sea Protection” funded by the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Bonus project “ProBalt: Improving societal conditions for the Baltic Sea protection” funded by the Academy of Finland. Ollikainen thanks Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation for a personal grant. The authors are very grateful for the high professional help by Ari Niemelä and research assistance by Inka Ruotsalainen. Constructive comments by two anonymous verifiers are gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

13280_2013_435_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (668 kb)
Supplementary material (PDF 667 kb)

References

  1. CJEU. 2009. Judgment of the Court. 6 October 2009. In Case C-335/07. Retrieved 16 April, 2013, from http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?doclang=EN&text=&pageIndex=0&part=1&mode=lst&docid=77864&occ=first&dir=&cid=2504783.
  2. COWI. 2007. Economic Analysis of the BSAP with Focus on Eutrophication, Final Report, HELCOM and NEFCO, 112 pp.Google Scholar
  3. EEC. 1991. Council Directive 91/271/EEC of 21 May 1991 concerning urban waste-water treatment. Retrieved 19 April, 2011, from http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:1991L0271:20081211:EN:PDF.
  4. Gren, I.-M. 2008a. Costs and benefits from nutrient reductions to the Baltic Sea. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Report 5877, Stockholm, Sweden 68 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Gren, I.-M. 2008b. Cost effectiveness and fairness of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan against eutrophication. VATTEN 64: 273–281.Google Scholar
  6. Gromiec, M. 2010. Water policy and national programme of wastewater treatment in Poland. Baltic Sea Water Award Seminar, Warsaw, Poland.Google Scholar
  7. Hautakangas, S., and M. Ollikainen. 2011. Making the Baltic Sea Action Plan Workable: a nutrient trading scheme. In Governing the Blue-Green Baltic Sea. Societal challenges of marine eutrophication prevention, ed. M. Pihlajamäki and N. Tynkkynen, 153 pp. Helsinki: The Finnish Institute of International Affairs.Google Scholar
  8. HELCOM. 2006. Nutrient GIS. Retrieved 9 June, 2010, from http://maps.helcom.fi/website/NutrientGIS/viewer.htm.
  9. HELCOM. 2007. HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. HELCOM Ministerial Meeting, Krakow, Poland, 15 November 2007. Retrieved 19 April, 2011, from http://www.helcom.fi/stc/files/BSAP/BSAP_Final.pdf.
  10. HELCOM. 2009a. HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. Retrieved 27 April, 2011, from http://www.helcom.fi/BSAP/en_GB/intro/.
  11. HELCOM. 2009b. Eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. An integrated thematic assessment of the effects of nutrient enrichment in the Baltic Sea region. Helsinki Commission, Baltic Sea Environmental Proceedings No. 115B, Helsinki, Finland, 150 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Krüger International Consult A/S and V.F. Karpuhin. 2001. Water and wastewater engineering handbook for Russia. Ministry of Environment and Energy, Schultz Grafik.Google Scholar
  13. Ollikainen, M., Hautakangas, S., Honkatukia, J., and J. Lankoski. 2012. New analyses and tools for the protection of the Baltic Sea. In An economic perspective to the protection of the Baltic Sea, ed. K. Hyytiäinen and M. Ollikainen, 134 pp. Helsinki, Finland: Finnish Ministry of the Environment, Ympäristöministeriön raportteja 22/2012 (In Finnish).Google Scholar
  14. Schou, J.S., Neye, S. T., Lundhede, T., Martinsen, L., and B. Hasler (2006). Modelling cost-efficient reductions of nutrient loads to the Baltic Sea—concept, data and cost functions for the cost minimisation model. Danish Ministry of the Environment, NERI Technical Report No. 592, Copenhagen, Denmark, 71 pp.Google Scholar
  15. Winther, L., Henze, M., Linde, J.J., and Jensen, H.T. 2004. Sewage technology, 3rd ed. Copenhagen: Polyteknisk forlag.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sami Hautakangas
    • 1
  • Markku Ollikainen
    • 1
  • Kari Aarnos
    • 1
  • Pirjo Rantanen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAalto UniversityEspooFinland

Personalised recommendations