The Run4Life project aims to ensure that the selected demonstration sites located in Ghent (Belgium), Vigo (Spain), Sneek (The Netherlands) and Helsingborg (Sweden), as well as the products obtained from each of them, are technically feasible, safe and environmentally friendly. These aspects are addressed in Work package 5 (WP5), called “Risk and Life Cycle Assessment”. WP5 is organised in two main tasks, Task 5.1 and Task 5.2. It aims to embrace the concept of circular economy and raise public awareness that new developments in the field of decentralised wastewater treatment are safe, economically sustainable and contribute to reducing the pressure of negative impacts on the environment. USC, AQUA, LEITAT, 4F, ASB, SLU, WE&B, DESAH and ISLE are all the partners involved in this work package.
The tasks and subtasks are defined as followed:
Task 5.1 Definition of the integrated risk and sustainability plan of Run4Life project.
Task 5.2. Environmental, Technical, Health and Economical Assessment.
- Sub-task 5.2.1 Life Cycle Assessment.
- Sub-task 5.2.2 Environmental Technical Verification.
- Sub-task 5.2.3 Health Risk.
- Sub-task 5.2.4 Economic feasibility studies and economic impact.
In task 5.1 a Sustainability Management Roadmap and Guide was developed, describing and defining different assessment criteria, environmental and socio-economic indicators, as well as environmental and health risks. All treatment configurations were analysed in detail in a systematised way. The critical points of each demonstration site have been defined and identified. The results of this task are published in deliverable 5.1, also a summarizing factsheets is made of this deliverable.
Sub-task 5.2.1 consists of the environmental profile of the different demonstration sites participating in the Run4life project. In other words, the analysis of the environmental consequences of the project within the Life Cycle Assessment methodology is performed. The calculation of the environmental impact can be divided into three phases: i) data collection for all units and processes, ii) impact assessment and iii) final results and interpretation. Therefore, the first step was the compilation of bibliographic and operational data. This phase will be developed until the end of the project were final stationary data regarding to the decentralised wastewater treatment facilities can be collected. One example is shown below. The image shows the environmental impacts for climate change (CC) category for each resident and environmental impacts for each sub-system that conforms the different wastewater treatment schemes. Scenario 1: conventional system; Scenario 2: conventional system with anaerobic digestion (AD) unit; Scenario 3: decentralised system with conventional toilets; Scenario 4: decentralised system with vacuum toilets. More information about the analysis shown here can be found in the paper by Arias et al. 2020. Beyond the wastewater facilities environmental assessment, the application of different biofertilizers on a number of crops are being developed. Different approaches are considered: large-scale production with the comparison with mineral fertilizers, which are partially replaced, and local agricultural activities where the biofertilizers are used in urban farming.
In the subtask 5.2.2 Environmental Technical Verification (ETV), this programme is explored in order to know the methodology, opportunities and barriers to its application in the Run4Life project. Furthermore, ETV is applied to the technologies developed in the framework of Run4life project that meet the requirements of this programme. The ETV is a tool to help developers of environmental technologies to market their innovation solutions. The tool can be useful to launch these innovative technologies ready for the market uptake.
Within Sub-task 5.2.4 a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is performed. Operation and construction costs were calculated by integrating the bibliographic data with the actual data provided data from the partners. The benefits considering the valorisation of biogas, the irrigation with reclaimed water and the use of biofertilisers for agricultural crops are also being evaluated.