Reflexioner om vatten – hur hållbar är vår svenska avloppsrening? / Is Swedish wastewater treatment sustainable?
Sustainability reflects one of the major issues for mankind today, and is possibly one of the key factors for a long time survival on planet earth. Sustainability in this paper is discussed from the viewpoint of water protection and especially wastewater treatment. Focus is done with respect to municipal wastewater management. It is acknowledged that the aspects given on sustainability through the wastewater perspective are not limited to this field. The main points in the discussion are the following:
The contribution from natural scientists and the engineering society to the matter of sustainability would be to focus on “quantifying” the problems, or in other words to measure matters related to sustainability. It is emphasised that the concept sustainability is related to time. No system will be sustainable “for ever”. We must acknowledge that sometimes our conclusions have been based on insufficient (or false) conditions. The demands on cost efficiency, measured by various tools, such as cost benefit analysis, environmental impact assessment will always be important when defining a sustainable project. A good and efficient environmental protection effect is basic when it comes to a wastewater treatment plant – although this demand is not expressed as a part of the sustainability.