The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 145–157

Life cycle assessment of municipal waste water systems


  • Anne-Marie Tillman
    • Technical Environmental Planning, Centre for Environmental Assessment of Product and Material Systems (CPM)Chalmers University of Technology
  • Mikael Svingby
    • Chalmers IndustriteknikChalmers Teknikpark
  • Henrik Lundström
    • Chalmers IndustriteknikChalmers Teknikpark
Lca case studies

DOI: 10.1007/BF02978823

Cite this article as:
Tillman, A., Svingby, M. & Lundström, H. Int. J. LCA. (1998) 3: 145. doi:10.1007/BF02978823


Life Cycle Assessment was applied to municipal planning in a study of waste water systems in Bergsjön, a Göteborg suburb, and Hamburgsund, a coastal village. Existing waste water treatment consists of mechanical, biological and chemical treatment. The heat in the waste water from Bergsjön is recovered for the district heating system. One alternative studied encompassed pretreatment, anaerobic digestion or drying of the solid fraction and treatment of the liquid fraction in sand filter beds. In another alternative, urine, faeces and grey water would separately be conducted out of the buildings. The urine would be used as fertilizer, whereas faeces would be digested or dried, before used in agriculture. The grey water would be treated in filter beds. Changes in the waste water system would affect surrounding technical systems (drinking water production, district heating and fertilizer production). This was approached through system enlargement. For Hamburgsund, both alternatives showed lower environmental impact than the existing system, and the urine separation system the lowest. Bergsjön results were more difficult to interpret. Energy consumption was lowest for the existing system, whereas air emissions were lower for the alternatives. Water emissions increased for some parameters and decreased for others. Phosphorous recovery was high for all three alternatives, whereas there was virtually no nitrogen recovery until urine separation was introduced.


Anaerobic digestionwaste water treatmentbiological waste water treatmentcase studieschemical waste water treatmentLife Cycle Assessment (LCA)LCAmechanical waste water treatmentmunicipal waste water systemsnutrient recyclingpretreatmentwaste watersewagesewerageurine separationwaste water systemwaste water treatment

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© Ecomed Publishers 1998