Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1097–1109 | Cite as

Application of a multi-criteria decision model to select of design choices for WWTPs

  • M. Garrido-Baserba
  • R. Reif
  • M. Molinos-Senante
  • L. Larrea
  • A. Castillo
  • M. Verdaguer
  • M. Poch
Original Paper


Stricter regulations in the field of sanitation are driving new dimensions of analysis, in which socioeconomic criteria combined with associated environmental issues are in turn increasing the complexity of wastewater management. In this environment, the development of innovative wastewater treatment technologies provides decision-makers with many efficient alternatives to face these new challenges. This growing number of alternatives inevitably leads, however, to ever greater complexity in the design or upgrade of treatment facilities and demands the acquisition and integration of updated knowledge and well-co-ordinated expertise, encouraging a multi-disciplinary approach. In this paper, it was demonstrated that these requirements have been successfully met in a environmental decision support systems (EDSS). The EDSS was built according to a knowledge-based methodology, whose main objective is the identification and assessment of the most appropriate wastewater treatment technologies for the design of new facilities or the upgrading of obsolete plants. Because removal of nutrients is essential to this approach, this study explores the use of the EDSS to address the selection of biological treatment technologies for different scenarios characterized by wastewater composition (C/N ratio) and other relevant criteria such as environmental and economic factors, population size, discharge in sensitive areas, reuse, cost-benefit analysis, life-cycle analysis, and technical aspects (use of innovative technologies, space availability, reliability, and simplicity of operation).


EDSS Knowledge-based methodology C/N ratio Wastewater treatment 



The authors would like to thank to all NOVEDAR project members. This study has been partially financed by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (Consolider Project-NOVEDAR) (CSD2007-00055). The authors would like to thank the Novedar-DSS computer engineering collaborators (Adrià Riu and Albert Benzal) for their helpful support and suggestions. H2O Building, headquarters of the ICRA, has been funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the ERDF Operational Programme 2007–2013 in Catalonia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Garrido-Baserba
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Reif
    • 2
  • M. Molinos-Senante
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • L. Larrea
    • 6
  • A. Castillo
    • 2
  • M. Verdaguer
    • 2
  • M. Poch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Engineering (LEQUIA)Universitat de Girona, Facultat CiènciesGironaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y AmbientalPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  4. 4.Escuela de Arquitectura e Instituto de Estudios UrbanosPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  5. 5.Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable CONICYT/FONDAP/15110020SantiagoChile
  6. 6.Environmental Engineering DepartmentCEIT and Tecnun (University of Navarra)San SebastianSpain

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