A Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions within the context of urban waste water management.

Climate change has already several impacts on our modern society and remains a defining challenge for many years to come. In urban waste water management the effects of climate change become visible in form of heavy rain events, longer periods of droughts, or increasing water temperatures. All these are recurring trials for sewer systems and waste water treatment plants, making it necessary to rethink about measures of mitigation and adaption. Many of the observed effects are related to the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). At waste water treatment plant level, the reduction of GHG such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) is a major concern. Those are produced directly, during biological conversion processes, or indirectly, from the consumption of energy. The quantification of GHG is still challenging, but well practicable, e.g. by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). This state-of-the-art technology is used, e.g. at the Viikinmäki waste water treatment plant in Helsinki (1 100 000 p.e.) for continuous monitoring. In 2015 the measured emissions were 175 215 kg/a for CH4, 46 896 226 kg/a for CO2 and 155 641 kg/a for N2O.


Kosse, P., Blomberg, K., Mikola, A., Heinonen, M., Kuokkanen, A., Lange, R.-L., Lübken, M., Wichern, M., 2016.
Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions within the context of urban waste water management. WaterSolutions (2), pp. 89 - 94