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Assessing the sustainability of on-site sanitation systems using multi-criteria analysis
Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.
Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.
National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon, France.
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, Energy and Circular Economy.
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2019 (English)In: Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, ISSN 2053-1400, Vol. 5, no 9, p. 1599-1615Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Small on-site sanitation systems are widely present in suburban and rural areas in many countries. As these systems often underperform and have an impact on receiving waters, understanding their overall sustainability is of interest for policy and decision-makers. However, the definition and estimation of indicators defining sustainability are challenging, as it is finding the methodological approach to combine qualitative and quantitative indicators into one comprehensive assessment. In this study, twelve indicators defined by environmental, economic, social, technical and health-related criteria were used to compare nine alternatives of on-site sanitation for single households. A non-compensatory method for multi-criteria decision analysis, ELECTRE III, was used for the assessment together with weights assigned to each indicator by a reference group. Several scenarios were developed to reflect different goals and a sensitivity analysis was conducted. Overall, the graywater-blackwater separation system resulted as the most sustainable option and, in terms of polishing steps for phosphorus removal, chemical treatment was preferred over the phosphorus filter, both options being implemented together with sand filters. Assessing the robustness of the systems was a crucial step in the analysis given the high importance assigned to the aforementioned indicator by the stakeholders, thus the assessment method must be justified. The proposed multi-criteria approach contributes to aid the assessment of complex information needed in the selection of sustainable sanitation systems and in the provision of informed preferences. © 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Royal Society of Chemistry , 2019. Vol. 5, no 9, p. 1599-1615
Keywords [en]
Chemical analysis, Chemical polishing, Decision making, Phosphorus, Sanitation, Sensitivity analysis, Comprehensive assessment, Methodological approach, Multi Criteria Analysis, Multi-criteria approach, Multi-criteria decision analysis, On-site sanitation systems, On-site sanitations, Quantitative indicators, Sustainable development
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-39939DOI: 10.1039/c9ew00425dScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85071305578OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-39939DiVA, id: diva2:1352797
Note

Funding details: Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas, 942-2015-758; Funding text 1: This study was conducted with the financial support from the Swedish Research Council Formas (project number 942-2015-758) and the J Gustaf Richert Foundation. The members of the reference group are thankfully acknowledged for their contribution. The authors would like to thank Jonathan Alm from the Development Centre for Water (Utvecklingscentrum för vatten) in Norrtälje for the fruitful discussions, as well as all the distributors and constructors who provided useful information.

Available from: 2019-09-19 Created: 2019-09-19 Last updated: 2019-09-19Bibliographically approved

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