WIT Press

Multicriteria Evaluation Of Alternative Wastewater Treatment Processes At Municipality Level


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WIT Press


K. P. Anagnostopoulos, M. Gratziou & A. P. Vavatsikos


Wastewater treatment has been a highly developed issue during the two last decades in Greece, particular considering the need to comply with the requirements of the European Union directive 91/271. Although all participants in the decision making process generally agree on the necessity of interventions, a systematic opposition frequently emerges when the interventions are concretised and touch upon citizens’ reality in their local societies. At the same time, various approaches on centralized or decentralized wastewater management and the available treatment processes form a complex environment for sound decisions from the authorities at municipal and regional level. In this context, a rationalization of the decision-making process is required in order to deal with conflicting objectives. We propose a generic multicriteria approach, based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), for the evaluation of alternative scenarios concerning wastewater treatment processes at municipality level. Evaluation scenarios are developed with respect to the number, size, treatment method, and location of plants. Multicriteria process selection is a part of a decision support system where location algorithms and GIS tools are combined in order to define the number of the alternatives and the location of the plants. We also discuss the retained evaluation criteria, land requirements, environmental criteria, construction and operating costs, etc. The application of this approach is illustrated through a case study. A sensitivity analysis is also performed in order to investigate how sensitive the ranking of the alternatives is to changes in the importance of the hierarchy criteria. The results obtained show that this approach is a viable tool and offers good communication with decision-maker. Keywords: AHP, multicriteria evaluation, wastewater treatment plants, appropriate wastewater treatment.


AHP, multicriteria evaluation, wastewater treatment plants, appropriate wastewater treatment.