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Cost of reducing micropollutant load from urban wastewater treatment plants in Turkey

Ateş, Alper
Micropollutants are persistent, toxic, and mostly bioaccumulative contaminants that cannot be removed completely by conventional wastewater treatment techniques. It has been observed that these pollutants, previously thought to originate from industrial discharges, also emerge from urban wastewater treatment plants (UWWTPs). The EU Legislation, which Turkey tries to harmonize, considers the micropollutants and aim to reduce their occurrence in the aquatic environment. This research was carried out to estimate the total installation and annual operation and maintenance costs, which are needed for upgrading UWWTPs in Turkey to reduce the levels of micropollutants. As treatment options; ozonation, activated carbon adsorption, and membrane filtration technologies were considered and the most appropriate treatment technology for selected 20 UWWTPs was determined with respect to effluent micropollutant characteristics. Based on the cost data compiled from the literature, the total installation and annual operation and maintenance costs for the 20 UWWTPs were calculated. The additional treatment needed was identified as nanofiltration for 11 plants, ozonation for six plants, powdered activated carbon for two plants and reverse osmosis for one plant. The installation cost was estimated as $68,234 to $572,693,000 for the 20 UWWTPs. The results were then extrapolated to Turkey, and the associated installation cost was estimated to vary from $ 87,6 million to $ 26,6 billion.