Water management in cities of the future using emission control strategies for priority hazardous substances

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Cities of the future face challenges with respect to the quantity and quality of water resources, and multiple managerial options need to be considered in order to safeguard urban surface water quality. In a recently completed project on ‘Source control options for reducing emissions of Priority Pollutants’ (ScorePP), seven emission control strategies (ECSs) were developed and tested within a semi-hypothetical case city (SHCC) to evaluate their potential to reduce the emission of selected European priority hazardous substances (PHSs) to surface waters. The ECSs included (1) business-as-usual, (2) full implementation of relevant European (EU) directives, (3) ECS2 in combination with voluntary options for household, municipalities and industry, (4) ECS2 combined with industrial treatment and best available technologies (BAT), (5) ECS2 in combination with stormwater and combined sewer overflow treatment, (6) ECS2 in combination with advanced wastewater treatment, and (7) combinations of ECS3-6. The SHCC approach was chosen to facilitate transparency, to allow compensating for data gaps and to decrease the level of uncertainty in the results. The selected PHSs: cadmium (Cd), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), nonylphenol (NP) and pentabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE) differ in their uses and environmental fate and therefore accumulate in surface waters to differing extents in response to the application of alternative ECS. To achieve the required reduction in PHS levels in urban waters the full implementation of existing EU regulation is prioritised and feasible combinations of managerial and technological options (source control and treatment) can be highly relevant for mitigating releases.

Keywords: best available technologies, best management practices, combined sewer overflows, source control, wastewater treatment, water management

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