The main goal of the EU FP6 NEPTUNE program is to develop new and improve existing waste water treatment technologies (WWTT) and sludge handling technologies for municipal waste water, in accordance with the concepts behind the EU Water Framework Directive. As part of this work, the project will develop and implement a methodology to compare and prioritize these technologies and optimizations based on a holistic approach. This will be achieved through the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) along with cost/efficiency analysis with focus on the effects of nutrients, pathogens and micropollutants (i.e. heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors) in the waste water. As a novel approach, the potential ecotoxicity and human toxicity impacts from a high number of micropollutants and the potential impacts from pathogens will be included. In total, more that 20 different waste water and sludge treatment technologies are to be assessed. This paper will present the first LCA results from running existing life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methodology on some of the waste water treatment technologies. Keywords: Sustainability, LCA, micropollutants, waste water treatment technologies.
LCA; Micropollutants; Sustainability; Waste water treatment technologies