Public operators of wastewater utilities will have to justify their costs more and more to their customers. One possibility to do this in a standardised way is to participate in a com-parison among each other, by investigating not only the cost-efficiency but also the effec-tiveness of the used means. The Austrian benchmarking internet platform www.abwasserbenchmarking.at was used 2005 for its first year and offers under the guid-ance of the Austrian Water and Waste Association (ÖWAV) a continuous benchmarking process for sewerage and wastewater treatment operators, established on the basis of the refined methodology of the year 2000 research project.

The further developed methodology provides better interpretation of the results and com-parability among the operators. The results should lead to improvements for operation. The limits of such a comparison can be seen especially with distinctive local influences and a high portion of contracted service. The feedback of the participants attested im-provement of insight in their system already by the standardised data collection and ag-gregation. The number of participants (30 wastewater treatment and 6 sewer operators) should be increased in the following years to make it a powerful instrument for the national water management.

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