With the continuous restructuring of the water market due to liberalisation, privatisation and internationalisation processes, the requirements on waste water disposal companies have grown. Increasing competition requires a target-oriented and clearly structured procedure. At the same time it is necessary to meet the environment-relevant legal requirements and to design the processes to be environment-oriented. The implementation of risk management and the integration of such a management instrument in an existing system in addition to the use of modern technologies and procedures can help to make the operation of the waste water treatment safer and consequently strengthen market position.

The risk management process consists of three phases, risk identification, risk analysis/risk assessment and risk handling, which are based on each other, as well as of the risk managing. To achieve an identification of the risks as complete as possible, a subdivision of the kind of risks (e.g. legal, financial, market, operational) is suggested. One possibility to assess risks is the portfolio method which offers clear representation. It allows a division of the risks into classes showing which areas need handling. The determination of the appropriate measures to handle a risk (e.g. avoidance, reduction, shift) is included in the concluding third phase. Different strategies can be applied here. On the one hand, the cause-oriented strategy, aiming at preventive measures which aim to reduce the probability of occurrence of a risk (e.g. creation of redundancy, systems with low susceptibility to malfunction). On the other hand, the effect-oriented strategy, aiming to minimise the level of damage in case of an undesired occurrence (e.g. use of alarm systems, insurance cover).

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