Comparing international costs in the field of water management is difficult. The frame conditions in the various countries are very different. They influence the costs and particularly the sewage charges in a complex way. Some of these conditions are outlined by analyzing the situation in Germany as a “case study”. An objective comparison should deal with the in situ arising product costs as annual costs. The product costs consist of both the operating and the capital costs. The annual product costs of 34 wastewater treatment plants in six different European countries are presented. The observed differences in the quality of the construction and of the mechanical equipment of the plants were taken into account with different depreciation periods. The product costs in four of six countries, including Germany, were found to be nearly at the same level. Although the German frame conditions are demanding and difficult the expectation of outstanding high product costs was not confirmed.

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