Process choice and dimensioning of WWTPs is a particularly sensitive step to cost-efficiently comply with regulatory standards. This step accounts only for a small fraction of the upfront costs, but it can lead to substantial savings. This paper illustrates the results of a systematic methodology to evaluate system design/upgrade options. In contrast to conventional practice, this approach allows the choice between the most appropriate trade-off between cost of measures and effluent quality, and to assess the reliability of a process layout. It is therefore a flexible instrument to cope with the flexibility and complexity of integrated water management regulations. Results show good agreement of the simulations with extensive benchmarking studies on actual plants. For that reason, the suggested methodology can provide valuable support also to such practices.

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