Amann, A., Weber, N., Krampe, J., Rechberger, H., Zoboli, O., & Zessner-Spitzenberg, M. (2021). Operation and Performance of Austrian Wastewater and Sewage Sludge Treatment as a Basis for Resource Optimization. Water, 13, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13212998
Recent years came with a paradigm shift for wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to extend the sole purpose of contaminant removal to an additional function as resource recovery facilities. This shift is accompanied by the development of new European legislation towards better inclusion of resource recovery from wastewater. However, long operational lifespans and a multitude of treatment requirements demand thorough investigations into how resource recovery can be implemented sustainably. To aid the formulation of new legislation for phosphorus (P) recovery specifically, in 2017 we conducted a survey on Austrian WWTP-infrastructure, with a focus on P removal and sludge treatment, as well as disposal and sludge quality of all WWTPs above 2000 population equivalents (PE). Data were prepared for analysis, checked for completeness and cross-checked for plausibility. This study presents the major findings from this database and draws essential conclusions for the future recovery of P from wastewater. We see results from this study as useful to other countries, describing the current state of the art in Austria and potentially aiding in developing wastewater treatment and P recovery strategies.