According to the latest study by the US scientists published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology reducing nitrogen pollution created by the wastewater treatment plants is not only good from environmental but also from the economic point of view.
The scientists believe that by adding the already available technology to the existing infrastructure in the usual type of wastewater treatment plant could create a triple benefits of reducing the levels of nitrogen pollution, greenhouse gas pollution, and also help reduce energy usage.
Many modern wastewater treatment plants already have systems to reduce ammonia levels in effluent, but give very little attention to decrease the overall level of nitrogen pollution, which mostly occurs in the form of nitrous oxide (N2O), a highly potent greenhouse gas.
The scientists believe that the appropriate emissions credits to address this issue could create an economic incentive of up to $600 million per year for U.S. plants to reduce nitrogen pollution, and also another benefit of up to $100 million per year in electricity savings.
In order to significantly reduce nitrous oxide emissions and improve water quality there need to be adequate technologies and this can be achieved with better designing.
Dr. James Wang, the chief author of the study stated that "the creation of an emissions trading market could provide the needed incentive for wastewater treatment plants to adopt technologies that would reduce climate pollution, help clean up our waterways, and even save energy and money."
These new technologies should primarily focus on resource recovery and reuse from waste.