Revista de Ingeniería
Print version ISSN 0121-4993
BARRERA, Sergio et al. Application of a numerical model for the prioritization of investment in wastewater treatment in Colombia. rev.ing. [online]. 2005, n.22, pp. 76-83. ISSN 0121-4993.
Colombia has lacked an adequate planning process for the design, construction, and operation of wastewater treatment facilities in most of the municipalities. National, regional and local agencies have conflicting criteria for managing this sector. Furthermore, there is a lack of adequate tools to support decisions with appropriate environmental, financial, social, and technical information. In this paper, a computer model is presented as a tool to support at a national level the decision making process for planning municipal wastewater treatment facilities in Colombia. A geographical information system was used to obtain a structured river network from a digital elevation model. Modeling flows, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, and coliform bacteria throughout the entire national drainage network allowed the analysis of several wastewater treatment scenarios, using bacteriological contamination (i.e.: coliform bacteria) as the main indicator of public health risks resulting from wastewater pollution. Total length of oxygen deprived river reaches in the hydrological network was much less than the length of the bacteriological degraded reaches. Using multivariate analysis, different wastewater treatment scenarios were analyzed to determine their effectiveness to mitigate wastewater pollution, based on environmental, socioeconomic and infrastructure criteria. As a result, prioritizations for investment in wastewater treatment plants were obtained at municipal and basin levels. The decision making tool integrates the objectives of the national agencies involved in wastewater management policies, solving the conflicts between agencies and optimizing the use of financial resources for the sector
Keywords : Modelling; Investment Prioritization; Wastewater Treatment.