Sustainable life-cycle assessment of mixing approaches in water storage tanks

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Poor mixing in water storage tanks can cause stagnant zones that could pose negative public health effects. The present study uses Life Cycle Assessment to decide among the only three mixing options available, namely sprinkler, multiple inlets, and a mechanical mixer for the first time. These options were compared using different life-cycle assessment (LCA) tools using an 80-year lifetime as the functional unit while assuming that all three options result in acceptable water quality. Using SimaPro modeling software as well as the IPCC 2013 GWP 100a V1.0 and Cumulative Energy Demand methods, these three mixing approaches were compared with and without waste recycling. Results showed that application of a sprinkler is the least expensive option. Damage-cost analyses for categories of human health, ecosystem quality, and resources showed that a sprinkler caused the least damage and cost, while a mixer resulted in the most damage and cost.

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Water Science and Technology: Water Supply