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What kind of operating costs are involved in wastewater treatment?

Roserve Enviro
What kind of operating costs are involved in wastewater treatment?

There are several operating costs involved with the management and treatment of wastewater. Operating costs are the expenses related to the maintenance, functioning and monitoring of the plant. And, these costs can add up to 50% of the total annual costs. It is important to evaluate the related operating costs before getting a wastewater treatment plant. Here, we have calculated an approximate division of expenditure for your better understanding.

Major factors that affect operation costs are:

  • Size and capacity of the plant
  • Topography and geographical location of the plant
  • Characteristics of the wastewater generated
  • Technologies and the kind of treatment method
  • Method of disposal used
  • Supply of energy
  • Degree of automation
  • Organisation and maintenance of the plant


The workforce at the plant is one of the major factors that have a major influence on the operating costs. And, the number of working staff employed at the plant depends on the following:

  • The scale of the plant
  • The treatment procedure and systems
  • The degree of automation
  • The efficiency of the personnel


The costs for energy cover almost 10-30% of the total operating costs. The following are the areas where energy gets consumed in a wastewater treatment plant and adds up to the total costs:

  • Pumping Stations
  • Screens
  • Aerated Sand Traps
  • Preliminary Sedimentation Tanks
  • Aeration Tanks
  • Secondary Sedimentation Tanks
  • Thickener
  • Sludge Dewatering Devices 
  • Digestion


Disposal is an important aspect when calculating the operating costs. It includes the costs involved in the disposal of sewage sludge, screenings, sand and municipal waste.
These costs can differ between 15 and 50% of the total operating costs. Generally, they largely depend on:

  • The size of the treatment plant
  • National regulations for the disposal of organic materials like sewage sludge, etc.
  • Local conditions and market price conditions 

Chemicals and Materials Used

Chemicals and materials take up to 5-7% of the total operating costs. Their costs mainly depend on:

  • The characteristics of the wastewater and its discharge
  • The selected chemicals
  • Quantities kept in stock and purchasing deals 
  • The market situation and the price structure of the chemicals


 *Approximate Data


Miscellaneous costs are the costs which largely depend on the type of wastewater treatment plant and can range between 5 and 15% of the total operating costs. These are:

  • Pollution Charges
  • Administrative costs like insurances, office equipment etc.
  • Rents and tenancies 
  • External costs for consultations, maintenance works, laboratory analysis, etc.

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Roserve Enviro
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