Estimation and Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions during the Life-Cycle of Wastewater Pipelines: Case Study of Tehran, Iran

Document Type : Technical Notes


1 PhD candidate, School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor, Centre of Excellence for Engineering and Management of Civil Infrastructure, School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 M.Sc. Graduate Student, School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Senior Lecturer, Department of Engineering and Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden.


Climate change occasioned by the accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is now widely accepted as an issue which mankind needs to address. The starting point is necessarily the determination of all the sources of emissions during the life-cycles of the studied components. Post-calculation, the results ought to be presented to decision-makers in a clear manner so as to provide the basis on which corrective actions could be considered. This paper calculates the GHGs emissions during the life-cycle of wastewater pipelines and introduces a different approach to communicate information about GHGs released, to decision-makers. Different diameters of concrete and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) wastewater pipes are compared in a case study. Results show that the total CO2-equivalent (CO2-eq) emissions attributed to concrete pipes are greater than HDPE pipes. Hence, the equivalent bio-productive area of forest required to sequester the CO2 (the major GHG) and its corresponding costs will be greater for the former.


Main Subjects

American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA). (2012). Design data 25 life cycle cost analysis, Irving, TX, USA.
Ariaratnam, S.T. and Sihabuddin, S.S. (2009). "Comparison of emitted emissions between trenchless pipe replacement and open cut utility construction", Journal of Green Building, 4(2), 126-140.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). (2013). 2013 report card for america's infrastructure, USA.
Calomino, F., Gabelli, G. and Miglio, A. (2007). "Water jetting for sewer cleansing. First experimental results for efficiency in non-cohesive sediment removal", NOVATECH, 1309-1316, Lyon, France.
Carnegie Mellon University Green Design Institute. (2016). "Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment (EIO-LCA), US 1997 Industry Benchmark model [Internet]", <> (March 1, 2016).
Concrete Pipeline Systems Association. (CPSA). (2008). Sewer pipes and resistance to jetting, Leicester, England.
Concrete Pipeline Systems Association. (CPSA). (2011). CPSA pipeline systems comparison report, Leicester, England.
Dandy, G., Roberts, A., Hewitson, C. and Chrystie, P. (2006). "Sustainability objectives for the optimization of water distribution networks", 8th Annual Water Distribution Systems Analysis Sympusium, IWA, London, 27-30.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). (2010). Vers. 1.2.1 Final, <> (Oct 2015).
Dennison, F.J., Azapagic, A., Clift, R. and Colbourne, J.S. (1999). "Life cycle assessment: Comparing strategic options for the mains infrastructure-Part I", Water Science and Technology, 39(10), 315-319.
Du, F., Woods, G.J., Kang, D., Lansey, K.E. and Arnold, R.G. (2012). "Life cycle analysis for water and wastewater pipe materials", Journal of Environmental Engineering, 139(5), 703-711.
Environmental Protection Authority Victoria (EPA). (2005). "EPA ecological footprint calculators: Technical background paper", Report Prepared for EPA Victoria, Publication 972, Victoria, Australia.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2009). "State of technology review report on rehabilitation of wastewater collection and water distribution systems", Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Filion, Y.R., MacLean, H.L. and Karney, B.W. (2004). "Life cycle energy analysis of a water distribution system", Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 10(3), 120-130.
Hafskjold, L.S., Konig, A., Saegrov, S. and Schilling, W. (2004). "Improved assessment of sewer pipe condition", CityNet 19th European Junior Scientist Workshop on Process Data and Integrated Urban Water Modelling, IWA, Meaux-la-Montagne, France.
Herstein, L.M., Filion, Y.R. and Hall, K.R. (2009). "Evaluating environmental impact in water distribution system design", Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 15(3), 241-250.
HFM Cleaning. (2013). <> (Nov. 15, 2015).
Hoff, P. (2009). CO2, a gift from heaven: The blue CO2 booklet, Eburon Uitgeverij BV.
Kim, D., Yi, S. and Lee, W. (2012). "Life cycle assessment of sewer system: Comparison of pipe materials", The World Congress on Advances in Civil, Environmental, and Materials Research, Seoul, South Korea.
Kim, S.H., Choi, M.S., Mha, H.S. and Joung, J.Y. (2013). "Environmental impact assessment and eco-friendly decision-making in civil structures", Journal of Environmental Management, 126, 105-112.
Petit-Boix, A., Sanjuan-Delmás, D., Chenel, S., Marín, D., Gasol, C.M., Farreny, R., Villalba, G., Suárez-Ojeda, M.E., Gabarrell, X., Josa, A. and Rieradevall, J. (2015). "Assessing the energetic and environmental impacts of the operation and maintenance of Spanish sewer networks from a life cycle perspective", Water Resources Management, 29(8), 2581-2597.
Piratla, K.R., Ariaratnam, S.T. and Cohen, A. (2012). "Estimation of CO2 emissions from the life cycle of a potable water pipeline project", Journal of Management in Engineering, 28(1), 22-30.
Qi, C. and Chang, N. B. (2013). "Integrated carbon footprint and cost evaluation of a drinking water infrastructure system for screening expansion alternatives", Journal of Cleaner Production, 60, 170-181.
Quéré, C.L., Andres, R.J., Boden, T., Conway, T., Houghton, R.A., House, J.I., Marland, G., Peters, G.P., Van der Werf, G.R., Ahlström, A. and Andrew, R.M. (2013). "The global carbon budget 1959–2011", Earth System Science Data, 5(1), 165-185.
Recio, J.M.B., Guerrero, P.J., Ageitos,M.G. and Narvaez, R.P. (2005). "Estimate of energy consumption and CO2 associated with the production, use and disposal of PVC, HDPE, PP, ductile iron and concrete pipes," Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
Research and Planning Center of Tehran (RPCT) (2012). "The State of Environment (SoE) report of Tehran", Tehran Municipality, Tehran, Iran.
Salem, O., AbouRizk, S. and Ariaratnam, S. (2003). "Risk-based life cycle costing of infrastructure rehabilitation and construction alternatives", Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 9(1), 6-15.
Strutt, J., Wilson, S., Shorney-Darby, H., Shaw, A. and Byers, A. (2008). "Assessing the carbon footprint of water production", Journal of American Water Works Association, 100(6), 80-91.
Technology Enabled Universal Access to Safe Water (TECHNEAU). (2008). "Framework for operational cost benefit analysis in water supply", Project Funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Framework Programme, Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems Thematic Priority Area, France.
Tehran Municipality ICT Organization. (2012). Atlas of Tehran Metropolis, Tehran, Iran.
Trading Economics. (2016). "United States economic indicators", <> (Jan. 1, 2016).
Ugarelli, R., Venkatesh, G., Brattebø, H., Di Federico, V. and Sægrov, S. (2010). "Historical analysis of blockages in wastewater pipelines in Oslo and diagnosis of causative pipeline characteristics", Urban Water Journal, 7(6), 335-343.
Vahidi, E., Jin, E., Das, M., Singh, M. and Zhao, F. (2015). "Comparative life cycle analysis of materials in wastewater piping systems", Procedia Engineering, 118, 1177-1188.
Venkatesh, G., Hammervold, J. and Brattebø, H. (2009). "Combined MFA‐LCA for analysis of wastewater pipeline networks", Journal of Industrial Ecology, 13(4), 532-550.
Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF). (2004). An examination of innovative methods used in the inspection of wastewater systems, Alexandria, Virginia.
World Bank (2005). "Islamic Republic of Iran cost assessment of environmental degradation", Washington, USA.
Wu, W., Maier, H.R. and Simpson, A.R. (2010). "Single-objective versus multi-objective optimization of water distribution systems accounting for greenhouse gas emissions by carbon pricing", Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 136(5), 555-565.
Yohe, G., Lasco, R., Ahmad, Q., Arnell, N., Cohen, S., Janetos, T., Perez, R., Hope, C., Ebi, K., Romero Lankao, P., Malone, E., Malone, T., Menne, B., Nyong, A. and Toth, F. (2007). "Perspectives on climate change and sustainability", IPCC 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group 2 to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Zhang, B., Ariaratnam, S. and Wu, J. (2012). "Estimation of CO2emissions in a wastewater pipeline project", International Conference on Pipelines and Trenchless Technology, ASCE, Wuhan, China.