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ISSN (Print) : 0974-6846

Indian Journal of Science and Technology, Vol 8(30), DOI:10.17485/ijst/2015/v8i30/76062, November 2015 ISSN (Online) : 0974-5645

Development of Cost Functions for Sewage


Treatment Plants based on Conventional
Activated Sludge Process
R. Pannirselvam* and A. Navaneetha Gopalakrishnan
Centre for Environmental Studies, Anna University, Chennai – 600 025, Tamil Nadu, India; rpannir42@hotmail.com,
angkrishna@hotmail.com

Abstract
Objectives: The objective of the study is to develop CFs to estimate cost of STPs in the planning stage to facilitate
selection of technology for Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). Methodology: The cost data for 30 existing STPs based on
ASP technology, were collected, classified and updated to the base year of 2014 using the Construction Cost Indices (CCIs)
published by Construction Industry Development Council of India. The regression analysis was performed with unit cost
versus capacity in Microsoft EXCEL graphs and the equation with determination coefficient (R2) closer to one was selected
as the Cost Function (CF). Findings: For validating the developed CFs, costs were predicted using the developed CFs for
small, medium and large capacities and compared with the actual costs of STPs, Absolute Percentage Error (APE) for each
STP and the MAPE as the mean of APE values for the three groups of STPs were derived. Similarly the MAPE values by
comparing the predicted costs of STPs using common CF for all capacities with the actual costs were determined. The error
measures MAPE values (as percentage) for separate CFs were 3.22, 7.72 and 2.35 for small, medium and large capacity
groups respectively, which are within 10%, indicating highly accurate prediction of costs than with common function with
MAPE values of 15.92, 15.88 and 16.8% respectively indicating good prediction only. Further Polynomial, logarithmic and
power functions were found to be the best-fit equations for different capacity groups instead of power law as reported in
the literature. Conclusions: Since the accuracy of prediction by separate CFs was found to be very high separate functions
for each of the three capacity groups are necessary.

Keywords: Cost Function, Determination Coefficient, Mean Absolute Percentage Error, Regression Analysis, Sewage
Treatment

The Government of India has taken up the planning and


1.Introduction
implementation of sewerage system with Sewage Treat-
The urban population in India has increased from ment Plants (STPs) for all the cities/towns with the objec-
12% in 1901 to 31.2% in 2011 and it is predicted that it tives of avoiding environmental pollution, reducing the
would increase to 38.8% in 2026 and more than 50% in health risks and thereby improving the health and hygiene
2051 thus the demand for urban infrastructure facilities conditions of the people.
like water supply and sewage treatment and disposal is There are number of STP technologies available to
expected to rise sharply, posing a big challenge to urban treat the sewage and produce effluent suitable for different
planners and policy makers1. This has thrown up two options of disposal as well as reuse. To select the appropri-
self-perpetuating problems of providing water supply and ate STP technology from alternative treatment technolo-
collection and disposal of sewage from these towns/cities. gies economic analysis is required for which construction

*Author for correspondence


Development of Cost Functions for Sewage Treatment Plants based on Conventional Activated Sludge Process

costs and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs of cost estimate and number of CFs may be required for dif-
STPs are required. ferent capacity ranges. Therefore, capacities of STPs were
In the framework of wastewater economics there are grouped into three capacity ranges viz., small, medium
three methodologies to develop CFs for STPs2: and large capacities as shown in Table 1.
Table 1.  Capacity ranges and suitability for types of
• The STP is viewed as a system consists of number of
towns
components or subsystems, each of which is simu-
lated in detail following an engineering approach to Suitable for
Classification Capacity
estimate cost. Population Towns/cities
of capacities range, MLD
• In the factor method, major cost drivers are related (thousands)
to specific major cost parameters and are directly Small, QS 0.5 –5 5 – 50 Class III –V
estimated. Medium, QM 5 – 50 50 –500 Class II
• Statistical methods are used to relate the cost to the Large, QL 50 – 120 500 –1200 Class I
main variable of the facility when actual cost data are
available. The methodology adopted for the development of CFs
for STPs based on ASP technology using the historic cost
The third methodology is generally adopted in the data consists of the following steps:
development of CFs for STPs by regression analysis of the
historical cost of the STPs. As stated by Qasim the CFs for • Collection of construction cost data of STPs.
STPs are mathematical models and quantified as a func- • Categorization of cost data group-wise and deriving
tion of process size (e.g. capacity or flow rate) or popula- unit costs.
tion equivalent (PE) by the use of a non-linear function3. • Updating the unit costs to base year of 2014 using CCI.
Cost data collected were statistically analysed and CFs • Preparation of input data – capacity versus unit cost
were developed to predict unit cost of construction with for regression analysis.
PE as well as design flow as variables7. • Performing regression analysis in Microsoft EXCEL
Friedier and Pisanty have developed CFs for STPs by spread sheet.
statistically analyzing the costs of 55 STPs constructed in • Selection of the best-fit equation that has the determi-
Israel8. Nogueira et al. have developed CFs for investment nation coefficient R2 value closest to one.
and operation costs of STPs, using power law and found
that the per capita cost decreases with increase of popula- The construction cost data for 30 STPs based on ASP
tion served9. technology constructed in Tamil Nadu, were collected
In India no such studies has been reported on the and the unit costs (per MLD) of STPs were derived. The
development of CF for STPs. This paper presents a study data were categorized into three capacity groups and the
on the development of CF based on historic cost data for details are furnished in Table 2.
STPs based conventional Activated Sludge Process (ASP), These cost data were related to STPs constructed in
which is one of the popularly adopted technologies for the years from 2007 to 2012 and for updating the costs
STP in India and to test the suitability of a single common to the base year of 2014 the CCIs published by Construc-
CF for all capacities. tion Industry Development Council (CIDC) of India for
urban infrastructure with a base value of 100 in the year
2007 for Chennai city were used10. The CCIs for urban
2.  Methodology infrastructure published by CIDC applicable for Chennai
In India 88% of the towns classified into class III–V are for the years from 2007 to 2014 are furnished in Table 3.
smaller and producing sewage flows of 0.5–5 Million With the updated cost data for 2014 two dimensional
Litres per Day (MLD), while class I and II cities are pro- input files of capacity with corresponding unit costs of
ducing sewage flows from 5–120 MLD. The unit cost STPs were prepared for regression analysis. The regres-
of STP in general decreases with increase in capacity sion analysis was performed in Microsoft EXCEL graphs
of STP following economy of scale and hence adopting with trend lines using five regression equations, viz.,
a single CF for all the capacities may not yield accurate polynomial function, power law, logarithmic function,

2 Vol 8 (30) | November 2015 | www.indjst.org Indian Journal of Science and Technology
R. Pannirselvam and A. Navaneetha Gopalakrishnan

Table 2.  Construction costs and unit costs of STPs Table 3.  Construction cost index for Urban Infrastruc-
ture by CIDC10
Sl. Capac- Year of Cost Unit Unit cost
No. ity of Instal- of STP cost of of STP Year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
STP lation (INR 106) STP (US$ 106)
CCI 100 108.79 110.98 116.19 121.29 127.05 129.73 130.57
(INR
106)
Small capacity STPs coefficient R2. The equation among the five equations that
has R2 value closest to one was selected as the best-fit CF.
1 2.20 2009 31.59 14.359 0.234
The developed CFs for the three capacity groups and
2 2.24 2009 32.64 14.571 0.237
the CF common to all capacities were validated by pre-
3 2.96 2009 40.40 13.649 0.222
dicting costs using each of the CFs for the capacities of
4 3.50 2009 42.10 12.029 0.196 STPs for which costs are available and comparing with
5 3.90 2010 47.31 12.131 0.197 construction costs and the error measures in terms of
6 3.99 2009 48.71 12.208 0.198 Absolute Percentage Error (APE) and Mean Absolute
7 4.20 2010 41.40 9.857 0.160 Percentage Error (MAPE) were determined using the
8 4.84 2012 49.00 10.124 0.165 Equation. (1) and (2) suggested by Ashuri and Lui5.
9 4.86 2010 43.94 9.041 0.147
| YP (i)  YA (i)| 100
Medium capacity STPs APE 
YP (i)
1 6.92 2010 68.20 9.855 0.164 (1)
2 7.00 2009 66.82 9.546 0.155 1 N | YP (i)  YA (i)| 100
3 7.38 2008 70.01 9.486 0.154
MAPE  
N i 1 YP (i)
(2)
4 7.65 2010 73.30 9.582 0.156
5 8.70 2009 79.69 9.160 0.149 Where
6 9.63 2009 86.71 9.004 0.146 YP is the predicted cost,
7 9.00 2009 81.05 9.006 0.146 YA is the updated actual cost, and
8 9.00 2009 82.00 9.111 0.148
N is the number of data considered in the analysis.
The following interpretation of MAPE values sug-
9 10.62 2008 92.10 8.672 0.141
gested by Lewis was used to find the accuracy of predic-
10 12.05 2010 103.88 8.621 0.140
tion by the CFs11.
11 12.25 2009 102.00 8.327 0.135
12 13.07 2007 103.40 7.911 0.129 • Less than 10% is highly accurate prediction,
13 23.65 2009 171.72 7.261 0.118 • 10% to 20% is good prediction,
14 23.85 2009 179.90 7.543 0.123 • 20% to 50% is reasonable prediction, and
15 40.00 2007 194.79 4.870 0.079 • 50% or more is inaccurate prediction.
16 40.00 2007 208.30 5.208 0.085
Large capacity STPs 3.Results and Discussion
1 54 2007 501.06 9.279 0.156
The developed CF graphs with the capacities of STPs in
2 54 2007 500.55 9.269 0.152
X-axis and unit costs of STPs (US$ 106) in Y-axis with
3 60 2007 548.37 9.140 0.152
trend lines for small, medium and large capacity STPs
4 60 2008 562.06 9.368 0.152 based on ASP technology and one common to all capaci-
5 110 2007 785.16 7.138 0.164 ties using the updated actual costs to the base year 2014
Note: Conversion 1US$ = INR 60.00 are furnished in Figures 1 to 4.
The developed CFs for small, medium and large capac-
exponential function and liner equation for the devel-
ity groups of STPs and one common to all capacities are
opment of CFs for each group of capacities and one as
furnished in Equation (3) to (6).
common for all the capacities. The graphs provided
the regression equations and values of determination Cs = –0.008Qs2 + 0.014Qs + 0.293 (R2 = 0.934) (3)

Vol 8 (30) | November 2015 | www.indjst.org Indian Journal of Science and Technology 3
Development of Cost Functions for Sewage Treatment Plants based on Conventional Activated Sludge Process

Figure 1.  Cost function graph for small capacity STPs.


Figure 4.  Common cost function graph for all capacity
STPs.

CC is the unit cost for all capacities of STPs; US$ 106/


MLD,
QS, QM, QL and QC are the capacities of small, medium,
large and common for all capacity, MLD.
In this study it was found that the CF equations for
small, medium and large capacities are based on poly-
nomial, exponential and power law respectively and the
common CF for all capacities was based on logarithmic
function as against the power law, as the general form
of non-linear function for most of the CFs reported
Figure 2.  Cost function graph for medium capacity STPs.
by Sato et al4. The values of determination coefficient
R2 of the CFs for small, medium and large capacities
were 0.934, 0.975 and 0.963 respectively and are closer
to one and therefore, these CFs represent the data very
well, while R2 value for the common CF is only 0.369
and hence the equation is not well representing the
data.
Further for validating the CFs, costs were predicted
using the developed Equation (3) to (5) for small, medium
and large capacities and compared with the updated con-
struction costs of STPs for the base year of 2014, APE for
each STP and the MAPE as the mean of APE values for
the three groups of STPs were derived. Similarly the APE
Figure 3.  Cost function graph for large capacity STPs.
values and MAPE value by comparing the predicted costs
of STPs using common CF as per Equation (6) with the
CM = 0.205ex–0.01Qm (R2 = 0.975) (4)
updated construction costs were determined. The com-
CL = 0.864QL–0.36 (R2 = 0.963) (5) parisons for the three groups of capacities with separate
CFs and common CF with APE and MAPE values are fur-
CC = 0.021n(QC) + 0.245 (R2 = 0.369) (6)
nished in Tables 4 to 6 respectively.
Where From Tables 4 to 6 it could be seen that the error
CS, CM and CL are unit costs of STPs for small, medium measures MAPE values (as percentage) for CFs for each
and large capacity STPs respectively; US$ 106/MLD, group (3-5) are 3.22, 7.723 and 2.354 for small, medium

4 Vol 8 (30) | November 2015 | www.indjst.org Indian Journal of Science and Technology
R. Pannirselvam and A. Navaneetha Gopalakrishnan

Table 4.  Comparison of predicted costs for small capacity STPs from the developed CFs with updated construction
costs (all the costs are in Million US$)

Updated unit con- Predicted Predicted cost of


capacity of Error APE Error APE
struction cost of cost of STP STP with com-
STP, MLD (Col.3-Col.2) (%) (Col.6-Col.2) (%)
STP (US$ 106) with CF mon CF
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
2.20 0.282 0.285 0.004 1.234 0.229 -0.052 22.829
2.24 0.286 0.284 -0.002 0.530 0.229 -0.057 24.842
2.96 0.268 0.264 -0.003 1.242 0.223 -0.044 19.855
3.50 0.236 0.244 0.008 3.334 0.220 -0.016 7.238
3.90 0.227 0.226 -0.001 0.567 0.218 -0.009 4.326
3.99 0.239 0.221 -0.018 8.074 0.217 -0.022 10.150
4.20 0.185 0.211 0.026 12.370 0.216 0.032 14.647
4.84 0.173 0.173 0.000 0.030 0.213 0.040 18.764
4.86 0.169 0.172 0.003 1.597 0.213 0.044 20.641
MAPE= 3.220% MAPE= 15.921%

Table 5.  Comparison of predicted costs for medium capacity STPs from the developed CFs with updated construction
costs (all the costs are in Million US$)

Updated unit Predicted Predicted cost


Capacity of Error Error
construction cost cost of STP APE of STP with APE
STP, MLD (Col.3-Col.2) (Col.6-Col.2)
of STP (US$ 106) with CF common CF
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
6.92 0.185 0.191 0.007 3.506 0.206 0.022 10.530
7.00 0.187 0.191 0.004 2.073 0.206 0.019 9.173
7.38 0.190 0.190 0.001 0.344 0.205 0.015 7.445
7.65 0.179 0.190 0.010 5.499 0.204 0.025 12.161
8.70 0.180 0.188 0.008 4.421 0.202 0.022 10.966
9.63 0.177 0.186 0.010 5.167 0.200 0.023 11.589
9.00 0.177 0.187 0.011 5.748 0.201 0.024 12.170
9.00 0.179 0.187 0.009 4.643 0.201 0.022 11.141
10.62 0.173 0.184 0.011 5.896 0.198 0.024 12.273
12.05 0.161 0.182 0.020 11.152 0.195 0.034 17.292
12.25 0.163 0.181 0.018 9.976 0.195 0.032 16.223
13.07 0.172 0.180 0.008 4.293 0.194 0.021 11.070
23.65 0.142 0.162 0.019 12.018 0.182 0.039 21.656
23.85 0.148 0.162 0.014 8.417 0.182 0.034 18.537
40.00 0.106 0.137 0.031 22.881 0.171 0.065 38.107
40.00 0.113 0.137 0.024 17.532 0.171 0.058 33.815
MAPE= 7.723% MAPE = 15.884%

and large groups respectively, which are within 10%, indi- The MAPE values (as percentage) when predicted with
cating highly accurate prediction of costs according to common function for all capacities are 15.921, 15.884 and
Lewis11. 16.799 respectively for small, medium and large groups,

Vol 8 (30) | November 2015 | www.indjst.org Indian Journal of Science and Technology 5
Development of Cost Functions for Sewage Treatment Plants based on Conventional Activated Sludge Process

Table 6.   Comparison of predicted costs for large capacity STPs from the developed CFs with updated construction
costs (all the costs are in Million US$)

Capacity Updated unit Predicted Predicted cost of


Error Error
of STP, construction cost cost of STP APE STP with common APE
(Col.3-Col.2) (Col.6-Col.2)
MLD of STP (US$ 106) with CF CF
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
54 0.202 0.206 0.004 1.749 0.165 -0.037 22.215
54 0.202 0.206 0.004 1.849 0.165 -0.036 22.091
60 0.199 0.198 -0.001 0.516 0.163 -0.036 21.934
60 0.187 0.198 0.010 5.299 0.163 -0.024 14.880
110 0.155 0.159 0.004 2.356 0.151 -0.004 2.875
MAPE= 2.354% MAPE = 16.799%

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