Climate Impact of Sanitation in Finland


Joint project led by Senior Research Fellow, Do Elisangela Heiderscheidt (University of Oulu) and Assist. Prof. Anna Mikkola (Aalto University)



Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Other Finnish

Project funder

Maa ja vesitekniikan tuki

Funding amount

498 000 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Project leader

Project description

The CIS-FIN project aims to generate critically needed data regarding GHG emissions from Finnish centralized WWTPs and to produce first-hand knowledge on GHG emissions from decentralized small-scale and on-site wastewater treatment systems. Furthermore, the project will also bring about novel information on wastewater-related GHG emissions occurring in the areas (e.g., water bodies, ditches, etc.) where wastewater treatment facilities discharge their effluent. The project brings together two of the most important wastewater engineering research groups in Finland. The Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering research unit of the University of Oulu and the Department of Built Environment’s Water and Environmental Engineering of Aalto University. Furthermore, expertise, facilities and equipment will also be available from collaborating research partners such as Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) and service providers such as Helsinki Region Environmental Services (HSY).

Project actions

Research activities within the project have been allocated into 4 work packages (WP) as follows:

WP1 - Nitrous oxide emissions in centralized wastewater treatment plants in Finland (Aalto)

This WP builds on Aalto WAT’s previous project on direct GHG emissions where five Finnish WWTPs were monitored for several weeks during summer and winter conditions. This earlier work forms the basis of a longer monitoring campaign (minimum of one year) and suggests the experimental design to be used to fulfil the identified data gaps for proper modelling development.

WP 2 - Gases emission and climate impact from decentralized sanitation (UOulu)

The objective of this WP is to deepen the understanding of the climate impact of decentralized sanitation systems in terms of direct GHG emissions and, for the first time, produce measured data from northern conditions. Systems serving from one household up to 300 PE will be monitored.

WP3 - Wastewater-related GHG emissions in the receiving environment (Aalto/UOulu)

This WP attempts to shed light on the overall GHG impact of engineered biological conversion processes used in WWTP facilities in comparison with the predicted impacts from the natural systems receiving increased nutrient loading.

Water Energy and Environmental Engineering and Department of Built Environment’s Water and Environmental Engineering of Aalto University.