Factors influencing house-owners to adopt environmentally improved on-site sewage systems
Poster (konferens), 2011

How can large-scale adoption of new technologies that lead to decreasing environmental pressure on the ecosystem be described and analyzed by help of models of influences on the behavior of actors? Here the case of on-site sewage systems (sewage treatment systems for one or a few households) represents a more general problem situation where decreasing environmental loads depend on the adoption of more environmentally benign technologies made by actors using, providing, controlling the regulations, or in other ways influencing the change of technology. In this case the specific on-site sewage systems and the actions of house-owners are studied. The research includes the identification and quantification of relative strength of influences that make the actors controlling the technology at the interface between technosphere and ecosphere actually change their behavior and adopt the technologies. We argue that one possible and valuable approach, driven by observations, to get this knowledge is a Bayesian modeling approach using influence diagrams. We present results from the first modeling efforts based on an initial interview study in three Swedish municipalities to find categories of influences, and a subsequent questionnaire to 3500 Swedish house-owners to get quantitative data that can be used to model the decision situation in the case of on-site sewage systems. The case of actors around on-site sewage systems is particularly interesting since it contains decision situations with few economic incentives for the individual. Instead, other influencing factors such as regulatory arrangements are important. Increasing the knowledge about this kind of influences on house-owners would likely improve the chances of making policy interventions that work, and actually lead to improved environmental performance of on-site sewage systems.

wastewater treatment systems


principal component analysis

projection to latent structures




questionnaire survey

environmental decisions


Are Wallin

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Environmental Systems Analysis

Sverker Molander

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Environmental Systems Analysis

International Society for Industrial Ecology 2011 Conference, June 7-10, 2011 University of California, Berkeley


Hållbar utveckling


Building Futures (2010-2018)



Annan naturresursteknik

Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap

Oceanografi, hydrologi, vattenresurser

Mer information