Water is a vital resource in almost all manufacturing and production processes. It is used for many reasons – including cooling, heating, flushing, washing, and more.
Industrial wastewater treatment recycling and reuse can help reduce freshwater costs and save the environment. It also increases operational efficiency and sustainability. Moreover, it can improve water availability in water scarce regions.
Water is used across many industries for a range of different activities such as fabrication, processing, washing and cooling. This is why industrial wastewater treatment recycling and reuse is becoming an increasingly important part of the environmental agenda.
Wastewater resulting from industrial processes can vary greatly in strength, concentration and contaminants. This means it won’t respond easily to a single ‘one size fits all’ treatment solution, requiring due consideration.
Regulatory requirements and a growing focus on sustainability are also driving a move towards recycling and reuse of industrial wastewater. As a result, new technologies are being developed that can enable companies to reduce their water consumption and treat wastewater on-site to minimise wastewater discharge.
In addition, wastewater treatment and reuse can offer significant direct climate benefits in terms of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This is especially true for projects that capture and recycle sludge, which has the potential to significantly reduce methane emissions and help city’s adapt to climate change.
Industrial wastewater can contain a large amount of metals, solids and debris, oils and greases, various organic pollutants and chemicals, dissolved nitrogen compounds, toxic materials and more. These contaminants must be treated before being reused or disposed of.
The type of industrial water treatment needed depends on what is being generated and how it is used. For example, a manufacturing facility might use water for fabricating, washing, cooling and transporting products or equipment.
Many different water purification technologies can be used to treat this waste. These include coagulants and flocculants, which can be applied in a variety of methods to dewater the waste and remove contaminants.
The concentration of pollutants is usually not a primary factor when calculating the unit cost of treatment, although power consumption and manpower costs will increase with the increase in incoming pollutants. This is because the volume of waste produced by the system will be reduced, which results in fewer treatment stages.
Disinfection is the process of removing pathogenic microorganisms (viruses, bacteria and mold) from wastewater prior to discharge. It can be achieved using chemical, physical or biological methods, depending on the source and type of contaminants present.
Chlorine gas is one of the most common disinfection technologies. The gas penetrates the surface of microorganisms and interacts with their intracellular enzymes and proteins, causing them to die or fail to reproduce.
Ultraviolet light is also an effective non-chemical disinfection method that can kill many microorganisms, spores and cysts. This process disrupts a pathogen’s DNA by breaking molecular bonds, leaving them inert.
Disinfection is a critical step in the advanced treatment of wastewater. Without it, the treated water may be unfit for use in drinking or other applications. This may cause a significant impact on public health and contaminate the environment.
Sedimentation is a physical treatment process that uses the force of gravity to remove suspended solids from water. It can be used to treat a variety of liquid waste streams, including domestic wastewaters, industrial wastewaters, combined industrial/domestic wastewaters, stormwater, and livestock facility wastewater.
Primary sedimentation, also known as primary settling, is the first step in many industrial wastewater treatment processes. It is usually followed by other treatment steps, such as trickling filters or activated sludge.