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Industrial wastewater treatment is a responsibility all of us need to take very seriously indeed. If this treatment is successful, regulatory compliance, a good relationship with stakeholders and the general public, environmental sustainability, and revenue growth are our rewards. If we get it wrong, the results can be disastrous.
This is why industrial wastewater equipment is essential for modern businesses operating across a range of sectors. To put it simply, if your business is producing wastewater, you need to have measures in place to treat and take care of this water. Let’s take a look at some of the equipment pieces you will need as you build your industrial wastewater treatment set-up.
Industrial Wastewater Clarification Equipment
Clarification is generally the first stage of industrial wastewater treatment and involves removing any solids suspended in the wastewater solution. In addition, this stage will include the precipitation of metals and silica within the wastewater flow.
At this stage of the set-up, you will need the following equipment.
- Industrial coagulation tanks, where coagulants are added to ease the clarification process.
- Flocculation tanks to create flocs ready for removal.
- Sedimentation tanks to create a separate level of sediment that can easily be removed.
- Filtration membranes to remove any remaining solids from the solution.
Industrial Wastewater Disinfection Equipment
After solid compounds and particles suspended in the solution are removed, wastewater enters the disinfection stage. This is where pathogens are removed from the solution — pathogens that might otherwise cause illness in humans and animals or that could cause environmental disruption. This may include fungal spores, bacteria, or viruses. If such pathogens are allowed to escape into the local water table, the facility may be held liable for any damage due to regulatory compliance failures.
Industrial wastewater disinfection equipment may include the following;
- Chemical disinfection equipment, supporting the addition of chemicals such as peracetic acid or other disinfectants.
- Industrial heat treatment equipment, where the water temperature is raised beyond the point at which pathogens are killed or denatured.
- Industrial reverse osmosis equipment, where water is artificially driven through a microscopic membrane similar in characteristics to the wall of an organic cell.
- Ultraviolet disinfection equipment, which uses intense UV light to kill pathogens that may be found within the water.
Industrial wastewater softening equipment
If the level of dissolved magnesium and calcium ions in the water is too high, this indicates hard water. While hard water can be released into the water table without danger to local ecosystems, the hardness level may prevent the water from being properly reused. Water with too many dissolved magnesium and calcium ions can also damage pipework and fixtures and fittings due to deposits formed upon the pipe’s surface. A significant proportion of cities across the USA feature high hardness levels in their water, so your facility is likely affected by this, too.
As part of your industrial wastewater softening processes, you will need some of the following equipment;
- Ion exchange tanks, where the magnesium and calcium ions that cause water hardness can be removed.
- Cathodes and anodes, which attract ions of a specific charge to assist in the wastewater softening process.
- Ion exchange resins that accelerate the softening process by increasing the attraction between the ions in the solution and the cations and anions of the cathode and anode.
- Lime soda or other chemicals that can be used to ionize water and reduce its hardness levels.
Industrial wastewater distribution equipment
After the water has been clarified, softened, filtered, and disinfected, facility management teams need to decide what comes next. The water can be released into the local water table via government-approved and mandated channels. However, you may decide to reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact as much as possible by recycling the water. You may decide to use it as a coolant for your other systems or as boiler intake for producing steam.
You may need the following industrial wastewater distribution equipment at your place of work;
- Separate tanks for removed contaminants so that these contaminants can be properly disposed of without the risk of them re-entering the water supply.
- Final filtration layers to remove any solids or other contaminants that may have been missed during the regular water treatment phase.
- An outtake system to remove the water from the wastewater treatment system and pump it into the reuse and distribution system.
- Single direction valves to prevent water from flowing back into the water treatment set-up.
Other pieces of industrial wastewater treatment equipment
The list we’ve discussed above is certainly not an exhaustive one and is designed simply as a rough guide to help you plan your system. You may find that you need other pieces of equipment within your wastewater treatment setup. Here are a few examples of other pieces of equipment that may be required.
- Monitoring and assessment equipment, which may include the following;
- Activated sludge monitoring equipment
- Biological oxygen demand monitoring equipment
- Chemical oxygen demand monitoring equipment
- pH level monitoring equipment
- Water temperature monitoring equipment
- Wastewater intake equipment if wastewater does not simply flow straight into your system.
- Deaeration or degasification equipment for water that will be used in a boiler.
- Side-stream filtration, if the water is to be recycled and deployed again within the same system. This is often the case with cooling tower systems.
Keep the specifics of your industry in mind
The only unifying aspect of wastewater is that it is waste — beyond this, different types of wastewater share very few similarities. This is why, in practice, you may need to use specific techniques to handle wastewater at your facility. There may be specific compounds, molecules, or pathogens that are found in wastewater in your industry that are not found in others which may necessitate a particular kind of treatment setup. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to wastewater. Keep this in mind as you build your setup.