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Water treatment is changing. What was once simply an exercise in mitigating damage and removing unpleasant and unsafe effluent has now evolved to become much more. Today’s water treatment companies are effectively reversing the statuses of polluted and contaminated water stores, turning them into resources of clean water ready for use. This is being achieved via a variety of services and solutions, including water treatment consulting, innovative research and development, and a focus on environmental and social sustainability.
But who are the largest water treatment companies operating in the world today? Which water treatment company is revolutionizing the USA’s markets and markets elsewhere across the globe? Let’s take a look at some of the firms that are currently leading the way in the global water treatment industry.
French firm Veolia is perhaps best known as a waste management organization, providing municipal waste handling services and solutions to governments and organizations across the world. However, this is only one aspect of what the company does for its customers and clients. Water treatment is also a big part of what Veolia is all about. These water treatment services include implementing innovative testing and filtration processes to combat micropollutants in wastewater and in environmental water stores — micropollutants such as dangerous residues from detergents and hydrocarbons.
Veolia is also seeking to reposition industrial effluent treatment as a valuable source of clean and usable water rather than an exercise in limiting costs and mitigating damage. As regulations grow increasingly strict across the world, solution providers need to be able to turn polluted effluent into a viable store of water. This is water that is not just ready for release into the water table but can be actively recycled, as a coolant, for example, or even as drinking water. With processes including rare metal recovery and a variety of different membrane treatments, Veolia is striving to make this happen.
Suez Environment, branded as Environnement in the company’s native French language, is one of the leading water treatment and processing firms in Europe, if not the whole world. One of the company’s prime areas of expertise is in treating wastewater and finding ways to effectively reuse this resource. In order to achieve these aims, Suez deploys innovative solutions and infrastructural projects that utilize ultrafiltration and microfiltration to remove contaminants from water supplies. This is backed up with polishing processes — such as ozonisation and UV disinfection, among others — to secure the best possible results from water treatment.
Suez envisages a world in which everyone is able to access the water they need and the vital resource is not wasted. Right now, as much as 80% of global wastewater is discharged directly into the nearby natural environment before vital treatment can be applied, while around half of the world’s freshwater reserves are contaminated and polluted. Suez is one of the companies that are working to reverse this situation.
Xylem is one of the world’s leading water processing organizations, building solutions for, or working in partnership with, municipal and industrial bodies across the globe. One example of their innovative work is found in the Netherlands, where local water utilities were struggling with how to reduce the level of bromide leftover in treated water. When exposed to ozone, this bromide can transform into bromate — a substance with potentially carcinogenic properties. Xylem developed a system that would accelerate the ozone phase of the treatment process, achieving effective water treatment results without giving the bromide time to transform into bromate. The outcome was a far safer and far more efficient set of processes.
Evoqua Water Technologies Corporation
Evoqua Water Tech is one of the largest water treatment companies in the USA and is focused on crafting the kind of solutions that help to revolutionize our relationship with water. This means existing at the cutting edge, developing technology that is ready to meet the growing needs of the modern age. These solutions include the Chloropac cooling wastewater treatment solution to prolong the life of equipment and treatment solutions designed to combat organisms like cryptosporidium. Evoqua’s solutions are deployed across the world, bringing clean water to more people thanks to more effective treatment.
Dow Water and Process Solutions
Like Evoqua, Dow is focused on creating innovative water treatment solutions with a focus on sustainability and accessibility. Among other products, Dow produces silicone foam control agents, such as Dowsil and Xiameter, which make water treatment easier and more effective for industrial facilities. Across their whole water treatment product range, Dow is focused on increasing water recovery rates, reducing waste, improving wastewater flow, increasing equipment lifespans, and boosting energy savings. Their areas of focus are the oil, gas, and mining industries — each of which exacts a heavy toll in terms of water usage and wastewater contamination.
Situated on Germany’s famous River Rhine, the BASF wastewater treatment plant is known as one of the largest in all of Europe, handling wastewater from the nearby cities of Ludwigshafen, Frankental and Bobenheim-Roxheim, as well as the production wastewater from the BASF plant itself. This means handling a huge amount of water. It is estimated that the wastewater from BASF factory production totals 100 million cubic tonnes each year. Meanwhile, the municipal wastewater volume is estimated at 20 million cubic tonnes. All of this water is treated and purified onsite.
The critical importance of innovation in water treatment
Water treatment companies are going to change the world. This is not hyperbole — it’s a verifiable fact, as evidenced by some of the statistics we’ve looked at above. As a species, we simply cannot exist without a supply of clean water, and we cannot continue as a society if we are polluting local water tables and environments. With this in mind, innovative, responsible, sustainable and forward-thinking water treatment providers are operating at the frontline as we seek to achieve a cleaner, safer world, both for our generation and for those to come.