Process water is used in many commercial businesses, often in very high volumes. As it is used, process water often picks up impurities and contaminants that need to be stripped out before the wastewater can be released back into the water network. This is expensive for the businesses concerned, as well as being extremely wasteful. Thus, facilities that use large amounts of process water frequently benefit from employing techniques that can conserve and recycle process water for further use. This not only makes sound environmental sense, but can also save businesses a lot of money.
How does water recycling work? There are several ways of recycling water that you can employ in your business environment to reduce your wastage levels. In this article we introduce the most commonly used methods:
1) Aerobic Treatment
Many facilities use aerobic treatment to recycle water that has been used and exposed to different chemicals. It is among the most important ways of recycling water in the manufacturing industry. An aerobic treatment system works like a closed tank, channelling the feed water through and exposing it to highly oxygenated air. Large quantities of lightly contaminated wastewater can be recovered using this method at a very low cost.
2) Membrane Filtration
Water can be recycled using membrane filters of different fineness. Depending on the contaminants you need to remove, you may need to employ microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration or reverse osmosis. A filtration plant can be used to carry out other water treatment functions – such as pre-treatment of feed water prior to deionisation – or used exclusively to recover grey or wastewater. Some mineral contaminants will need to be removed through distillation or demineralisation, so sometimes membrane filtration is not enough on its own.
3) Ozone Treatment
Ozone treatment, combined with simple filtration, is ideal for recovering water used in cooling towers. Plants that utilise cooling towers often waste a lot of water: using an effective filtration and ozone treatment system to disinfect the water recycles a considerable amount and limits the overall water use for the business.
So long as the recycled water is destined for reuse in the same cooling towers, there is no need to perform additional extensive purification methods. However, further treatment may be needed if you plan to reuse the water for other processes.
4) Grey Water Recycling Systems
Grey water purification systems are complex treatment plants designed to reclaim sewage and heavily contaminated wastewater. Once successfully treated, grey water can be restored for safe use in a wide number of applications. A typical system will combine filtration, disinfection and deionisation. Grey water treatment systems can be expensive, but for industries that use a large volume of process water, the results in reduced waste will soon pay for itself.
5) Tank Treatment Systems
Another common way of recycling water is to use treatment tanks. The tanks themselves may utilise either reverse osmosis or deionisation technology, the purpose being to reduce the total solid count of the water so it can be recycled. Treatment tanks are compact and can be deployed wherever feed water needs to be reclaimed. However, the modest throughput of these systems means they are not usually suitable for water with a large TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) value.
Treatment tanks can be used successfully to increase the capacity of a water treatment plant, allowing you to respond to varying requirements. They can also be deployed to cover your water purification needs while other assets are experiencing downtime.
All You Need To Know About Industrial Water Purification
If you want to learn more, please download our free Industrial Water Purification Guide. This e-book provides all the information you need on water recycling techniques, so you can make the most effective choice of investment for your business. Click here to find out more.