According to the UN’s SDG indicator 6.3.1, water quality must be improved by 2030, reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and reducing the release of hazardous chemicals into water. This will cut down the proportion of untreated wastewater while substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse
The global water crisis has raised the dire need to explore alternatives to conventional, perishing ways of consuming and managing water. This crisis has helped the world look at wastewater management and its potential through a new lens.
Wastewater in Industries
Realizing the importance of sustainable water management and a circular economy, industries have been carving a new path by taking decisive action to adopt technologies and best practices in wastewater management. Industrial wastewater can be treated to be used interchangeably with agriculture. This will bring about greater collaboration between the conflicted sectors and decrease their dependency on fresh water. Reused water is also being significantly used nowadays for water intensive industrial process such as lubrication and cooling of metals.
While these are progressive, there needs to be a deeper penetration of good wastewater practices and accessibility of technology to play a meaningful role in alleviating the water crisis.
Effective wastewater infrastructure has become a key for smart cities that want a secure future. Industries and commercial buildings have also been earmarking funds to prioritize wastewater treatment infrastructure within the buildings or facilities.
This infrastructure would primarily include urban sewer networks, wastewater processes, treatment plants and smart solutions such as an energy efficient pump to process the water. A negation of this infrastructure or having inadequate process will have irreversible ramifications. The water contamination crisis in Zimbabwe and the untreated sewage in the Yamuna river can be referred to as prime examples of these ramifications.
Zero liquid discharge in industrial sectors
This water management system ensures that industrial plants do not discharge effluents into the surface water, thereby eliminating the negative environmental impact from the entire treatment process. Zero liquid discharge (ZLD) also reduces the fresh water intake of industries by effectively recycling and reusing the water and fulfilling other requirements.
ZLD has also turned out to be a profit-making proposition for these facilities in the long run due to the reduced requirement of materials and minimized waste. Water intensive industries such as the textile industry have started using ZLD processes to significantly reduce the deteriorating effect in their processes that have on the environment. In 2011, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board collaborated with major textile units in Tirupur to establish 9 common effluent treatment plants.
Benefits of wastewater treatment in industries
The concept of industrial wastewater management has evolved. Besides the established environmental impacts, wastewater treatment has moved from merely converting waste in to non-potable water.
Today’s process can maximize the reuse of water, generate electricity from these processes, recover nutrients from the water and use the sewage sludge as compost. They also improve the overall cost efficiency of the industries while saving energy and water. While the future looks at wastewater treatment, there are a few operational challenges that need to be superseded with the help of the right solutions.
Treatment of hard effluents and other waste consume a lot of energy, making it one of the largest expenses incurred while operating a wastewater treatment plant.
Several processes in wastewater treatment depend heavily on pumps to carry water, add pressure, filtration etc. Grundfos has smart pumps that understand dynamic requirements and consumes energy efficiently on a demand driven basis. While 85% of a normal pump’s life cycle costs are for energy, this percentile is reduced up to 50% with Grundfos pumps.
Treatment of wastewater has a deteriorating effect on the efficiency of the pumps due to wear and tear over time. This leads to inefficient output and increased cost of maintenance or replacement. While every pump will exhibit signs of wear and tear eventually, Grundfos pumps have a significantly larger life expectancy. For example, one of the requirements in the sedimentation process is to maintain a gentle fluid with a pump system. This system is designed to specifically avoid contact between the liquid and its parts, thereby reducing overall wear and tear. Grundfos’ monitoring solutions can also minimize downtime and contribute to predictive maintenance.
A new era of intelligent pumps
Intelligent pumps will lead the way to wastewater management and efficient processes that need reliability. Grundfos has solutions that cater to every process in wastewater management from initial identification of requirements and designing of the solution, to water intake and the final distribution of the treated water. The company’s pumping, mixing, dosing and aeration systems are all designed to work with each other seamlessly. The pumps are also designed with materials that can withstand harsh and corrosive environments while optimizing performance and efficiency.
Water intake: The Grundfos SE/SL and S wastewater pumps are used here as they are durable and are specially designed to handle heavy, fluctuating sewage flows. KWM mixed pumps can be used to meet even larger flow requirements.
Treatment processes: The water goes through several treatment processes to reach its ultimate stage. In the primary stage, ideal flow conditions and water velocities are generated to prepare the water for sedimentation. Grundfos’s smart solutions provide actionable insights on flow. Biological and Chemical treatment processes use precision and large flow dosing pumps along with recirculation pumps, mixers and flow makers. Additionally, multi stage hydro boosters can also help manage pressure across levels.
The Grundfos iSOLUTIONS can further augment the efficiency of wastewater management processes as it can integrate individual components to optimize the overall system. They enable real time monitoring of the wastewater process by analyzing date via sensors and providing insights that help reduce downtime. This solution also provides warnings for overflow or any mismanagement of flow/pressure. iSOlUTIONS have been driving the future for Grundfos as it provides a high degree of flexibility and empowers remote management. With the world looking towards new ways to reduce the damage caused by the water crisis and climate change, wastewater management is going to become a critical priority for resilient industries.
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