Chemical manufacturing water efficiency

Chemical manufacturing effluent treatment and reuse

Guide

Effluent treatment plants (ETPs) are used by chemical manufacturers to treat water-based waste so that it can be discharged or reused, and valuable raw materials and product recovered.

Effective management and control of effluent treatment will help you to:

  • reduce your operating costs and increase profits
  • comply more effectively with legislation
  • improve your business' public image

Before reviewing your ETP operation, look at reducing the amount of effluent that your business produces.

Reusing effluent and wash water

Cooling waters and most effluents (treated and, in some cases, untreated) can frequently be reused - eg in toilet flushing, for cleaning and in some cases in the product itself. Simple treatment methods such as settlement and filtration increase opportunities for reuse. With careful planning it is possible to reuse wastes more than once.

You can avoid long pipe runs and high pumping costs by reusing effluent and wash water close to where they are produced. You should also monitor use of wash waters and treated effluents as necessary.

If you buy products that improve water efficiency or water quality, you may be able to benefit financially by claiming Enhanced Capital Allowances for efficient technologies.

Sludge management

Many effluent treatment processes generate a sludge, and treating and disposing of this often forms most of the operating costs of an ETP. Reducing sludge production will save significant costs. Sludge treatment - eg thickening and dewatering - will reduce both transportation and disposal costs.

Your waste contractor may be able to provide help and advice on dealing with sludge.