The Difference Between Industrial Wastewater Treatment and Industrial Water Treatment

February 16, 2022 7:28 pm Leave your thoughts

Several heavy industries use water in their day-to-day operations, generating potentially-hazardous waste that needs to be treated before it can re-enter the environment. Depending on how the water will be used after treatment, several processes exist to meet industrial water treatment standards.

Read on to discover the difference between industrial wastewater treatment and industrial water treatment.

Industrial wastewater treatment

Most industries, from agricultural to mining to food to paper, produce some form of wet waste, or wastewater. Industrial wastewater treatment refers to the processes used to treat water that’s been contaminated by anthropogenic industrial or commercial activities. While there’s been a move toward minimizing the production of such waste in industry, it’s unavoidable for many industrial sectors.

There are a variety of strategies involved in industrial wastewater treatment. Different types of contamination call for different methods. They include:

  • Solids removal: Simple sedimentation techniques can usually remove solids—from dense sludge to very fine solids. In some situations (like when solids have densities close to that of water) case filtration or ultrafiltration may be necessary.
  • Oil and grease removal: Oil and grease are difficult to remove from water, but skimming devices can usually recover them from open water surfaces. Skimming can be cost-effective, as it keeps chemical costs to a minimum.
  • Biodegradable organics removal: Plant or animal material can be treated with conventional wastewater treatment processes like activated sludge or trickling filter.

Industrial water treatment

The primary goal of industrial water treatment is to prevent biological growth, corrosion and scaling. Industrial water treatments ensure proper water-disposal standards are met, and there are usually several processes involved in series or in parallel, depending on the specified water quality. Typical processes include:

  • Membrane filtration: More commonly called reverse osmosis, this process involves forcing water through a membrane, filtering out molecules, ions and larger particles. Treatment operators can adjust the pressure of the pump depending on the type of membrane being used, the contamination of the water and the final desired water quality.
  • Deaeration: In this process, steam and water enter a deaerator (or a packed column tower), forcing degasification to occur. Heated steam in the tower raises water temperature to saturation level, dissolving gases and releasing them from the water. In terms of industrial applications, deaerators mostly remove oxygen, but they can also remove carbon dioxide.
  • Decarbonation: This process uses a blower to create airflow in decarbonation and degasification towers to remove contaminants like carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide.
  • Ion exchange: This process relies on components including boiler-feed systems and cooling towers, and it’s a reliable and cost-effective treatment method. It can remove a whole host of contaminants, including bacteria. In some cases, chemicals are used to aid in killing and preventing the formation of bacteria, but new, safer techniques, like using ultraviolet light for disinfection, are becoming more common.

Industrial wastewater treatment is essential for protecting our environment. Learn more about the processes and equipment involved by reaching out to Ultra Pure Water Technologies today.

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