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5 ways to reduce water consumption at an industrial site

Veolia Water Technologies
by Veolia Water Technologies
31 May 2024
4 minutes read

    29% of EU territory was affected by water scarcity in 2019. Water is becoming a scarce resource, so it's more important than ever to limit its wastage. To this end, we present here five ways in which plant operators in the industrial sector - which consume around 5 to 10% of the world's fresh water - can reduce their water consumption.

    1. Assess overall water use

    Carrying out an audit of an industrial water treatment facility is essential to reducing water consumption. It provides a comprehensive assessment of current water use, identifying inefficiencies and areas for improvement. The audit uncovers operational problems, obsolete technologies and opportunities for implementing water-saving measures. It establishes performance criteria, monitors progress and fosters a culture of continuous improvement. 

    Veolia has developed the "Global Water Audit", a program that enables industrial sites to identify water reuse opportunities and implement sustainable practices to reduce water consumption.

    2. Regular monitoring

    Regular monitoring, operation and preventive maintenance play a key role in helping industrial sites with water treatment facilities achieve their water reduction targets. Regular maintenance activities such as leak detection, flow optimisation, metering, consumption monitoring and equipment calibration help to minimise water wastage and maximise the efficiency of the treatment process. By ensuring that the treatment plant is operating at optimum efficiency, industrial sites can treat and reuse water effectively, reducing their dependence on freshwater sources. 

    By focusing on daily or scheduled maintenance and servicing, industrial plants can significantly reduce water losses, conserve valuable resources and achieve sustainable water management objectives.

    3. Install monitoring devices

    Digital and analytical monitoring systems can be installed to facilitate scheduled maintenance and optimisation of water treatment systems. Put simply, for many, digital monitoring is a game-changer, helping to diagnose leaks and other malfunctions much more quickly than was previously possible.

    Hubgrade Digital Services-1Within the Veolia group, we offer a solution called Hubgrade. This is an advanced digital platform designed to optimise the performance and efficiency of various infrastructure systems, including water treatment plants. It uses real-time data analysis, remote monitoring and predictive algorithms to enable proactive decision-making. Specifically, Hubgrade collects and analyses data from sensors and monitoring devices installed in water treatment plants, enabling operators to monitor key parameters such as water quality, flow rates, energy consumption and equipment performance.

    By aggregating and visualising this data in a user-friendly interface, Hubgrade provides operators with valuable information about plant operation and helps them identify areas for improvement. By identifying energy saving opportunities, optimising treatment processes and monitoring environmental parameters, the platform enables water treatment plants to operate in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

    4. Recycling wastewater from existing systems

    Reusing wastewater is a sustainable approach that can significantly reduce water consumption at industrial sites. By adapting existing facilities and adding new equipment, industries can effectively treat and reuse wastewater, minimising their dependence on freshwater sources. One of the methods commonly used is the implementation of advanced treatment systems, such as biological treatment, membrane filtration and disinfection processes.

    These technologies remove contaminants and impurities from wastewater, making it suitable for a variety of non-potable applications within the industrial plant. The reuse of treated wastewater, for purposes such as cooling towers, boiler make-up water, floor and truck cleaning water or irrigation, can significantly reduce demand for fresh water, thereby conserving resources and minimising environmental impact.

    5. Our technologies

    At VWT, we have a number of innovative technologies that can be added to an existing water system that will make a significant contribution to water savings. Highly efficient products, such as TERION™ for example, can replace traditional reverse osmosis (RO) units. This can have lasting benefits, as it combines RO and continuous electrodeionisation (CEDI) in a single unit, removing over 99.9% of dissolved organic matter. The ORION™ is another product that integrates multiple technologies into a single unit - water softening, RO and CEDI - to produce purified water and PPI water. What's more, it can also recover wastewater from the RO and achieve a hydraulic efficiency of 90%.

    capturoCaptuRO®, high-recovery reverse osmosis technology

    Finally, Veolia Water Technologies teams have just launched CaptuRO® technology, ideal for extracting purified water from industrial, brackish and wastewater sources. With CaptuRO®, Veolia Water Technologies can provide its customers with the highest permeate recovery available today. In addition, brine waste can be reduced by 50-75% and energy consumption by up to 35%.

    It is true that many of these five recommendations will require moderate initial costs. However, reusing water in industry is not only a responsible choice, it is also an opportunity to bring about positive change. By adopting innovative technologies and implementing effective water management practices, we can pave the way for a more sustainable future. 

    Talk to one of our experts to find out how you can reuse and recycle water on your site.

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