Data shows that manufacturing is the biggest industrial producer of wastewater, followed by mining, construction and electricity production and distribution. However, only a proportion of wastewater is treated before being discharged. (UNIDO)
Societal and environmental pressures over recent years have led to a growing movement for industry to reduce its wastewater and to treat it before discharge.
Wastewater is now seen as a potential resource and its use, or recycling after suitable treatment, can provide economic and financial benefits.
Wastewater that cannot
Recycling water after suitable treatment can provide economic benefits. To reduce the rapidly increasing industrial water consumption numbers, the recycled water can be used within the business itself or between several businesses through ‘industrial symbiosis‘.
There is a strong incentive to use wastewater in-house and locally, based on cost savings alone.
Businesses can directly use some wastewater, providing it is fit for purpose. For instance, using process water for cooling or heating, or rainwater from roof collection or concrete aprons for toilet flushing, irrigation or vehicle washing.