Waste Water Management

By: environmentobserver | Posted: 26th March 2010

No matter who we are, where we are, and what we do, we are all dependent on water. We need it every day, in so many ways. We need it to stay healthy, we need it for growing food, for transportation, irrigation and industry. We need it for animals and plants, for changing colours and seasons. However, despite the importance of water resources in our lives and well-being, we are increasingly disrespectful of them. We abuse them. We waste them. We pollute them, forgetting how essential they are to our very survival.

According to the United Nations Development Program, more than 1 billion people, or about one in six worldwide, do not have safe drinking water and more than 2 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.

If current water usage trends continue, by the year 2025 two-thirds of the world's population won't have enough clean water.

The World Water Day, marked on 22 March, underscores the need for a global effort to support the widespread adoption of water reuse practices, which can be a key step toward quickly and effectively reversing the global threat of clean water scarcity.

Industrial companies located in urban areas are one of the greatest causes of water pollution. They also are large consumers of drinking water, as it is used in their processes. Because these companies use such a quantity of water, they turned to tapping of groundwater. This, in turn, contributes to the lowering level of groundwater. Although knowing that this is not a sustainable way, companies nowadays have enough money to buy water from private suppliers once their wells to groundwater have gone dry.

In the industry, water scarcity is growing. This, coupled with the rising costs of water for
industrial use, supports the recycling market in India. Industry has been motivated to adopt zero discharge technology. Although this transition is currently limited to large en medium sized companies, it is a definite indicator of the type of business opportunities that are to emerge in the short/medium term.

The ever increasing water scarcity and deterioration of water quality needed for specialised applications, along with stringent discharge norms have been the defining reasons for additional thrust in the water and wastewater segment. Thermax is well positioned to leverage on the available opportunities in the public sector water and waste solutions space.

Thermax was the first in India to:
• Develop new biological processes for waste water treatment
• Recycle Industrial Waste Water through membrane process
• Build Sea Water RO Plant on a large scale
• Recover metal salts and purify acids from waste water
• Treat Bio-Medical Waste and recover heat


Having served the water and wastewater market for over three decades, Thermax has all the prerequisites to provide sustainable solutions to select municipal corporations. Thermax today is well equipped with a range of technology solutions for sewage treatment, water recycle, sea water desalination, and waste to energy applications.

In July 2009, Thermax Limited signed technology agreements with two global leaders, viz., GE Water, USA and Wehrle Umwelt GmbH, Germany for advanced wastewater treatment.

Under the first agreement, GE's ultrafiltration and membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology will be utilised by Thermax for wastewater treatment, reuse and process water in India's commercial and institutional sectors. It is estimated that the need for advanced wastewater treatment for India's commercial and institutional sectors is expanding more than 50% per year. This demand is driven by new regulations related to recycling of wastewater. As this technology application is in its infancy, there is also a huge potential for the use of MBR in treating municipal wastewater for recycling, reuse and discharge.

The second agreement provides for the distribution of GE's reverse osmosis (RO) membranes to customers in India for water and wastewater treatment applications. Industries are now adoption membrane-based solutions for water treatment. With its strong regional reach, Thermax will expand the film composite, spiral-wound RO element manufacturing facility at Hoskote, Bangalore to support India's growing requirements.

Thermax Limited and Wehrle Umwelt GmbH, Germany, have signed a technology agreement for treatment of hard-to-treat industrial effluents, which are "highly loaded" in terms of biological and chemical oxygen demand (BOD and COD) in water bodies.

The technology tie up will address pharmaceutical and bulk drug manufacturers, dyes and pigments, chemical, pulp and paper, and distilleries. Increasing shortage of water and rising pollution in water bodies have made treatment and recycle of effluent a viable option for industries. The agreement will provide them advanced membrane based waste water treatment technologies to treat the effluent, before being discharge or reused.

Clean water is an essential ingredient to economic growth and development - and investing in water and sanitation has high economic and social returns.

There is an urgent need to step up research, monitoring and assessing of water quality at global, regional and local levels. Scientific findings from research should inform sound policy formation and implementation. Furthermore sufficiently funded and manned regulatory functions are required to ensure compliance with and enforcement of rules and regulations.

Water quality impacts every one of us, and our lifestyles impact the quality of our water.
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Tags: safe drinking water, importance of water, medium sized companies, animals and plants, water usage, groundwater