Understanding how industrial wastewater is treated does not require a degree, but can be a complex subject. Most industries that operate on large scales produce some form of wastewater which is a by-product of their commercial activities. While many facilities need to set up ways to treat this water before releasing it safely into sewer systems or surface water sites, some recent trends allow for a recycling of this water in the production process to minimize the industrial effluent. While this practice is growing, many factories still are dependant on a treatment process for wastewater.
Types of Industrial Wastewater
Plants and power stations that rely on fossil-fuel are major contributors to industrial wastewater. These factories tend to release water with high degrees of heavy metals as well as compounds like arsenic and selenium. Some industries release complex organic chemicals like pesticides and dyes. Food operation plants and paper mills create suspended solids which require large volumes of high grade water to treat. One of the most dangerous of all contaminations is nuclear waste from nuclear and radio-chemicals facilities.
Ways to Treat Industrial Wastewater
There are many ways to handle effluent in the process of industrial wastewater treatment. In general, when wastewater is released from industrial plants it contains many types of impurities and this water must be treated. Also, emission control limits are constantly changing regarding industrial effluent so there is a constant need for technical and economic optimization within the industry. For example, biological, anaerobic industrial wastewater needs high-performance conventional reactors to get the job done. Brine treatment is used for treating wastewater from natural gas extraction and frac flowback water.
Removing oils and grease from water can depend on factors like suspension state and droplet size. These factors are the main determination for what type of separator technology will be employed like API oil-water separators or high-spinning hydrocyclone chambers.
The most common form of treatment comes from using conventional sewage handling processes for dealing with biodegradable organic material that comes from plants and animals. High concentrations of milk and blood in the water, plus cleaning agents and antibiotics can have a detrimental impact on the overall process of treatment. If a person is unsure what type of treatment their facility needs, hiring a group of scientists to analyze the wastewater produced might be the best alternative.