An introduction to industrial water reuse and the reasons for its implementation in industrial processes

Gain an understanding of the different industrial water treatment application areas and the reasons why many industries are turning to water reuse in their industrial processes.

An industrial water reuse system increases the amount of water available globally, as a lot of water is used in Industry.

In this module you will hear about industrial water treatment application areas, and the reasons many industries are turning to water reuse in their industrial processes.

Water reuse fits well with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 6, which impacts water treatment in general and industrial water treatment in particular.

The aim of SDG 6 is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, and this is actively supported by Grundfos.

There are many reasons for industry to implement a water reuse system, and the main drivers for water reuse are:

Water scarcity and the decreasing availability of clean water, highlighted in UN SDG 6

Reduced costs for billed water and wastewater, energy consumption and chemical use as well as creating the possibility of extracting valuable compounds from contaminated water.

Regulatory requirements for potable and non-potable water are increasingly strict.

Technological drivers brought about by changing demographics, more pollutants and new containments such as micro-plastics require alternative technologies for new solutions.

Many industries are, however, conservative in their approach, and are often concerned about not having a proof-of-concept for the technology used and the need for a tailored solution. A lack of control and regulation in their area of application can also hold them back.

However, with a considered approach, the compelling reasons and benefits of a water reuse system become clear.

Let’s start with a brief look at the most common categories of water in industry. On an industrial site, water is everywhere and used intensively as process water, cooling water, cleaning water and such like. And with usage comes contamination and the need for cleaning and treatment.

There are four application areas in industrial water treatment: concentrated and industrial wastewater, and salt water and industrial clean water.

Grundfos supplies to all four areas, however our focus in this module is on concentrated and industrial wastewater.

When we enter a factory, we first meet the water intake, or feed water. Either we can use the water directly or we have to treat it to fit the later use and purpose. Here we can see the water entering the industrial process.

Following treatment and use, for example as process water or cleaning water, the water quality is changed, and direct discharge to the environment is not possible. A biological, physical or chemical treatment is therefore necessary.

Depending on the characteristics of this wastewater, different steps are used to clean it. In general terms, biological treatment, particle and ion removal (using ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis respectively) and conditioning are most common.

Let’s recap what we have presented in this module:

- Process water, cooling water and cleaning water are typical areas where water consumption is high in industrial processes

- There are many reasons for treating and reusing this water, for example water scarcity, costs, regulatory requirements, and the availability of new technologies

-The application areas in industrial water treatment we focus on for water reuse are concentrated and industrial wastewater.

Course overview

Modules: 4
Completion time
Completion time: 30 minutes
Difficulty level
Difficulty level: Advanced