Benefits of the reuse of wastewater in industrial processes

Wastewater reuse scheme. After the productive use of water, wastewater is obtained that, treated in a WWTP, can be used again in the Public Domain.

The reuse of wastewater is an alternative that can be efficient in countries under water stress.

According to the UN in its World Report on the Development of Water Resources of 2018, it is estimated that 4,600 km3 / year are consumed and an increase of 30% is expected by 2050. 80% of that consumption comes from cities and agriculture. Despite this consumption, 60% of the world’s population does not have access to safe water sanitation systems that guarantee drinking water.

In the European context, there are several countries, including Spain, Belgium, and Italy, that have exceeded 20% of the water exploitation index, which means that they are under water stress. In the case of France, which exceeds 40% water stress index, it is very serious and classified as unsustainable.

The proposals that are beginning to be made in this regard are promising and involve many imaginative solutions implemented throughout the integral water management circuit. These solutions may be late in some cases, as they require resources and technological development. The most widespread so far, and which is shown to be efficient in solving these problems, is the recovery of used water resources, as well as the decrease in the consumption of this resource.

Environmental and health benefits of the reuse of wastewater

The reuse of industrial wastewater is an excellent alternative for those countries that are under water stress.
The reuse of industrial wastewater is an excellent alternative for those countries that are under water stress.

Especially in areas subject to water stress, the benefits of good management of this resource are innumerable and many of them can have a direct positive economic impact on the operating accounts of companies.

In certain industries, the consumption of network water is the largest expense, just after Human Resources.

By allowing the reuse of recovered wastewater, network consumption can be reduced, thus saving consumption, and ensuring a supply for the industrial production process, being less sensitive to possible resource shortages.

In addition, the treatment of wastewater avoids possible sanctions for non-compliance with the discharge regulations, which are increasingly stricter and more common.

Mandatory quality criteria for the reuse of water

The Real decreto para la reutilización de las aguas depuradas (Real Decreto 1620/2007, de 7 de Diciembre), for Spain, establishes the necessary criteria to be met in order to reuse treated wastewater according to 5 areas of use: residential, agricultural, industrial, recreational and environmental.

In general, the water used in industrial production processes -excluding the food industry- can easily reach the permitted values ​​for the reuse of treated industrial wastewater.

The Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs in Spain created a basic information guide to know the basic requirements of the Royal Decree that regulates this reuse, the guide for the Application of R.D. 1620/2007 establishing the Legal Regime for the Reuse of Purified Waters.

At the European level, in April 2020 the Council of the European Union positioned itself with a view to adopting a Regulation on the minimum requirements for the reuse of uniform water for all member states and where it establishes requirements for the agricultural use of these reclaimed water, leaving the rest of the reuse sectors in the hands of the member states.

Uses for depurated water

Cooling towers in an industrial waste water treatment system.
Cooling towers

In industrial environments, the use of this recovered wastewater is intended for process and cleaning water, differentiating between the food industry and the rest of the industries, and for cooling towers and evaporative condensers.

Whenever you want to reuse treated water, you have to do and present the reuse project to the authority, explaining information on water use, metrics over time, etc.

In general, treated water can be used for all uses, except for human consumption, it is only possible to comply with the metrics established in the aforementioned Royal Decree and the reuse project must be authorized.

Solutions for the proper reuse of industrial wastewater

To guarantee the proper reuse of industrial wastewater, appropriate technologies and previous studies are required, as well as a review of the legislation regarding the reuse of wastewater.

The technological advances achieved in the treatment and regeneration of wastewater have been numerous.

In this regard, biotechnology, with the use of microorganisms for water purification, plays an important role as it is capable of removing specific polluting compounds that conventional treatments cannot.

Amapex has developed a biotechnological solution that combines a selected bacterial strain that is especially degrading of the polluting compounds present in wastewater combined with the technology that we develop to enhance the advancement of the capabilities of this bacterium.

We have achieved remarkable results in various sectors, achieving savings in consumption and in the purification of water from the production process.

To achieve these good results, it is necessary to design and adapt the tailor-made solution for each client depending on their flow rates, their pollutants, and the challenges they face in their field of production.

In this way, we can optimize the process by increasing the benefits and significantly reducing the costs derived from conventional water treatment systems and, in addition, guaranteeing its subsequent reuse for industrial uses.

Advantages of biotechnology in industrial wastewater treatment

Complex created in a former mining site with nature-based solutions, in which two forests were created, one tropical and the other Mediterranean.
Former mining with nature-based solutions.

The Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), which we promote from Amapex, reduce the industry’s carbon footprint and at the same time reduce the energy cost of water recovery, producing derived products derived in parallel to the process.

These derived products can be valued in other productive sectors, the most common being agriculture, but also biogas.

Solution application system

Aguas residuales provenientes de la industria textil luego de tratamiento con Solución desarrollada por Amapex
Wastewater from the textile industry treated with Amapex solution.

Amapex’s solution is a safe bet since, prior to implementation, a study is carried out to assess the regeneration and reuse potential of the water to be treated, through a pilot test in our facilities.

With a sample of wastewater from a target company, we test the performance of our solution, so that the client knows in advance the effectiveness and savings we offer.

This solution has proven and successful application in the elastomer industries, textile production, among others. We invite you to see our section on “Success cases” by following the link quoted on our website.

If you want to know more about our solutions on wastewater treatment for industrial activities, write to us through the web form we will study the particular case of your company according to its industrial activity and we will design a customized solution for your company. Write to us!