The future development of industrial wastewater treatment

In the next five to ten years, consumption and population growth, resource scarcity, climate change and the increasing importance of environmental protection will play an ever-greater role. These aspects have a significant impact on industrial wastewater treatment. Companies will work to implement energy efficiency and resource conservation in equal measure. Industrial wastewater treatment will be a decisive factor in this.

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What does the future development of industrial wastewater treatment look like?

In the next few years, the revision of the Wastewater Ordinance and the Water Framework Directives will be at the forefront. In doing so, the authorities want to continue to do justice to the importance of environmental protection. Industrial wastewater is the largest factor in water pollution worldwide. The goal here is to preserve ecosystems as well as existing plant and animal species in the long term. The more purified industrial wastewater flows into the environment, the more likely governments are to achieve this goal.

The future development of industrial wastewater treatment remains a crucial factor in achieving these goals for the following reasons:

  • Water remains the most important solvent.
  • Worldwide, the demand for water will continue to increase. The reasons for this are the rise in living standards, population growth and the increase in age.
  • Climate change is also increasing the average annual temperature and thus the demand for water.
  • The population is better educated and attaches greater importance to environmental protection.
  • New industries in biotechnology are emerging. These will have a higher water demand.
  • The cost pressure for companies will increase to further conserve energy and resources. This will also increase the need for industrial wastewater treatment.
  • The need for resource recovery systems is increasing. Companies must filter out the substances dissolved in wastewater and make them available for further use. These can be phosphorus or rare earths, for example.
  • Water availability and wastewater pollution will vary greatly from region to region. This results in a regional need for industrial wastewater treatment plants.
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Three main visions for the future development of industrial wastewater treatment can be derived from this:

  • Industrial wastewater treatment is becoming an integral part of the production process. Each company adapts its purification system to the wastewater. Each company decides for itself how much water it returns to its own production cycle and which substances it filters out.
  • Intelligent management systems control the purification performance of an industrial wastewater treatment plant. They recognise the company’s infrastructure and are strongly integrated into the processes. They define how industrial wastewater treatment can run most efficiently.
  • Industrial wastewater treatment is becoming increasingly important in areas where a constant water supply is not guaranteed. The reuse of the wastewater or the treatment to drinking water quality will be more and more in focus.

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