August 18, 2021
Articles

Service-based wastewater treatment helps industries make water a priority

In an industrial company, wastewater treatment is a complex process with many regulations. Wastewater treatment can also be purchased as a service from an experienced operator.

Almost all industrial players handle wastewater treatment in one way or another by themselves, no matter what the industry or company’s size is. Some companies have their own wastewater treatment plants but maintaining a treatment plant takes resources away from their core business. For others, the treatment plants may already have reached the end of their lifespan, and such companies need to start thinking about new investments. In some cases, industrial wastewater is discharged to a municipal wastewater treatment plant, however, sometimes it also needs to be pre-treated.

Adven has experience in industrial wastewater treatment in various situations.

“You might not often think that industrial water treatment can also be outsourced. It frees up resources, allowing the company to focus on its own core business,” says Adven’s Concept Manager, Jani Vuorinen.

Wastewater recycling means responsibility and savings

In the Nordic countries, it is generally thought that there is a generous amount of water, and that it is inexpensive. There is no similar water scarcity here as in drought-stricken areas, where water may even run out, and the only increasing source of water is recycled wastewater. Wastewater can be seen as part of a company’s circular economy solutions: it can be recycled, thereby reducing the need for tap water, and heat, raw materials or nutrients can be recovered from wastewater. Wastewater with a high organic load can also be used to produce biogas.

EU regulations, legislation and environmental permits of sites guide wastewater treatment practices, but the process can also be seen on a larger scale as part of corporate sustainability.

“Wastewater treatment contributes to a company’s sustainability efforts and improves its image. In addition, efficient wastewater treatment often helps a company save money, as sewerage and purchasing potable water can be reduced. In some cases, the plant’s processes work better when water quality is improved which can lead to more cost-effective production. These are good reasons why every company should get its own wastewater treatment in order,” Vuorinen says.

Service is always tailored for the company

In the past, in wastewater treatment projects, the company was usually assisted by a consultant who found a suitable equipment supplier and solution for the company. Since then, we have come a long way: Adven, for instance, develops an entire service model with the customer and provides the service to the company. In addition to designing the solution, Adven takes responsibility for the investment in the wastewater treatment plant, project management, the plant’s operation, maintenance, and 24/7 monitoring of the service. Find out more about Energy as a Service.

“At the beginning of a project, we identify the company’s needs regarding water treatment ways and how the water treatment could be improved. At this stage, it is important to consider whether we could optimise the plant’s processes so that less wastewater is generated, whether it is possible to recycle water in the processes, or whether the treated wastewater can be reused,” explains Adven Concept Developer, Elina Isokangas.

“Based on the customer’s needs and situation, we will start designing a new solution with the customer, which may include water treatment and heat recovery, for instance. The company’s wastewater is analysed, and a preliminary concept and a rough price estimate for the solution are prepared. If the customer gives the green light, the proposal will be defined in more detail, optimized, and if necessary, pilot tested in order to find the best water treatment technology and a reliable and cost-effective solution for the customer,” Elina continues.

The purification method can be, for instance, membrane technology, ion exchange, chemical treatment, evaporation or biological treatment methods. In general, various techniques are combined in order to achieve the required purification result.

“It is both very fascinating for specialists and in the interest of the customer to operate without technological constraints. What is unique about our approach is that we combine our extensive water treatment expertise with a customer-focused and solution-oriented operating model,” Vuorinen says.

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