Keeping up with demand

Mordor Intelligence, the global market research and consulting firm, recently released a study assessing the global water treatment chemicals market. The report valued the overall global market at $35 billion in 2014, predicting a continual annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% until 2020. The Wastewater Innovation Platform of global water, energy and maintenance solutions provider NCH Europe, takes a look at what is driving this growth and the key challenges the sector is facing.

Demand for water treatment technology and equipment is set to increase by 5.2 per cent to $14.7 billion by 2019 in the US alone according to research. This clearly demonstrates the growing need for feasible solutions to a costly problem. With increasingly stringent regulations around the disposal of wastewater, and the associated expenditure of meeting, or failing to meet, these policies, companies of all shapes and sizes are looking for cost effective solutions.

Regulation driving costs

The report by Mordor Intelligence highlights industrial water treatment as the fastest growing sector, and it’s easy to see why. In Europe, the Urban Wastewater Directive governs the disposal of water, “to protect the water environment from the adverse effects of discharges of urban wastewater and from certain industrial discharges”. Under the directive, any business wishing to dispose of wastewater is charged a municipal wastewater charges, calculated using the Mogden formula in the UK.

The formula takes into account how much sludge and solids are in water being deposited into the local sewage system, the level and type of treatment the effluent has been exposed to and the volume of water to be disposed of. An appropriate charge for wastewater disposal is then calculated.

Add in the costs of water transport, storage and off-site treatment and the management of effluent water from an industrial operation, a food or pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, or even a hotel, can be a major drain on any business.

As the report states, there is a lack of awareness in general around the wastewater treatment sector. However, at NCH we’ve noticed that companies are particularly unaware of the various technologies available that can help to reduce these annual fees. Businesses simply accept them as a fact of life – this needn’t be the case.

A 21st century solution

The Mordor Intelligence study highlights the fact that a lot of 21st century biochemistry, such as pesticides and pharmaceutical products, in use today cannot be removed by 19th century filtration technology, leading to a need for new technology.

At NCH Europe, we’ve invested a great deal of effort in developing an answer to the strain of modern chemistry that also dramatically reduces the cost of wastewater management.

Our wastewater treatment solution, which comprises the BioAmp delivery system and the FreeFlow product, uses live, naturally occurring bacteria to break down fats, oils, greases, suspended solids and other contaminants in water. FreeFlow bacteria actually digest contaminants, unlike solvents and free enzyme products.

With traditional treatments, most bacteria get flushed through the pre-treatment system before they even become active. FreeFlow bacteria are live and begin feeding and multiplying the instant they enter the wastewater stream or drain system. By the time they are finished, the wastewater you release into the local sewage system is cleaned – meaning dramatic reductions in those Wastewater Directive fees.

The BioAmp delivery system enables companies to bring wastewater treatment in-house, cutting cost of off-site treatment. Our computer controlled microbial fermentation units are installed on site and deliver a large amount of active bacteria directly into drains, grease traps, lift stations and more.

While the study highlights developing a 21st century solution as an area of future opportunity, NCH Europe already has the answer to cost effectively, easily, and safely making wastewater treatment a smoother process.

Our solution generates an average of 30 per cent reduction is wastewater costs.

Ready for tomorrow

Over 40 per cent of the report’s non-utility respondents believed that the water industry was not prepared to meet the financial needs of managing wastewater, given increased urbanization and regulation.

There is a clear need for long-term investment in wastewater treatment infrastructure. However, the immediate answer to managing the financial pressures lies in a smarter approach to wastewater that enables companies to release effluent that is less harmful to the environment without costly off-site treatment. Something NCH Europe already has down to a fine art.