From Understanding Water Quality Management: Technology & Applications

Many manufacturing plants use more water than is strictly necessary in the course of their manufacturing operations. This is especially true in areas where water is plentiful and where plants operate their own water wells or water treatment facilities. Unfortunately, the water has to be treated once it is intermingled with process chemicals, and it is almost always a cost-effective practice to minimize the amount of wastewater generated.


Before end-of-pipe wastewater treatment or modifications to existing wastewater treatment facilities are implemented, a program of waste minimization should be initiated. Reduction and recycling of waste are inevitably site and plant specific, but a number of generic approaches and techniques have been used successfully across the country to reduce many kinds of industrial wastes.

Generally, waste minimization techniques can be grouped into four major categories:

  • inventory management and improved operations,

  • modification of equipment,

  • production process changes, and

  • recycling and reuse.

These general techniques have application across a wide range of industries and manufacturing processes and can apply to hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, as well as to wastewater. Table 12.1 provides a listing of steps that can be taken for each of these techniques.

Table 12.1: Waste Minimization Approaches and Techniques [15].

Inventory Management and Improved Operations:

  • Inventory and trace all raw materials

  • Purchase fewer toxic and pollutant-bearing production materials

  • Implement employee training and management feedback

  • Improve material receiving, storage, and handling practices

Modification of Equipment:

  • Install equipment that produces minimal or no waste

  • Modify equipment to enhance recovery...

Products & Services
Wastewater Treatment Equipment
Wastewater treatment equipment is used to treat, remediate, and process effluent wastewater.
Water and Wastewater System Integrators
Water and Wastewater Systems Integrators design, engineer and build wastewater systems for applications that range from small industrial systems to large scale municipal systems.
Crystallizers are forced-circulation evaporators.
Wastewater Treatment Operating Services
Wastewater treatment operating services are publicly-owned treatment works (POTW) that serve residential, commercial, and industrial facilities and infrastructures.
Recycling and Reclamation Services
Recycling and reclamation services recycle and recover solvents, precious metals, hydrocarbons, and other industrial materials.

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