Act now to beat EU changes to wastewater treatment regulations

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Courtesy of Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group

Introduction

Over the past few months, signals have been emanating from Brussels that hint at tighter wastewater treatment regulations. For instance, not only has Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, recently been calling for better treatment systems for wastewater, but former Environment Minister, Janez Potočnik, has backed a Friends of the Earth report lobbying for improvements on water reporting and pollution. 

Punitive measures

Time is of the essence regarding this increasingly urgent matter, as a number
of recent actions indicate. Since March of this year, the EU Commission has
taken France to court over non-compliance with legislation on urban wastewater treatment, and asked Poland to bring its national laws on groundwater protection into line with the Groundwater Directive.

Put simply, recent EU documents on water policy contain key recommendations that encourage action on industrial plants and pollution. History shows that such recommendations and encouragements are often precursors to law.

Undercurrent of change

Clearly, there is an undercurrent of change with regard to wastewater and its associated treatment, for both municipal and industrial processes. As with all change, the trick is to make improvements ahead of the game, which means that water companies, the treatment chain and industrial water users, need to start thinking about correct and thorough preparation, as well as investment in the right technology. Better treatment of wastewater, through improved chemical metering technologies, is among the primary way to help.

Better chemical metering is important for many reasons. For example, to help reduce operational expenditure, higher concentrations of chemicals are being used by plants to help reduce transportation, handling and storage costs.
This increases the demands on metering pumps for higher accuracy, higher viscosities and greater chemical compatibility. As a result, the inherent precision and performance attributes of the latest peristaltic chemical metering pumps are proving increasingly popular.

Compatible technology

Beyond precision, an increase in chemical concentration requires the pump fluid contact materials to have stronger chemical resistance. Although this can prove problematic to many pump types, in peristaltic metering pumps, nothing but the tube touches the fluid, eliminating the risk of the pump contaminating the fluid, or the fluid contaminating the pump. This also makes this pump type ideal for high concentration or aggressive chemicals.

The absence of ancillaries, such as back-pressure valves, pulsation dampeners, degassing valves, foot valves, strainers and float switches, all of which are typically required to support a diaphragm pump installation, is another major benefit. As a result, peristaltic metering pumps, which instead feature a single piece pumphead, offer simpler configuration, reduced spares inventory and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). 

To learn more about EU changes to Wastewater Treatment Regulations, please download our article.

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