Why must firms treat industrial wastewater beyond regulatory compliance?
The impact of water scarcity is rapidly increasing. Currently, only 20% of the wastewater is treated globally before discharging back into the water bodies. An old-school approach to wastewater management has caused an irreversible negative impact on our ecosystem. Firms are constantly struggling to keep up with environmental regulations and meeting stakeholder demands. As water demand and supply are becoming increasingly aggravated, it has become crucial for the firms to reconceptualize and see these challenges as a growth opportunity. As of now the common drivers for the companies to treat industrial wastewater is often tied to regulatory compliance. This article will highlight some of the key advantages of treating wastewater beyond regulatory compliance.
Efficient resource recovery: Due to the stringent environmental regulation, firms must treat effluent wastewater according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and/or state-regulated levels before discharging effluent into the nearby water bodies such as lakes, ponds, oceans. However, by choosing appropriate water ‘filtration technology such as microfiltration, firms can reclaim wastewater efficiently which then could be further used in industrial processes. Furthermore, the wastewater may contain finite valuable material such as metal that end up in the disposal sites, which has a detrimental impact on the ecosystem. However, recovery of these high-grade diminishing metals during the pre-treatment process could lead to gain financial profit.
As an example, Sofi filtration deployed a project at a Waste -to- Energy plant in Finland. In this case, client wanted to reuse produced water as a makeup water to reap environmental advantages and reduce the expense of product lifecycle. Using Sofi’s technology, the client was able to achieve the results while able to improve the plant energy efficiency by 5% to 10%.
Improving financial performance: Traditional linear approach requires effluent to dispose off-site. Disposing effluent offsites need to be transported safely from the generation site to the disposal facilities for treatment. The onsite treatment will allow firms to reuse wastewater efficiently which would eliminate/lower down their freshwater consumption need. With recovered valuable resources a company could have a positive impact on the total lifecycle cost.
Bolster reputation by protecting the environment: The role of business is challenged because of the declining water availability, diminishing natural resources and climate change. It is high time for the firms to reconceptualize their waste management strategies to gain a long-time competitive advantage. Adopting new innovative water filtration technologies can make a positive impact on their businesses, in addition, it could create a profound impact on society which will bolster firm’s reputation globally.
Ruling out any hazardous spillovers: Carrying effluent wastewater from point A to point B often entails accidental risks for instance leakage in the container and/or road incidents. This could result in an effluent leak. The spilled effluent could cause an adverse environmental effect on communities, environment, and business
To gain competitiveness and co-create an added value, an organization must change its approach from “take, make, dispose” to “reduce, reuse, and recycle”. Undoubtedly, this approach would enable firms to achieve the superior financial result and will also pave ways for growth opportunities.