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Frost & Sullivan: drive toward sustainability by the food and beverage industry bolsters demand for water and wastewater treatment


Source: Frost & Sullivan

Stricter enforcement of regulations to boost the water treatment equipment market

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- The market for water and wastewater treatment equipment is expanding as food processing plants are looking to reduce their water footprints, wastewater discharge, and wastewater treatment costs. As the food and beverage industry is seeking greater sustainability, equipment suppliers can work with retailers to aid the end-market's endeavors through processing and packaging.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's ( Analysis of the Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market in the Food and Beverage Industry research finds that the market earned revenues of $288.7 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $336.2 million in 2017.

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Media coverage and consumer awareness of resource conservation in addition to rising pressure from environmental groups regarding the disposal of solids in North America further compels food and beverage plants to implement new strategies for enhancing sustainability.

'Rising wastewater surcharges, increasing utility costs, and expanding consumer demand for green products are some of the factors that are driving end-users to pursue on-site anaerobic treatment and energy recovery,' said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ankur Jajoo. 'While lower equipment prices stoke competition among treatment companies, the growing influence of environmental regulations will create significant opportunities for equipment providers.'

Currently, either the state or the federal environmental enforcement agencies require food processors to pay fines if their discharged wastewater exceeds permitted levels of toxicity. The wastewater from food and beverage plants normally contains only a few hazardous and persistent compounds regulated under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) listing. With the exception of some toxic cleaning products, the wastewater generated is organic and can be treated by conventional biological technologies.

However, a lack of regulatory insight has allowed plant processors to pay wastewater surcharges rather than implement treatment solutions. Even though large food and beverage manufacturing plants do implement technologies, many medium to small food processors prefer to pay the surcharge rather than install expensive solutions.

'Low-cost solutions that are far more cost effective to implement and maintain will help drive installation of treatment equipment,' noted Jajoo. 'It will also be important to offer a solution that is technologically advanced and yet, can be retrofitted in existing processing facilities.'

Analysis of the Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market in the Food and Beverage Industry is part of the Environment & Building Technologies Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Analysis of the Wastewater Treatment in the North America Shale Gas Industry, North American Smart Metering Grid Market, and North American Smart Water Grid Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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