There are two primary approaches to planning water and wastewater treatment systems in water and wastewater management:
• Centralized treatment, which is defined by large-scale treatment plants that serve significant municipal or regional service regions;
• Decentralized treatment, which employs smaller plants closer to the water source or treatment needs to serve a smaller region.
Although both models have advantages, new technology, engineering, and financial structures are increasingly making decentralization the preferred strategy in a growing number of cases.
Advantages of Centralized Water Treatment Systems
Coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection are all used in a centralized water treatment strategy, often known as conventional treatment. It treats water at a central place before distributing it to customers through dedicated distribution networks.
A centralized water treatment system in a city can process enormous volumes of water at high rates to meet the needs of all residential, commercial, and industrial users. This method has been well tested and can efficiently remove a wide variety of raw water turbidity as well as hazardous pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.
A centralized system's construction cost, as well as its running and maintenance expenditures, might be substantial.Water source development, infrastructure building (e.g., the treatment facility, reservoir, and water distribution main), automated monitoring and control systems, and on-site operators are all part of it.
Smaller towns can save money by employing a "packages plant," from Netsol Water, in which treatment units are preassembled at a factory, skid-mounted, transported to the site, and are almost ready to use.
Advantages of Decentralized Water Treatment Systems
A decentralized system – point-of-entry (POE) or point-of-use (POU) – installed at the individual home or business can be utilized to achieve potable water when a centralized community treatment system is unavailable or costly. POUs are placed to treat water where it is needed, such as kitchen and bathroom taps, whereas POEs treat raw water before it enters the property or residence.
POEs/POUs may be the only treatment option in undeveloped communities when financial resources and technical support are severely lacking. Although POEs/POUs are less expensive than centralized systems because they delay substantial upfront capital investments and lower operating and maintenance expenses, their treatment capacity and ability to deal with numerous contaminants are restricted. They also necessitate complete community buy-in and oversight.
What is the difference between Decentralized and Centralized Treatment?
Large-scale, centralized desalination or wastewater treatment plants that use extensive collection and distribution networks make use of economies of scale to treat water at a cheap cost, but there are a number of drawbacks.
Decentralized wastewater treatment and desalination, on the other hand, can help more distant communities and industrial sites by bringing the right-sized treatment to where it's needed with significantly reduced set-up costs. Decentralized treatment can match the water price points and quality of centralized treatment once it is constructed.
The model can also be used in a business context. By reducing withdrawals from local water supplies, on-site decentralized water treatment can provide quality control, permit water reuse, lower utility bills, and conserve critical goodwill in the surrounding community. Because decentralized modular treatment units can't take advantage of economies of scale, they rely on the assembly line approach to keep prices down.