WHAT IS WATER RECOVERY AND REUSE?
Water reuse, also known as water recycling or reclaimed water, is the process of collecting and treating wastewater, storm water, saltwater, or greywater for use in domestic consumption, industrial processes, surface or ground water replenishment, and watershed restoration. When compared to seawater desalination, the term municipal wastewater reuse commonly refers to the process of tertiary treatment followed by desalination, which produces potable water from wastewater at a fraction of the cost.
Investing in water reuse across countries ensures that residents have safe drinking water supplies, industries have water to expand and create jobs, farmers have water to grow food, our environment is protected, and our economic future is secure. Through a more diverse water portfolio, water reuse can improve water resilience, security, and sustainability. In recent years, an increasing number of countries have incorporated water reuse into their water management strategies as a tried-and-true method of ensuring a drought-resistant, safe, reliable, and locally controlled water supply.
According to a recent Health Care Organization survey, the reuse market is worth Rs.1.8 crore and is expected to grow by 27% by 2027. In India alone, the volume of recycled water produced is expected to increase by 37% by 2027, from 4.8 million gallons per day to 6.6 million gallons per day.
WASTEWATER REUSE FOR INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS
Power plants, food and beverage industries, chemical manufacturing, hydraulic fracking, oil and gas, and petrochemicals are the main industrial sectors that use wastewater reuse. Because of the large volumes of water required for the evaporative cooling process, industrial cooling towers have long been regarded as an ideal repository for wastewater. Water scarcity and the ability to reduce costs by maximising water recovery, as well as increased awareness of Corporate Social Responsibility, are the most common examples (CSR). Some industries, however, remain hesitant to implement reuse solutions on a larger scale.
Water management issues at industrial facilities are typically approached from two perspectives: securing water supplies for operations (including supply and discharge) and complying with quality standards for wastewater discharge. On the one hand, implementing a smart reuse management plan assists facilities in reducing their freshwater demand and wastewater volume, minimising subsequent discharge permits, lowering the costs of freshwater acquisition and effluent treatment, and in some cases even providing recycling opportunities for certain industrial by-products.
SPOTLIGHT ON REUSE IN THE POWER SECTOR
In water-scarce areas, electricity utilities face a competitive use of water and must therefore rely on alternative water sources. Cooling tower make-up, boiler feed, environmental control, sanitation, landscape irrigation, and environmental stewardship are all examples of water use applications in electric utilities. The day-to-day operation of a thermoelectric power plant, for example, is particularly water intensive and necessitates a large amount of freshwater to sustain its ongoing operations.
The power sector is constantly considering degraded or non-traditional water supplies to offset water consumption. Despite the fact that reclaimed wastewater appears to be an obvious choice due to geographic accessibility and unlimited availability, only 60 of the world's 5,000 power plants currently use municipal reclaimed water.
WAYS TO REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE WATER
Ultrafiltration (UF), reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet advanced oxidation process (UV/AOP) units are common methods for reducing, reusing, and recycling water. Chloramine, which is typically dosed in the RO process, aids in the control of membrane biofouling. However, chloramine is a precursor to the formation of disinfection by products such as NDMA, a potentially carcinogenic organic contaminant.
In the event of an overdose, the presence of chloramine not only increases the risk of membrane oxidation, but it also acts as a free-radical scavenger. This is more energy-intensive, requires chemical involvement, and requires larger treatment systems. Netsol’s customizations can develop systems for chloramine free RO processes.