Water Quantity

Nijhuis Saur Industries : expert support for the reuse of treated wastewater


The increasing scarcity of water resources is now encouraging industrial companies to consider preparing and implementing a plan to reuse their treated wastewater. Such projects remain complex, but to avoid the inevitable pitfalls, they can rely on the expertise and end-to-end support of Saur Industrie.

Reuse of treated wastewaterFor industrial users, the reuse of treated wastewater can reduce overall site water consumption by between 10% and 30%... or even more. These are significant quantities for companies keen to contain their environmental footprint or gain a competitive edge going forward. Against today’s background of increasing water stress, the imposition of official restrictions on water use by authorities is no longer an exceptional event. This is happening despite the fact that - in France, at least - water prices remain relatively low, meaning that returns on investment are more likely to be medium or even long term.


To be fully effective, projects to introduce reuse must be supported at a very early stage by efforts to facilitate the generalized introduction of appropriate regulations and technology. This is precisely what the experts at Saur Industrie are doing in partnership with a number of non-profit organizations working on water savings alongside industrial companies. In Brittany, where the food industry is a major water user, ABEA - the Association bretonne des entreprises agroalimentaires (Breton Food Companies Association), the ECO d'O action program to reduce water consumption in companies, and Bretagne éco-entreprises (B2E) are among the most active of these organizations. So once up and running, reuse is underpinned by solid foundations that make it possible to identify and prioritize solutions, from reducing overall consumption to reusing treated wastewater and recycling.


Expert support and guidance from initial assessment through to implementation


The process of delivering a comprehensive package of products and services covering every link in the industrial plant water value chain begins with mapping and assessing the existing situation in discussion with the company concerned as the basis for identifying and clarifying all the ways in which water is used in the plant. These discussions open the door to opportunities for reducing water consumption upstream of the plant’s own water cycle (the first ‘R’ in the 3Rs strategy) using the specialist facilities available to Saur experts. The same discussions also point to opportunities for recycling water (the second ‘R’) that will later be implemented at production level using short loop systems to provide one kind of in-process water reuse, with or without treatment. All these things can be done before ultimately considering the introduction of reuse technologies (the third and final ‘R’ in the strategy) to facilitate the genuine reuse of wastewater by setting up a long loop that includes a treatment plant.

A wide range of technologies - reverse electrodialysis, ultrafiltration, direct nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, etc. - are now available for implementation, depending on the use, quantity and quality of water needed by the industrial company concerned.


Reuse technologies

In making the most appropriate choice from the many options available, there is nothing more valuable than the experience of professionals like those at Saur Industrie, who already operate multiple industrial-scale installations. And in practical terms, nothing is more valuable than running pilot tests to define an envelope for capital investment and system operation. Pilot tests are also invaluable for identifying those plant-specific features with the potential to impact the process, such as water temperature, the presence of chlorides or other elements, and even the variability of effluents during the year.


Support with official procedures


 Support with official procedures

At the same time, Saur Industrie expertise also includes advice on regulatory issues. This service provides industrial companies with all the resources they need to apply for government grants and subsidies, which can contribute up to 50% of the project budget.

For those unfamiliar with these processes, implementing a water reuse solution can be a real obstacle course. Some countries are less strict than others, but the long-term reliability of the technologies selected for the project must always be demonstrated in advance. But this is about more than simply investing in hardware, because industrial companies must obtain the appropriate permits to operate the system and reuse treated wastewater in its production processes. In France, that means submitting a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) for companies working in the food industry, for example; another situation in which the extensive experience of Saur Industrie professionals can prove invaluable.



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