Water is one of our planet's most precious resources - only 2.5% of the Earth's water is freshwater, and only 1% of that is easily accessible for human use. As the global population continues to grow, so does the demand for clean, safe water. Unfortunately, many industries contribute to water pollution, which can have devastating impacts on the environment and public health.
Water treatment plants play an important role in the journey towards achieving environmental sustainability. In this article, we will focus on why that is and point to ways in which water treatment plants can be improved in efficiency so they can make the maximum amount of positive impact on the environment.
By their nature, water treatment plants reduce waste being released into the ecosystem by treating used water instead of dumping any harmful chemicals or toxins. In turn, this also drops health hazards and prevents diseases from spreading through dirty water that can have harmful bacteria. Water treatment can eliminate around 90% of these bacteria and pollutants, meaning any wastewater put back into the environment runs far less of a risk of infecting animals, flora, fauna and humans.
But that water does not have to be thrown out as wastewater and can be used to provide a clean source of water for a more sustainable water usage cycle. With the already-alarmingly high usage rates and increasing global population, the earth’s water resources aren’t enough to be sustainable soon, so being able to treat wastewater will play more of a vital role in environmental stewardship as time goes on.
The wastewater treatment process has several other by-products. When bacteria are used to break down organic matter in the wastewater, it produces a large quantity of biomass that is heated into biogas. Methane makes up a high proportion of this biogas, which can generate energy that powers the water treatment plant or be funnelled into the national power grid. The production of fossil fuel-free power is an incredible and underutilised side product of the water treatment process.
As much as wastewater treatment plants do help the planet in some ways, they also consume a lot of power and measures can be taken into place to lessen that impact.
Primarily, choosing the most efficient pump for the application can be a huge factor. During the pump system planning phase, many opt to oversize their pumps rather than find the optimal size for their system, which often leads to them using more power than they need to. In addition, higher-quality pumps are more efficient by design than others.
The Gorman-Rupp Super-T Series Pumps can be applied to any wastewater application where large solids handling is not required. Running nearly full-time, these pumps can efficiently handle long fibres and stringing materials at an efficiency increase of 14%-19%, resulting in a significant reduction in power consumption.
Numerous other areas offer minor improvements to pump efficiency. Using controls effectively to keep the flow at an optimal level will prevent energy wastage, and using the best pump seals avoids further energy leaks within the pump system.
Properly maintaining the wastewater pumps regularly will keep their performance levels topped up and can spot problems such as rotor erosion early on. Finally, one of the best ways of improving saving energy in a water treatment system is eliminating any redundancies in the system that may have arisen when the uses have changed and become unnecessary.
Hydromarque is one of the UK’s most trusted pumping solutions suppliers, and our unparalleled expertise gives our customers confidence that they are getting the very best solution. We can help build the water treatment pump system that your plant needs for a high-functioning, energy-efficient and environmentally-sustainable operation. Plus, we also offer training on all aspects of our products, from practical pump rig demonstrations to in-house design and maintenance workshops. We take clients, engineers and designers through anything they need additional knowledge with, and are more than happy to guide you through it at our in-house facilities or the customer premises.