April 04, 2019
What type of water treatment technology is used?
Different technologies are used to treat municipal waste water. The most used technologies today are the activated sludge one, which includes biological depuration of water in large reservoirs, and the biological one using MBR membranes, which allows minimizing the volumes of treatment reservoirs.
Potable water treatment is carried out through conventional and membrane technologies.
How do these technologies work?
Traditional biological depuration uses low concentrated active sludge and final sedimentation. Instead, MBR technology allows carrying out biological depuration with high concentrated active sludge with membrane systems that separate liquid from solid particles (normally through micro-filtration or ultra-filtration), which replace the normal settler. This system has the advantage of reaching highly concentrated levels of active sludge in the bioreactors (8-12 kgTSS/m3), which cannot be sustained by traditional systems, therefore minimizing the volumes of the water treatment reservoirs, and therefore the area used for the plant.
Potable water treatment with conventional technology includes clari-flocculation and sand filtration, while membrane filtration technology uses ultra-filtration, which results in better quality potable water, while also minimizing the plant area.
Can any technological innovations change the current scenario?
The technologies used for water treatment have been consolidated many years ago.
The challenge for these mature technologies is to diminish energy consumption, while optimizing the quality of the treated water so that it can be re-used, while also reducing plant dimensions, which almost always need to be located near urban areas.
What is the main focus of the large groups of the sector?
This sector includes many operators, who often act at a local level. The challenge is to include these technologies within a circular economy overall vision, where water is not wasted, but re-used, and not just for industrial or agricultural purposes.
In which Countries are these technologies used?
Water treatment plants were initially introduced and used in the most advanced Countries. Today, these technologies are used everywhere, due to their social component.
Many Countries sustain this type of investment through specific financial lines of intervention. In particular, to this regard, African countries, during these last years, gave life to important new investment policies.
What are the critical factors of the sector's success?
A crucial element, due to the fact that water treatment methods are already consolidated, is execution capacity: purifying water means combining many technologies, which must guarantee a product capable of meeting human demands, while also complying with environmental laws.
Which values inspire Fisia Italimpianti when it builds its water treatment plants?
Optimization of investment costs and operational ones, is very important to Fisia Italimpianti, as it must minimize water production costs, while continuing to guarantee high quality standards.
Other fundamentals that characterize Fisia Italimpianti are Safety, during the construction phase and in terms of plant personnel, and constant attention to reducing the environmental impact.
Which are the most important challenges of the sector?
Water treatment is part of one of the crucial topics of our future: increased population in urban areas.
Policies need to be created to meet this particular issue, or water shortage will become a critical factor with potential disastrous consequences during the following years. To this regard, our daily work also has a more noble social mission: guaranteeing a balanced development, capable of truly improving life quality standards of populations, while preserving environmental resources.