We have many years experience of designing and analysing manufacturing processes in the waste and water management sectors. We are therefore in a strong position to appreciate how water is used and effluent is created and to devise ways of minimizing water use and waste generation and treating effluent that are practical and cost-effective.
A major activity on most of our projects is technology selection, and its integration into an efficient overall process. We design the main processing scheme to create minimum effluent. This may involve techniques such as solvent recovery and specifying certain types of equipment which we know from experience produce low quantities of effluent. Effluent may also be reduced or made less hazardous by adding, or tuning, an advanced control system, or using a different catalyst. Another method is 'pinch analysis' which optimizes the distribution of water over a site. A combination of analysis and experience allows us to optimise drainage segregation, local vs central treatment, and on-site vs public treatment; all this with the aim of minimum cost.
For existing plants, we undertake waste audits, identify any cost savings generated by possible alternative effluent schemes and justify the capital investment involved.
Increasingly, projects require treated wastewater upgrading to allow its export as irrigation water or integration for re-use as cooling water, process water, or even for use in high pressure steam turbine systems. In addition, zero liquid discharge schemes have become more common.
Waste treatment plants have become increasingly important and more complex. Recognizing this, and to enhance the service we provide, we have developed an integrated waste management methodology that allows a rapid technical and commercial comparison of the many options available to meet a client’s waste management goals. This allows site-wide balances to be developed for bulk parameters and individual contaminants whilst helping to speed up the development of treatment package specifications.
Our expertise includes:
- Identification of cost savings to be gained from improved effluent management
- Review of the legal liabilities and discharge consent levels of a particular site or operation; advice on the likely regulatory conditions for new projects and/or trends in stricter consent levels
- Site/plant auditing by chemical analysis, flow measurement and mass balancing
- Use of waste minimization and water management techniques to ensure effluent production and its cost of treatment is the minimum practicable.
- Assessment of environmental impact on the quality and ecology of receiving waters, including dispersion modelling; determination of the Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) where there is a choice of receiving media.
- Establishment of an effluent management system which complies with specific standards.
- Provision of regulatory documentation: EIA and planning application, IPC or discharge consent application.
- Treatment technology evaluations using a combination of in-house data, outside laboratory tests and plant trials.
- Determination of BPEO/BAT/BATNEEC.
- Advice on the recycle of treated water and ultimate disposal of wastes from treatment plant.
- Provision of capital and operating cost estimates to an agreed level of accurac.
- Risk analysis and capture of untreated effluent due to contingencies such as fire-fighting.