Carbon emission poses new challenge to European water treatment industry

Greentech Lead Europe:  A recent report from Frost & Sullivan finds that water treatment processes are highly energy-intensive and energy usage is only set to intensify with an ever increasing tightening of regulations requiring additional levels of treatment.

In the water industry, future carbon emissions, especially from wastewater treatment are poised to increase. Population growth, tightening of legislative standards resulting in further treatment needs, resource scarcity, and deteriorating quality levels are resulting in ever increasing energy consumption.

This is highlighting the importance of innovative, environment-friendly practices across the value chain of the water industry, says the new analysis, “Carbon Footprint Reduction Opportunities in Networks and Treatment Plants of European Water Utilities.”

“There are a number of areas in carbon-neutral water/wastewater treatment that show promise,” says Frost & Sullivan Energy & Environmental Research team. “These include off-grid and on-site generated renewable energy, on-site production of energy and electricity through biogas from wastewater, advanced treatment and energy efficient equipment especially in the biological treatment processes and smart plant processes aimed at plant optimization.”

Efforts are also ongoing to develop low-carbon water/wastewater networks. Smart metering and leakage monitoring and detection systems as well as energy-efficient pumps in water and wastewater networks are attempting to ensure greater sustainability in energy consumption.