A Discussion on Various Sources of Industrial Wastewater – I

Today, almost all industries use water for their daily and production activities. Thus, wastewater is one of the serious byproducts of these industries. Processing wastewater for reusing or releasing into water streams is one of the major concerns across all these industries. Understanding the contents of wastewater will help these industries to make the right decision on wastewater treatment. This post discusses various industrial waste water resources.


A Discussion on Various Sources of Industrial Wastewater

The following are some major sources of industrial wastewater identified in the US and other parts of the globe.

  • Agriculture and Food Industry

The food and agriculture industry includes a variety of companies, which use a wide range of raw products and materials during various production processes. Some major businesses in this industry are slaughter houses, taweries and tanneries, dairy industries, gelatin and glue making units, breweries, and potato industries.

Wastewater produced by these industries are typically non-toxic and biodegradable. However, they may have high concentrations of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical on Demand (COD), pesticides, and suspended solids. However, daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning polluting streams are one of the characteristics of this effluent.

  • Energy Industry

This industry is driven by world energy consumption. The world has long relied on fossil fuels for various industrial applications. In 2010, the fossil fuel accounted for the 80% of energy demand, with oil fulfilling the major requirement. The liquid discharge from this industry is closely linked with the oil used during various activities.

Various activities like fuel storage, fracking or hydraulic fracturing, cleaning of boilers and air heating units, washing operations of colleries, and reagents used for cleaning at nuclear power units – are known to produce large amounts of wastewater. The wastewater may contain toxic chemicals like radioactive agents, dissolved solids, acids, and metals.

  • Oil Industry

In this industry, pollution is mainly caused by hydrocarbons. Wastewater production is largely attributed to activities like oil production, refineries, transportation of refinery products, and petrochemicals. The effluents contain high concentration of organic chemicals, COD, SS, heavy metals, and cyanide.

In the next post, we will discuss a few more important types of wastewater resources, and their effluent composition.