Behind on what's hot in the wastewater industry? Get up-to-date with this list of Water Online articles on the industry trends and challenges that everyone is talking about. Read on and you'll be sure to impress your colleagues.
1) Energy Production And Conservation
Finding the ideal balance between energy and water consumption has always been a challenge. Energy use at a water or wastewater utility can be 30 percent to 50 percent of the municipality’s total electricity consumption. In addition, the energy industry itself requires a significant amount of water to operate. But a water-energy nexus solution is on the horizon, as more energy-efficient technologies and alternative energy production methods are developed.
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2) Nutrient Management
Changing regulations and increasingly stringent effluent limits have brought nutrient management to the forefront of the wastewater industry.
Stories On Nutrient Management From Water Online
3) Residuals and Biosolids
The management and removal of residuals, sludge, and biosolids, has historically been a burden on wastewater utilities, accounting for nearly 50 percent of treatment costs. But this “waste” may hold the key to additional revenue if reclaimed and sold.
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4) Water Reclamation And Reuse
There is a growing trend of reusing treated wastewater effluent for both drinking water and industrial applications. On the drinking water side, water shortages have made direct potable reuse (DPR) and indirect potable reuse applications a necessity in parts of the country. Pressure to use less water on the industrial sector has resulted in innovative reuse applications as well.
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5) Water Supply And Water Management
In water-scarce areas, managing water supply can be challenging. First, it can be difficult to even determine how much water is available, via groundwater, surface water, reuse, and other sources. Then, there is the challenge of figuring out how water should be allocated between consumers and industrial applications, and how much needs to remain untouched for the sake of the environment. If there isn’t enough to go around, conservation techniques or usage restrictions may have to be considered.
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6) Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, And Wet Weather Management
Stormwater management is a growing focus for the wastewater industry. Heavy wet-weather events often overwhelm wastewater systems — which are often too small for a growing population — and untreated sewage ends up overflowing into local water bodies. Green infrastructure solutions and growing regulation offer solutions.
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7) ‘Flushable’ Wipes And Collection Systems
Recently, collection systems have been in the spotlight. The increased attention is thanks (or no thanks) to “flushables,” non-dispersible cleansing cloths that are wreaking havoc on headworks all over the country.
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8) Industrial Wastewater
Oil and gas, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, mining, food and beverage processing—the list of industries with growing wastewater challenges goes on and on. Water Online has reported on the modeling, design, and operation of industrial wastewater treatment systems, anaerobic and biological industrial treatment processes, regulatory impacts, and more.
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9) Utility Management
Utility executives and managers have a wide range of challenges to overcome. Their workforce is aging and their budgets are shrinking. Public outreach is more important than ever before, and regulations and government oversight are increasing.
Stories On Utility Management From Water Online
10) Innovative Technology
Change is needed in the wastewater industry. Cutting-edge products and services focused on everything from resource recovery and big data management, to innovative green infrastructure solutions are coming to the forefront.
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Image credit: "Fulton Officials Discuss Improvements to Wastewater Treatment Plant," KOMUnews © 2014, used under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/