Best ways to improve water treatment plant efficiency

Against the backdrop of the global water crisis, the pressure for municipalities to efficiently treat water is greater than ever. Water treatment plant operators should regularly analyze the plant’s water treatment performance and ensure systems are operating with the most efficient equipment and technology.

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When water treatment plants are not operating efficiently, it can be extremely costly. The combination of inefficient and older pumping and process equipment, combined with outdated water management practices can result in higher operating costs and lower revenue collected, which can negatively impact a treatment plant’s bottom line.

The five steps outlined below can help water treatment plants to achieve better water efficiency and realize potential cost savings by reducing water waste.

Conduct a self-assessment

Benchmarking has become a key practice in the industry, to set, promote and achieve performance targets. It not only helps managers and regulators identify historical trends, it also helps determine today’s baseline performance and quantify relative performance across utilities to plan for tomorrow and beyond.

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Water treatment plant operators should begin by taking the Water Resource Foundation’s (WRF) self-assessment, which is part of the Performance Benchmarking for Effectively Managed Water Utilities report. The self-assessment is a useful asset for utilities to identify gaps in performance and develop strategies to reduce those gaps.

Evaluate technology

Armed with an understanding of the effectiveness of current water practices, the next step is to evaluate the technology used for producing water.

For example, most surface water treatment plants have a water filtration process, which can easily consume large quantities of water and energy. For this reason, it’s important to conduct a technology audit to ensure that infrastructure is operating efficiently.

Filter technology that requires less backwash water has become commonplace in today’s market, but infrastructure in water treatment plants that has been around for five to ten years may be using higher than necessary amounts of backwash water. Treatment facility managers should evaluate their technology, and replace it as needed with efficient products and solutions.

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