Industrial wastewater treatment
Industrial wastewater treatment

This covers the mechanisms and processes used to treat wastewater that is produced as a by-product of industrial or commercial activities. After treatment, the treated industrial wastewater (or effluent) may be reused or released to a sanitary sewer or to a surface water in the environment.

Most industries produce some wastewater although recent trends in the developed world have been to minimise such production or recycle such wastewater within the production process. However, many industries remain dependent on processes that produce wastewaters.

Some the pollutants include Complex organic chemicals industry, which are into pesticides, pharmaceuticals, paints and dyes, petrochemicals, detergents and plastics, and paper pollution. 

Fossil-fuel power stations, particularly coal-fired plants, are a major source of industrial wastewater. Many of these plants discharge wastewater with significant levels of metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium, as well as arsenic, selenium and nitrogen compounds (nitrates and nitrites). The treatment approach varies from industry to industry.

Wastewater generated from agricultural and food operations has distinctive characteristics that set it apart from common municipal wastewater managed by public or private sewage treatment plants throughout the world: it is biodegradable and non-toxic, but has high concentrations of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solids (SS).

Animal slaughter and processing produces very strong organic waste from body fluids, such as blood, and gut contents. Others include Iron and steel industry, Mines and quarries, nuclear industry, pulp and paper industry, industrial oil contamination, water treatment and wool processing.