Everything you should know about industrial water treatment

Water waste is a huge problem, and a lot of water is either disposed of incorrectly or treated with chemicals to be sold on. In order to correctly dispose of water, there are processes of industrial water management to ensure water is treated correctly, disposed of correctly or sold on for another purpose.

Industrial water treatment systems meet a variety of purification separation requirements. The systems range from relatively compact and straightforward, to complex processes that serve a variety of applications.

What is an industrial water treatment system?

An industrial water treatment system treats water, so it is more appropriate for its given use. Whether for consumption, manufacturing, or safe disposal.
Each system will vary depending on the facility’s needs and many of the technologies that make up these systems can be similar. In general, some of the most-needed industrial water treatment systems typically include:

• Raw water treatment systems
• Boiler feed water treatment systems
• Cooling tower water treatment systems
• Wastewater treatment systems

The technologies selected and the order they appear in each water treatment system will differ depending on the contaminants that need to be removed.
The following is a breakdown of what might be included in a typical water treatment system.

Industrial water treatment services:

Raw Water Treatment Systems

Raw water is water than is untreated that occurs naturally in the environment. This includes sources of rainwater, groundwater, wells, lakes, and rivers. For industrial uses, raw water can be used for cooling, rinsing, product formulation and human consumption, if properly purified.

Raw water treatment systems typically remove suspended/colloidal solids, silica/colloidal silica, iron, bacteria, and hardness.

Industrial water management works by intaking raw water. The next step is to begin clarification and disinfection. From there, the process can lead to lime softening, ion exchange and then distribution once the water is correctly treated. Once this is done it can be distributed elsewhere in the facility.

Boiler Feed Water Treatment Systems

These type of treatment systems are used to protect boiler unit components and piping from damage due to certain contaminants that are present in the boiler and/or makeup feeds. Without correct treatment, boiler feed water can cause scaling, corrosion, and fouling of the boiler and downstream equipment.

This can dramatically decrease efficiency, increasing running and production costs and ultimately result in plant failure.

Cooling Tower Water Treatment Systems

These systems are used to protect cooling tower components from damage due to contaminants present in make-up water, blowdown water, and circulation water. Untreated cooling tower make-up water can cause scaling, corrosion, biological growth, and fouling. This can lead to reduced productivity, expensive plant downtime, and maintenance of equipment over time.

For this kind of water treatment service, water treatment companies will add chemicals to reduce the growth of biological contaminants and control the risk associated with Legionella as well as to prevent contaminants from forming scale or causing corrosion on pipes and other components.

Preventing Bacteria


Water is used at some point in nearly all manufacturing processes worldwide. In many industrial applications chemicals such as chlorine, bromine, chlorine dioxide, and biocides are used to control bacterial growth and reduce the risk associated with Legionella however in many other applications their use is restricted. Instead, alternative techniques such as Ultraviolet Disinfection (UV), Ozonolysis or silver /copper ions provide a highly effective, chemical free solution for a variety of industrial applications.

UV light (etc) wastewater treatment is used to control bacteria. UV treatment ensures that organisms are unable to replicate, giving them a life of only a few minutes, and making them harmless. UV treatment does not affect colour, taste, or pH of the water. It is used mainly to remove chloramines, chlorine, ozone, bromine, and a variety of other organic contaminates.

Common applications include:

• Food & beverage
• Building services
• Horticulture
• Aquaculture
• Advanced oxidation

Man conducting Legionella risk asssement and treatment

Wastewater Treatment Systems


A wastewater treatment system is used to convert spent streams into an effluent that can either be reused or safely discharged to the environment or municipal treatment facility. Wastewater treatments systems help facilities to avoid harming the environment. Facility equipment and human health.

The contaminants present in a waste stream can vary from one process to the next, wastewater treatment systems commonly treat for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), nitrates, phosphates, pathogens, metals, TSS, TDS, and synthetic chemicals.

Want to learn more?

We help dutyholders and responsible persons across the UK manage their water treatment. If you're responsible for H&S at your workplace, send an enquiry using the form below and we'll discuss how we can help. It'll be another task off your mind.