Sludge treatment

Enabling industrial businesses to efficiently manage their effluent and wastewater processes.

Sludge is the term used to describe a mixture of solids and water that is generated during water and wastewater treatment. In general, sludge has a much higher solids content than effluent and therefore requires a specific approach and set of processes in managing and treating it.

As with all forms of effluent and wastewater, if insufficiently treated, industrial businesses can face breach of discharge limits and are therefore liable to heavy fines, prosecution or plant closure.

With extensive experience in industrial sludge, effluent and wastewater management, SUEZ Water UK provides a fully comprehensive range of troubleshooting, consultancy, treatment, effluent plant design, construction, operations, maintenance and optimisation services to businesses of all sizes, in all sectors.

We enable you to achieve and sustain the highest standards across the entire industrial water cycle – even returning water to the environment cleaner than it was extracted. With our help, you can:

  • Overcome rising sludge treatment and disposal costs
  • Reduce, optimise and recover sludge and by-product for business benefit
  • Comply with discharge limits and environmental regulations
sludge treatment

Overcoming your challenges

Any industrial process that removes solids such as settlement, flotation or filtration from water and wastewater will, in general, generate a sludge waste stream that needs to be treated and disposed.

In dealing with sludge on site, you’ll face several challenges that we can help you with.

There is a sequential hierarchy that must be applied when considering treatment options for sludge. This includes:

1 – Prevention and minimisation at source

2 – Sludge re-use and recycle

3 – Energy recovery

4 – Treatment and disposal

Sometimes, initial tiers in the hierarchy such as minimisation are just not possible to achieve, which may force you down to lower tiers and ultimately disposal. Sludge is classed as a waste and its handling and disposal are tightly regulated. Depending on the industry sector and processes involved in generating the sludge, it can be contaminated with pollutants that may limit its recycling, re-use or disposal.

This presents its own challenges, which include identifying a viable and sustainable route for sludge disposal that meets the tight legislation imposed by the Regulator. Overheads are also an important consideration, so a major challenge involves driving down the costs associated with the transport and disposal of sludge.

Sludge treatment options

Sludge also contains a large amount of water, so this excess water must be removed either by a thickening or dewatering process. This can be accomplished by using a range of techniques –  from simple settlement through to the application of enhanced gravity separators (e.g. a centrifuge), by filtration (e.g. a filter press), or by heating the sludge and evaporating the water (e.g. a sludge drier).

sludge treatment
sludge treatment

How we can help

With decades of experience behind us, we operate and maintain a broad range of sludge treatment equipment for all types of industries – from food and beverage through to oil refining and power generation. Our in-house waste treatment and disposal expertise and strategic partnerships with waste contractors enable us to offer a full scope of services – from sludge generation and treatment through to end use or disposal. This enables you to meet your sustainability and environmental goals while optimising processes and efficiencies and saving money.

We offer one of the largest ranges of products, custom engineered systems, chemicals, training and support services available from a single source.

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