Water is an essential component of practically all manufacturing processes. Industrial uses include water used for washing, cooling, transportation and incorporation into the actual product itself. The quality of the water needed depends on the application within the industrial process. Some industries can use low-quality water, such as lightly treated wastewater, for their purposes, while others, particularly the food and beverage industries, need high quality potable water for all stages.
Disinfection of Water
Water disinfection consists of using various methods to destroy or deactivate pathogenic microorganisms, rendering them unable to grow or reproduce. Failure to disinfect drinking water results in damaged health among the population. Disinfection methods may be physical or chemical, and may also serve to remove organic contaminants from the water. This is an important step as these particles could become nutrients or shield for microorganisms, reducing the effectiveness of filtration techniques.
Sand and other solid materials are often major components in the wastewater from industrial processes. Industrial separators are therefore designed to remove these components from the fluid stream to prevent damage or clogging of the finer membranes used in reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration stages of water treatment processes.
Sewage treatment in municipal areas typically includes various stages. The primary stage generally consists of physical filters which serve to eliminate solids from the feed water. Secondary stages then remove dissolved ions and suspended organic material, together with harmful chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This stage may also include disinfection intended to kill pathogens.
Wastewater must be disposed of using a satisfactory method, involving some level of treatment before the water is either re-used or returned to the environment. Adequate treatment describes that which purifies the water to a level which is acceptable for the intended use, whether it is municipal supply, industrial, or any other required purpose. As communities tend to produce large volumes of wastewater, the most common treatment process is a continuous flow (open) system.
Ultraviolet or UV light has its place on the electromagnetic spectrum, lying between visible light and x-ray light. UV is best described as unperceivable radiation. When UV rays strike the cell of a microorganism, they pass through the cell body and damage the DNA in the cell nucleus, which prevents the microorganism from reproducing. UV treatments have no chemical effect on the feed water and there is no process to remove the sterilised organisms from the water.