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Industrial Wastewater

Environmental Management
Dr Muhammad Ali

Aims and Objective

To introduce Industrial Wastewater

Difference between domestic and Industrial

Importance of Industrial Wastewater treatment
Effects of Industrial Wastewater on
Treatment Methods

Domestic Wastewater ?

Domestic sewage is wastewater discharged from sanitary

conveniences in residential, office, commercial, factories and
various institutional properties.

It is a complex mixture containing primarily water (approximately

99%) together with organic and inorganic constituents. These
constituents or contaminants comprised suspended, colloidal and
dissolved materials. Domestic sewage, since it contains human
wastes, also contains large numbers of micro-organisms and some
of these can be pathogenic.

What is Industrial Wastewater (IWW) ?

Industrial (including agro-industrial) wastewaters have very varied

compositions depending on the type of industry and materials
processed. Some of these wastewaters can be organically very
strong, easily biodegradable, largely inorganic, or potentially
inhibitory. This means TSS, BOD and COD values may be in the
tens of thousands mg l1.

With very high organic concentrations, industrial wastewaters may

also be severely nutrients deficient. Unlike sewage, pH values could
be well beyond the range of 69.
Wastewaters may also be associated with high concentrations of
dissolved metals.

The flow pattern of industrial wastewater streams can be very

different from that of domestic sewage.
A significant factor influencing the flow pattern would be the shift
nature of work at factories.

What is Industrial Wastewater (IWW) ?

Industrial wastewaters (including agro industrial wastewaters) are

effluents that result from human activities which are associated with
raw-material processing and manufacturing.

These wastewater streams arise from washing, cooking, cooling,

heating, extraction, reaction by-products, separation, conveyance,
and quality control resulting in product rejection.

Water pollution occurs when potential pollutants in these streams

reach certain amounts causing undesired alterations to a receiving
water body.

What is Industrial Wastewater (IWW) ?

Examples of industrial wastewaters include those arising from chemical,

pharmaceutical, electrochemical, electronics, petrochemical, and food
processing industries.

Examples of agro-industrial wastewaters include those arising from

industrial-scale animal husbandry, slaughterhouses, fisheries, and seed oil

Agro-industrial wastewaters can be very strong in terms of pollutant

concentrations and hence can contribute significantly to the overall
pollution load imposed on the environment.

Why is it Necessary to Treat Industrial

Wastewater ?

All major terrestrial biota, ecosystems, and humans depend on

freshwater (i.e. water with less than 100 mg L1 salts) for their

The earths water is primarily saline in nature (about 97%). Of the

remaining (3%) water, 87% of it is locked in the polar caps and
glaciers. This would mean only 0.4% of all water on earth is
accessible freshwater.

Freshwater is a continually renewable resource, although natural

supplies are limited by the amounts that move through the natural
water cycle. Therefore, treatment of wastewater is necessary.

To conserve and protect aquatic life and maintain biodiversity.

Effects of IWW on the Streams/Rivers

Stream or river can be used for
 Drinking purpose
 Industrial use
 Agricultural use

All industrial wastes effects the normal life of stream when the effect
is sufficient to render the unacceptable for its best usage, it is said
to be polluted. The best use means, use of water for drinking,
bathing, fishing etc.

Stream can assimilate a certain quantity of waste before reaching a

polluted state. A stream is said to be polluted that if it contains an
excessive amount of pollutants.

The following materials can cause pollution:

Inorganic Salts

Inorganic salts are present is most industrial waster, cause water to hard
and make stream unfit for industrial, municipal and agricultural usage.
Salty water causes scales in water distribution systems, resistance to flow
and lowering overall capacity of pipes.
Hard water interferes with the dyeing and textile industry, brewing and beer
industry and quality of products in canning industry.
MgSO4 constituent in hard water causes cathartic effect.
Chloride ion increases electrical conductivity.
Iron causes stains and spots (e.g paper, textile mills).
Carbonates produces scales in cans.
Nitrogen and phosphorus causes eutrophication in stream.

Acids and Alkalis

These discharged by industrial plants makes stream unsuitable not

only for recreational uses, such as swimming and boating but also for
propagation of fish and other aquatic life.

High concentration of H2SO4 lower the pH of stream and can cause

eye irritation to swimmers, rapid corrosion to ships hull and
deteriorate of fishermens nets.

It is generally agreed that pH of stream must stay between 4.5 and

9.5 for survival of fish.

NaOH an alkali which is highly soluble in water and effects the

alkalinity and pH of the stream. It appears in water from many
industrial plants such as soap manufacturing, textile, rubber
reclaiming and leather tanning.
Stream containing as little as 12 ppm of NaOH have been reported
deadly to fish.

Organic Matter

It depletes the dissolved oxygen of the

streams and creates unpleasant taste,
odours and general septic condition.

Fish and most aquatics die due to lack of

dissolved oxygen.

The critical range of D.O for fish survival

is 3-4 ppm.

Oxygen shortage caused by organic

matter is often considered to be the most
objectionable single factor in a stream

Phenols effects the taste of domestic

water supply.

Suspended Solids

They settled to the bottom sometime or

wash-up on the banks and decompose
causing odours and depleting DO in river

Fish often die because of sudden lowering

of DO of stream and solids that settled at
the bottom can cover their spawning
grounds and inhibits propagation.

Visible sludge create poor aesthetic

condition, making the river unsuitable for
recreational purposes.

Increase in turbidity of water and enhance

flooding changes by diminishing the stream
bed volumes.

Floating Solids and Liquids

These includes, Oils, grease and other materials
which floats on the surface. They make the river
unsighty and obstruct passage of light through
water, thus retarding the growth of vital plant
flood (photosynthesis).
Some specific objections to oils in stream are:
Interferes with natural re-aeration
It is toxic to certain species of fish and aquatic
It creates a fire hazard when present on water
surface in sufficient amount
Destroys vegetation along shoreline, which
consequently causes erosion.
Render boiler feed and cooling water un-usable
Causes trouble in water treatment processes by
imparting taste and odours to water and coating
sand filters with a film.
Creates layer on the surface of water
Lower recreational options e.g. boating potential


It is contributed by textile, tanniers, slaughter houses, paper and

other industries.

It is indicator of pollution compounds present in waste water,

absorbs certain wavelength of the light and reflects the remainder.
This causes the colour development of stream.



Toxic Chemicals

Organic and inorganic chemicals of even extremely low concentration

are poisonous to fresh water fish and other micro-organisms. They
have accumulative effects on biological systems such as insecticides
as Toxaphenes & Dichlorobenzene have killed fishes in farm ponds.

Organic compounds (acrylonitrile) produced by the chemical industries

for textile company has also proved extremely toxic to the fish life.
Chlorides (400 ppm) and hexa-valent chromium (5 ppm) are toxic to
fish. Copper (0.1-0.5 ppm) is toxic to microorganisms.

Complex inorganic phosphate such as P2O5 (0.5 ppm) interfere with

normal coagulation and sedimentation process in water treatment
plant. They increase the coagulant dosage and settling time.

Phenols reacts with residual chlorine in water & causes medicinal


Typical Heavy Metals in IWW


A few industries such as Tannier and Slaughter house wastes

contains bacteria.

Vegetable and fruit canneries may also add bacterial

contamination to stream. These bacterias are of two types.
Bacteria which assists in biodegradation of organic matter in
Bacteria which are pathogenic not only to other bacteria but also
to humans.



For example, Anthrax Bacillus, originating from tanniers where hides

(skins) from anthrax infected animals have been processed.

Radioactive Materials

Manufacturer of nuclear fusionable materials

Nuclear power plant
The problem of radioactive waste is unique, since the effects of
radioactive material are immediate or delayed and radiation can
cause accumulative damaging effects on living cells.
Certain high radioactive isotopes such as Stortium Sr90 & Caesium
Cs 137 continue to release energy over long period of time.


Have all minimisation options been examined

Can Effluent streams be kept separate
Characterise Effluent

How ?

Is the effluent biologically treatable, i.e. does it have:

constant flow
constant COD, BOD
pH between 2-10
N + P
fats, oils, grease
low metals
no colour
no other toxic compounds



Move to next sheet

Fats, oils, grease
heavy metals
Other contaminants


Information needed to
select a biological solution

Site area/layout

Sludge Disposal

Discharge Consent

Constant flow + organic load



Adjust biochemical
High BOD

Anaerobic Treatment

(if required)

Aerobic Treatment
Discharge (sewer, river
or land)

Treatment of Industrial Wastewater

The different types of contamination of wastewater require a variety of

strategies to remove the contamination.
Solids removal
Most solids can be removed using simple sedimentation techniques with
the solids recovered as slurry or sludge. Very fine solids and solids with
densities close to one pose special problems. In such case filtration or
ultra-filtration may be required. Alternatively, flocculation may be used
using alum salts or the addition of poly-electrolytes.

Dissolved Air Floatation

 Small particulates
Air Stripping
 Volatile Organics
Membrane Filtration

Fawley : 2 DAFs 11 metres long x 3.50 metres wide treating

oil emulsions

Air Stripping

Oils and Greases

Many oils can be recovered from open water surfaces by

skimming devices. However, hydraulic oils and the majority of
oils that have degraded to any extent will also have a soluble
or emulsified component that will require further treatment to

Dissolving or emulsifying oil using surfactants or solvents

usually aggravates the problem rather than solving it,
producing a very difficult to treat wastewater.


Organic material of plant or animal origin is usually possible to treat

using extended conventional Wastewater treatment processes.

Whereas, Synthetic organic materials including solvents, paints,

pharmaceuticals, pesticides, coking products etc can be very difficult
to treat .

Treatment methods are often specific to the material being treated.

Methods include distillation, adsorption, vitrification, incineration,
chemical immobilisation or landfill disposal.

Acids and Alkalis

Acids and alkalis can usually be neutralised under controlled

conditions. Neutralisation frequently produces a precipitate
that will require treatment as a solid residue that may also
be toxic. In some cases, gasses may be evolved requiring
treatment for the gas stream. Some other forms of
treatment are usually required following neutralisation.

e.g. Dissolved calcium and

(hardness) reacts with lime (or
NaOH) and soda ash to precipitate
calcium carbonate and magnesium

Toxic materials

Toxic materials including many organic materials, metals (such as

zinc, silver, cadmium, thallium etc.) acids, alkalis, non-metallic
elements (such as arsenic or selenium) are generally resistant to
biological processes unless very dilute. Metals can often be
precipitated out by changing the pH or by treatment with other
chemicals. Many, however, are resistant to treatment or mitigation
and may require concentration followed by landfilling or recycling.
Solids Contact Clarifier

Metals Removal
Pipe Mill

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is the process of forcing a solvent from a region

of high solute concentration through a semipermeable membrane
to a region of low solute concentration by applying a pressure in
excess of the osmotic pressure.
Typical limit on waste brine is 70 to 80,000 ppm at 1000 psi feed

Ion Exchange

Whenever an ion is removed out of an aqueous solution and is

replaced by another ionic species, this is what we generally refer
to as ion exchange.
Removes a wide range of cations and anions which make up TDS
in water.

Physico-Chemical: GAC


Wang & Howard. "Handbook of Industrial and Hazardous Wastes Treatment USA
Activated Sludge Treatment of Industrial Wastewater by Wesley Eckenfelder and Jack
Musterman. 1998
The Industrial Wastewater Handbook by Ralph L. Stephenson and James B.
Blackburn Jr. (1997)
Heavy Metals Effects on Biological Wastewater Treatment: Toxic Effects of Heavy
Metals Presence in Industrial Wastewater on Biological Treatment microorganisms by
Majid Saidi (2011).
Industrial Wastewater Treatment: A Guidebook by J.D. Edwards (1995)
Industrial Wastewater Treatment by Wun Jern Ng (Nanyang Technological University,
Southern Waters (accessed
Dissolved Air Flotation