Wastewater minimization can be considered in terms of volume (or flow) reduction, strength (or pollutant concentration) reduction, or combinations of these reductions. Emphases on flow rate reductions are generally associated with both municipal and industrial wastewater, while pollutant concentration reductions are the focus of attention within industries. Municipalities also emphasize decreases in pollutant concentration via pretreatment ordinances for industries discharging wastewater into municipal sewerage systems.
Benefits resulting from wastewater minimization include the following:
• Reductions of flow and wastewater loadings on existing treatment plants with finite available capacities
• Minimization of hydraulic or organic overloads and toxicity effects on existing treatment facilities
Reductions in unit process sizes, and possibly the types of processes, for new treatment facilities Reductions in initial and operation and maintenance costs for wastewater treatment Reductions in water costs for domestic and industrial users and in chemical or manufacturing costs for industries
Reductions in energy requirements within municipalities and industries
Reductions in water usage demands on limited water supplies in specific areas Facilitation of compliance with treatment plant effluent discharge standards
Reductions in undesirable impacts on receiving water quality and aquatic ecology
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