New concepts in industrial wastewater management Academic Article uri icon


  • The terms: "pollution prevention", "waste minimization", "source segregation" and "in-plant control", have been increasingly mentioned over the past decade in conferences and projects related to industrial wastewater management. While end-of-pipe treatment of industrial wastes was a popular management approach only 20 years ago, advanced treatment/management concepts are more common today. An in-plant control program including waste segregation and process-specific pretreatments has been proposed for a complex indus- trial park, in place of a traditional central treatment of the combined park's wastewater. A protocol that enables selection of waste streams amenable to biological treat- ment and identification of problematic streams requiring pretreatment is presented and demonstrated in this paper. It includes simplified laboratory procedures for chemical and toxicological characterization of source streams and for screening their removability potential by biodegradation, volatilization, and carbon adsorption. The management approach In any industrial plant the production of by-products and waste materials (either in the forms of liquid, solid or gas) is an increasing environmental and economical problem. Zero discharge is an optimal goal that cannot always be achieved. However, new management concepts such as source segregation and in-plant control may reduce the waste volume and improve its quality for further treatment and disposal. Thus the overall cost of the product (including production costs and treatment/ disposal expenses) may be reduced and environmental nuisances and hazards can be minimized. These concepts are gaining popularity over the traditional end-of-pipe treatment approach, due to their economical benefits gained by the industries themselves. Authorities are involved in this process in order to gain environmental benefits with no contradiction to the industries interests. Actual measures that can be implemented in an advanced in-plant management approach are detailed in Table 1.

publication date

  • January 1, 1999