Effective Waste Water Treatment Now Vital for a Sustainable Planet

Recent media reports have served to highlight the vital importance of effective waste water treatment globally. In South Africa, a country whose economy is highly dependent upon its extensive mining industry, the need has become even greater than in most other developing nations. At one time, agricultural usage accounted for the largest use of this precious resource and returned much of it to the soil. Today, however, industrial consumption has outstripped the combined use for farming, commerce and domestic purposes by a considerable margin. More significantly, much of what is used in mining and other industrial-scale operations is prone to become so badly contaminated that special measures are required to render it safe for disposal or re-use.

Already the world population exceeds 6 billion and is still growing at an alarming rate. In parallel and despite the huge expanse of ocean that covers the majority of our planet, sufficiently pure supplies of the stuff of life that makes up some 90% of the content of living cells, are dwindling rapidly. In South Africa, where much of the land is semi-arid at best, such losses can no longer be sustained without serious environmental impact and dire consequences for its citizens.

There are, of course potential solutions such as wholesale desalination but, on the kind of scale that would be required globally, such processes can create energy drains of their own, As a result, reclamation measures continue to remain the most viable option given the technology available today. The supply of waste water treatment plants and the equipment required for their operation are the speciality of WaterIcon. The company operates out of both Johannesburg and Cape Town and has been a local leader in this crucial field for just over three decades.

Though providing for the needs of domestic and commercial users, the bulk of the company’s activity is becoming increasingly focussed upon the large scale installation for use by the country’s municipalities and its numerous industries, particularly those engaged in mineral exploitation. Wherever the life-giving liquid is likely to become contaminated during its various uses, the need to remove contaminants as completely as possible before allowing it to be re-introduced into the ecosystem, is becoming a critical one. Alternatively, it may also be sufficient, in some instances, to simply render these effluents suitable for re-use. In such instances, the drain on this resource is significantly reduced as are the associated costs to the industry concerned.

A classic example of both may be seen in the powerful options available from WaterIcon to combat the acid mine water drainage. This has become a threat to the very survival of many in the neighbouring townships such as those in the country’s North West Province; a focus of particularly intensive operations. Tough challenges require tough solutions and WaterIcon meets these head on with products that leverage the latest purification technologies available for the treatment of waste water in large-scale industrial applications such as this, as well as for more modest projects.

For domestic supply purposes, much of the concern will be about its biological content which means that disinfectant, sterilisation and digestive processes may be required in addition to sedimentation and filtration. Industrial effluent, however, is contaminated by chemicals and those arising from mining may be highly toxic and even radioactive. Consequently more stringent methods are called for and plant provided by WaterIcon adds the power of membrane separation and reverse osmosis that are quite capable of providing an end product that is pure enough not just for re-use within the industry but even for safe human consumption if required.

On a small scale, we are able to supply a number of modular units that add just those individual processes that are seen to be necessary for the task in hand. These can work well in the purification of brackish local supplies for use in new golf or residential estates, schools and similar developments. We pride ourselves on our flexibility and are able to integrate the various technologies available to us in order to create bespoke installations specific to a particular set of needs. As clients of WaterIcon you can, in turn, guarantee a solution that employs tried and tested components manufactured to the highest international standards that, together, will meet and exceed the promised performance specs.

The drain on this vital resource is fast becoming critical and together with its rising cost, only the advanced waste water treatment solutions from WaterIcon offer sufficient protection.

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