UK cleaning company requires new water treatment process

Veolia Water Technologies provided cost effective sustainability for a leading cleaning manufacturer with the right water treatment process for their business.

Water treatment process from UK cleaning company

The Client is a UK based, world leading manufacturer of household cleaning, personal care and healthcare products. At their personal and healthcare products manufacturing facility, all the process water is treated to comply with the US Pharmacopoeia (USP).

USP compliant process water on the site is supplied by three water purification systems: two Veolia Orion® units and a new Veolia IonPROTM LX. All three plants use a combination of softening, activated carbon filtration, reverse osmosis and continuous electro-deionisation to produce treated water of conductivity 0.2μS/cm and bacteria count 10cfu/ml.

The wastewater from the three purification units amounts to some 70,000m3 per year which is discharged to sewer. The Client is committed to sustainability, an important facet of which is a reduction in water footprint. They turned to Veolia Water Technologies for a water treatment process to reduce water waste.

The Solution

Veolia designed a water recovery system, which piped the pressurised concentrate streams from the three treatment plants to a central recovery tank. From here the mixed wastewaters are fed to two SirionTM Maxi recovery reverse osmosis units, specially designed to handle the concentrated wastewater. The system recovers about 50% of the wastewater that is returned to the raw water tank for re-processing.

The resulting reduction of 35,000m3 of raw water which would otherwise be purchased from the municipal water supply, together with a similar reduction in sewer discharge gives an annual cost saving of approximately £50,000 and a return on investment of less than two years.

The Results

  • Annual cost saving of £50k
  • Reduced mains water consumption
  • Reduced wastewater discharge to sewer
  • Sustainable solution


The Solution

Veolia provided a SirionTM Mega Recovery reverse osmosis unit configured for the treatment of the wastewater stream. Because the feed to the main makeup reverse osmosis unit is softened, the waste stream is also soft meaning that it was not necessary to take special precautions against scaling, like acid dosing.

With low pressure high rejection membranes, the SirionTM Mega Recovery system has low energy consumption which minimises its carbon footprint and operating costs. The feed pump is fitted with a frequency controlled variable speed drive to optimise the feed flow and pressure under all operating conditions. This arrangement can save up to 50% of the electrical power required by conventional fixed speed pumping systems.

The Results

The new system is performing as predicted by the RecoBLUE calculator and is recovering 16m3/h of water 24/7. That means a reduction in discharge of over 130,000m3 per year and a similar reduction in mains water consumption. The financial savings mean that the system's capital cost of £410,000 will be paid back in four years, even after allowing for the operating costs of the Mega Recovery unit.