Wastewater treatment innovations to boost U.S. market to $1.3 billion by 2011

Palo Alto, CA—Novel treatment processes have revolutionized wastewater treatment in industrial and municipal markets, and revenues are projected to increase from $774.4 million in 2004 to more than $1.3 billion in 2011, according to a new study, “U.S. Wastewater Treatment Equipment Markets” by Frost & Sullivan.


Palo Alto, CA— Novel treatment processes have revolutionized wastewater treatment in industrial and municipal markets, and revenues are projected to increase from $774.4 million in 2004 to more than $1.3 billion in 2011, according to a new study, “U.S. Wastewater Treatment Equipment Markets” by Frost & Sullivan .

The analyst firm’s report adds that persistent water shortages in several U.S. geographical areas have triggered the need for reuse. In addition, population growth, tighter regulations, increasing costs of clean water, and awareness regarding protection of remaining clean water sources are fueling increased demand for wastewater treatment equipment.

'The threat of a water shortage will only grow stronger unless alternative and conserving uses of water are applied,' says Sunitha Mysore Gopal, Frost & Sullivan’s senior industry analyst. “The rising costs of water, which is a direct effect of the current water shortage, coupled with a booming population and tighter environmental regulations offers good market opportunities for existing and emerging players in wastewater treatment. This market is driven by the strong need for wastewater reuse.”

The report adds that a generational shift and upgrades in treatment processes also is occurring in the wastewater treatment equipment market. Also,rs (SBRs) and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, which claim to provide greater efficiency, will become popular in existing wastewater treatment facilities.

In addition, another cost-related issue is the build-up of operational expenses by municipalities due to their reluctance to outsource the operation and maintenance of facilities. Frost & Sullivan adds they will drop this resistance, once they realize the financial and operational benefits of outsourcing water supply and wastewater management to professionals. 'As outsourcing gains popularity due to the increasing stress on regulatory compliance, high-end services will need greater capital investments in both water and wastewater treatment facilities, thereby boosting the equipment market,' adds Gopal.

Also, the rising costs of fresh water and tough discharge standards are forcing industries to seek cost-effective methods for the treatment and reuse of wastewater. For instance, some regions use treated wastewater for groundwater replenishment. Specifically, the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District in California have jointly sponsored the groundwater replenishment system to treat wastewater to obtain high purity levels.

'The present framework of the U.S. market demands innovative contract pricing models, strategic partnerships, and most importantly, a focus on trends,' explains Gopal. 'These trends include a shift toward non-chemical and multi-barrier treatment, package plants for smaller communities and processes to control nutrients in wastewater streams.'

The report adds that market participants can further increase sales of their products by providing greater value-added products. It could be through higher automation, which lowers the need for manual operation and supervision by presenting flexible solutions for operation at different stages, or by offering dual or multi-utility ability. Another efficient method to enhance value is incorporating UV-disinfection treatment devices with advanced clarification process equipment. This system can sort out the vital issue of bacterial contamination and is flexible enough to be used in both water and wastewater treatment fields.

Besides inventing such advanced solutions, the report says wastewater treatment companies also have to focus on various factors that can affect their standing in the market. In emerging markets, it is crucial that participants establish strategic partnerships to strengthen their competitive positions. These collaborative ventures will also help them increase market access and notably enhance their expertise to facilitate market expansion by more effectively tapping its potential.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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