Industrial Wastewater Management

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1.      Introduction

            Industries have come up with sustainable approaches to address environmental and social problems which have become a growing global concern. Whole System Design (WSD) is one of the critical approaches aimed at achieving an integrating design solution (Stasinopoulos et al., 2008). The WSD is comprised of ten elements that provide a comprehensive solution at a whole system level. This paper addresses three of these elements affirmed with a case from industrial wastewater system.

2.      Discussion

2.1.             Ask the Right Question

            This element ensures that the right questions are asked concerning ‘the required service’, ‘the system’s operating conditions’, and ‘optimal service’. The strategy of asking the right questions ascertains that the system is well understood as well as eliminating late modifications which could incur some cost (Stasinopoulos et al., 2008). The key factors in the design of wastewater system are asking the right questions and getting the right answers (The Blue Line, 2007).

2.2.             Benchmark against the Optimal System

            In this element, benchmark targets are engrafted in the system specifications and consulted regularly all the way through the system development process with an aim of addressing questions and evaluating the system during testing. Many technical methods are in use in industrial wastewater treatment process (WEF, 2008). The efficiency of these methods varies from country to country. Hence, it is very crucial to benchmark against the optimal system when designing wastewater system as best practice and not against the best system in existence (Stasinopoulos et al., 2008).

2.3.             Review the System for Potential Improvement

            This element assists in identifying potential improvements to the system’s safety, social and environmental performances and also its cost effectiveness (Stasinopoulos et al., 2008). Therefore, it is very important for industries to review or evaluate their wastewater and effluent treatment systems and come up with ways of developing their performance so as to be sustainable and reduce environmental pollutions using the least possible cost.

3.      Conclusion

            Industries have come up with sustainable approaches to address environmental and social problems which have become a growing global concern. This paper has discussed Whole System Design as one of the sustainable approaches to address these issues. The WDS is comprised of ten elements that provide a comprehensive solution at a whole system level. However, this paper has only talked about three elements namely ask the right question, benchmark against the optimal system, and review the system for potential improvement.

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