WATER TREATMENT FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY The automotive industry use a large amount of water in their industrial process mainly for surface treatment averaging 2.9m3 of water per vehicle produced. The use and quality of surface water varies depending on the site and its production process, but it is frequently used in rinsing, cleaning, cooling and baths. Depending on the source and expected use this can require pre-treatment such as demineralisation or reverse osmosis before it is suitable for use in production. The effluent produced contains a high level of COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) with a number of contaminants such as metals, paint and other solvents, oil and grease which need specific treatment before being discharged to ensure it meets with current environmental regulations. Solutions for the automotive industry In this changing and highly competitive industry it is imperative that water and operating costs are minimised. By recycling and reusing water, particularly from rinse cycles using water treatment such as reverse osmosis or ultrafiltration, a site can reduce the volume of process water required to reduce its environmental impact and become more efficient. Changing regulations and production increases can cause the need for additional treatment to both the process water and effluent to ensure continuity of supply and environmental compliance. Degremont Industry can review each water stream and system on site to overcome these or any other challenges it faces including: An increase in effluent concentration caused by improvements in rinse cycles and other process water systems which requires specific treatment before being discharged High levels of contaminates in the effluent such as metals, solvents and oil which need to be removed or treated before being discharged to the environment or being reused back into production High concentrations of sludge that may need further treatment Fluctuating effluent flow and quality rates that vary with production processes and downtime REFERENCES: Automotive industry UK, Water audit Degremont Industry carried out a thorough water audit by evaluating the water systems on the 300 acre site that produced over 100,000 vehicles per year. From this a water accountability map was developed what was within 0.7% of the current meter readings. Deliverable key water saving opportunities and efficiencies were identified that would reduce operating costs and save 112,000m3 of water per year. In addition, by refurbishing and upgrading their existing water treatment plant the customer could increase their vehicle production to their desired amount without adding additional treatment capacity.