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How do we fight water pollution?

Water is an essential natural resource. However, it is subject to all kinds of pollution, particularly from industry, the use of new materials and the appearance of new pharmaceutical molecules. To tackle these forms of pollution, we provide treatment solutions both globally and specifically for industrial effluent and micropollutants.

Multiple sources of water pollution

Water is used in many ways by humans: for hygiene and health in domestic life, for irrigation in agriculture, as a means of sea and river transportation, and of course in industry, where it is used for cooling infrastructure and as the basis for countless products.

Logically, water pollution also comes in many forms. It can be bacteriological, chemical or thermal, affecting salt, fresh, brackish or surface water, and is almost always invisible.

However, this pollution is not without consequences: toxicity for humans and living beings, eutrophication of aquatic environments, microbiological contamination, etc.

With our long-standing expertise in water and water management, we detect, examine and then treat all these types of pollution in order to conserve this precious resource and ensure that as many people as possible have fair access to drinking water.

In 2020, according to UNICEF, approximately 1 in 4 people still lacked access to safe drinking water in their homes and nearly 50% of the world's population lacked safe sanitation services.

Micropolluants of increasing concern

While the most urgent need in developing countries is to treat massive pollution linked to discharges from human activities and industrial sites, another type of pollution has been of increasing concern in developed countries for several years: micropollutants.

In concrete terms, these are residues of pesticides, herbicides, hydrocarbons, medicines, cosmetics and detergents.

Although their presence does not usually exceed one microgram or even one nanogram per liter, these substances are nevertheless endocrine disruptors. Alone or in combination (this is known as the "cocktail effect"), they are likely to have consequences for human health and the balance of natural environments.

While conventional wastewater treatment plant technologies are unable to isolate and treat these pollutants satisfactorily, we propose innovative and effective solutions.

While 95% of drug residues used in homecare end up in municipal wastewater, we have proven through our MERMISS pilot project in Denmark that 90% of them can be eliminated through treatment.

Our approach to fighting water pollution

For water treatment and sanitation, we provide both targeted and global solutions, depending on our clients' needs. In this way, we apply cutting-edge expertise to all aspects of water management, from detection to treatment.

Micropollutant and toxic residue treatment

We provide innovative technological solutions to effectively treat micropollutants. Although there are no standards in this area, we are already anticipating and tackling these toxic residues in order to protect human health and the natural environment.

Treatment of industrial effluent

We work alongside manufacturers to help them minimize the impact of their waste on health and the environment. Faced with increasingly strict regulations and growing ecological awareness, it is now essential for all industries to effectively treat the wastewater they discharge. We work with them to take into account the specific nature of their activity and the pollutants it generates, choose the appropriate technologies and, if necessary, recover all possible materials.

  • Improved water quality
  • Reduced health risks
  • Protecting biodiversity
  • Reduced environmental footprint
  • Compliance with regulations
  • Recovery of materials

The Veolia difference

We did it!

Cap Sicié

France

Identifying and fighting micropollutants in the Mediterranean

In the Cap Sicié wastewater treatment plant, Amphitria, we are carrying out tests to identify the presence of micropollutants, implement appropriate solutions and support the University of Toulon in its fight against emerging pollutants in the Mediterranean.

Sinopec

China

Managing the entire water cycle at a major site for Asia's largest refiner

In 2016, we signed a 25-year contract with Sinopec, the largest refiner in China and Asia. The contract covers the management of the entire water cycle (cooling water, demineralized water, industrial water, drinking water, chilled water, wastewater and fire loop) at the Yanshan site near Beijing. Processing more than 10 million metric tons of crude oil per year and more than 800,000 metric tons of ethylene, the site requires a large quantity of water. We are assisting it in optimizing its consumption and in recycling wastewater.

Learn more about our solutions for…