Water Reuse

Water reuse technology is included in the Water Technology List with two sub-technologies underneath it: 1) efficient membrane filtration equipment and 2) wastewater recovery and reuse. Due to the bespoke nature of these technologies they are both eligible for the Enhanced Capital Allowance via a certification scheme for each individually installed system rather than the standard product list process for the Water Technology List.

Water reuse is the practice of reusing suitably treated waste water from one process for a different purpose.  Water reuse technology reduces the demand on potable sources of freshwater and reduces the volume of wastewater discharged to sewer. Therefore, water reuse can be an economical way to meet discharge standards and reduce costs as well as helping companies that have maximized their daily demand meet their water requirement. UK businesses are metered for their water use and therefore have a financial incentive to reduce their water consumption.

Industrial sectors that could benefit significantly from the use of water reuse systems are, for example: food and drink; printing; chemicals; construction; electronics and metal finishing.

The quantity of water reused and/or recycled, at a particular site, is dependent on the level of treatment, which is directly related to the characteristics of the site effluent and the application required for the treated water.

How to apply for a water reuse system to be eligible for an ECA

Due to the bespoke nature of the technology, which results in individual tailored designs, a certification scheme is used to enable water reuse technologies to be eligible for the ECA.

The end-user business installing the water reuse system completes an online system applications form (often in partnership with their contractor). If approved the business will be awarded a “Certificate of Environmental Benefit” by Defra, which verifies that the particular efficient membrane filtration system or wastewater recovery and reuse system is or will be constructed to a particular design that meets the specified water-efficient criteria.

Businesses investing in this type of equipment MUST provide supporting evidence to Defra via the online application form to demonstrate that the design of the system meets the eligibility criteria. To see the criteria click here.
Investments in these technologies only qualify for ECAs if a certificate has been issued for the equipment. A certificate can be revoked in certain circumstances, for example, this could happen if the recovery and reuse system is certified at design stage and the design of the system changes during development or the development ceases.

When discussing the design of a water reuse system end-user businesses should ask their contractor to ensure that the design meets the eligibility criteria specified on the WTL in order to be eligible to receive an ECA on the equipment. Click here if you wish to make an application for certification of a water reuse system.

Efficient membrane filtration equipment

Membrane filtration is the process of separating mixtures of materials depending on the particle size. When used for wastewater treatment, membrane filtration processes offer a high level of purification allowing the wastewater to be recovered and re-used. Moreover, the technology offers a low footprint and has relatively low energy consumption.

Typically, a complete ‘system’ for wastewater treatment, recovery and re-use using membrane technology consists of a feed tank, permeate and reject handling facilities, monitoring and control units and a cleaning in place system. Pre- and post-treatment may also be incorporated into the process depending on the level of quality required for re-use.

Wastewater recovery and reuse

Wastewater recovery and reuse is the recovery of a wastewater stream(s) via physical collection and appropriate treatment(s), followed by the reuse in a specific function(s) with the end result of reducing the total volume of supply (mains and/or abstracted) water required on site.  This does not include such technologies that use membrane filtration technology, as these are already supported separately through the WTL. Pre- and post-treatment may also be incorporated into the process depending on the level of quality required for re-use.

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