SUEZ’s Water Technologies & Solutions team can solve customers’ toughest water and wastewater process challenges wherever they occur. With more than 50,000 customers and 10,000 employees around the world, the company’s global footprint and scale allows it to provide the right solutions every time.

Innovation is key to SUEZ’s support for water companies driving to meet the increasing demands imposed by both regulation and population growth.

With the industry now very well aware of the prediction that by 2050 there will be three billion more people on this planet and a global demand for water that is 55% higher than today, the need for accessible chemical and equipment solutions that enable the delivery of clean, potable water has never been more acute.

SUEZ’s municipal water treatment solutions facilitate the discharge of safe, treated water, while opening up the possibility of new reuse opportunities too.

But as Derek Senior and Sean Johnstone, global product managers for SUEZ’s submerged and pressurised portfolios of ultrafiltration membranes, will tell you, customers are often surprised by the choices available.

“Take the reuse applications of membranes in water filtration, for example,” said Derek, “there are a lot of exciting possibilities there – we are constantly innovating.

“We don’t just look at a membrane in isolation either. It is one tool in a whole toolbox and the question we ask ourselves is, how can we use all of the tools at our disposal to create a robust operation?”

Once upon a time, membranes were considered a relatively expensive technology. However, the economies of scale and the significant reduction in production costs over the past decade have made them so much more affordable.

Sean said, “In the 30plus years SUEZ has been making ultrafiltration membranes, the technology and the applications have continued to evolve.

“There is still quite a large consumer base of conventional treatment technology and I think a lot of people, particularly those who are only really familiar with sand filtration, are surprised to find out that this membrane technology is more mature than they thought.”

Whether they are looking at the treatment of drinking water or municipal effluent, they are often surprised by the quality levels achieved too. The mechanism is unaffected by any changes in incoming water – the membrane filters out the finest of particles.

Another huge benefit is that the technology can be retro-fitted. “It can be installed to augment conventional treatment processes in an existing plant,” said Sean. “You don’t have to roll out a whole new infrastructure.” Membrane systems can be designed to replace conventional media filtration directly in the existing basins or as add-on to an existing system. In both cases resulting in vast improvements in water quality.

The efficiency of membranes is a tremendous boon in an era when water is becoming harder to treat, due in no small measure to the algae-blooms fuelled by climate change, and yet needs to go so much further.

Working towards ever broader means of application, SUEZ has worked hard to simplify not only the means of installation, but of integration too.

Three years ago, SUEZ launched the Ultrafiltration Rackless Membrane System, which requires neither steel rack nor feed, permeate nor reject pipes. Designed for industrial and municipal markets, both the footprint and installation costs have been halved.

Whereas in the past, a customer would have had to buy the membrane and the support system separately, the Rackless System turned SUEZ is a one-stop shop.