The inclusion of water recycling equipment on washing plant installations has risen dramatically in recent times as operators realise that in addition to the altruistic benefit of protecting the world’s most precious natural resource there are significant efficiency gains to be enjoyed.

The specification of equipment such as thickeners and filter presses has seemingly progressed from being seen as something that was done only at the behest of planning authorities. As awareness has grown of the real potential for these water recycling technologies to improve the efficiency of traditional quarrying and C&D waste recycling processes their introduction to existing operations and new installations has increased dramatically.

“As recently as three or four years ago a thickener or filter press was only specified on around 20% of our washing plant installations,” explains Peter Craven of CDE Global. “The last 12 months has seen this figure rise to around 80%.” According to CDE this increase is not restricted to any specific geographical area with recent installations in Ireland, the UK, Europe, Middle East, Australia, South America and South Africa being reported.

The key drivers behind the increased specification of this equipment differ from one installation to the next and include issues concerning the space available on site to accommodate large settling ponds, the availability of the volumes of water required to operate a new washing plant, reducing health and safety risks on site and the efficiency improvements offered through significantly reduced operational costs.

“We have focused on the potential efficiency gains for a number of years now when in discussion with both new and existing clients,” says Peter Craven. “The management of large settling ponds is a very expensive process and one which the introduction of a thickener can significantly reduce. If the full sludge management system including a filter press is specified these settling ponds can be removed completely from site.”