Although the U. S. Geological Survey’s most recent reports rely on data from 2005, the figures are revealing. Daily use of water in the U.S. sits at 410,000 million gallons per day.
According to the report, thermoelectric power is the largest sector of water consumption, using 201,000 million gallons per day. Agriculture weighs in as the second largest water consumer with 128,000 million gallons for irrigation purposes. Industrial uses weigh in just under public/personal use at 18,200 million gallons per day.
Though it pales in comparison to some of the larger sectors, it is still a staggering consumption rate, a figure, which many industries have striven to decrease in recent years.
Through best practices and innovative water recycling initiatives, such as metals removal and reverse osmosis, and custom wastewater management, many companies have been able to drastically reduce their water consumption rates over the last few decades. The USGS report cites industrial water consumption as having dropped 8% between 2000 and 2005 alone.
How Does the Automotive Industry "Spend” Their Water?
In a report on four major industries and their use of water, the Alliance of Water Efficiency notes two main uses of water in automotive shops as the cleaning of car parts and brakes and the cleaning of shop floors.
Better business practices such as sealing floors, using preliminary dry cleanup methods as a first line of action, avoiding spills, and requiring shut off between processes to reduce water consumption are recommended by the Alliance of Water Efficiency.
Additionally, they note that water can be collected from the radiators of automobiles. However, water recycling measures do not stop there. Modern water recycling technology affords much more significant measures including revolutionary metals removals processes that allow the preservation of our natural resource and a cost-effective method of recycling a water supply.
The automotive manufacturing industry, according to Thomasnet.com, "takes about 39,000 gallons of water to produce the average domestic car, including the tires. Major water uses in the automotive manufacturing industry include surface treatment and coating, paint spray booths, washing/rinsing/hosing, cooling, air conditioning systems and boilers.”
The article, titled "Down the Drain,” applauds PSA Peugeot Citroën which "strives to clean and return all of it to the environment, purifying the water it uses at all stages of production, including cooling welding machinery, washing sheet steel, painting and water tightness testing.”
The recycling process includes not only purifying the water of bacteria and dirt but includes metals removal of all the fragments and ions that are picked up during water processes whether it be through a machine, during rinsing, or from cleaning surfaces and floors.
Automotive Water Solutions
In addition to the basic, commonsense methods recommended by the Alliance of Water Efficiency, sophisticated metals removal methods like those used by PSA Peugeot Citroën can significantly reduce water consumption rates in the automotive industry.
Plymouth Technology’s Metals Removal Systems, effectively used with our partners in the automotive industry, addresses "zinc, COD, nickel, cadmium and other contaminants of concern.” Further services such as "custom formulated wastewater, reverse osmosis and paint detackification products bring throughput improvements, water reuse opportunities and operational ease to the world’s leading automotive manufacturers.”
For more information on Plymouth’s innovative Metals Removal recycling process and other water reuse initiatives, see our blog post on the topic.