Chemical treatment for wastewater: what to do when there are supply issues

Chemical treatment for wastewater: what to do when there are supply issues

If supply chain issues are affecting your chemical treatment for wastewater, there are a few things you can do. Read on to find out more…

Issues with the treatment chemical supply chain

In recent years there have been several examples of businesses and water companies being unable to obtain the chemicals they need for wastewater treatment.

Ferric sulphate

In 2021 water companies in England experiences difficulties obtaining ferric sulphate, a chemical needed for the treatment for sewage wastewater.

Whilst in this and other cases there had been no shortage of the chemicals themselves, a number of factors have impacted their distribution.

For example, the combination of Brexit, the pandemic and a shortage of HGV drivers have left the chemical industry struggling to get chemicals into the logistics network and onto customers.

Hydrochloric acid

Since 2022 there has been a shortage of hydrochloric acid throughout Europe due to high energy prices and compromised supply chains.

This has resulted in a shortage of treatment chemicals that are made with hydrochloric acid.

Polyaluminium chloride

Earlier this year, there was a shortage of polyaluminum chloride, an aluminum-based inorganic coagulant. This chemical is used in drinking water and waste water treatment to remove impurities from the water.

Two issues affected the supply:

  • The Europe-wide shortage of hydrochloric acid (used to produce polyaluminum chloride, together with aluminum hydrate)
  • A fire at the site of Europe’s main manufacturers of polyaluminum chloride, Kemira.

Actions you can take if you cannot obtain chemical treatment for wastewater

If you are struggling to obtain what you need for the chemical treatment of your wastewater, here are some things you can do:

Contact the Environment Agency

If there is long-term disruption to your supply of wastewater treatment chemicals, the Environment Agency may allow you to reduce the amount of treatment chemicals used. 

For example, in 2021 the Environment Agency allowed water companies a temporary reduction in the dosage of ferric sulphate needed for the chemical treatment of sewage wastewater.

However, such solutions are likely to be short term and you would need to seek official approval before adopting them.

Contact Aqua Advice

Chemical treatment for wastewater experts like Aqua Advice can assess your existing treatment processes and recommend alternative chemical treatments.

With over 30 years of experience, we offer a range of wastewater treatment chemicals and can carry out free laboratory trials to ascertain the chemistry required for the most efficient treatment process.

Future-proof your chemical treatment for wastewater with Aqua Advice

If you have problems obtaining the chemicals you need for wastewater treatment, get in touch today to book a consultation.