Novel treatment processes have revolutionized wastewater treatment, serving both industrial and municipal markets. The current water shortage situation in several geographical areas of the United States has particularly triggered the need for reuse. In addition, population growth, tighter regulations, increasing costs of clean water and awareness regarding protection of the remaining clean water sources, are all causes for the increased demand for wastewater treatment equipment.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.water.frost.com  ), U.S. Wastewater Treatment Equipment Markets, reveals that revenue in this industry totaled $774.4 million in 2004 and estimates to reach $1324.1 million by 2011.
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"The threat of a water shortage will only grow stronger unless alternative and conserving uses of water are applied," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Sunitha Mysore Gopal. The rising costs of water, which is a direct effect of the current water shortage, coupled with a booming population and tighter environmental regulations offers good market opportunities for existing and emerging players in wastewater treatment. This market is driven
by the strong need for wastewater reuse.
A generation shift and upgrades in treatment processes is also occurring in the wastewater treatment equipment market. In addition, an expanding design-build-operate market offers new opportunities in the otherwise budget strained municipal market. However, escalating energy costs contribute greatly to product sales. Process equipment, such as dissolved air flotation (DAF) clarifiers, diffused aeration, sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, which claim to provide greater efficiency will become popular in existing wastewater treatment facilities.
Another cost-related issue is the build-up of operational expenses by municipalities due to their reluctance to outsource the operation and maintenance of facilities. They will drop this resistance once they realize the financial and operational benefits of outsourcing water supply and wastewater management to professionals.
"As outsourcing gains popularity due to the increasing stress on regulatory compliance, high-end services will need greater capital investments in both water and wastewater treatment facilities, thereby boosting the equipment market," says Gopal.
The rising costs of fresh water and tough discharge standards are also forcing industries to seek cost-effective methods for the treatment and reuse of wastewater.
For instance, some regions use treated wastewater for groundwater
replenishment. Specifically, the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District in California have jointly sponsored the groundwater replenishment system to treat wastewater to obtain high purity levels.
"The present framework of the U.S. market demands innovative contract pricing models, strategic partnerships, and most importantly, a focus on trends," explains Gopal. "These trends include a shift toward non-chemical and multi-barrier treatment, package plants for smaller communities and processes to control nutrients in wastewater streams."
Market participants can further increase sales of their products by providing greater value-added products. It could be through higher automation, which lowers the need for manual operation and supervision by presenting flexible solutions for operation at different stages, or by offering dual or multi-utility ability.
Another efficient method to enhance value is incorporating UV disinfection treatment devices with advanced clarification process equipment. This system can sort out the vital issue of bacterial contamination and is flexible enough to be used in both water and wastewater treatment fields.
Apart from inventing such advanced solutions, wastewater treatment
companies also have to focus on various factors that can affect their standing in the market. In emerging markets, it is crucial that participants establish strategic partnerships to strengthen their competitive positions.
These collaborative ventures will also help them increase market access and notably enhance their expertise to facilitate market expansion by more effectively tapping its potential.
U.S. Wastewater Treatment Equipment Markets is part of the Environmental subscription. It examines the status of the U.S. wastewater treatment equipment market with a focus on its benefits, challenges, and future trends. It segments the market into equipment for clarification, aeration, disinfection, and advanced wastewater treatment. This research enables companies to align their positioning strategies to benefit from the changing markets and obtain maximum return on investment. Analyst interviews and executive summaries are available to the press.