Sludge treatment

We help industrial businesses manage their effluent and wastewater processes more efficiently and sustainably.

Sludge is the mixture of solids and water generated during water and wastewater treatment. In general, sludge has a much higher solids content than effluent, and therefore requires a specific set of processes for management and treatment.


As with all forms of effluent and wastewater, insufficient treatment can lead to a breach of discharge limits and potentially heavy fines, prosecution or plant closure.


Our experience of managing industrial sludge, effluent and wastewater is extensive. SUEZ provides a comprehensive range of support services – troubleshooting, consultancy, treatment, effluent plant design, construction, operations, maintenance and optimisation – to industrial businesses in all sectors.


We enable customers, whatever their scale, to achieve and sustain the highest standards across the entire industrial water cycle – even returning water to the environment cleaner than it was extracted.


With our help, you can:

  • Control rising sludge treatment and disposal costs.
  • Reduce, optimise and recover sludge and by-products for business and environmental benefits.
  • Comply with discharge limits and environmental regulations.
Overcoming your challenges

Any industrial process – such as settlement, flotation or filtration – that removes solids from water and wastewater will, in general, generate a sludge waste stream that needs to be treated and disposed of responsibly.


In dealing with sludge on site, you will face several challenges that we can help you with.


A sequential hierarchy must be applied when considering treatment options for sludge:

  1. Prevention and minimisation at source.
  2. Sludge re-use and recycling.
  3. Energy recovery.
  4. Treatment and disposal.


Sludge is classed as a waste and its handling and disposal are tightly regulated. Depending on the industry sector and processes involved in generating the sludge, it can be contaminated with pollutants that may limit its recycling, re-use or disposal.


Our specialists will investigate and recommend the best environmental option, while finding opportunities to add value across your process, including energy recovery.


Where disposal is unavoidable, we identify a viable and sustainable route for sludge disposal that meets environmental regulations, while minimising the costs associated with the transport and disposal of sludge.

Sludge treatment options
Sludge contains a large amount of water, and this excess water must be removed either by a thickening or dewatering process. This can be accomplished using a range of techniques – from simple settlement through to the application of enhanced gravity separators (such as a centrifuge), by filtration (for example, a filter press), or by heating the sludge and evaporating the water (a sludge drier).
How we can help

With decades of experience, we operate and maintain a broad range of sludge treatment equipment for all types of industries – from food and beverage through to oil refining and power generation.


Our in-house expertise in waste treatment and disposal, and strategic partnerships with waste contractors, mean we can provide a full range of services – from sludge generation and treatment through to end use or disposal. So your business not only meets regulatory requirements and your sustainability goals, it also optimises its processes and efficiency, saving money.

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