Global wastewater treatment works market - regional breakdown 2010
Wastewater treatment in the U.S. and China
In combination, the United States and Europe held over half of the world’s wastewater treatment works and utilities market, accounting for 36 percent and 29 percent, respectively, in 2010. There are over 16,000 publicly owned wastewater treatment systems in the United States and the majority of the country’s population receives drinking water and has its sewage treated within these systems. Veolia North America, a wastewater treatment company, generated 841 million U.S. dollars in revenue in 2014.
Wastewater treatment is necessary for both the environment and human health. Pollutants in wastewater, such as decaying organic matter, can use up dissolved oxygen in a lake, preventing aquatic life from using it. Excessive phosphorus and nitrogen can cause eutrophication in aquatic systems. Chlorine, bacteria, viruses, metals, and other substances can also pose risks to aquatic life. Wastewater treatment aims to remove suspended solids before the remaining water, effluent, is released back into the environment. Primary treatment removes about 60 percent of suspended solids from wastewater.
In China, the Hebei facility was one of the largest treatment plants in the country as of 2010 , dealing with 40.3 million metric tons of urban wastewater per day. It had previously received funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) but has since been shut down. China is one of the leading exporting nations of water and sewage technology, generating 259.6 million euros in 2011.