Meet Regulatory Standards for Energy and Power

Power and Energy Water and Wastewater Treatment Solutions

What exactly does water have to do with power generation? Actually, quite a bit. Generating power from combustible sources, such as nuclear, natural gas, and even coal produce a lot of heat. If the heat isn’t dissipated, the plant risks shutdown, and no one wants the lights to go out. Keeping things cool takes large flows of water, typically from nearby rivers, lakes, or oceans. Frequently, those flows require pretreatment, and of course, once used, the power wastewater needs treatment.

We engineer water and wastewater process solutions for the power industry, including water pretreatment, cooling tower makeup, and water treatment. Our ultrafiltration pretreatment guarantees a silt density index of less than 3, protecting downstream reverse osmosis processes. With ISO 9001:2015 certified quality processes, WesTech is positioned to provide true turnkey solutions. We stand ready to meet your deadlines and assure minimal downtime with focused service for your power wastewater treatment needs.

Power and Cogeneration

Our society has demanding energy needs amidst a growing climate crisis. Cogeneration adds efficiency to conventional power stations and the opportunity to generate heat and hot water from the excess produced. This not only adds cost savings, it reduces emissions and the plant’s carbon footprint.

We can help design a water treatment solution to make sure the final waste stream has the quality needed for reuse. Treatment may include ion exchange or reverse osmosis, filtration, flocculation, oxidation, scrubbing, precipitation, thickening, and dewatering.

Zero Liquid Discharge

Discharge requirements for industrial wastewater are becoming stricter. Many companies are moving to zero liquid discharge (ZLD) systems.

Read our blog post, Wastewater Treatment for Power Plants: Considering Zero Liquid Discharge

Zero Liquid Discharge - Cooling Tower Slip Stream

The cooling tower slip stream treatment system is nearly identical to the ZLD flow sheet (a more detailed description of the process can be found on the Cold Lime Softening flow sheet). In this case, the clarifier is not used for cold lime softening, but it could be. The ZLD system shares the sludge dewatering facilities with the service water pretreatment system.

The water is clarified, filtered, and treated with reverse osmosis. The reject from the boiler feed water system may be added to the clarifier or sent to the drying system depending on the chemistry of the water. The reverse osmosis concentrate is treated with a spray dryer and the dry solids are sent to a landfill. If the concentrate stream is too large for a spray dryer, the wastewater may be sent to drying beds in areas where the evaporation rate is greater than nominal rainfall, or to an evaporator/crystallizer system.

Zero Liquid Discharge - Crystallizer Pretreatment

In the example shown in this flow sheet, water with high total dissolved solids (TDS) is treated before it is sent to a crystallizer. Crystallization is an evaporation process that creates a pure water distillate that can be sent back to the process. The remaining dissolved solids form crystals that can be removed and sent for disposal or used for something like road salt. The pretreatment process protects the crystallizer and the reverse osmosis filtration system by removing material that could harm them. The pretreatment includes three major steps: cold lime softening, filtration, and sludge treatment.

Cold Lime Softening and Clarification

Softening is the removal of elements in the water like calcium, magnesium, and silica that could cause fouling or scaling of reverse osmosis or crystallizer equipment. Softening begins with chemical addition. Coagulant and polymer improve the clarification process by encouraging individual particles to form fast settling clusters of particles.

The Solids CONTACT CLARIFIER™ softener provides a reaction zone for the removal of hardness. Lime and soda ash are added in the reaction zone just before the feed water.

  • Coagulant (when necessary) allows particles to come together.
  • Polymer helps individual particles form large, fast-settling clusters.
  • Lime is added to increase the pH to remove calcium and magnesium hardness.
  • Soda ash is added (when necessary) to remove calcium hardness.

Internally recirculated solids react with lime and soda ash and form heavy faster settling particles. The sludge is scraped to the center and removed for dewatering.

Acid is added to the softened water to stop the softening reaction. The pH is lowered to less than 8. Usually hydrochloric acid is used because it doesn’t add sulfates that could form gypsum scale in the reverse osmosis and crystallization processes.


Three stages of filtration are used; each provides pretreatment to the next. The dual media filters and ultrafiltration system remove any remaining solid particles. The backwash water is recycled back to the clarifier. Reverse osmosis removes the dissolved solids from the water. The treated water is sent back to the process. The concentrated dissolved solids stream is sent to the crystallizer.

Sludge Treatment

The underflow of the Solids CONTACT CLARIFIER is pumped into a thickener. Polymer may be added to improve settling and clarity. The thickener increases the concentration of the sludge. The overflow is sent back to the clarifier. The thickened underflow is sent to a filter press or other type of vacuum or pressure dewatering filter.

In the filter press the water is forced out of the sludge under pressure. It may require additional polymer to function properly. The cake is then hauled off for disposal. The pressate and any wash water get pumped to the reclaim water storage sump with the backwash from the filtration systems and then it is recycled back into the clarifier.

Energy and Power Solutions

  • Boiler Feed Water Demineralization

    Hard water can cause costly breakdowns in water handling equipment. Boilers demand water with low mineral and solids content. Our solutions provide superior demineralization treatment systems.
  • Coal Ash Pond Remediation

    Changes in the regulatory landscape are measured in years, not decades. Process equipment from WesTech can help you maintain compliance. Our coal ash pond remediation solutions include clarifiers, filters, thickeners, dewatering equipment, and on-site operations.
  • Cooling Tower Makeup Water & Sidestream Treatment

    Treating both raw water for cooling tower makeup and sidestream cooling water can significantly improve cooling tower performance. WesTech solutions help boost that performance.
  • Flue Gas Desulfurization

    FGD wastewater contains a variety of contaminants from coal, limestone, and makeup water. Our solutions help keep the plant up and operating.
  • Gypsum Processing

    WesTech solutions can help your operations make the most of FGD gypsum.
  • Remediation Pollution Treatment

    Landfill leachate, heavy metals, groundwater, and dredging to remove contaminants all require expert water pollution treatment solutions. WesTech provides them.

Get the Latest Industry and WesTech News