The global water and wastewater treatment equipment market size was valued at USD 60.2 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 85.68 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4% during the forecast period (2022-2030). A process called wastewater treatment is used to clean up contaminants from wastewater and turn it into an effluent that can be reintroduced to the water cycle. Huge amounts of wastewater are poured into the environment without treatment or inadequate treatment in many parts of the world, degrading the surroundings and causing significant health hazards to humans. Diseases are spread through partially treated wastewater and untreated sewage. It is anticipated that expanding urbanization, industrialization, and dwindling freshwater supplies will increase the demand for clean water and boost product demand over the forecast period. The market is expected to be driven by increasing global water and wastewater treatment demand, more government regulations, and growing environmental concerns.
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Stringent Regulations by Governments for Wastewater Emission
The water and wastewater treatment equipment market is anticipated to grow due to the strict rules that several countries have implemented regarding wastewater emissions for municipal and industrial sectors. Important governmental organizations like the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the European Environment Agency (EEA) play essential responsibilities in enhancing water quality surroundings and preventing water pollution. Since most of the world's population is water-stressed, changing climatic conditions have increased awareness regarding conserving and recycling natural resources like water.
Additionally, many governments are trying to address this issue by tightening regulations. Still, few are stressing the value of clean, drinkable water, which is expected to pressure industrial spaces to provide clean water and install water purification systems. Due to strict government regulations encouraging various water and wastewater treatment operations globally, the demand for water and wastewater treatment equipment is expected to increase over the projected period. Safe drinking water is also a requirement supplied by the government in wealthy nations. On the other hand, rapidly expanding small and medium-sized firms in developing nations will find it challenging to adhere to rigorous governmental regulations.
High Operational Cost
The costs associated with operating, maintaining, and monitoring the plant are included in the operation cost. The operation costs can be significantly impacted by maintenance, energy, and environmental charges. The capacity of the plant, the number of staff, the location of the facility, the kind of effluent treated, the choice of technologies and chemicals, and the level of automation are just a few of the other factors that affect operational costs. The number of employees is influenced by several factors, including the installation size, the treatment procedures and technologies used, the level of automation, and staff productivity. The amount of staff needed rises with the size of the treatment plant. However, the cost contribution reduces as the number of employees rises.
Growing Demand for Clean Water
Water is a valuable resource that is used extensively in industrial and building activities as well as in daily life. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that approximately 71% of the earth's surface is covered by water, with 96.5% being salty water found in oceans, seas, and bays. However, freshwater, used for daily activities, makes up the remaining 3.5%. Global demand for fresh and treated water has increased due to rising population, fast urbanization, technological advancements, and infrastructure expansion. Since the human population has more than doubled over the past 50 years, water usage has significantly increased. Water scarcity is a result of the lack of freshwater supplies. 2.2 billion people lack access to services that safely manage drinking water, according to the WHO.
Further challenges in accessing these waterways are anticipated due to geopolitical conflicts between nations like India, Bangladesh, and China. Wastewater treatment is now more important than ever to meet the growing demand for clean water due to the scarcity of freshwater resources. This is anticipated to drive the global market over the forecast period.
The global water and wastewater treatment equipment market is segmented by equipment, process, and application.
Based on equipment, the global market is bifurcated into membrane separation, biological, disinfection, sludge treatment, and others.
The membrane separation segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period. Membrane separation is a physical treatment method that uses tiny pores in a continuous molecular framework to selectively separate materials. Membrane separations can be broken down into microfiltration, reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, ceramic membranes, and electrodeionization, depending on the size of the pores. It is anticipated that the market will benefit from the shift toward physical water treatment over traditional water treatment approaches.
Membrane separation is an appropriate solution for enterprises looking to reuse wastewater and minimize their water footprint, which is anticipated to impact market growth favorably. Additionally, anticipated development drivers for the market include rising production activities and rising investments in industrial equipment.
The secondary treatment step of biological wastewater treatment is frequently employed to isolate any materials still present after primary treatment. This therapy depends on several organisms to convert hazardous organic wastes into stable inorganic forms through normal cellular processes. Septic or aerobic tank disposal systems are additional biological wastewater treatment methods. The need for biological treatment equipment for water and wastewater treatment is expected to increase due to strict regulations in developed markets, such as the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Japan, controlling water pollution at the manufacturing and municipal levels through the use of environmentally friendly methods.
Additionally, it is anticipated that the use of microorganisms in biological treatment will be encouraged by growing awareness of the need to reduce greenhouse emissions in the manufacturing sectors due to the strict regulatory framework designed to lessen the threat of global warming. However, it is anticipated that the high cost of biological treatment equipment relative to traditional water treatment methods employing synthetic chemicals will negatively influence the market over the forecast period.
Based on the process, the global market is bifurcated into primary treatment, secondary treatment, and tertiary treatment.
The tertiary treatment segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. In order to improve the effluent quality of water before it is reused, recycled, or released into the environment, tertiary treatment is utilized. The residual inorganic substances, bacteria, viruses, and parasites are eliminated throughout this procedure to provide suitable water for reuse. The market is anticipated to benefit from rising demand for activated carbon to remove hazardous residues from wastewater.
Furthermore, the number of membrane bioreactor installations has increased, particularly in North America and Europe, due to rising demands for minimizing the global water footprint and maximizing treated water quality outputs. Recently, photocatalytic degradation techniques have been widely used to remove organic pollutants from effluents and wastewater. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been created as a growing method of destruction that completely mineralizes the bulk of organic contaminants.
Through trickling filters, bio-towers, rotating biological contactors, and activated sludge systems, secondary treatment is primarily utilized to remove soluble organic waste and pollutants. Additionally, the market is anticipated to be significantly impacted by technological advancements in innovative secondary treatment methods such as integrated fixed film activated sludge (IFAS) and moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBR). Rural residences are expected to use public sewers more frequently, which will strain the capacity of the current centralized wastewater treatment facilities. Due to the projected requirement for more capacity construction or expansion, the demand for wastewater secondary treatment equipment is expected to increase throughout the forecast period.
Based on application, the global market is bifurcated into municipal and industrial.
The municipal segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.9% during the forecast period. The municipal sectors of developing markets like Turkey, China, India, Thailand, and Bangladesh are expected to have great demand for wastewater treatment systems due to growing urban populations, rising investment, and supportive government policies fostering infrastructure development. These elements are anticipated to fuel the market for equipment for treating wastewater and water.
Additionally, it is expected that the National Infrastructure Program's execution will significantly increase the penetration of home water treatment facilities, increasing demand for membrane separation and disinfection equipment over the projection period. In the upcoming years, it is also anticipated that favorable government policies and initiatives will increase investments in municipal wastewater treatment plants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in April 2021 that it would allocate USD 6.5 billion for water infrastructure projects, emphasizing areas with deteriorating infrastructure and combating emerging contaminants.
For fresh and processed water, the industrial application segment offers various potential uses in various sectors, including chemical, paper and pulp, food and beverage, mining, and refineries. The demand for fresh and processed water is increasing due to rapid urbanization, technical advancements, and an increase in the number of production facilities. These factors are expected to support the expansion of the water and wastewater treatment equipment market. Government support for capital investments in this sector by companies like BHP Billiton, Vale, and Rio Tinto is expected to increase spending on mining operations in Chile, Peru, and Mexico over the forecast period. For Chinese businesses, treating industrial effluents has been a top priority.
The global water and wastewater treatment equipment market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global water and wastewater treatment equipment market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period. The drivers causing the market expansion will be the fast-expanding manufacturing sector and increasing investment in the wastewater management industry. Additionally, the expanding residential market in the area is anticipated to increase product use in municipal wastewater treatment facilities. India is the second-largest user of water and has a high population. In addition, India presents excellent potential for expanding the water and wastewater treatment equipment market. Improvements in the nation's economic situation will likely encourage advancements in the wastewater treatment industry, supporting expanding the global market.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.1% during the forecast period. Due to the region's strict regulations, including the Drinking Water Directive, Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD), and Water Framework Directive (WFD), investments in water and wastewater treatment equipment are anticipated to increase. It is expected that the high concentration of dairy producers in England will encourage an increase in water and wastewater treatment expenditure, fueling the equipment industry's expansion. Furthermore, during the projected period, it is anticipated that improvements in the UK's automotive industry following the Eurozone Crisis will significantly boost product demand in the utility sector. However, the scope of water and wastewater treatment equipment and services is projected to be constrained due to domestic consumer utility spending being forced down due to domestic steel and pharmaceutical sector declines.
North America is anticipated to grow significantly over the forecast period. The United States recently established a new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) law to encourage domestic investments in renovating and constructing desalination facilities and water purifying plants. Over the forecast period, it is predicted that the favorable initiative to encourage domestic investments in the water treatment industry will positively affect the growth of the water and wastewater treatment equipment market. Strict state and federal wastewater regulations in the United States are anticipated to spur market expansion, as are additional renovations due to deteriorating infrastructure. A further factor driving the market growth in North America is the expansion of oil and gas exploration activities in the United States and Canada.
In Brazil, water pollution is a significant environmental and health hazard. The leading causes of water contamination are landfill leaks, sewage overflows, and industrial waste. Thus, it is anticipated that growing worries over water pollution would fuel product demand throughout the Central and South American region. Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, and Argentina all have significant oil and gas reserves. The development of large-scale commercial projects and airport expansions, particularly in Brazil and Columbia, are predicted to increase water and wastewater treatment equipment demand over the projection period.
The global water and wastewater treatment equipment market’s major key players are Xylem, Inc, Pentair plc, Evoqua Water Technologies LLC, Aquatech International LLC, Suez, Ecolab Inc., DuPont, Calgon Carbon Corporation, Toshiba Water Solutions Private Limited, and Veolia Group.