Industrial Water Treatment Systems and How They Work

Industrial water treatment systems are crucial for ensuring the safe and efficient management of wastewater generated by various industries. These treatment systems utilize different technologies and processes to remove contaminants from the wastewater, making it safe for discharge or reuse.

Industrial wastewater can contain a wide range of pollutants, including heavy metals, organic materials, suspended solids, and hazardous substances. Without proper treatment, these pollutants can have detrimental effects on aquatic life and ecosystems. Hence comes Ion Exchange, with its comprehensive, integrated solutions for a wide range of industrial water treatment systems, serving industries such as automotive, textile, pharmaceuticals, electronics, food and beverage, power stations, refineries, fertilizer, and steel plants, among others. Their solutions enhance the entire water circuit, addressing supply, quantity, quality, and discharge aspects.

In this blog, we will explore the major types of industrial water treatment processes, the contaminants targeted by these treatment systems, sector-specific water treatment needs, advanced technologies in water treatment, and the role of water treatment in sustainability. We will also highlight the contributions of Ion Exchange, a leading pioneer in industrial water treatment, to this field.

What is an Industrial Water Treatment System?

An industrial water treatment system is a set of processes and technologies designed to treat and purify wastewater generated by industrial activities. This system aims to remove contaminants from the wastewater and produce treated water that is safe for discharge or reuse for various purposes, such as irrigation or industrial processes. 

Ion Exchange – Leading Pioneer In Industrial Water Treatment

Ion Exchange plays a crucial role in providing efficient and effective solutions for water treatment. They offer comprehensive, integrated solutions for a variety of industrial water treatment plants. For over six decades, Ion Exchange has delivered comprehensive water treatment products and solutions to industries, institutions, municipalities, and communities worldwide. Their offerings include customized and pre-engineered water treatment plants for clarification, filtration, disinfection, and process water treatment. Additionally, they provide post-treatment solutions to polish treated water, ensuring it meets critical quality standards for various applications, serving both urban and rural needs.

With a total solutions capability and a deep understanding of their customers’ processes and needs, Ion Exchange’s industry-specific verticals provide tailored solutions to meet specific requirements. Furthermore, Ion Exchange provides 24/7 support services to ensure continuous high performance and reliability.

Major Types of Industrial Water Treatment Processes by Ion Exchange

  • Raw Water

Our efficient raw water treatment systems and processes are designed to effectively handle variations in turbidity, flow, and chemical volumes. Our advanced raw water treatment products eliminate suspended and colloidal solids, silica, iron, bacteria, and hardness, ensuring the required feed water quality is consistently met. By addressing these impurities, we guarantee that our solutions provide the highest quality water, suitable for various applications and industries. The steps in our raw water treatment process are outlined below:

  1. Aeration: Aeration serves as the initial step in the pretreatment of surface water. In this process, raw water cascades down a stepped fountain, maximizing the contact area between air and water. This interaction aids in the oxidation of heavy metals and the release of carbon dioxide and other odors, ensuring the water is primed for subsequent treatment steps.
  2. Coagulation & Flocculation: To remove colloidal particles, coagulation and flocculation are employed. Ion Exchange provides synthetic cationic, anionic, and non-ionic organic coagulants and flocculants suitable for various applications, including clarification and filtration, heavy metal removal, and color removal. Our precise chemical dosing systems cater to diverse chemical treatment needs with high accuracy.
  3. Clarification: Clarification, or settling, is conducted using equipment known as clarifiers. Ion Exchange offers an extensive range of advanced clarifiers to meet the demands of surface water and wastewater clarification. Our products include clariflocculators, high-rate solids contact clarifiers, ultra-high-rate solid contact clarifiers, lamella clarifiers, and sludge blanket clarifiers.
  4. Filtration: Filtration is the final step in the pretreatment of surface water. Filters are categorized into pressure and gravity filters based on whether the water flows under pressure or by gravity through the filter. The filter media can be fine or coarse sand, anthracite, garnet, or granular activated carbon. Ion Exchange provides a broad spectrum of filters, including multimedia pressure sand filters, gravity filters, automatic valveless gravity filters, continuous sand filters, activated carbon filters, and filter paks for both raw water and wastewater filtration.
  5. Disinfection: Disinfection methods include chlorine, chlorine dioxide, electro-chlorination, ozone, hydrogen peroxide, solutions of chlorine compounds (such as sodium or calcium hypochlorite), ultraviolet radiation, heat (boiling and steaming), and their combinations. Ion Exchange’s high-performance, cost-effective, and low-maintenance disinfection solutions cater to potable water, wastewater, and process water disinfection needs.
  • Process Treatment Solutions

Our extensive range of standard packaged, industrial, and custom-built water treatment plants provides effective solutions for boiler water treatment, cooling water treatment, and other process water applications. We utilize high-flow demineralization with specialized regeneration techniques for treating turbine and process condensate in the thermal, nuclear, and process industries. The treatment steps include softeners, demineralization, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, electro-deionization (EDI), and electrodialysis reversal (EDR).

  • Post-Treatment Process

The post-treatment process conditions the treated water for specific end uses, with various options depending on plant conditions. Ion Exchange offers a comprehensive range of post-treatment solutions, including condensate polishing units, deaerators, sidestream filters, boiler water and cooling treatment chemicals, and dosing systems tailored to your specific needs. The steps include condensate polishing units, deaerators, strippers, scrubbers, and chemicals for removing O2, NH4, H2S, CO2, SOx, NOx, and VOCs, as well as sidestream filters, boiler water chemicals, cooling water chemicals, and chemical dosing systems.


Industrial water treatment plants play a crucial role in maintaining environmental sustainability and ensuring compliance with global water quality standards. Advanced technologies like membrane filtration and emerging trends in biological treatment further enhance the efficiency of water treatment. Considering the importance of environmental and regulatory considerations, companies like Ion Exchange lead the way in providing innovative solutions. 

To explore how industrial water treatment can benefit your business, get in touch for more information.