Wastewater sludge represents one of the biggest challenges for water treatment plant operators, both municipal and industrial. Over the years, as treatment standards have improved, traditional approaches have resulted in increasing quantities of sludge. Restrictions on disposing of sludge in landfills have increased. Treatment of sludge has focused in particular on stabilising it through digestion to allow its use in agriculture and on options for thermal processing.
Dutch companies offer a wide range of technologies for treating sludge. These include technologies that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of established approaches. They include also innovative technologies, such as advanced digestion processes.
Sludge is currently one of the most important areas for innovation around water use, and Dutch researchers and companies are among the leaders in this respect. Rather than being viewed as a separate treatment issue, sludge is increasingly being dealt with in a more holistic overall view of wastewater treatment. This is particularly in relation to the potential to harvest resources, recovering energy recovery and recycling of nutrients.