Access to clean water is number one priority
Veolia’s activities enable governments to modernize their infrastructure and face up to the challenges of population growth and urban concentration. By helping people have access to water, and sanitation in the countries where we work, we are supporting the growth of the African continent and play a key role in developing access to safer environment to African populations.
Local government has an important role in water management and the delivery of water services to local communities. We share an economic imperative to work together to find the most efficient and valuable solutions for the communities.
In order to provide safe and secure water supply and sewerage services to the local community each step of the water cycle must be effectively managed – from extraction, treatment, storage and distribution of drinking water through to the collection, transportation, recycling and restitution of wastewater. Municipal water initiatives of this size are not without their own unique challenges.
Thanks to innovative delivery schemes, we can plug in to your organization to help improve service levels, solve ageing network problems and provide access to both specialists and bundled service capabilities.
>> One successful example for our work in Africa is Niger where 1.5 million more people have been given access to water since 2001 (read more). For more, check the case studies section.
Veolia offers more than 350 proprietary technologies to respond to issues that span the entire spectrum of water treatment, including drinking water, industrial process water, ultra-pure water, wastewater and seawater:
- Biological treatment
- Membrane technology: microfiltration, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis
- Bio-membrane treatment
- Desalination via membrane, thermal and hybrid processes
Veolia’s treatment solutions protect the health of local people and boost industrial productivity. They also allow industry to achieve a more seamless fit as part of the local community while protecting the environment and reducing carbon and water footprints.
- Designing and building treatment plants
- Producing drinking water and industrial process water
- Treating wastewater
- Recycling treated wastewater and industrial effluent
- Operating, maintaining and optimizing treatment plants
Veolia has developed a range of innovative measuring and analysis methods to ensure that water never fails to meet the highest standards, from the moment it leaves the plant to the second it flows from the faucet. These solutions include smart technology and computer systems able to control every aspect of network operations, along with sensors to monitor key aspects of water quality in real time as it flows through the pipes.
Monitoring and measuring the quality of effluent collected
To make the wastewater treatment plants it operates more effective, Veolia uses specific measuring devices to monitor the composition of the wastewater it conveys and its conformity to relevant standards. The data collected is paired with tools designed to target sources of pollution to identify potential or known polluters and offer them appropriate treatment solutions.
Used by a number of utility services in France and around the world, Mosare and Vision are two software programs that help optimize the performance of networks and related expenditure, including the cost of upgrades and overheads. These modeling systems take into account the individual requirements of each local authority in areas such as budget, network output targets and time frame.
Veolia uses these services to provide local authorities with an improved economic and technical view of their utilities that allows them to make the right choices when it comes to investing in strategic infrastructure.
- Designing and laying water networks and wastewater systems
- Supplying drinking water
- Tracking water quality
- Collecting wastewater
- Operating and maintaining water networks and wastewater systems
In all major countries where it operates, Veolia has developed downloadable smartphone applications that give customers easy access to key services relating to their account. These applications also offer GPS-specific information about water quality. The apps are the latest addition to Veolia's range of solutions for water services, which also include on-line agencies and appointment scheduling, along with text message information services.
Customer relations centers
Veolia has adopted a multi-channel approach that allows each customer to choose their preferred method of contacting the relevant services. Veolia offers far more than simple telephone services, ensuring tailored support to meet all customer needs.
Close to users
Veolia continues to provide actual drop-in facilities alongside these remote contact services for those times when a face-to-face conversation with an advisor is the only solution. In all countries where it manages public water services, Veolia offers a doorstep approach through a range of branches and mobile agencies.
Flexible payment solutions
Veolia offers a wide range of payment options to make life easier for customers, including direct debit, monthly billing, and on-line payment with a smartphone or bank card. Customers in Slovakia can even pay their bills at the supermarket!
Veolia also allows other flexible payment solutions to offer greater peace of mind to customers who may be experiencing difficulties in managing their water budget.
- Multi-channel management and relations including call centers, local branches, a web portal and mobile apps
- Account management: statements, billing and due dates
- Metering: installation and management of meters
Promoting mediation and social dialogue (partnering Unis Cité and the PIMMS network in France), protecting biodiversity, conserving resources and building awareness are just some of the initiatives implemented by Veolia in cooperation with local organizations. These programs have a positive effect on employment and optimize the quality of the services provided to the public.
Aware of its social responsibilities, Veolia has developed partnerships with organizations around the world to facilitate integration of the long-term unemployed through job schemes. Campus Veolia offers training courses that allow people to hone their skills or acquire new capabilities in environmental services. Veolia is also committed to responsible subcontracting and provides opportunities for a number of bodies seeking to provide social assistance through employment.
Veolia makes universal access to the public water service a priority.
Preferring not to restrict its efforts to isolated initiatives, Veolia has designed water access programs that combine three approaches: emergency aid (financial help in paying bills and providing connections to the water network), assistance (advice and mediation) and prevention (information and awareness raising). Working alongside local authorities around the globe, Veolia is instrumental in ensuring that people have individual access to water wherever possible, irrespective of their financial situation.
- Programs to provide access to clean water and sanitation (connections)
- Social tariffs and measures to provide continuous access
- Dialogue with stakeholders
- Raising awareness of the true cost of water, along with programs to reduce waste
To deliver optimum service quality, Veolia's teams must respond rapidly and have thorough knowledge of the regions in which they work. That is why Veolia recruits locally. Wherever it operates, Veolia helps to fuel the local economy.
Training and apprenticeships
Training is a fundamental aspect of Veolia's culture, embodied by its network of 21 campuses and apprenticeship centers in 12 countries. The company's training policy has two goals:
- Improving the skills of Veolia employees in building and operating treatment facilities and laying pipes
- Helping companies and local authorities to improve their performance and growth
- Continuous training
- Skills management and transfer
Veolia has developed an Energy Management System to maintain its commitment to minimizing energy use in water services, limiting the carbon footprint of water services and keeping overheads down.
Energy usage at sites operated by Veolia is carefully monitored and constantly improved.
Monitoring infrastructure in real time
Providing reliable real-time data and analyses for water and wastewater services is a major part of measuring operating performance. In France and China, Veolia has made control centers an integral part of its operations. These centers provide a complete, real-time overview of services and enhance operational management. They are also in constant contact with customer service centers to help organize field operations. The control centers use extranet sites to provide Veolia customers with constant updates on operations and where teams are working, along with any maintenance being carried out on equipment and emergency situation management.
E-monitoring for water consumption
Using remote meter-reading technology, Veolia has developed a service that allows public utility users, local governments and industrial companies to monitor their own water consumption. In France, Veolia has teamed up with leading European telecommunications company Orange to create m2ocity, a service dedicated to creating a low frequency network of remotely read meters. This represents yet another pioneering Veolia solution, based on an open network that can collect data from a full array of smart sensors, including meters for water and energy (natural gas or electricity) as well as environmental indicators (taking readings of pollution, temperature and noise levels).
- Real-time infrastructure monitoring
- Water²Energy management system
- Remote water metering
- Call-out scheduling
Wherever possible, Veolia seeks to increase the production of clean energy. It uses the topographic features of certain cities to install microturbines at various points throughout the network. In other places, heat pumps are used to recover energy present in wastewater, and cogeneration units are installed at wastewater treatment plants. Veolia has also focused on widespread production of biogas at the treatment plants it operates.
All of these measures help to reduce the amount of energy used by water services, allowing local authorities and industry to keep costs down.
- Anaerobic digestion
- Sludge energy recovery
- Microturbines throughout the drinking water network
- Heat recovery from wastewater
Sludge is extremely rich in organic matter and other fertilizers, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and has long been used as a soil conditioner in agriculture. Veolia has developed a traceability tool that can monitor the quality of sludge produced as well as its agronomic value as a natural fertilizer, from initial production to spreading.
In addition to this direct use, Veolia has developed solutions to extract compounds from wastewater sludge that offer significant added value and can be used to produce high-quality fertilizers, such as struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate), which is highly sought after for lawns and potted plants.
Transforming sludge into bioplastics
In October 2011 in Brussels, Veolia achieved a world first by transforming wastewater treatment sludge into bioplastics useable by the plastics industry. The technology uses bacteria to break down the carbon content. Veolia creates the conditions to enable these bacteria to store a maximum amount of biopolymers that are then harvested and recovered as useable plastic material. The process, which was developed by Veolia Water in Sweden, can be implemented at the majority of wastewater treatment plants without any major alterations to treatment systems.
Veolia has created links between its experts in water treatment and waste treatment to open up new outlets for wastewater by-products. This has led to initiatives such as a system for the recovery of grit from pipe cleaning: the grit is washed and dried, then used as a base layer in road works or as backfill, enabling significant savings. These new outlets are included in the new types of contract between Veolia and local authorities, and are designed to enable significant savings
Producing more with fewer natural resources
The solutions that Veolia develops for industry target increased production while reducing water consumption. The company has devised a unique process based on evaporation and crystallization technology that enables industry to produce new value-added products from its effluent. For example, a Brazilian fertilizer manufacturer uses the HPD PICC™ technology to produce 320,000 metric tons a year of products for fertilizers.
- Fertilizer production
- Production of new materials: bioplastics
- Recovery of materials from effluent
Limiting greenhouse gas emissions through tracking.
Veolia has committed to an in-depth approach to reducing the impact of greenhouse gases produced by its water and wastewater services every step of the way.
This entails a precise assessment of carbon emissions and the development of energy-efficient technology, along with the development of clean energy solutions such as wind and solar. Veolia has developed a method of providing carbon assessments tailored to the specific requirements of water and wastewater services, allowing it to work with customers to monitor changes in carbon balance and track the results of recommended improvement plans.
WiiX: The Water Impact Index designed to measure water footprints.
Because the effects of human activity have an impact on water resources, Veolia has turned its attention to the concept of the water footprint. It is the first company to have supported the development of an open-source method of calculating this footprint, which takes into account the availability and quality of resources in addition to the amount withdrawn and discharged. The model is now operational. It is used to assess the water footprint of a business or region, to identify critical points, and to assist local authorities and industrial companies in implementing improvement plans.
True Cost of Water
Decision-makers in industry are looking for a simple, practical means of determining what their water really costs. Veolia has expanded its range of other solutions in this area by developing the “True Cost of Water,” a tool designed to provide an economic assessment of the risks and benefits related to the use of water in industrial processes.
Because protecting water resources means protecting the life that water supports, Veolia has taken tangible steps to conserve and encourage the development of flora and fauna biodiversity.
Veolia encourages the alternative management of green areas and less invasive maintenance practices to respect natural cycles. It organizes awareness-raising campaigns for local authority services and residents to eliminate the use of plant protection products. Veolia also implements bio-surveillance programs on numerous waterways to measure the impact of treated wastewater discharged into the aquatic environment and to adapt the treatment processes used where necessary.
- Measuring and reducing water and carbon footprints
- The True Cost of Water
- Biodiversity management
A wide range of uses
Treated wastewater use has grown sharply in the last several years, by 25% to 60% depending on the region, especially in arid countries. More than 40 million cubic meters of municipal wastewater are now recycled daily worldwide (Source: Global Water Intelligence). The reuse alternative makes water more available, especially during droughts in some parts of the world, and curtails wastewater discharges into the environment. Treated water can meet a number of needs, particularly non-domestic ones such as irrigation, the replacement of drinking water for industrial uses and the injection and storage of water into underground aquifers after additional treatment.
Veolia recycles wastewater from sewage plants after appropriate treatment. The level of treatment depends on the quality required for each type of recycled wastewater use. We develop, produce, build and operate the widest possible range of water treatment processes, offering the best technical solution for local needs. Solutions include advanced clarification, bio-treatment, filtration, membrane techniques (microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis), ultraviolet disinfection, activated carbon treatment using sand or gravel, ozone disinfection and industrial wastewater recovery installations.
Treatment targets for recycling and reuse of water are:
- Reduction of water consumption
- Reduction of raw material consumption
- Valorization of by-products
- Providing alternatives water resources
- Energy recovery
- Minimization of environmental impact
Industrial wastewater: a valuable resource
Water is an essential production material for most industrial sites. In some industries, such as food and beverage and petrochemicals it can be a significant expense due to the high volume of water used for the overall manufacturing process.
Drawing upon its global experience in industrial water cycle management, Veolia has developed technological solutions to meet the challenges of industries and help them improve their operational efficiency through reliable and low energy consumption installations.
- Producing renewable energy from landfill
- Biogas recovery
- minimizing the impact of waste in the environment