European clean water concerns boost water and wastewater disinfection systems market

May 22, 2007
Revenues reached $485.5 million in 2006.

LONDON -- May 22 -- The water and wastewater disinfection systems market is one of the fastest growing in the overall European water industry. Stringent legislation is the biggest driver of the market and will continue to create substantial growth opportunities as concerns about water pollution and the spread of water-borne diseases in Europe increase, leading to further regulatory measures.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, "European Water & Wastewater Disinfection Systems Market," reveals that these markets earned revenues of $485.5 million in 2006. The total European market is expected to generate more than $700 million in revenues by 2013.

"Rising concerns about the effects of unregulated industrial activity and biological contamination on water supply have led the European Union (EU) to introduce numerous legislation aimed at enforcing compulsory disinfection of water and wastewater in the municipal sector with high purity process water being the key driver for disinfection in key industrial sectors," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Mr. Ajay Richard. "In the municipal sector, the key legislative drivers are the EU Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC), the Bathing Water Directive (Council Directive 76/160/EEC)."

While legislative forces are driving the growth of disinfection systems in the municipal sector, the need for high-purity water is creating demand in the industrial sector, particularly in industries such as food and beverages and pharmaceuticals. Opportunities in the industrial sector will also increase as the trend for industrial plants to set up onsite water treatment plants instead of using public utilities for process water needs, becomes more prevalent.

Although the market offers significant growth opportunities, participants are realizing that they could gain a major advantage by providing additional services along with the disinfection systems. This includes services such as monitoring the systems, providing engineering expertise and personnel training, and linking disinfection with other projects of the particular end user.

"The leading disinfection equipment suppliers who have the means to incorporate other water treatment services in their portfolio could benefit from doing this," adds Mr. Richard. "Companies could also strategically position themselves by customizing products to better meet the needs of their clients."

Overall, the market is seeing a distinct shift away from conventional chlorination methods and toward technologies such as UV, ozonation, advanced chlorine dioxide-based disinfection, electrolytic chlorination and even membranes. Current use of conventional chlorination methods such as chlorine gas and liquid chlorine is high, but their revenues could be affected due to the increasing concerns on the harmful effects due to the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in these methods.

In contrast, the formation of DBPs in conventional chlorine disinfection is likely to drive demand for UV, ozonation, and chlorine dioxide-based disinfection in the municipal drinking water segment. UV systems, in particular, are entering a period of high growth and offering strong competition to the chlorine-based compounds market.

The use of chlorine dioxide-based disinfection and electrolytic chlorination is also expected to increase as these methods require less chlorine, which results in the formation of relatively lower amounts of chlorination by-products in the water.

The overall European water and wastewater disinfection systems market is definitely in its growth stage, with growth rates and patterns varying from region to region. The Central and Eastern European and Iberian markets are gearing up for high growth in the municipal drinking water segment while the large industrial areas of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom are expected to offer significant opportunities for advanced disinfection technologies.