Wastewater discharge non-compliance can be costly – not only will it affect your bottom line profitability through increased charges, fines and increased monitoring costs, it can make future negotiations with your water authority, at best, ‘testy’.

If you are discharging wastewater to an EPA-controlled water body, the cost may be substantially higher.

One piece of negative media coverage of just a single wastewater non-compliance can wipe out a large proportion of your company’s goodwill and reputation – both of which take decades to earn.

Negative media coverage can have a major impact on a company, including:

  • A loss of consumer confidence in its products or services – for example if a manufacturer were to be named and shamed in the media, consumers will be highly likely to “vote with their feet” and choose a competitor’s products or services
  • Damage to a company’s share price if it is listed – and that can wipe millions of dollars off the value of a company. If the company is ordered to clean up after itself, it is not just the cost of the clean up to be considered but also the cost of repairing the damage done by the loss of investor confidence in the company

So what can be done to minimise this risk?

Bruce Willis from Hydroflux, said, “The simple answer is to take out insurance – in the form of hiring in external wastewater expertise.”

The first step is for external experts to conduct a properly targeted audit. This will include, amongst other things, a risk assessment of the likelihood of a breach and under what conditions a breach might occur.  

Company managers can then assess their discharge compliance risk and take the necessary steps to mitigate the risk.

The audits carried out by Hydroflux are comprehensive and include an assessment of:

  • The wastewater treatment plant’s functional ability
  • The plant’s operating performance
  • The effectiveness of the plant’s operating strategy
  • The financial cost to treat water (as a $/kL)

“This provides a rock-solid base for risk assessment and mitigation,” Mr Willis said.

“One benefit of our auditing approach is that it helps identify opportunities not only to improve operational performance but also to reduce the total cost of operation.

“Another benefit is that our approach provides a platform from which to deliver a long-term plan to meet future company requirements and upcoming regulations.”

Given that return on investment ROI is an important indicator for companies, the Hydroflux approach to audits provides a baseline so that operational changes or upgrades to plants can be assessed financially – so that a direct ROI can be measured.

This partner content is brought to you by Hydroflux. For more information, visit http://www.hydrofluxutilities.com.au.

Lauren Cella

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