Public perception and regulatory requirements driving sludge equipment market, says Frost & Sullivan

The health risks associated with sludge byproducts have raised concerns among the public forcing the government to take a proactive role in tightening and enforcing environmental regulations.

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 9, 2001 — The health risks associated with sludge byproducts have raised concerns among the public forcing the government to take a proactive role in tightening and enforcing environmental regulations.

Social awareness and cost-constraints are also driving the industry in new and positive directions.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (environmental.frost.com ), U.S. Sludge Treatment Equipment Markets, reveals that this industry generated revenues of $294 million in 2000 and is projected to increase steadily to $363 million by 2007.

"Wastewater treatment plant operators are more interested in sludge handling equipment since this aspect of the process consumes upwards of 30 percent of plant operating budgets," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Linda Chaloux. "In previous operations, facility participants were concerned with finding the quickest and least expensive route for sludge disposal. Now the industry is embracing a more holistic approach."

Equipment must not only be economical but must also accommodate the type of byproduct that will be least harmful to the environment. As public interest continues to mount, municipalities are expected to drive sales as they work to allay end-users' concerns.

"Public perception of the risks associated with sludge is the number one driver for the sale of sludge equipment that can produce Class A 'exceptional quality' (EQ) biosolids," says Chaloux. "In various parts of the country there has been a public outcry and outrageous concern that Class B biosolids are dangerous and must be kept as far away as possible from human contact."

Supporting this public rally are increasingly stringent government regulations. Local governments will have to perform retrofits and expansions in response to increasing population levels as well as the rising need to accommodate alternative methods of treating sludge to satisfy regulatory requirements and community apprehension.

"As with most types of wastewater treatment equipment, government regulations are among the most significant factors influencing the sludge equipment markets," says Chaloux. "With requirements becoming stricter, treatment equipment will need to be installed, replaced, or retrofitted."

Frost & Sullivan presents the 2001 Marketing Engineering Awards to companies that have worked diligently to make a positive contribution to the sludge treatment equipment industry. These market specific awards are presented to: Ashbrook, Bioset Corporation, and U.S. Filter Dewatering Services Group.

Frost & Sullivan is a global leader in strategic market consulting and training. This ongoing research is part of the Customer Analysis: Water & Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market Service which also includes market analysis on U.S. Water Treatment Equipment Markets and Select U.S. Aqueous Analytical Instrumentation Markets. Frost & Sullivan also offers custom consulting to a variety of national and international companies. Executive summaries and interviews are available to the press.

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