Flint Pigments

The challenge

“For this Design-Build-Operate project, Veolia’s focus is to reduce the amount of inorganic salts in the waste stream, and reclaim a significant portion of the wastewater as high purity process water. Both efforts allow the client to sustain a healthy business in its currently water-scarce, centrally-located heartland location.” 
—Don Tanis, Area Manager, Veolia North America

A pigment manufacturing plant in the southern United States wanted to ensure that it could meet pending local wastewater discharge requirements. Money for capital upgrades was scarce and valuable employee resources were being used to operate a treatment plant rather than focus on the company’s core business. The company turned to Veolia North America for a solution: a comprehensive design/build/operate partnership to upgrade the plant’s industrial water reclamation facility.

The project challenges are:

  • Pigment manufacturing is a water-intensive process, requiring approximately 300,000 gallons of water per day. The process generates a salt byproduct in the form of calcium chloride, which can be difficult to treat. The plant already had a 500,000-gallon-per-day water reclamation facility using microfiltration (MF) and reverse osmosis (RO) to treat the brackish water produced by the plant.

  • The customer needed an enhanced water treatment solution that would maximize water reuse, guarantee compliance with pending discharge regulations and reduce operating costs. They turned to Veolia North America for a comprehensive design-build-operate partnership that would help them obtain the additional resources, equipment and qualified staff required.

Veolia’s solution

Innovative solutions:

  • To develop a process upgrade and optimization solution, Veolia met with the client at its manufacturing plant to review and assess the current water reclamation plant operations.

  • They identified equipment that needed to be added for optimal process performance, and implemented a project plan that met the client’s goals and budget.

  • The resulting 20-year contract between the client and Veolia called for Veolia to finance, design, build, own, operate, maintain and manage services and upgrades to the water treatment process.

  • Veolia’s solution included implementing an oxidizer to reduce soluble color, utilizing a re-purposed 500,000-gallon equalization tank, contributing additional water softener filtering aids and flocculants, a 100,000 gallon clarifier, and multi-stage mechanical vapor recompression evaporator and crystallizer system. Veolia’s treatment process also allows the client to recycle a majority (80%) of the water used, minimizing the need to draw fresh water from the municipal water supply.

Benefits to our client


  • The upgraded water reclamation plant is not only helping the client to meet its more stringent discharge requirements, it is also further helping the environment by minimizing the amount of fresh water required in the client’s manufacturing operations.

  • Eight certified wastewater treatment operators share the responsibility for the 500,000-gallon-per-day facility, which operates around the clock.

Value delivered:

  • The results from Veolia’s work are impressive. Between 6 and 8 tons of salt per day is being kept out of the local watershed, and 200,000 gallons of high-quality process water are recovered daily and reused in the manufacturing process.

  • Veolia provides a sustainable solution for the manufacturer’s complex industrial wastewater needs, focusing on reducing the amount of inorganic salts in the waste stream and reclaiming a significant portion of the wastewater as high purity process water.

  • Both efforts allow the client to advance their business goals in its water-restricted location.