Industrial wastewater, especially from chemical and pharmaceutical production, often contains substances that need to be eliminated before being discharged into a biological treatment plant and following water bodies. This can be done within the production itself, in selected waste water streams or in a central treatment plant. Each of these approaches has certain advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, a variety of wastewater treatment processes exist that can be applied at each stage, making it a challenging task to choose the best one in economic and ecological terms. In this work a general approach for that and examples from practice are discussed.

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