An industrial water recycling plant was recently commissioned in Durban, South Africa. As with any industrial activity there are environmental burdens associated with water recycling. To assess these burdens a relatively new environmental tool - the life cycle assessment (LCA) - was used. LCA is a systematic way to evaluate the environmental impact of a product or process. This study presents the environmental burdens associated with industrial water and identifies the areas for improvement for the processes involved for recycling water. It was shown that the majority of the environmental burdens for producing industrial water could be traced back to the consumption of electricity for the operation of the plant.

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