Caustic Dosing Optimisation Service: A timely solution for wastewater treatment plants’ caustic soda shortage, high cost challenges

The chronic shortage of bulk caustic due to European supply chain issues and its steep increase in cost in recent months are causing concerns among domestic and industrial wastewater operations these days. Adding to this growing unease are strict government regulations requiring wastewater treatment plants to reduce discharges of phosphorus and ammonia. Caustic soda has a role to play in both treatment objectives.

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Caustic soda, also known as sodium hydroxide (NaOH), is a common ingredient often used in bulk for commercial purposes, such as soap-making, textile production and cleaning, among others. For the wastewater treatment industry, this is highly useful and due to its strong alkaline characteristics, caustic soda helps balance and neutralise pH levels in wastewater.

Hundreds of wastewater treatment plants around the UK regularly conduct caustic dosing to manage their effluents’ pH levels and provide alkalinity thereby ensuring nitrification and, in turn, tight ammonia consents are achieved.  Examples of sites that are being challenged by caustic supply right now include those in soft water areas with phosphorus consents and liquor treatment plants on Bioresources sites which may be required to achieve 90% or more removal of ammonia.

As caustic soda is becoming increasingly difficult to source, it is essential that these treatment plants optimise their caustic usage, ensuring existing supplies are managed properly, and bulk deliveries are minimised. This is where the SUEZ Aqua Enviro quick response expert team come in with its Caustic Dosing Optimisation Service. The team will visit the wastewater treatment site and benchmark its caustic usage, highlighting immediate saving opportunities for the company. Our combined offering of site, analytical and technical services ensures that wastewater treatment sites have the best opportunity they can to be compliant at least cost.

With all these challenges facing the industry, this is a crucial time for wastewater treatment operations to start thinking long-term in as cost-effective a manner as possible. The time to act is now.

To learn more about the Caustic Dosing Optimisation Service and for other queries, contact Paul Pickard at or Jessica Sanfey at

Posted 17th October 2022
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