Textile industries use large amounts of water in their production processes, with subsequent generation of large quantities of wastewater. With ineffective and/or inefficient water management protocols in place, these industries can have a large negative impact on the environment. In order to assist in the development/setting of suitable actions to negate environmental impacts from textile industries, it is essential that some form of water management, and more particularly a water balance, be in place. This dissertation investigated the current practices at a textile industry in Lesotho, CGM Industrial, as a case study with the ultimate objective to assess and present suitable water management actions to negate the company’s negative impact on the environment. An active water balance was compiled for one of the company’s factories, CGM 1, and illustrated that large volumes of water (up to 0,9 Ml/day) are discharged to the natural water course, often untreated. The water balance specifically addresses water usage for the four wet processing combinations present at CGM 1, and representative of the textile industry as a whole, namely stone washing/washing, stone washing/bleaching, stone washing/dyeing and stone washing/bleaching/dyeing operations. Based on the water balance results and general assessment of operating practices in place at CGM 1, suitable water management actions were recommended for reducing wastewater volumes, substitution and reduction of process chemicals, and investigating process modifications.
Dissertation (MSc (Environmental Technology))--University of Pretoria, 2008.