Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment

Reverse osmosis water treatment separates molecules and ions from their solutions, and is used in the production of potable, ultrapure and process water. Veolia Water Technologies South Africa, as part of its total water solutions supply, manufactures high-quality reverse osmosis membranes and chemicals, and will design, install and commission your entire reverse osmosis water treatment plant.

By applying external pressure, reverse osmosis drives a given solution through a semi-permeable membrane designed to overcome its osmotic pressure. Under normal osmotic circumstances, the solution would travel from lower saline concentration to high concentrations.

The largest application of reverse osmosis water treatment is desalination - the production of potable water from seawater - which provides a fundamental water source for some of the world's major cities. Veolia's reverse osmosis water treatment installations account for about 15% of the world's total desalination capacity, and include one of the world's largest-capacity reverse osmosis plants used for desalination. The plant, in Ashkelon, Israel, provides 330 000 m3/day of potable water to the country.

Apart from desalination, reverse osmosis water treatment is also used extensively in:

Additionally, reverse osmosis in wastewater treatment is one of Veolia’s wastewater treatment processes.

There is a strong market in the South African municipal sector for reverse osmosis, while zero liquid discharge installations save industrial clients money by recycling process water and limiting their production and dumping of waste and waste by-products.


Reverse osmosis water treatment for desalination

With increasing uncertainty over the future security of many of the planet's freshwater resources, desalination is being implemented with increasing importance. 97% of the world's water comprises seas and oceans. Reverse osmosis is the predominant mode of desalination, as it has less energy requirements than thermal separation processes.

For this reason, Veolia offers industrial seawater reverse osmosis technology contained in its industrial seawater reverse osmosis package plants.

In South Africa, desalination plants are viable options in drought conditions and in supplementing existing water infrastructure.

Veolia has installed several of South Africa’s major reverse osmosis industrial plants for seawater desalination, including:

Reverse osmosis water treatment plant Capacity in cubic metres/square Completed

Mossel Bay1

15 000 m3/day

Transnet Saldanha

2 400 m3/day


2 000 m3/day


Plettenberg Bay2

2 000 m3/day

Bushman’s River Mouth

1 800 m3/day

Lambert’s Bay

1 700 m3/day

Cannon Rocks

750 m3/day

  1. Largest operational desalination plant in SA
  2. This plant included considerable aesthetic design considerations in order to blend it with the surrounding upmarket tourist area.

Small scale desalination plant solutions

Veolia is capable of providing small scale, reliable potable water solutions using reverse osmosis desalination in temporary and remote coastal settlements. Reverse osmosis water treatment technology can be fitted into a mobile, compact container with a simple plug and play installation procedure. These systems, like high brackish reverse osmosis package plants, among others, are used throughout Africa to support drinking, bathing and irrigation requirements. 

Hydrex™ Chemical Conditioning Products for Membrane Systems

Approved by leading international membrane manufacturers, the Hydrex™ 4000 range offers specifically formulated chemicals that keep membranes free of scale and bacterial growth, and aid in extending membrane life. Suitable for any membrane process, these chemicals play an important role during each stage of a plant's life cycle, from pre-treatment to preservation.

Reverse Osmosis Technology Enquiry

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