What do we do with the wastewater generated by the pharmaceutical industry?

Mar 22, 2023

Several research studies warn of the adverse effects of pollution generated by pharmaceutical production plants on the environment, such as the extinction of certain species or the spread of antimicrobial resistance, which could put human health at risk. To control this situation, Salher develops specific solutions to treat the water generated during the production process in the pharmaceutical industry.

The pharmaceutical industry requires a high consumption of clean water to produce medicines. In order to treat the wastewater generated during this production process and to promote more responsible wastewater management, Salher proposes an overall solution consisting of the following phases:

  • A homogenisation tank to regulate the wastewater flow and to homogenise the pollutant loads to control the variations in wastewater production, typical of this type of industry.
  • Subsequently, a dissolved air flotation unit, such as Salher’s Vespa model to reduce 90% of suspended solids, oils and fats, 50 to 80% of BOD5 and 60 to 80% of COD.
  • When the wastewater generated by the pharmaceutical industries has a high organic matter content, Salher’s biological treatment with a moving bed (MBBR) is the most suitable.
  • The particularity of this wastewater is that its micropollutants are resistant to conventional treatments, so in some cases it is necessary to include in the basic water line more exhaustive treatments such as ultrafiltration systems followed by Salher reverse osmosis. Thanks to these systems, the water can be reused, minimising environmental risks and complying with the strictest regulations, with the ecological and economic benefits that this entails.
  • The automation systems present in practically all Salher treatment plants play a key role in this type of industry, since discontinuous processes that generate variable flow rates are used to manufacture the active ingredients. When the industry does not have the necessary space to install large homogenisation tanks, the plant can easily and automatically adapt to the work peaks thanks to these systems.
  • In addition, Salher offers the possibility of remote assistance for the diagnosis of faults in the equipment and interventions by its technicians, by means of a remote station with SCADA or GSM.

Salher pressure filters

Taking into account the needs of each customer, Salher designs customised pressure filters with applications for industries such as the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Salher’s latest project for the pharmaceutical industry

Salher has experience offering solutions for the hospital sector in Paraguay. For this reason, together with its local partner, RB Ingeniería, it has won the trust of a pharmaceutical industry to treat its wastewater.

This new industrial wastewater treatment plant consists of a homogenisation basin in civil works, a Vespa dissolved air flotation unit, a moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) in civil works, a chlorination chamber, all the electromechanical elements necessary for the operation of the plant, hydraulic interconnection pipes and an electrical control panel with an automaton.

Salher designs and manufactures compact solutions and modular plants to treat the most polluting waters, as in this case, those of the pharmaceutical industry or the chemical industry in general.


Salher Newsletter


Latest news


Salher Products

Designed and developed to meet all the requirements in water treatments.



Project and Design

Engineering development and projects management.


Production of GFRP, polypropylene and steel equipment.
Assembly of modular equipment and integration in civil works.


Selection of equipment and instrumentation to provide an integral water treatment solution.


Technical assistance in the electromechanical and electrical assembly of every water treatment plant.


Post-installation control service by a qualified technical staff.

Courses & documentary support

Practical training and delivery of manuals of operation, commissioning and maintenance.


Carrera Toledana, 33. Arganda del Rey. Madrid 28500. Spain.

+34 91 870 00 15

Spain / +34 91 870 00 15

Poland / +48 22 737 24 95

Portugal / +351 234 795 821

Engineering – Wastewater treatment – Purification – Liquid/solids separation equipment for industrial and municipal process applications – Surface water – Groundwater – Water ReuseDrinking WaterHydrocarbon and Oil Water Separation

Privacy Policy