Embracing the circular economy – high-performing membranes for industrial water treatment plants

Posted by Albert Berenguel - 01 December, 2021

Recycling water in a sustainable way is challenging – but necessary. New technologies for containing and conducting water allow this precious commodity to be managed more efficiently.

Read to the end for information and case studies that illustrate how it can be done

Natural recycling of waterThe water that we use and drink today has existed since the earth was formed and will continue to be used and drunk by our successors.

In other words, water has always been naturally recycled.






Industrial revolutions. Use of waterHowever, a lot has changed in the last 200 years since the industrial revolution. 

Water was considered an unlimited resource; manufacturers poured millions of litres of wastewater into rivers where it mixed with huge volumes of raw municipal sewage.

Natural cleaning and purification processes were not quick and efficient enough to decontaminate the water. Consequently, the frequency and severity of epidemics increased, plant and animal life decreased or disappeared in some rivers and oceans become inhabitable for many species.

Today, our perception of the value of water has changed; scarcity, drought and a greater social and environmental conscience mean that it is considered a precious resource that must be more carefully used and managed. However, large amounts of water are still used every day in industrial plants for manufacturing, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting goods. According to the EU (1) water is a crucial resource for several industrial sectors as 90% of our economy depends on water.

Water use Europe per economic sectorAccording to the European Environment Agency(2), around 266 billion m³ of water was extracted in Europe in 2017, of which around 40 % was consumed by the economy and 60 % was returned to the environment, having been physically or chemically altered to some extent.

The European Commission highlighted in its Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), adopted on 24 November 2010, that “Industrial production processes account for a considerable share of the overall pollution in Europe due to their emissions of air pollutants, discharges of wastewater and the generation of waste”(3).

The IED(4) established that installations can only operate if in possession of a permit and have to comply with the conditions set therein. Therefore, the reuse of treated wastewater is not only an environmental imperative, it is a legal requirement too.



Concrete structures built in industrial environments are often affected by corrosion damage related to leakages of water and other chemicals. Refurbishment, waterproofing and protection of these assets will normally include upgrading the way that water is recycled to make the process more sustainable and to help preserve both water and concrete.

Master Builders Solutions offers a complete range of waterproofing systems for industrial plants which foster a circular economy and optimize resource efficiency, including waterproofing of clean and potable water tanks, protection of concrete in contact with process water, waterproofing and protection of industrial wastewater treatment plants and even protection of concrete in biogas digesters.

 Our membranes for industrial water management can provide some or all of the following attributes:

  1. High water tightness and gas tightness to prevent water leakages and to stop the water containing dissolved chemicals coming into contact with, concrete structures or metallic installations. Gas tightness, especially to carbon dioxide, protects concrete against carbonation; methane tightness is a must in biogas-producing installations.
  2. No contamination due to the release of substances from the membranes (by migration). When in direct contact with clean or drinking water or with food this is essential, not only to ensure safety in food processing but also to reduce the treatment needed before reusing the water.
  3. High chemical resistance is needed where water may have a complex and aggressive chemical composition. For example, where water is used in an industrial process and then stored in retention or equalization tanks or where organic residues are stored or used in digestion processes. Membranes that have high and wide-ranging chemical resistance, as well as crack-bridging capacities, not only protect concrete but also avoid dangerous leakages into the environment.


Salmar_FishFarm_ MasterSeal_M689

MasterSeal M 689

A pure polyurea waterproofing membrane with high elasticity. Offers both high chemical resistance and does not contaminate water by migration of its components.

Read more here: MasterSeal M 689 



MasterSeal M 391

Two-component epoxy system, suitable for direct contact with drinking water and solid foodstuff, according to EU Reg 10/2011, ISEGA and several National Drinking Water Regulations.


Read more here: MasterSeal M 391 


MasterSeal M 808

Two-component polyurethane membrane with high crack-bridging capacities. Approved under Regulation 31 of the Water Supply (Water Quality) regulations 2000 for use in contact with potable water in the UK.


Read more here: MasterSeal M 808


MasterSeal 7000 CR

High chemical resistance, crack bridging and can be applied to humid substrates, all combined in a single system. Based on Xolutec technology with specific resistance to hydrogen sulphide, biogenic sulphuric acid, wastewater, silage, etc.


Read more here: MasterSeal 7000 CR


More information about the systems and experiences of Master Builders Solutions in industrial water management can be found in the links below:



Topics: Concrete structures, Wastewater treatment, Waterproofing, MasterSeal 7000 CR, Dinking water, Industrial wastewater, Biogas

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