Water Treatment - Sedimentation   Credit: Getty Images/ThinkStock

Demand for water treatment equipment in the United States is forecast to grow 5.9 percent per year to $13.0 billion in 2017, according to a report by the Freedonia Group. Gains will be supported by increasing concerns about the health risks and environmental impacts of biological contaminants, chemicals, and disinfection byproducts in supply water and wastewater, as well as by more stringent manufacturing requirements in process water.

Water Treatment Market

The resource extraction market is expected to show the most rapid gains among the major markets, as the treatment requirements for produced water in oil and natural gas extraction continue to rise, and as water recycling and reuse increase to satisfy the needs of expanded hydraulic fracturing activities. An expected rebound in mining output, particularly for minerals, will also contribute to an increased need for water treatment equipment, according to Freedonia. Rising demand will particularly benefit conventional filtration systems, which are the most commonly used type of equipment in the resource-extraction market. The anticipated implementation of new U.S. EPA regulations for hydraulic fracturing is also expected to promote growth in the resource extraction market in the long term.

The commercial and residential markets for water treatment equipment are expected to continue to recover from the declines seen during the 2007-2009 economic recession, with demand boosted by greater consumer interest in drinking water quality, increased consumer confidence, and expanded commercial and residential construction activities. Point-of-entry membrane filtration, disinfection, and deionization equipment is expected to benefit the most from rising demand.

Freedonia says the municipal market for water treatment equipment is expected to continue to experience healthy growth through 2017.  Expanded manufacturing output in response to the improving U.S. economy, as well as increasingly stringent manufacturing requirements, will support growth in demand for every major type of water treatment equipment. 

While quite small in 2012, Freedonia says ballast water treatment is expected to be the fastest growing market segment overall, as U.S. ships will soon be required to have ballast water management systems, including membrane systems and ultraviolet disinfection equipment, installed onboard to prevent the spread of invasive marine and aquatic species between ecosystems.