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Emerging Trend: Containerized Water Treatment

Water treatment is a process that has been around in one form or another for many, many years. It generally involves a process to improve the quality of water for a number of end-uses, one of which is the production of purified drinking water. In more recent times and due to a need for mobile water treatment facilities, containerization has been employed to build these mobile, self-contained treatment plants. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at containerization and how it’s an emerging trend in the water purification industry.


As mentioned in the intro, water treatment is about applying processes to clean up or purify water for multitudes of purposes. It could be a simple process of filtration to remove debris before using the water for industrial purposes, such as cooling down machinery as it’s being used. Distilled water is often used as a coolant in the radiators of vehicles. A degree of water purification often takes place when that water’s end-use is designed for irrigating crops. More stringent processes are employed to turn natural water into potable water that’s safe to drink and free from bacteria and parasites.

The processes for treating raw water so it’s fit for human consumption involves settling and filtration to remove debris, disinfecting to destroy microbes and pathogens – which is generally achieved with chlorination – flocculation to remove solids and, in the case of saltwater distillation and desalination to remove the salt, resulting in freshwater that’s safe to drink.

Operations for cleansing water, depending on the ultimate purpose, can be gigantic industrial operations, or they could be something as small as the filtration system on your backyard swimming pool.

Containerized water treatment offers a mobile solution.



Shipping containers, on the surface, may not seem like they serve many purposes other than to be used to securely transport goods across land and sea, or used as storage facilities. In modern times people have come to see the value and versatility of the humble shipping container though. Nowadays, both new and used shipping containers are being modified, chopped up, stripped down and remodelled for just about any purpose you can imagine.

After all, the basic structure is already in place and shipping containers are built robustly so they can withstand the rigours of intense travel and multiple uses.

Now, shipping containers are being utilised to create mobile water treatment plants for all manner of water purification purposes. These treatment plants can be fully assembled inside of either 20-foot or 40-foot containers or, for smaller applications, even the 10-foot shipping container. In fact, cargo containers are the perfect design to house water treatment equipment and each treatment plant can be fully mobile. It’s simply a matter of loading the self-contained plant onto the back of a container truck and transporting it to its destination.

On top of that, shipping containers can also be used as temperature control units when the water treatment facility is used in particularly hot or cold climates.

One of the most common uses of a containerized water treatment plant is to produce pure drinking water. This can be achieved with raw water or seawater, depending on the type of treatment plant you require. This concept makes the containerized water treatment facility the perfect solution for providing island resorts with potable water for staff and guests, without the need to constantly ship in clean water. It can all be produced on-site.


We’ve already touched on some of the advantages, such as potability and how a mobile, self-contained containerized water treatment plant is a fantastic idea for island resorts and so on, but let’s see what else they offer.

Depending on the size container you choose for your water treatment plant, the footprint won’t actually take up a lot of space once installed. Due to the fact that these plants are self-contained within a solid, rectangular metal box, the location of the plant is generally very easy. So long as there is flat, solid ground for the container water treatment plant to rest on, you’ll be good to go.

Constructing a mobile treatment plant such as the containerized model is far more cost-effective than building a larger, more permanent structure. Many of these compact water treatment plants are very simple to operate and can often be handled by just one or two people.


We’ve already talked about desalination units being a practical idea for resorts where there is no natural freshwater supply.

Industrial sites that require filtered water to operate machinery without clogging up parts could also make use of this portable water treatment option.

Containerized water treatment is also the perfect solution for providing a way to make freshwater in disaster-stricken regions. For example, after a cyclone or severe bushfires. Plants can be readily shipped in and put to use creating fresh drinking water.

Mining and agriculture are other industries that could make use of this type of water treatment system; either to produce potable water or to filter and process water for machinery and crops.

Another possibility is for domestic use. Maybe you have a house on the beach or near a lake and want to produce your very own drinking water. With the containerized solution, anything is possible. It may be an investment in equipment to begin with, but ultimately you could save money on your water bills. Creating your own household water supply can also play a small role in helping the environment; especially if you can devise ways to recycle some of the water you use.


Tiger Containers is one of Australia’s most recognised and established shipping container suppliers. We hire and sell new and used shipping containers at convenient depots located around the country.

Part of our core business is shipping container modification. If you need a container transformed so it can be used for practically any other purpose – including containerized water treatment facilities – then talk to us about your requirements and we’ll make it happen. Contact us today.

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