This Food Company Boosted Operations by Anticipating Regulations

By anticipating regulatory requirements, a global sausage company met its goals for compliance and production flexibility. Even better, they reduced operating costs by 14 percent.

Challenge

A global maker of sausage products is increasing production to meet rising market demand and product diversification. Anticipating this growth and its impact on wastewater treatment systems, the company wanted to optimize wastewater operations at its two adjacent treatment plants.

The goal of the evaluations was to stay in compliance with regulations and provide the facilities with the production flexibility they needed, now and into the future. The evaluation included:

  • Phosphorous limits
  • Hydraulic limitations
  • Operational costs
    • Residual management
    • Chemicals
    • Micro-filtration

SEH wastewater specialists developed a master plan for a facilities upgrade to address these issues and save money. All key stakeholders participated in workshops to make sure the proposed design met their needs, which included meeting permit requirements, delivering cost efficient construction and achieving operational savings.

Results

The completed facilities upgrade addressed each of the company’s key areas of concern:

  • Phosphorous limit compliance
    • Achieved phosphorus limit compliance via installation of a chemical clarifier (lime), and by providing low phosphorous concentrations to the activated sludge plant for final polishing
  • Hydraulic limitations increased flexibility
    • Established additional “wide” spots within existing system to handle the fluctuations of the daily and weekly demands to the plant. This approach provided capacity to allow changes in production as needed and to achieve flexibility between the adjacent plants
  • Operational costs reduced by 14 percent
    • Reduced the company’s overall operating costs for wastewater treatment by approximately 14 percent . Savings were achieved through design and operational changes, including:
      • Reduced residual management costs by eliminating the need for trucking from 300 trucks per month to 100 trucks per month
      • Eliminating the micro-filtration system to reduce high chemical costs
      • Reducing electrical costs by optimizing blower operation from two full-time to two 1/3 time
      • Eliminating muriatic acid, sodium hypochlorite and sodium bisulfate
      • Avoiding permit exceedance penalties by maintaining NPDES permit compliance for BOD, TSS and TP during construction and three months of extreme cold weather conditions
      • Developing stability in the activated sludge process

About the Expert

Steve Peterson

Steve Peterson, PE, has worked with food and beverage clients throughout his 30 year career to help navigate changing wastewater regulations and implement cost-effective solutions. Contact Steven

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