Our client in this case study is a UK-based food manufacturer with several large sites. Trade effluent costs range from around £30,000 per annum to over £250,000 per annum. The company as a whole spends around £1m each year on disposing of trade effluent via public sewers. In addition, two sites were struggling to comply fully with their effluent discharge consents.
We audited five of the client's sites and uncovered a range of low-cost opportunities and behaviour-related changes that the client could make that would have a noticeable effect on their trade effluent costs. For example, improving floor cleaning practices and minimising spills of ingredients and finished products at one large site was found to reduce trade effluent costs by around £3.50 per cubic metre. We helped the client to develop a plan for changing water and effluent management behaviours within the group to realise these cost and compliance benefits.
At two of the client's larger sites we have developed designs and options for effluent treatment systems. These are bespoke and have been designed to fit the customer's needs exactly. The plants are modular and can be extended easily in the future if needed, giving the client flexibility and comfort that the plants have been future-proofed, Each plant is based on gravity settlement of solids with pH correction and sludge collection facilities. We carried out all of the outline design and identified potential suppliers of equipment. We worked with the client during installation and commissioning and the reduction in solids and COD now being discharged to the sewer has led to significant cost savings and has also guaranteed compliance with discharge consents and removed the threat of any further action by the local water companies.
This is a good example of where auditing helped to achieve cost savings and discharge compliance without the need for treatment at three sites. It also shows how the right treatment in the right place achieved further savings and guaranteed consent compliance. Contact us to find out how our auditing and optioneering services can help.