Reducing Costs at Processing Plants

Finding ways to become more efficient and economical is the goal of all successful manufacturing plants. Choosing the right on-site biological wastewater treatment system can result in considerable cost savings for industrial processors—including disposal, electrical, chemical, and labor costs. 

Surcharges & Water Costs

Installing wastewater pre-treatment at your facility reduces—and can even eliminate—surcharges incurred by sending untreated wastewater to a local municipal treatment plant. For example, Golden Flake Snack Foods was able to eliminate surcharges at its manufacturing facility entirely. This is one of the biggest motivators for industrial processors to invest in an on-site treatment system.

ADI Systems’ aerobic technologies, such as the membrane bioreactor (ADI-MBR), can meet even the strictest discharge limits, helping processors remain compliant with environmental regulations and avoid steep penalties for improper wastewater disposal. Aerobic technologies are also a good starting point for water reuse projects because they can produce a very high-quality effluent with extremely low nitrogen, phosphorus, BOD, and TSS concentrations. Remember: when you save water, you save money!

Electrical Costs

According to UN-Water*, the industrial sector accounts for about 37 percent of primary global energy use, and electricity demand is expected to grow by approximately 70 percent by 2035. Luckily, industrial processing plants can save energy and money by investing in anaerobic digestion technology.

Compared to aerobic treatment, anaerobic digestion can reduce electrical power consumption by 70-90 percent. This is because aerobic technologies require large quantities of power for aeration, and anaerobic technologies do not have that same requirement. Less aeration requirements mean fewer costs.

Anaerobic digestion also naturally produces money-saving biogas, which can be captured and used to generate process heat or electricity, further offsetting energy costs. Energy recovery through biogas generation typically equals 0.35 m³ of methane gas per kg of COD removed. This is one of the easiest ways to get a return on the investment of an on-site wastewater treatment system.

Chemical Costs

Some physical/mechanical wastewater treatment processes, including dissolved air flotation (DAF) systems, require continuous adjustment of pH levels. The sludge also must be dewatered. Both of these things can be achieved through the addition of chemicals–but chemicals aren’t cheap.

Instead, let bugs do the hard work! Low-rate biological anaerobic wastewater treatment technology requires fewer chemicals to control pH, produces less sludge, and removes more organic load than DAF systems.

Sludge & Hauling Costs

Anaerobic digestion technology can also reduce costs associated with sludge management. Anaerobic wastewater treatment technologies generate considerably less sludge than aerobic systems, so dewatering becomes less of an expense. This helps minimize transportation expenses associated with hauling sludge off-site, which also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Labor Costs

By investing in a stable and robust solution, treatment plants can free up more of their operators’ time, ultimately leading to lower labor costs. Select a technology that performs well even under a wide range of operating conditions, including variations in wastewater flow and characteristics. This allows operators to focus on other tasks.

One example of this type of wastewater treatment system is the low-rate ADI-BVF® reactor. This innovative technology requires very little operator attention, provides flexible sludge wasting, and has minimal equipment and moving parts, further reducing maintenance requirements.

On-site Wastewater Treatment: An Investment that Makes Sense

At first glance, you may think an on-site wastewater treatment system is out of your budget, but do the math. It’s important to consider all of the above factors so you can make an informed decision. An on-site treatment system may be the most economically-sound decision for your plant.

To learn more about the value of treating wastewater at your facility,
download this ebook.

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*Source: UN-Water