Case Study: Recycling Water in the Food Industry to Save Money and the Environment
CharTech designs, builds, and installs a water recycling system at an apple juice processing facility resulting in $150,000 annual savings in wastewater treatment costs.
Algoma Orchards is Canada’s largest independently-owned apple grower and packing company. The Ontario-based company has a fully integrated production facility east of Toronto that packages apples for wholesale, presses juice, and produces a variety of prepared products such as baked goods and gourmet foods.
As Algoma Orchards production capacity grew, it was limited as to the amount of water supply available. Also, wastewater was trucked off-site for treatment. The facility is located in a rural area and not connected to municipal water & wastewater infrastructure. The company determined that conventional approaches to water supply and wastewater treatment would not meet their process requirements and business growth objectives.
Algoma engaged the services of Toronto-based CharTech Solutions to develop and implement the water recycling system that solved both the water supply and wastewater treatment issue. The heart of the water recycling system is a high efficiency membrane bioreactor (MBR) referred to as System HydroKleen™. The advantage of the HydroKleen™ MBR in an industrial setting is that it is compact and produces very little sludge. The aerobic microorganisms in the MBR remove the BOD from the wastewater and the ultra filtration system removes any suspended solids.
Figure 1: Kirk Kemp, President of Algoma Orchards, inside the juice processing facility
The water is polished using reverse osmosis and, if necessary, chlorination. The recycled water is suitable for food grade uses. The clean water generated from the water recycling system at Algoma is re-used in the facility with the exception of the bakery. A septic tile bed manages the concentrate from the reverse osmosis unit.
The system is fully integrated and only requires a trained operator for oversight and maintenance.
The water recycling system provides a self-reliant water system for the facility, reduces its demand on local groundwater supplies and ensure an abundant, sustainable supply of water for the production lines. The bakery utilizes the supply of fresh water provided by the groundwater wells on site.
Kirk Kemp, President of Algoma Orchards, said, “We are constantly innovating at Algoma Orchards. The water recycling project, the first of its kind at a food processing facility in North America, proved to be a success for us.”
Mr. Kemp stated, “We save about $150,000 annually over what it would cost to truck the wastewater to local treatment facility. We are proud to be the first food processing facility in North America to have implemented this idea.”
Figure 2: Kirk Kemp (left) of Algoma Orchards Innovation Award for Water Recycle System from local government official
For more information or advice, contact CharTech Solutions.
At 416.467.5555 or info@CharTechSolutions.com