A client in the food and beverage industry contacted Antea Group for help with wastewater management. One of their plants has a dual UF membrane filtration system to treat the incoming water for soft drink production. Currently the concentrate rejected from the membrane units is discharged to the sanitary sewer, and the facility is facing significant increases of water and sewer rates in the future.
The facility-wide water conservation assessment concluded that reuse of pump cooling water and concentrate reject represented major opportunities for water conservation and reducing the water and sewer bills.
The conservation study included the collection of water quality data and the preparation of a water balance diagram to model incoming, points of usage, and discharges for current and future flows.
The reuse treatment system for membrane reject included the following components: reject EQ tank, feed pumps, dual columns softener, reuse storage tank, distribution pumps, and UV disinfection. The treated water will tap into the current plant water distribution line which feeds most of the facility’s consumption, including cooling towers, conveyer line lubricants, restrooms, and general washing and cleaning. The reject treatment system has a design flow of 38,000 gpd and the treatment system cost payback is anticipated less than 2 years. The study findings have the potential to reduce the sewer discharge about 80% from the current 100,000 gpd flow.
The UF membrane water treatment unit was installed for the client about 10 years ago. This membrane reject reuse treatment system will be the first prototype for the client, and they are interested in applying the concept at other facilities throughout the company. Other important benefits from water conservation include the life cycle extension of water reuse for ISO14000 certification and the reservation of water capacity.