Water reuse in food and beverage facilities

Water reuse in food and beverage facilities

Xylem has produced a white paper to help companies in the food and beverage industry understand how water reuse can reduce supply risk, water use and expenses, while helping meet sustainability goals. The white paper reviews the advantages of different treatment methods and what to consider when selecting pumps for a water reuse system.

Once taken for granted, freshwater is growing increasingly scarce around the world. According to one estimate, global freshwater demand will exceed supply by 40 percent in 2030 if current trends continue. A report last year from CDP found that already two-thirds of the world’s largest companies are reporting exposure to water risks.

“By decreasing dependency on external water sources, water reuse is one method food and beverage facilities can employ to alleviate business risk, enhance sustainability practices and safeguard water quality standards,” says Nate Maguire, Xylem’s Americas Business Unit Director, Industry & Agriculture, and one of the authors of the white paper.

Given the growing interest in water reuse around the world, Xylem produced its new white paper for the food and beverage industry to explain how to deploy water reuse technologies, including which elements should be considered when investing in a system.

Conventional and advanced treatment processes

“Every food and beverage manufacturing facility is unique and may require tailored treatment and water reuse solutions for its applications,” says Greg Claffey, Xylem’s Director of Treatment sales, North America, and another author of the white paper. “Wastewater treatment technologies can be classified in two ways: conventional treatment processes, which can remove solids and adjust pH and chlorine levels, and advanced processes, which filter and oxidize water and result in a higher quality product.”

The white paper describes how companies can identify the right treatment processes for their business, and provides a cost-benefit analysis of the different technologies involved. For example, a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) is compared to a membrane bio reactor (MBR), and chlorine, UV and ozone are evaluated as various disinfection options.

The Pump Selection Framework

“Treating water is just the first step to guaranteeing wastewater is reused efficiently and effectively within a food and beverage plant,” Maguire says. “It’s vital for facilities to also keep in mind water transportation, pressure boosting, and even storage.”

For this reason, the white paper also includes a Pump Selection Framework. The framework includes steps a production facility should consider to substantially improve its energy efficiency in water reuse.

by Simon