“The results are truly amazing,” says Terry McCarthy. “And they extend far beyond water treatment per se.” Up to 95 percent of the consumed water can be fully and safely recycled. Even the treated sludge can often be recycled: In a distillery, the treatment process generates organic fertilizer that can be made available to local farmers. Also, the methane-rich biogas from the bioreactor can help significantly reduce the plant’s energy costs. If used as a fuel, the company can then reduce its fossil fuel purchases. Production and recycling form a feedback loop that benefits both the company and environment.
The reuse of wastewater can be very extensive, as seen in the Aquabio recycling solution installed at “Cucina Sano” in Boston, Lincolnshire. Italian ready-made meals produced at food processor Bakkavor’s site are then sold at retailer Marks & Spencer. The fully automated site has been gradually expanded over the past ten years and the wastewater is thoroughly cleaned and used throughout the entire company. It is returned to the factory and reused in the production process and office services.
“Technology is not an end in itself. The fulcrum of every system are the customer’s needs and goals,” says Terry McCarthy. A standardized technological solution is not desirable or recommended, as the production, product and industrial design requirements are too different. “We design and develop a system in close coordination with the manufacturing company,” says the Aquabio manager. “In the end, the decisive factor is an individual process solution - a reliable, affordable package that is efficient in daily operations.”