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Effluent specialists lightened load for Premier Foods

19 May 2011

Siltbuster Process Solutions has installed a Dissolved Air Flotation unit (DAF) at Premier Foods’ Ambrosia Creamery in Lifton, Devon

Premier Foods manufactures some of the nation's favourite food brands including Ambrosia custard and rice pudding, Hovis bread, Mr Kipling cakes, Sharwood's Asian foods, Batchelors soups, Loyd Grossman sauces and Bisto gravy among others.

The volume and strength of effluent being discharged can often prove challenging for food production sites in terms of both pressure on the onsite treatment capacity and complying with discharge consents to river or sewer.

At Premier Foods’ Lifton site, the months in the run up to Christmas each year traditionally led to the effluent treatment plant being significantly overloaded, resulting in much higher operating costs and difficulty in maintaining a stable treatment operation.

During 2010, the site decided to seek ways of alleviating this and engaged SPS to assist. After initial assessment, a D100 packaged lamella DAF (Dissolved Air Flotation) plant was recommended and installed, to remove solids, fats, oils and grease and the associated chemical oxygen demand (COD).

This successfully reduced the COD loading on the biological treatment stage by about 30 per cent and continues to ensure a stable operation with vastly reduced operating costs.

Clwyd Jones, business unit manager for SPS, comments: “This application at Lifton serves as an excellent example of our ability to deliver effective solutions in a timely manner. A treatment plant which is overloaded and unstable can present real problems; costs and demands on operations staff can quickly spiral out of control, not to mention the potential effects on production.

This site already had an existing balance tank and good treatment facilities, but the process needed respite by reducing the load at the front end of the works. This is where SPS stepped in.”

The D100 DAF unit supplied by SPS is the company’s largest mobile hire unit. It uses established solids and liquid separation technology to generate ‘whitewater’, where microfine air bubbles combine with solids, fats and other particulates and rise to the surface of the DAF unit.

The solids thicken on the surface and are automatically removed by a motorised scraper. The treated water flows onto the biological treatment stage of the treatment plant while the solids are taken away for recycling.

Jones continues: “Our packaged design enables us to deliver and install the DAF unit in a compact area and be up and running in a matter of days, sometimes hours – something we know our customers expect.”

Ian Thomas, infrastructure and utilities engineering manager at Premier Foods, says: “SPS’s DAF unit provided a cost-effective solution to our biological loading capacity problems. The unit continues to perform very well, with little intervention, reducing demand on resources.

“As well as the operational improvements, it also significantly reduced our treatment costs while enabling us to comply with our discharge consent. From the initial advice on identifying the best solution, through to the completion of the hire period, SPS’s expertise has been invaluable.”

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