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Water treatment solution for gin distillery

16 January 2023

A water treatment solution has helped optimise operational processes for a large-scale gin distillery.

By adding its Hydrex 4301 water treatment chemical via a single dosing pump, Veolia Water Technologies UK (VWT UK) was able to successfully remove excessive levels of residual free chlorine from the feedwater to improve the efficiency of the water conditioning units and prevent damage to the water softeners.

One of the oldest distilleries in the world, the company has, traditionally, used a set of water conditioning units to process approximately 30m3/hr of raw water. However, since moving location, the distillery had suffered from an uncontrolled deterioration of the ion exchange resin beds inside these units. While this issue did not affect product quality from the site, it resulted in increased CAPEX to maintain the required levels of gin production. This was due to excessive levels of residual free chlorine, approximately 0.89 mg/l, in the facility’s feedwater.

Therefore, the distillery made the decision to work with a water treatment specialist that would be able to help reduce the presence of residual free chlorine in the feedwater to approximately 0.2 mg/l, a level that would not damage the distillery’s water softeners. It was also crucial that the solution was installed would be able to efficiently to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. 

Following a competitive bid, the company selected water treatment specialist VWT UK, which had previously carried out periodic servicing of the distillery’s water softeners and reverse osmosis (RO) systems – so the two companies already had a relationship.

To effectively treat the residual free chlorine for removal from the facility’s feedwater, VWT UK supplied its Hydrex 4301 – a water treatment chemical that is specifically formulated for RO systems with polyamide membranes that can be affected by chlorine.

Minimal operator input
It was vital that the issue could be resolved with minimal operator input, so VWT UK installed a single dosing pump with flexible dosing pipework and an intermediate bulk container (IBC) bundstand. The dosing pump was then connected via a 110v lead and socket to transmit a signal to stop and start dosing depending upon whether the water feed pump was active. This ensured that the chemical was only dosed when required. 

Thanks to the water treatment solution, the distillery has now been able to reduce the level of residual free chlorine in its feedwater to <0.2 mg/l and prolong the life of the components in the water softeners. This eliminated the need to bring in demineralised water with the use of road tankers, a process that had been required when the resin beds had failed previously. 

The company has also been able to accurately baseline its facility output and plan its day-to-day operations more effectively, resulting in reduced unplanned spend and CAPEX while maintaining the same levels of gin production.

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