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Tuesday, 12 July 2016 10:41

Growing food firm prevents grease problems for Devon's beautiful waterways

The potential environmental problems from the fats, oils and greases from one of the factories of Dartmouth Foods have been solved thanks to a new energy efficient wastewater treatment system.

dartmouth foods siltbusterDartmouth Foods’ two factories are surrounded by some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery. One is on the edge of the South Devon coast and the other is near Dartmoor National Park. These sites are responsible for producing predominantly shredded duck and chicken. The fats, oils and greases (FOG) produced by this activity were putting such a large strain on the sewerage infrastructure near the company’s Dartmouth site, that in November 2013 South West Water asked Dartmouth Foods to install a system for FOG removal.

Dartmouth Foods prides itself on its environmental credentials and so quickly responded, installing a grease interceptor. However, it became clear that this wasn’t up to the task as Phil Maishman from Dartmouth Foods explains: “The grease trap very quickly filled up. It just couldn’t keep pace with our production and so didn’t perform. We had to keep emptying it to stay compliant with the water company, but that’s time intensive. We just knew we hadn’t got the right long-term, solution.”

As a result Dartmouth Foods turned to Siltbuster Process Solutions, known for its work with major food and drink brands.

Siltbuster’s experts took samples of the wastewater and recommended a combination of a Mix Tank plus a packaged lamella Dissolved Air Flotation unit (DAF).

Dartmouth Foods kit copySiltbuster has a fleet of over 400 units which companies can hire at short notice. This enables it to respond to urgent problems fast, and also means companies like Dartmouth Foods can test out a solution without committing to a major capital purchase.

DAF units are specifically designed to remove suspended solids. Using proven solids/liquid separation technology, the DAF units create ‘white-water’ by dissolving air under pressure and then releasing it to form micro fine air bubbles. The solids attach themselves to the air bubbles which rise to the surface. The solids are thickened by natural de-watering and removed by means of a mechanical scraper.

The DAF hired by Dartmouth Foods quickly proved successful. Treating 1.5  m3/h, it neutralised the effluent, before the FOG, TSS and associated COD were removed. The removed fat was pumped to the mixing tank where it was mixed with other sludges from the site before being pumped into an anaerobic digestion facility.

Given this performance, Dartmouth Foods bought the system from Siltbuster just two months later, in November 2015.  Phil Maishman concludes: “Eight months on from this purchase we are incredibly pleased. The level at which the Siltbuster system is performing means we’re now easily maintaining consent compliance, which is of course critical. As importantly for us, and our environmental reputation, we’re also keen to put the waste produced to good use, creating energy which makes our production even more cost efficient and green.”

LINKS
Dartmouth Foods
Siltbuster Process Solutions
Fats, oils, grease - Water UK