www.foodtechnology.co.nz 23 TAKING CARE OF WASTEWATER The dairy industry is performing strongly in New Zealand, but with growth comes the responsibility of dealing with the resulting wastewater in a manner that minimises its impact on the environment, Apex Environmental says. FT344 DAIRY From large dairy factories to boutique producers of value-added foodstuffs, Apex Environmental has extensive experience in the treatment of dairy wastewater covering discharges to trade waste and also to land. The company has worked alongside the nation’s dairy companies to design and build cutting-edge treatment plants, ensuring peace of mind while minimising the ‘distress spending’ associated with environmental compliance. At the small end of the scale, Apex has installed a treatment process for an infant formula manufacturer that includes a 12m3/hr Aerofloat dissolved air flotation (DAF) unit and pH correction system for the removal of solids and fats, oil and grease before discharge to the sewer at a controlled rate. A small footprint allows the system to be installed on sites that are constrained for space. A recent large-scale project completed by Apex involved the conversion of an existing concrete storage tank to a biological treatment plant in order to reduce the total organic loading in the wastewater before discharge into a river. The installation maximised the use of existing equipment on site, thereby minimising the capital cost of the upgrade, and was successfully completed while maintaining site operations. Another such project involved the conversion of an existing clarifier into a DAF unit and the installation of additional surface aerators to an existing treatment pond, which allowed the site’s total wastewater flow to be treated, thereby improving the overall effluent quality. Thinking outside the box allowed for the repurposing of existing equipment, thereby minimising costs. Whether the process involves milk powder production, UHT milk, cheese or other value-added products, Apex Environmental is ideally placed to resolve any wastewater treatment or compliance issues, allowing sites to focus on their core business and what they do best.
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