Robert Wiseman Dairies’ plant in Bridgwater, Somerset, has become the first UK dairy to use reverse osmosis to treat wastewater so that it can be reused on-site.
The £250,000 plant will produce 200,000 litres of water a day, a quarter of the plant’s use. This will be put into the plant’s main tank.
Previously the effluent could only be used to water a neighbouring cricket pitch.
The company has a target to reduce water use by 25% by 2015, higher than the 20% target set in the sector-wide milk roadmap (ENDS Report 400, pp 25-26).
Reverse osmosis is a filtration method used to separate pollutants from water.
A band of food manufacturers, including Kellogg, commissioned plants in the early 2000s to cut effluent and water costs (ENDS Report 353, p 27), but Robert Wiseman is the first dairy to follow their lead.