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March 30, 2021 | Gregory Vierkant

Wastewater Management Techniques that Ensure Compliance and ROI

Over the last 50 years, industry has made substantial investments in their wastewater pre-treatment facilities, initially prompted by the Clean Water Act. These investments have significantly improved the quality of effluent discharged to surface water bodies or publicly owned treatment works, and as a result, improved our communities and environment.

Foth Provides Solutions Based on Decades of Experience

Foth’s wastewater engineering and compliance experience spans a full range of industries including food processing, consumer packaged goods, pulp and paper, and mining. We provide services to 10 of the top 20 U.S. food and beverage companies. Foth brings together its Environmental Solutions, Production Solutions, and Infrastructure Solutions divisions to provide total wastewater management on projects like the following.

  • Expanding a Wastewater Pre-treatment System: One of our clients needed to expand its wastewater pre-treatment system after consolidating its bacon manufacturing operations to an existing facility. We evaluated the existing system and developed projections for the additional flow and pollutant loadings that would come with increased production. Foth was able to reduce costs for this client by repurposing existing equipment and completed the improvements without disrupting production.
  • Finding New and Innovative Uses for Wastewater: Foth evaluated the waste characteristics for two cranberry producers planning to expand. Wastewater was discharged to a publicly owned treatment works where they contributed most of the organic load. Our engineers determined the high-strength organic wastewater could be fed to the treatment works digester, a move that was less costly and produced valuable biogas to generate electricity and power the wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Navigating Compliance and the Clean Water Act: For an industrial client, Foth prepared an environmental compliance plan that helped the facility settle a violation under the Clean Water Act.
  • Solving Complex Challenges with Short Timelines: Foth engineers worked with a vegetable processor faced with an aging lagoon system, which was experiencing additional hydrostatic stresses on the lagoon liner due to rising ground water. Our approach included repairing and upgrading the lagoon system, as well as making enhancements to the aeration system and the surrounding infrastructure. Due to high seasonal production rates, it was critical Foth complete the design and construction in the lower production season to ensure production levels were not curtailed by the project. Foth began design work in March 2020 and completed the project — including the permitting, engineering, procuring and equipment work, and coordination of contractors and vendors — by the end of November.

The Future of Wastewater Management

Using the right technology is a key consideration when planning for wastewater and often a combination of technologies provides the best solution. At the front end, Foth works to understand the unique characteristics of a facility’s wastewater to determine the treatment requirements and configure the right technologies to meet them while moving the project forward at the speed of manufacturing.

Foth’s 80 years of experience in the manufacturing sector allows us to understand our clients’ decision-making processes and capital expenditure cycles, providing a foundation from which we support clients’ expansion plans and ensure profitability now and in the coming years. Our engineers have a history of applying leading-edge technologies to the treatment of industrial wastewater management. Foth designed one of the first anaerobic contact processes at a slaughterhouse in Wisconsin and more recently, we designed a moving bed bioreactor to accommodate a doubling of organic waste load. The demand for inventive solutions such as these will only keep growing.

The need for water conservation and reuse, coupled with more rigorous effluent requirements, will continue to be priorities for manufacturers. Foth is committed to helping clients enhance their profitability by minimizing the amount of water they use, reducing the amount of wastewater their operations produce, and finding unique solutions to reuse wastewater.

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