Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa is investing about $2.5 million in a new wastewater treatment plant from Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies South Africa, to facilitate the manufacturing of the all-new Ranger at its Silverton assembly plant.
The Veolia subsidiary will design, supply and install the treatment plant that will also see the first locally installed ContiFilt, a technology of continuously regenerated sand filtration.
The existing decade-old wastewater treatment plant that previously pretreated water before it ended up at the Tshwane Sewage Works is no longer able to handle the new capacity and municipal requirements, Ford says.
Ford looked into the possibility of upgrading the existing water plant, but decided it would be more cost-effective to decommission the old plant and construct a new plant, boasting the latest technology.
The process will see used process water routed to the old plant via an underground effluent pipe network. A tie-in will be made on the effluent network to the new treatment facility, as the new plant is adjacent to the old plant. There is also an existing water purification plant adjacent to both the old and the new plant, where treated water is further purified in order to be used within Ford manufacturing processes.
The new plant should more than double the amount of water that Ford can recycle at the site from 7 to 15 percent of wastewater.
While this system allows for the purification of water for industrial and process usage only, future projects such as those that have been implemented at other Ford facilities around the globe could allow for the use of recycled water for day-to-day human usage. This would see the use of recycled water increase by as much as 40 percent. However, due to the complexities of ensuring all health and safety aspects are taken into account, this would only be considered at a later date, Ford says.
Last week, Veolia Water North America announced results of a study into its Actiflo Carb product that showed it could remove large amounts of pharmaceuticals, personal care products and phosphorus from wastewater. With the use of Actiflo Carb, 75 percent of the selected pharmaceuticals and personal care products can be removed from wastewater. Additionally, phosphorus was reduced to a concentration of 0.05 mg/L or less, well below the US EPA’s regulatory limit set at 1.0 mg/L, the report showed.