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Milk Co-Op Uses Low-Energy Wastewater Treatment

ArlaArla Foods, a milk cooperative in Vimmerby, Sweden, has installed a Grundfos low-energy system for processing its wastewater, allowing it to expand while keeping its sustainability targets, according to The Guardian.

More than 13,500 farmers in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK own the cooperative, which processes an average of 1.5 million kg of milk daily.

The cooperative planned to expand in 2012, but the municipality’s wastewater treatment facility was already running at full capacity, and expanding the facility to meet Arla’s needs was estimated to take three to four years.

Arla contacted Grundfos, which ultimately installed its BioBooster decentralized wastewater system at Arla’s facility in May 2013. The BioBooster uses multiple membranes for wastewater treatment.

According to Pär Bragsjö of Arla, the facility is now running 400 cubic meters of water through the system a day, which is almost 50 percent of the plant’s total wastewater flow.

The treated water matches or exceeds local wastewater requirements for chemical oxygen demand, nitrogen and phosphorous, and it can be discharged into the local stream and surrounding wetlands. The capacity of the Arla’s BioBooster unit equals a wastewater treatment plant for 18,000 people.

Arla leadership is pleased with the system, as it aligns with Arla’s Closer to Nature program, which has an overall target of reducing the company’s CO2 emissions by 34 percent from 2005 to 2020 and reducing the amount of water used by 20 percent.

Last year, Arla was one of a number of Dairy UK members that signed an agreement with the Waste and Resources Action Program to cut the dairy industry’s water use and improve its water management.

In addition, representatives from Grundfos were part of a 90-member expert panel that gave input on last year’s Global Cleantech 100 list and report.

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