The Australian Prime Minister's Water Wise Award is the nation's premier award for water efficiency excellence by commercial and industrial water users.
Inghams Enterprises - Inghams Advanced Water Treatment Plant (Murarrie) project
Poultry processing uses large volumes of water to ensure clean, safe food production. Inghams developed a holistic water management plan and installed an Advanced Water Treatment Plant and water efficient devices, that showed a corporate commitment to a long-term water saving culture.
The Advanced Water Treatment Plant uses commercially available technology to treat wastewater from the poultry processing plant to drinking water quality. It uses a combination of physical, biological and chemical processes to treat the water, including biological nutrient removal, membrane separation techniques, ultraviolet radiation and chlorination.
These processes provide a multibarrier approach to remove micro-organisms and comply with Australian drinking water guidelines. This is the first time an Advanced Water Treatment Plant has been used to treat wastewater from a poultry processing plant to substitute potable water.
Water recycling is particularly innovative in the food processing industry, which requires high quality water and is governed by strict regulations.
The project team engaged key stakeholders and frequently met with government agencies including South East Queensland Water, Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Water, Safe Food Production Queensland, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, Queensland Health and the Environment Protection Authority.
Together they set up a six stage approval process and developed comprehensive audit protocols and guidelines to regulate purified water use at this site as well as in the broader food industry.
Inghams has shown that advanced water treatment technology can be effective in the food processing industry. Inghams has reduced their reliance on mains water by 70 per cent and saved 545 megalitres of water a year. This is an exceptional result in light of the strict water standards required by the food industry. This significant reduction in water use represents world's best practice in water use management.
The 2010 award attracted high quality nominations from a wide range of businesses in Australia who showcased excellence in implementing water efficiency into their operations.
The nominees had to demonstrate:
- a high level of water savings on the project site in comparison to similar facilities
- the ability for the project to be replicated at similar facilities
- the use of innovative technologies or processes, and
- evidence of excellence in project delivery.
The 2010 finalists
The five highest ranked organisations (listed alphabetically) are:
- Amcor Australasia
- Coca-Cola Amatil
- Diageo Australia
- Inghams Enterprises (winner)
- Rossdale Golf Club
Project title: Amcor Australasia's water strategy: using less and sharing more
Amcor aims to become a leader in sustainable packaging and has achieved significant water savings across a number of sites. Since 2007, Amcor has reduced their total Australian water use by 22 per cent, representing total water savings of 1,000 megalitres a year. In 2008-09 Amcor achieved a 36 per cent reduction in potable water use per unit of production and implemented water management plans for all their major sites.
Amcor invests in sharing recycled and harvested water with other community users. Amcor installed water tanks at five sites to harvest and donate more than six million litres of rainwater every year.
Project title: Water Efficiency - change through innovation and employee engagement
Coca Cola Amatil (CCA) initiated 55 water saving projects, including water reclaim, recovery optimisation, recycling and stormwater harvesting across several CCA sites. CCA is one of the most efficient bottlers in the Coke global industry and the international beverage market, estimating their water savings at 53 megalitres a year. The type of water saving projects implemented at CCA can be replicated by other beverage companies and inspire similar water savings across the beverage sector.
CCA projects display significant innovation in terms of delivery and engaging staff, stakeholders and the general community. Through a high-level of staff engagement, all Australian CCA operations compete for recognition as the most water efficient in the company. This allows CCA opportunities for continual improvement.
DIAGEO Australia Limited
Project title: DIAGEO Australia's water saving journey at their Huntingwood facility in Sydney
Diageo is a global premium drinks company who manufacture, market and sell alcohol products around the world. Diageo have set up several innovative water savings measures and management practices at their Huntingwood site.
Since 2003, Diageo's Water-Watch program has helped reduce water usage at the site by 43 per cent, representing 55.5 megalitres of water savings each year. Diageo have set the benchmark in water usage with a savings achievement of 1.2 litres of water for each litre of finished product.
Success can be attributed to the passion of the employees and the ownership of the program by everyone on site. Work practices are continually examined and improved, such as the recent addition of the new vacuum pump designed by one of Diageo Huntingwood's fitters, saving 18 megalitres of water a year.
The effect of some of the water efficiency initiatives:
- 0.7ML - Conditioning charcoal
- 1.2ML - Changes to cleaning procedures
- 2.0ML - Line lube variations
- 3.5ML - Vacuum cooler pumps
- 4.5ML - Spray nozzles for bottle washing
- 12.2ML - Optimisation of Reverse osmosis system
- 18.0ML - Vacuum pump water recycling system
- 42.1ML - Total savings from these initiatives
Approximate water savings a year (megalitres=ML)
Inghams Enterprises (winner)
Project title: Inghams Advanced Water Treatment Plant (Murarrie)
Inghams developed a holistic water management plan and installed an Advanced Water Treatment Plant and water efficient devices, which demonstrate a corporate commitment to a long-term water saving culture.
Water recycling is particularly innovative in the food processing industry, which requires high quality water and is governed by strict regulations. This is the first time an Advanced Water Treatment Plant has been used to treat wastewater from a poultry processing plant to substitute potable water. Inghams has shown that advanced water treatment technology can be effective in the food processing industry and can be used at similar sites.
Inghams reduced their reliance on mains water by 70 per cent, and saved 545 megalitres of water a year. This is a particularly impressive result in light of the strict water standards required by the food industry.
Rossdale Golf Club Limited
Project title: Rossdale Golf Club's Stormwater Harvesting, Storage & Aquifer Project
Rossdale Golf Club is a picturesque bayside course, whose directors and members are determined to ensure a quality course and the survival of the flora and fauna which surrounds the region. Five years of identification, monitoring and implementation has reduced mains water usage by 56 per cent saving 35 megalitres a year and produced a unique aquifer storage and recovery facility.
Permits allow water to be harvested from a stormwater barrel drain running adjacent to the rear of the course. The Club subsequently reconfigured its course and constructed a 13 megalitre capacity storage dam. Recently, construction was completed on a third storage dam with 15 megalitres capacity, bringing the Club's total storage capacity to approximately 43 megalitres.
As a result of water saving activities, bird life on the course has increased by 50 per cent, including species of birds that have not been seen in the area for over 15 years. The Club has also planted more than 400 new native trees to help offset its carbon footprint.
For more information on the 2011 Award visit:
Information on the 2011 finalists and winner of the award.