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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment
Beverage Industry

Water Saving Tips for the Beverage Industry

GENERAL SUGGESTIONS

  • Appoint a water conservation coordinator with the responsibility and authority for a water conservation program.
  • Make the plant manager and other employees aware of the water conservation coordinator's function.
  • Increase employee awareness of water conservation by explaining the importance of individual actions to the success of the program.
  • Seek employee ideas for water conservation using contests, rewards, and suggestion boxes.
  • Read water meter daily to monitor and report the success of water conservation efforts.

SURVEY THE PLANT

A plant survey helps to establish facility water savings potential by identifying areas where water is wasted or where water could be reused.

  • Identify the major water lines. Determine the quality, quantity, and temperature of water carried by each.
  • Identify all points where water is used, including hose connections. Determine the quantity of water used at each point.
  • Determine the capacity of each water-containing unit and frequency of emptying.
  • Determine the capacity of each continuous discharge not yet being reused.
  • Determine flow rates in floor gutters and whether the flows are adequate to prevent solids accumulation.

EVALUATE SURVEY

Review the information developed during the survey.

  • Identify the major water-using operations.
  • Review the water re-use practices currently employed and develop plans to improve re-use. Study the potential for screening and disinfecting reclaimed water to increase the number of times it can be re-used.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of installing cooling towers.

WATER CONSERVATION TIPS

  • Install high-pressure low-volume nozzles on spray washers.
  • Use fogging nozzles to cool product.
  • Install in-line strainers on all spray headers; inspect nozzles regulatory for clogging.
  • Adjust pump cooling and flushing water to the minimum required.
  • Determine whether discharges from any operation can be substituted for fresh water supplied to another operation. Discharges that can potentially be re-used are:
    • final rinses from tank cleaning, keg washers, fermenters
    • bottle and can soak and rinse water
    • cooler flush water, filter backwash
    • pasteurizer and sterilizer water.
  • Areas of possible re-use are:
    • first rinses in wash cycles
    • can shredder, bottle crusher
    • filter backflush
    • caustic dilution
    • boiler makeup
    • refrigeration equipment defrost
    • equipment cleaning, floor and gutter wash.
  • Use conveying systems that use water efficiently.
  • Handle waste materials in a dry mode if possible.
  • Replace high-volume hoses with high-pressure, low-volume cleaning systems.
  • As equipment wears out, replace with water-saving models.
  • Equip all hoses with spring loaded shutoff nozzles. Be sure these nozzles are not removed.
  • Instruct employees to use hoses sparingly and only when necessary.
  • Adjust overflows from recirculation systems by controlling the rate at which make-up water is added:
    • install float-controlled valve on the makeup line.
    • close filling line during operation.
    • provide surge tanks for each system to avoid overflow.
      turn off all flows during shutdowns (unless flows are essential for cleanup).
    • use solenoid valves to stop the flow of water when production stops. The valves could be activated by tying them to drive motor controls.
      adjust flow in sprays and other lines to meet minimum requirements.

EVALUATE CLEAN-UP PROCEDURES

  • Sweep and shovel solid materials from the floor; do not use hoses for this purpose
  • Provide an adequate number of receptacles for collecting solids and empty the receptacles frequently to prevent odor and insect problems.
  • Inventory all cleaning equipment (such as hoses) provided in the plant:
    Determine the number and types of units provided.
  • Inventory all cleaning chemicals used in the facility to determine if they are being used correctly and if they are water efficient.

EXTERIOR AREAS

  • Wash autos, buses, and trucks less often.
  • Discontinue using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, loading docks, and parking lots.
  • Consider using mobile sweepers and vacuums.
  • Avoid landscape fertilizing and pruning stimulating excessive growth.
  • Remove weeds and unhealthy plants so remaining plants can benefit from the water saved.
  • In many cases, older, established plants require only infrequent irrigation. Look for indications of water need, such as wilting, change of color, or dry soils.
  • Limit landscaping additions and alterations.
  • In the future, design landscapes with native plants which require less water.
  • Install soil moisture overrides or timers on sprinkler systems.
  • Time watering, when possible, to occur in the early morning or evening when evaporation is lowest.
  • Make sure irrigation equipment applies water uniformly.
  • Investigate the advantages of installing drip irrigation systems.
  • Mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and discourage weeds.
  • Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage the movement of water to the root zone.
  • Avoid runoff and make sure sprinklers cover just the lawn or garden, not sidewalks, driveways, or gutters.
  • Do not water on windy days.

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