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Targeted Solution Propels Industrial Food Processor into the Future

During the production process, many industrial manufacturers create wastewater that requires treatment before discharge. Because of the extensive range of possible pollutants, stringent regulations that vary by location, and the cost impacts associated with different treatment strategies, there is no “one size fits all” solution to properly treat this wastewater. With those constraints in mind, Snyder & Associates has provided ongoing engineering assistance to a large, western Iowa food production facility for more than ten years. As they continue to grow and adapt to a changing business climate, our team has been there to help guide them on their road to success.

Specialized Needs Require Creative Water Treatment Solutions

This food production facility operates a wastewater treatment system with an organic loading equivalent to a population of approximately 100,000 people. Industrial food production wastewater components are often difficult to predict due to the differences in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), phosphorous, nitrogen, and chloride levels, and pH in effluents from vegetable, fruit, and meat products. Since our client falls into this category, high-strength wastewater is produced and requires specialized treatment solutions to efficiently treat all effluent streams.

Submersible Pump located inside Sequencing Batch Reactor prior to system startup

Inside of the SBR tank looking at the submersible pumps and piping system prior to startup of treatment operations.

Our team initially began working with the client to meet these treatment demands. The wastewater experts with Snyder & Associates custom-designed a high-technology wastewater treatment system, including anaerobic lagoons followed by a Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) treatment system. Individually, each of these processes can be effective in typical wastewater treatment. However, when placed in a sequence they can aggressively treat highly-concentrated effluent. Using an innovative method, this system was designed to fit into existing, repurposed concrete tanks. This not only saved the client money, but it also challenged our team to devise a complete system to match the confined space and maximize the area’s potential.

In the intervening years after this system was implemented, the company has continued to grow while regulations concerning wastewater have become increasingly stringent. Due to these circumstances, the facility continually requires numerous new and updated treatment processes. After performing a continuing needs assessment, our design experts created a system to expand capacity and meet the updated regulations. Unlike the previous system, this update was augmented with flow equalization to help minimize flow variations. It was also equipped to utilize chemical aids for improved settling when required.

Conscious Decisions in Industrial Funding and Permitting

While our central focus for this client is predominantly wastewater collection and treatment, our experts know other aspects lead to a facility’s growth and success, including funding and permitting. Working with state regulators, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others, we helped this client achieve compliance with newly-adopted requirements and work through extensive permitting processes. We were also able to identify creative means of compliance when onsite upgrades proved cost-prohibitive. We understand that stringent treatment regulations are placed on industrial facilities, coupled with a lack of available financial assistance. Because of this, our team is well-positioned to recommend only what is necessary for a facility to run efficiently while still meeting the required permit limits.

Permitting is essential for all project types but is particularly critical in the industrial services industry. For this client, our environmental experts have conducted multiple studies and compiled documents for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plans (SPCC), and Title V Air Permitting.

Green dye flows into river during dye testing

Snyder & Associates conducting Dye Testing in the local waterways as part of the pollution prevention plan.

NPDES permits were created to prevent the spread of pollution through stormwater and wastewater by specifying monitoring and reporting requirements along with the limits a facility can discharge to assure that the effluent does not diminish local water quality. To assist this client in achieving this regulatory compliance, our team creates a Nutrient Reduction Strategy and coordinates permit monitoring, corrective actions, inspections, and any necessary reporting documents. Additionally, this facility is required to have an SPCC plan in place due to its storage capacity and a reasonable expectation of a potential discharge into local waterways. Our professionals update this plan every five years so that it remains an active document for the facilities management team.

Title V of the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires any operation verified as a ‘major source’ of air pollutants to obtain and operate in compliance with a Title V Operating Permit. Our team obtains the necessary permits for this client by analyzing emission points and their respective units, calculating contributing impurities being released to ensure they fall under required limits, and combining our findings into a detailed permitting package. While the CAA is a federal program, Title V permitting is typically administered by the states. Snyder & Associates has direct, consistent contact with regulatory agencies, ensuring we are staying on top of permitting trends and requirements.

Continuing Quality Work with Industrial Clients

Snyder & Associates has the in-house expertise to deliver customized industrial wastewater treatment designs for our clients. We have the ability to integrate multiple components and disciplines to develop an individualized solution that fits our clients’ requirements. Whether traditionally or creatively, Snyder & Associates works hard to provide cost-effective solutions for wastewater treatment and discharge, enabling our industrial clients to manage costs, increase production, and stay competitive in their ever-changing market.