Many food processing industries generate effluent, sludge, biosolids and other materials that must be properly managed. Because water quality standards and effluent limits are very low, process water and wastewater can be expensive to treat.
Due to the large volumes of water requiring treatment, CES has helped many food processors incorporate land application to eliminate discharge to surface water. Land application of process and wastewater is typically 50% less expensive than mechanical treatment.
In many cases, CES has found a beneficial use for these materials. Many food processing plants use process waters to irrigate a variety of agricultural crops including forage grasses, grains and hybrid poplars. CES soil scientists design complete process plans coupled with land application recycling of wastewater. These scientists are uniquely qualified for land application projects because of their knowledge and experience with soil-waste interactions and vegetation management alternatives. CES' land application project list exceeds 1,000 over the past 30 years.
The EPA and individual states regulate the industry discharge of excess wastewater to surface waters through the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. CES personnel have an on-going involvement with regulatory agency technical committees for wastewater land application. As a result, we have a comprehensive understanding of the most current direction in regulatory policy.