The cream of effluent treatment

When Dairy Crest acquired Unigate’s dairy and cheese business, increased production led to the need for efficient and cost-effective effluent disposal. The solution, which involved balancing on-site treatment and offsite disposal was provided by Severn Trent Water.

Dairy Crest’s acquisition of Unigate’s dairy and cheese business led to major restructuring within the company, including significant expansion at some sites. Two of these sites were the Creamery at Severnside in Gloucestershire and the Stilton factory at Hartington. When planning these strategic developments, Dairy Crest noted that increased production at the sites would inevitable require enhancements of waste management systems. Severn Trent Water was invited to help it to design and introduce efficient and cost-effective effluent disposal solutions at each site.

Graham Osborne from Dairy Crest comments: “Severn Trent Water offered a cost-effective solution based on assessing risks and adapting existing systems. Using these systems, we have managed to keep levels of effluent discharge near to those we had previously, while increasing site productivity. Severn Trent Water has delivered a solution, which has far exceeded expected performance, the plant upgrade meets our current and forecasted trade effluent capacity needs.

“Severn Trent Water’s project management team has helped us to provide focused solutions and their expertise has enabled us to create a solution which can be adapted and will continue to deliver benefits in the long term.”

The project at Severnside has been so successful that Severn Trent Water was also awarded the contract to develop an off-site effluent management system at Dairy Crest’s site in Hartington.

Matt Treanor, contracts manager at Severn Trent Water, comments: “The expansion plans at the Hartington site required a particularly innovative effluent management system, as the site runs so close to a water course. We needed to ensure all effluent generated on-site was managed efficiently and in a way which would minimise impact on the environment. This will help to ensure the site is compliant with existing and future EU-led environmental legislation.

“In project managing this contract, we are working on site with CAP Technology, a specialist partner, to install a new effluent treatment plant to meet the specific requirements of the site. We have also looked at a wide range of innovative solutions and ideas to optimise the treatment and minimisation of waste. Whilst the plant is being built we have also looked at temporary solutions to their existing problems and the significant volumes of waste which were being tankered off-site. We have supplied a temporary DAF plant to maximise their existing assets whilst dealing with the increased volume until the new effluent plant is completed.”

Alan Whiston from Dairy Crest, Hartington concludes: “The fact that Severn Trent Water looked for other opportunities to help us minimise operational costs and demonstrated commitment were key factors in our decision to award the contract to them. They considered both short term and long term measures to help improve our effluent treatment.”

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