Celebrating the partnership between industry and municipality during one of the worst droughts in Georgia’s history, Governor Sonny Perdue joined employees at the General Mills Covington facility for a tour and firsthand look at the water conservation efforts created by the plant’s state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility.
“General Mills is playing a leading role in changing the way we do business in Georgia,” Governor Perdue said. “Through our Conserve Georgia initiative, we are asking our citizens and our businesses to make conservation a daily part of their routine. The savings here at General Mills not only represent less water usage, but also cost savings to the company. This company is the perfect example of how conserving can not only help our environment, but also its bottom line.”
The treatment facility came online in August 2006 and is able to restore about half of the plant’s process wastewater so it is clean enough to use for other purposes. The purified water is then reused for non-food contact purposes such as dust removal and cooling.
As a result, the treatment facility has trimmed the plant’s water consumption by an average of 46 percent – or about 5.3 million gallons per month, which is enough to supply about 1,000 homes.
Last March, The Georgia Association of Water Professionals gave General Mills the “2007 Water Conservation and Reuse Award” and the “2007 Industrial Pollution Control Award for an Indirect Wastewater Discharger”.
“This water treatment and recycling project is one more example of General Mills’ commitment to its role as a corporate citizen, to the community and to the environment,” said Mark Bible, plant manager of General Mills’ Covington facility.
In addition to helping preserve the environment, it’s estimated that the treatment facility saves General Mills about $840,000 per year in annual water utility costs and surcharges. While this type of treatment and reuse system is common in Europe where water costs are high, it is rare in the United States where water costs are typically low.
“This project is a huge step toward sustainable manufacturing,” said Jeff Hanratty, manager of safety and environmental for General Mills. “We hope to take some of the concepts we’ve learned at Covington and apply them to other facilities around the world.”
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone