Cleaning and packing of potatoes has a high water usage which brings with it significant economic and environmental issues. Branston needed a safe method to recycle the water rather than continuously drawing water from a borehole.
The process of recycling the wash water is complex as the water has to be purged, not only of the inevitable soil content, but also of the nitrogen and phosphorus within it from fertilisers and from organic contamination.
Branston installed Mitsubishi hollow fibre membrane bioreators at its potato washing, packing and processing sites. The installations are compact, high-performing treatment plants, which are highly automated and easy to operate.
Up to 90% of water at the South West site is now recycled, with any excess waste being safe to discharge offsite.
Branston announced that, “By working with several local agencies, we have successfully created a water recycling unit which, after just a few months of being up and running, is reducing our mains water usage by an incredible 52%”.