NEW SYSTEM CUTS WATER USAGE BY 50% AT WHITE BEAR LAKE
The Promise is upheld by our commitment to use water resources in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable way. This includes finding opportunities to introduce processes that support our environment pillar to promote water quality and conservation. One such opportunity involved our Saputo Dairy Foods plant in White Bear Lake, Minnesota – home to our dedicated employees and now, a symbol of our water stewardship.
With the water level of White Bear Lake at a historical low, our team of engineers looked to implement a system that would reduce the plant’s water consumption and improve waste water quality, while still achieving the standards specified in the Non-Contact Cooling Water Permit (NCCW) of the state of Minnesota.
And so, between July 2017 and October 2017, ninety percent (90%) of our single pass system was replaced with a closed-loop cooling water tower system. Instead of drawing a significant amount of water from the local aquifer for one-time use, we are now able to reuse the water pumped through the closed circuit to cool the water required to protect our equipment from overheating.
Through this new system, our White Bear Lake plant will reduce water usage by approximately 52% (or 106 million gallons) per year – enough water to fill up roughly 160 Olympic-size swimming pools!
The initiative marks an integral shift in our plant’s operations that will help to not only maintain the water level of White Bear Lake, but also minimize costly treatment, disposal, and related maintenance costs for the organization. The success of the initiative has spurred other plants to take on similar projects, including our Saputo Dairy Foods plant in Delhi, New York.
We are proud of the strides we are making in reducing our water consumption and will continue to evaluate our processes to ensure continuous improvement. This is just one example of how we continue to pursue growth as a world-class dairy processor, while striving to minimize the environmental impacts of our activities.