U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has selected four poultry processing plants to receive the 2009 Clean Water Award. The annual awards recognize excellence in the operation of wastewater treatment plants and were presented this week during USPOULYTY’s Environmental Management Seminar in Nashville, Tenn.

Awards are presented in two categories, pretreatment and full treatment. The pretreatment category covers facilities that discharge pretreated effluent to publicly-owned, full-treatment facilities, while the full-treatment category covers facilities that fully reclaim wastewater prior to discharge into a receiving stream or final land application system. First place and honorable mention are recognized in both categories.

First place in the full treatment category went to Sanderson Farms in Moultrie, Ga. The processing complex was completed in 2005. The wastewater facility includes a 1.7-million-gallon-per-day, on-site pretreatment plant. A 15.4-million-gallon covered anaerobic lagoon equalizes flow to the wastewater treatment plant and effectively acts as an odor control system.


The full-treatment award was won by Sanderson Farms, Moultrie, Ga., and accepted by Brenda Flick, manager of environmental services; and Dwayne Holifield (second from right), environmental coordinator.


Future plans at the Moultrie facility include utilizing methane collected from the anaerobic lagoon as an energy source. After the wastewater is treated in an activated sludge treatment plant, a pump station and force main transfer pretreated effluent to the land application system for final treatment and nutrient utilization. The land application system provides irrigation for 400 acres of Alicia Bermuda grass for hay production. The wastewater treatment plant has been designed to adjust the nitrogen loading required by the vegetation grown on the application system while meeting and exceeding all environmental goals and discharge requirements. The facility was a runner-up in 2008.


The pretreatment award was won by Tyson Foods, Monett, Mo. It was presented to Becky Thomas, complex environmental manager, by Paul Bredwell (right), USPOULTRY vice president for environmental programs; and selection committee member Jim Walsh, senior engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute.



Tyson Food’s Monett, Mo., processing plant was selected as the winner in the pretreatment category. The complex completed a new $4.8 million wastewater pretreatment system in October of 2008. The main components of the pretreatment plant include a primary dissolved air flotation system, a 900,000-gallon equalization basin and secondary dissolved air flotation system. Construction of the pretreatment plant, along with close monitoring of the dissolved air flotation system, has increased treatment efficiency. The result is lower operating costs and more extensive pretreatment of wastewater before it is sent to the city’s system for final treatment. The Monett facility previously won the pretreatment award in 2001. It is the first two-time winner for pretreatment.


The honorable mention award for pretreatment was won by Wayne Farms, Decatur, Ala., and accepted by Jim Merrifield (second from left), utilities specialist; and Jesse Fletcher, utilities superintendent.


Wayne Farms, Decatur, Ala., won honorable mention for pretreatment at their further processing plant. It was recognized for performance and efficiency as the result of several recent projects: combined waste stream, automated jar testing, polymer blend consistency, and dual supervisory control and data acquisition monitors, which provide 24-7 coverage for both utilities and wastewater treatment. The monitoring program reduces the likelihood of a system upset and provides early detection in the event of a process deviation. The facility was a runner-up in 2002.


The honorable mention award for full treatment was won by Tyson Foods, Noel, Mo., and accepted by Joe Peas, complex environmental manager.


The Tyson Foods processing plant at Noel, Mo., received honorable mention for full treatment. The facility was recognized for several unique or innovative processes, such as pretreatment polymer recycling, waste activated sludge processing, and recycling animal fat for the complex’s feed mill. An effective odor control system uses a synthetic liner to cover the anaerobic lagoon. The liner captures the gases generated in the lagoon, and a piping system transfers the gas to a flare unit for combustion, with no odor. They were a runner-up in 2007.

“The poultry industry has always led the way in environmental stewardship,” said USPOULTRY chairman Monty Henderson, George’s, Inc., Springdale, AR.  “And our association continues to emphasize its importance by offering training and technical assistance in environmental management, and recognizing excellence in environmental programs at our poultry companies.  Congratulations to these four companies for their outstanding work,” he said.