The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) has awarded the 2016 Clean Water Award to Sanderson Farms of Kinston, North Carolina, and Tyson Foods of Russellville, Arkansas. The award is presented annually to poultry facilities that are excelling in their efforts at water reclamation. The winners were chosen by a committee of industry engineers, industry managers, university personnel and industry media. Awards were presented during USPOULTRY’s Environmental Management Seminar in Destin, Florida.

Awards are presented in two categories, full treatment and pretreatment. The full treatment category covers plants that treat wastewater to a standard of quality that allows the facility to discharge into a receiving stream or final land application system. The pretreatment category includes facilities that discharge pretreated effluent to a publicly-owned, full treatment facility for further treatment. To be eligible, a facility must have a minimum of two years of no significant non-compliances or notices of violations or any other type of enforcement action.

Sanderson Farms is full treatment category winner

Sanderson Farms was selected as the winner in the full treatment category for its broiler processing plant in Kinston. This facility processes approximately 250,000 birds per day and generates an average wastewater flow of 1.4 million gallons per day. The Sanderson Farms’ Kinston processing facility utilizes numerous processes including biological treatment, oxygenation, clarification and ultra-violent disinfection. Effluent from the wastewater treatment plant undergoes a final polishing step that further reduces nitrogen and phosphorus when it is discharged through a land application system that produces hay and pine trees. Recycling water to the environment in this way also helps to recharge the aquifer that supports facility operations. The facility also works closely with growers to ensure water is conserved as much as possible during all steps of the production process. These measures help to ensure the sustainability and integrity of the water source and lessen Sanderson’s impact on the community.

The winner in the pre-treatment category is Tyson Food’s Russellville, Arkansas, further processing facility with (from left) Dave Evans, CEM, and Rick Owens, wastewater manager, accepting the award from Brian Kiepper, associate professor, University of Georgia, and a member of the selection committee.


Tyson Foods wins in pretreatment category

Tyson Foods' Russellville further processing facility was chosen as the winner in the pretreatment category. This facility treats an average of 200,000 thousand gallons of water per day. The facility recently installed a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to more efficiently monitor and operate dissolve air flotation (DAF) units, flow meters, tanks, pumps and other equipment remotely. In an effort to save energy, the facility manages the operation of tank aerators to ensure they are not running simultaneously. The facility continuously reviews operations to expand its reuse of treated wastewater in an effort to cultivate and demonstrate their commitment to advance conservation efforts. The facility also offers team members the ability to participate in training courses from universities and other groups to further employee knowledge and increase the level of their wastewater treatment certification.

Honorable mention recipients

Tyson Foods River Valley Animal Foods of Scranton, Arkansas, received honorable mention in the full treatment category. Keystone Foods in Gadsden, Alabama., and Tyson Foods in Rogers, Arkansas, received honorable mention in the pre-treatment category.

“We received many outstanding applications for this year’s Clean Water Awards, and they should all be commended,” said Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods, Ellsworth, Iowa, and chairman of USPOULTRY. “The caliber of the applications received goes to show how seriously our members take water treatment and conserving our earth’s natural resources. Congratulations to this year’s winners.”