The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) has awarded the 2017 Clean Water Award to Tyson Foods River Valley Animal Foods in Scranton, Ark., and Keystone Foods in Gadsden, Ala. The award is presented annually to poultry facilities that are excelling in their efforts at wastewater treatment and water reuse. 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, Fla.
Awards are presented in two categories, full treatment and pretreatment. The full treatment category covers plants that treat wastewater in accordance with state issued permits 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.
Tyson Foods River Valley Animal Foods, the winner in the full treatment category, produces 2,000 tons of animal feeds from rendered poultry protein and fat per day at their facility in Scranton, Ark. The company treats approximately 750,000 gallons of wastewater daily, of which 220,000 gallons of treated wastewater is reused on site for numerous purposes including cleaning trailers and tankers after raw product has been removed. This equates to more than 80 million gallons of treated wastewater that is reused on a yearly basis. In 2009, the facility’s existing oxidation ditch system was modified and upgraded to a four-stage Bardenpho type process to meet the effluent limitations guidelines set by EPA. Team members in the rendering facility receive overview training of the wastewater plant, reminding them of the importance of fat reclamation. The annual training has resulted in a reduction in dissolved air flotation (DAF) emulsified fats and proteins.
Keystone Foods’ further processing facility in Gadsden, Ala., was chosen as the winner in the pretreatment category. In the last few years, the further processing plant has been able to reduce water consumption by more than 200,000 gallons per day due to changes made in refining operating procedures and engineering controls. This included the installation of a central vacuum system to transfer byproducts and switching to a steam pasteurization process to sanitize the chillers and freezers. The facility processes approximately 493,000 pounds of further processed poultry products each day, and the treated waste reclaimed biosolids are land-applied to cropland and pastures. More than four million gallons of nutrient rich biosolids have been land-applied to pastures and cropland cultivated with soybeans, corn, rye, and bermuda and fescue grasses since the plant’s startup. In 2015, Keystone’s Gadsden facility implemented its Environment Management System (EMS) “EnviroKEY,” to recognize and address potential environmental issues. Since implementation, the EMS team has accomplished several goals in the areas of process safety management (PSM), stormwater, waste to landfill, biosolids production and wastewater. This includes receiving a 99 percent rating on its corporate PSM audit, reducing waste to landfill by 290 tons, and increasing phosphorus removal in its water discharge to the municipal treatment plant to 90 – 95 percent by implementing flow management, chemical evaluation and modification, and increasing mixed liquor suspended solids concentrations.
American Proteins in Cumming, Ga., and Wayne Farms in Pendergrass, Ga., both received honorable mention in the full treatment category. Pilgrim’s Guntersville, Ala., facility received honorable mention in the pre-treatment category.
“We received numerous exceptional applications for this year’s Clean Water Awards, and they should all be praised,” said Jerry Moye, retired president, Cobb-Vantress, and USPOULTRY chairman. “The quality of the applications received is indicative of our members’ commitment to water treatment and the conservation of our earth’s natural resources. Congratulations to this year’s winners.”