Wastewater system helps Bayer conserve one million gallons of water

A recently installed wastewater treatment system at the U.S. headquarters of Bayer HealthCare Animal Health Division has helped the company save more than one million gallons of water...

SHAWNEE, KS, Sept. 13, 2011 -- Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division announced today that a recently installed wastewater treatment system at its U.S. headquarters in Shawnee, Kan. has achieved its first benchmark -- saving more than one million gallons of water, or the equivalent of 20,000 filled bathtubs.

Installation on the proprietary wastewater system began in early 2010 by CDI Industrial & Mechanical Contractors Inc. of Kansas City, Kan. The system went on-line in January 2011, with an immediate impact recognized by Bayer's ability to reuse approximately 20,000 gallons of water from its production facilities each production day.

"Bayer Animal Health strives to be a model corporate citizen," said Ian Spinks, president and general manager of Bayer Animal Health North America. "Many of our employees and associates call this area home and we felt it was a corporate priority to be proactive in the protection and preservation of our community's water resources. I am pleased we are able to announce this remarkable milestone today, as we recognize and celebrate Bayer's first annual Global Safety Day. This special day will serve as a regular reminder to Bayer employees of our global commitment to safety and sustainability."

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Kansas City (MCA-KC) recognized CDI and its installation of the wastewater system with an Outstanding Mechanical Installation award at its semi-annual awards banquet in July. MCA-KC serves the region's union mechanical contractors who service and install plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, process piping and refrigeration units.

In addition to providing office space for its employees, Bayer's Shawnee site also manufactures various products from the company's portfolio of veterinary, consumer and pharmaceutical products. The manufacturing process yields wastewater or liquid that may contain trace amounts of organic contaminants. The Shawnee facility has historically not exceeded government allowable discharge concentrations in wastewater, but Bayer, as a responsible corporate citizen, still felt it imperative to undertake this process.

With the new treatment system, the process filters water through carbon adsorption tanks where any organic contaminants are removed. The treated wastewater is then transferred directly into the Shawnee facility's cooling towers where it is used for office building temperature control and process temperature control in the production facility. This process modification reduces Bayer's need for using city water for make up to the cooling towers and also reduces the volume of wastewater sent to the local municipal treatment plant.

Previously, wastewater from the manufacturing process was only treated by adjusting its pH level. After tests were conducted to confirm the wastewater was within the proper pH range, it was sent down drains into the municipal sewer system for further treatment at the local municipal treatment plant.

The Bayer HealthCare Animal Health Division has consistently received accolades for its environmental commitment. Since 1998, Bayer's Shawnee facility has received the "Gold Award" from the Kansas Water Environment Federation. The Johnson County Environmental Department, which oversees environmental issues in the region, has recognized the Shawnee facility with the "Environmental Excellence Award" each year since 2005.

"Looking at the protection of our region's natural resources, Bayer's installation of this new wastewater treatment system has created a forward-thinking environmental model for all businesses in our area," said C. Edward Peterson, first district commissioner for Johnson County, Kan. who joined Bayer employees at the Animal Health Division U.S. headquarters on the company's Global Safety Day.

This year, after demonstrating environmental stewardship and exemplary performance, the Shawnee facility received its 22nd Gold Pretreatment Compliance Award from the Kansas Water Environment Association (KWEA) since 1991. Additionally, the Shawnee site has also received three silver pretreatment compliance awards over the years. KWEA members are engineers and scientists striving to preserve and enhance the quality of water in the state. Award winners are nominated by local regulators, including the Johnson County Environmental Department.

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