PepsiCo achieves safe water access goal

PepsiCo has announced that the company has achieved its previously stated goal of partnering to provide access to safe water to three million people in developing countries by the end of 2015.

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PepsiCo has announced that the company has achieved its previously stated goal of partnering to provide access to safe water to three million people in developing countries by the end of 2015. Given the company's progress to date, PepsiCo also announced a new commitment to provide access to safe water to an additional three million people over the next three years through continued partnerships with water organizations, doubling the company's original goal.

PepsiCo has achieved this milestone as a result of its Performance with Purpose strategy, which is the company's goal to find innovative ways to minimize PepsiCo's impact on the environment and lower the company's costs through energy and water conservation, as well as reduced packaging; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities in which the company operates.

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Through the PepsiCo Foundation, the company has identified projects and partners to provide access to safe water to millions of people through initiatives that include water conservation, distribution, purification, and hygiene for underserved communities in China, India, Mali, Brazil, Colombia, and other Latin American countries.

PepsiCo has been widely recognized for the company's water stewardship initiatives. Last year, PepsiCo received the prestigious Stockholm Industry Award, which honors the business sector's contribution to sustainable water management, improved performance in production, and innovative approaches in water process technologies.

The steps PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation have taken to improve public access to clean water and to conserve water across the company's business operations include:

  • Forming partnerships with organizations around the world to spur community development and address environmental issues. In addition to the Columbia Water Center, PepsiCo also works closely on water-related programs with the China Women's Development Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Safe Water Network, and Water.org.
  • Installing village water and irrigation systems, establishing water health centers, constructing rainwater harvesting cisterns, improving sanitation programs, and recharging aquifers.
  • Improving global water use efficiency in PepsiCo's operations by more than 20 percent per unit of production, from a 2006 baseline, achieving its water goal a full four years ahead of schedule.
  • Conserving nearly 16 billion liters of water in the company's operations in 2011, from a 2006 baseline, through the application of water-saving equipment and technologies; creative recycling and re-use; and by deploying a water management system throughout its manufacturing facilities.
  • Reducing the company's water and energy-related costs by more than $45 million in 2011, compared to 2006.
  • Innovating a variety of agricultural practices and technologies around the world that are designed to reduce water use in farming through new irrigation techniques, as well as tools that help farmers deliver fertilizer and water to their crops at the most efficient time.

Pilot Demonstrates Viability of UF for High Solids Water

Water sources that experience seasonal fluctuations in solids and turbidity levels require a water treatment system designed to anticipate these changing environmental conditions and still reliably meet water quality standards.

The Baker County Industrial Park water treatment facility draws its water from the Park Hollow Lake and is distributed via 20,000 feet of pipeline to the complex. The facility completed a successful start-up in January 2012, following a five-month, on-site pilot conducted by water treatment systems provider Tonka Water and the Hardy County Public Services Department to ensure it met the state's drinking water protocol.

The pilot system used flocculation and settling time with a high rate clarifier using a tube settler for the reduction and removal of iron, manganese, turbidity, and organics. The DOW™ Ultrafiltration (UF) SFD-2860 membrane model was selected to further reduce contaminant levels and address water treatment objectives.

"High turbidity and solids levels caused by spring snow melt and rainfall at Park Hollow Lake required a flux system that could facilitate water safety year-round, no matter what fluctuated upstream," said Andreas Gorenflo, Global Strategic Marketing Manager Desalination and Municipal, Dow Water & Process Solutions.

During the pilot trial, the UF membranes underwent routine cleaning operations designed to reduce fouling and maintenance flux and permeability. Following these cleanings, the UF membranes were restored to better than their initial permeability. Also, as indicated by the EPA, the UF system must undergo a daily integrity test to demonstrate a resolution of three microns or less. Test results of the UF membranes were well below the standard of 0.2 psi/min. Since the start up, the membranes still demonstrate similar performance on fiber integrity. The chemical cleaning frequency has also been updated to lower the overall chemical cost.

"We chose DOW Ultrafiltration Membranes for the Baker Water Treatment Plant project primarily for their reliability and ease of integration into our UTSM treatment system, but also because of their relatively smaller footprint compared to multimedia filters," said Gary Warner, Executive Vice President of Tonka Water. "We see this trend as a key innovation in North America as growing communities, like those served by the Baker Water Treatment Plant in Hardy County, W.Va., look for system solutions that address high turbidity water sources and can accommodate their cost and space requirements."

"The Baker facility is now supplying over half a million gallons of water a day to both residential and commercial customers," said Daniel Opperman, Commercial Manager of Dow Water & Process Solutions. "We're excited to see the plant come online and to see yet another adoption of our UF technology as a practical solution."

Editor Note: The plant design was recently recognized by the American Council of Engineering with the Gold Engineering Excellence Award in the Water Resources Category.


Industrial Wastewater Treatment System Wins AEES Award

An integrated stormwater and industrial process wastewater treatment system has won the Grand Prize in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists' 2013 Excellence in Environmental Engineering awards.

CDM Smith designed and constructed the treatment system at Johnson Controls' new lead-acid battery recycling center in Florence, S.C. The facility employs modern environmental controls to protect the public and the environment, allowing for water reuse and reduced dependence on municipal supplies.

The state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facility treats process wastewater, generated by the recycling center, with chemical pretreatment, clarification and sand filtration to meet permit limits for safe discharge to the city sewer system. A portion of the treated effluent is reused in production, with excess discharged to the publicly-owned treatment works.

Stormwater from roofs and process-related non-roofed areas is collected and stored in a 2.3 million gallon impoundment lined with high density polyethylene. Impounded water is treated for potential lead contamination with sand filtration and then reused as scrubber make-up water. The treated water surpasses existing groundwater quality, displaces groundwater withdrawals and reduces spray nozzle maintenance.

CDM Smith successfully addressed several project challenges, including a very aggressive schedule, complex site hydrology, treatment of variable wastewater, and a strict budget. The company's fast-track delivery for the entire system, including the treatment building, allowed it to be completed within 10 months and before startup of the recycling center.

CDM Smith also provided startup services, operator training, and an operations & maintenance manual, and continues to provide supervising operators.


Company Wins Contract to Support Stormwater Management at New Mexico Mine

URS Corporation has been awarded a contract by Chevron Mining Inc. to design, construct and commission a stormwater management system for the Questa molybdenum mine in Questa, N.M.

The project consists of developing a system to manage stormwater for the Questa mine's operational life. Project components include lined catchments, modified benches and concrete rundowns for stormwater conveyance, as well as pump and pipeline facilities to deliver the water to a proposed treatment plant. The anticipated completion date is December 2014.

Commenting on the contract, Greg Therrien, General Manager for URS' Civil Construction & Mining Group, said, "URS has performed services at the Questa site for more than 10 years. This award represents an extension of that relationship, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to build upon this relationship."

URS Corp. is a provider of engineering, construction and technical services for public agencies and private sector companies around the world. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., URS has more than 54,000 employees in a network of offices in nearly 50 countries.


Winery Relies on Automatic Stormwater Diversion System

Without proper monitoring, wine producers can inadvertently create a potential pollution threat known as a purple river. This occurs when stormwater overwhelms a winery's sanitary system. C.I.Agent Storm•Water Solutions solved the problem for one Napa County winery with the installation of an Automatic Stormwater Diversion System, or ASWDS. It diverts rain water from the facility's crush pad before it enters the sanitary sewer or septic system.

Equipped with a switch that detects when a rain event is in progress, the ASWDS automatically changes to rain mode, diverting flow from the crush pad to the storm system. The entire program resets once rain ends. C.I.Agent also engineered an override, so that the winery can maintain flow to the sanitary system during times that crush pad use and rain occur simultaneously.

A key feature of the ASWDS is its ability to automatically exercise the valves. In automatic mode, the controller fully opens and closes the valves every seven days after the system's last use. This ensures dependable operation and valve longevity even when rain is infrequent.

For more information on the C.I.Agent Storm•Water Solutions, visit www.ciagent-stormwater.com.


Industrial Boilers Will Spend Billions to Meet the MACT Rule

In the next few months, operators of industrial boilers will have to decide whether to gamble on low gas prices for the next two decades or add air pollution control equipment to their existing systems. There are more than 10,000 boilers listed in the McIlvaine Industrial Air Emitters database and project tracking system. Less than 2,000 will fall under the criteria for action set up by the new Industrial Boiler MACT rule.

Of these 2,000 units, only 500 units will have to make major capital expenditures. These plants will have to decide whether to invest the funds to meet the new regulations or switch to natural gas or even retire the units and buy electricity. The Industrial Air Emitters program is tracking these decisions as they happen.

A survey conducted by URS and funded by the Council of Industrial Boiler owners found that to meet the new limits, coal-fired boilers would have to spend $5.6 billon. Liquid-fired units would have to spend $5.2 billion, and biomass and other units would spend $1.2 billion.

At present, the cost of natural gas is low, so it would seem attractive for these owners to tear out the old boilers and replace them with new gas turbines. The capital cost of the replacement turbines compares favorably with the capital cost of the upgrades to the existing plants. The question is what will be the price of natural gas over the lifetime of the boilers?

A number of plants do not presently have access to sufficient gas. These owners are looking at an add-on cost of up to $3/MM Btu to offset the investment by the gas supplier in new transmission lines. So even at $2/MM Btu gas when the transmission add-on is included, the economic advantage disappears.

For the plants with gas access, now the question is, what will be the availability and price in the future? Europe is reducing its reliance on gas and moving back to coal. This is a scenario similar to the one in the U.S. in the year 2000 when gas prices soared.

Gas has a value much higher than coal. It can be converted to liquids and sold as gasoline, and it can be compressed to LNG and transported around the world. It can be used for home and commercial heating without large capital investments in pollution control equipment. Fifteen billion dollars has already been allocated for gas-to-liquids plants in the U.S. Equally large sums are being invested to convert LNG regasification to liquefaction facilities. In the meantime, the supply of conventional natural gas is rapidly dwindling. This means unconventional gas, including shale gas, will have to fill the void and provide for the new demands. At some point it is inevitable that the price of gas will reflect its higher value and the world prices.

Industrial boiler owners will have to answer the tough question as to when that will occur. On one hand, the shale gas supply could be so large as to ensure longer-term low gas cost. On the other hand, the depletion rates and other realities could make the gas supply only able to keep up with traditional markets and the new demand in those markets.

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