Articles & Case Studies

Rainwater harvesting reaps rewards for leading distribution company

Posted: Tuesday 21st November 2006

The UK's leading foodservice wholesaler, 3663 First for Foodservice, expects to save more than 5,500 per year on mains water charges, following the installation of a rainwater harvesting system at its new depot in Scotland.

Rainwater from the Envireau system, which was supplied by leading manufacturer Klargester, will be used to wash the 45 vans and lorries that use the depot in Claylands Road, Midlothian.

3663, which delivers ingredients, finished products and equipment to the catering industry nationwide, expects to recoup the total cost of the Envireau system, including delivery, installation and commissioning, within three to four years.

Each vehicle at the depot is washed three times a week. The recycled water will be used for the external washing, which accounts for more than 30,000 litres of water each week. On average the depot has enough rainfall to fill its 54,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank twice each week.

The rain is collected from the roof of the depot from where it falls into the guttering and down pipes in the normal way before passing through a filter, which removes any leaves or debris.

The rainwater is stored in the underground tank from which it is pumped at a constant pressure to the drive-through vehicle wash area, as required.

3663 First for Foodservice has 39 depots across the UK and employs more than 5,500 people nationwide. It has been committed to minimising the environmental impact of its business for the past 10 years. It has other rainwater recycling systems at its depots in Birmingham and Nottingham and other environmentally friendly initiatives include a comprehensive corporate recycling strategy, devices fitted to vehicles to reduce particulate emissions and the use of a bio-diesel mix in most of the company's vehicles.

Ewan Thomson, Edinburgh depot general manager from 3663 First for Foodservice, said: "We are totally committed to trying to reduce the impact of our business on the environment and we have a variety of initiatives in place.

"Rainwater harvesting is a key element of our strategy, since it can dramatically reduce our consumption of mains water. We hope to install rainwater harvesting systems in other depots in the future."

Gerry Quinn, Product Manager for Envireau, said: "Rainwater harvesting can really reap rewards for a company like 3663 First for Food Service, which has a high level of water consumption.

"We expect that many other companies will follow suit as they realise the significant cost savings and environmental benefits to be gained from reducing mains water consumption in favour of rainwater."

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