Articles & Case Studies

Siltbuster Process Solutions (SPS) supports First Milk’s effluent plant switchover without production downtime

Posted: Thursday 29th March 2012

Effluent and water treatment specialist, Siltbuster Process Solutions (SPS) Limited, has installed a new dissolved air flotation (DAF) treatment system at First Milk’s Haverfordwest Creamery in Pembrokeshire. SPS performed the upgrade of the existing plant within one week – with final switchover achieved in a matter of hours – ensuring no loss of production time during a busy period at the creamery.

First Milk’s effluent treatment operation at Haverfordwest has been outsourced since the mid 1990s and is now operated and maintained by Veolia Water Industrial Outsourcing. The original DAF plant had deteriorated due to its age and needed to be replaced to avoid any operational risks.

Faced with the challenge of replacing the existing unit during a particularly busy production period, and with limited space available on the site, a novel solution was required. The new DAF had to be installed without disrupting treatment, and switchover had to be possible in a matter of hours to avoid any production downtime.

SPS was able to offer a packaged lamella D100 DAF unit, which, due to its compact design, has increased treatment capacity within a much smaller footprint than the original DAF. This made it possible to position the D100 unit in a small area and to leave the original DAF in position so as to maintain treatment until the switchover. The D100 unit will remain in use at the current location until the effluent treatment plant as a whole is de-commissioned in the next two to three years, while a new effluent treatment plant will be installed at the Haverfordwest Creamery site. The DAF unit will then be available for relocation, possibly on the new facility or elsewhere within the company as required.

The D100 is SPS’s largest packaged DAF unit, which can be installed permanently or hired from SPS. It uses established solids and liquid separation technology to generate ‘whitewater’, where microfine air bubbles combine with solids, fats and other particulates which rise to the surface of the DAF unit. The solids thicken on the surface and are automatically removed by a motorised scraper. The treated water flows onto the biological treatment stage of the effluent treatment plant while the solids are taken away for recycling.

Tim Whittal-Williams, site manager at First Milk, comments: “We are very happy with performance of the DAF unit as it has improved process security and the installation was achieved without any downtime in production. SPS’s accommodating approach and expertise helped to ensure that the switchover was carried out quickly and efficiently, while also ensuring compliant discharge.”

Clwyd Jones, business unit manager for SPS, adds: “Treating effluent can often prove challenging for food production sites when they have to be so focused on production commitments. A situation like this presented added complexity and risk, so the client was eager to address the situation in a timely manner. SPS understands these pressures and has the capability and experience to deliver effective solutions in very short timeframes. Our packaged design enables us to install the DAF units in a compact area which can be up and running in a matter of days, sometimes hours with little or no disruption to production, as was the case at Haverfordwest.”

First Milk is Britain's leading farmer-owned dairy business, supplying three key products: liquid milk; cheese and ingredients. Its farmers produce approximately 15 per cent of all Great Britain's milk and it produces a range of award-winning Cheddar brands, as well as supplying a number of leading retailers with private label cheese. TheHaverfordwest Creamery manufactures a variety of award-winning cheddars and is the home of the Pembrokeshire brand.




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