Reclaiming Effluent for Nestlé Qingdao

Since its establishment in 1994, Nestlé Qingdao has been one of Nestlé’s main dairy production sites in China. The plant was expanded to include coffee production capabilities in 2013. With a population of over 5 million, Qingdao faces an increasingly acute and chronic water shortage issue, with per capita water resources allocated to the city at only 12 per cent of the national average. As a result, Nestlé decided to build an effluent reclaim system and a COW Water reuse system at the Qingdao plant.

Acute and Chronic Water Shortage

Laixi, the county-city where the Nestlé Qingdao plant is situated, has seen rainfall levels declining drastically (recording a drop of 140 milimetres) over the past 20 years, with rainfall levels reaching only 583mm recently.Based on Nestlé’s needs, Veolia Water Technologies (Veolia) proposed that Nestlé reclaim 750 m3/day of water mainly from secondary effluent and COW Water to be reused for non-potable purposes and, in response to the issue of limited indoor space, to install a unique BiopROtector to optimize the existing Reverse Osmosis Polisher (ROP) system.The proposed system also had to meet a stringent water quality requirement —stipulated by Nestlé’s internal requirements.

Veolia installed a biological treatment system with a design fl ow of 1,300 m3/day, and a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system with a design flow of 600m3/day. Two processes were also put in place to further treat the effluent: an intermediate disinfection process using UV lamps, and a final disinfection using chemical biocide.

16,500 Tons Of Water Saved Per Month

With the new technologies in place, Nestlé Qingdao is now saving an average of 16,500 tons of water per month.“Nestlé has been collaborating with Veolia for a long time, and many of our other plants are using Veolia’s technologies. Water experts based in our Nestlé headquarters are on a constant look out for the latest water technologies around the world. They keep tabs on the best water companies and the quality of their after-sales services. For our project, we had three bidders — GE, an Israeli water company and Veolia. After the evaluation done by our water experts on each of these companies, we decided to hand our Water Withdrawal Reduction Project to Veolia, and we firmly believe that that decision is the right one,” said Qu Haitao,factory engineer at the Nestlé Qingdao