MSE Systems Delivers Environmental Success For Branston

MSE Systems Delivers Environmental Success For Branston

Branston’s Lincoln site and the South West site near Illminster have installed a radical new method of water treatment, which provides both operational savings and enhanced environmental benefits.

The cleaning and packing of potatoes has a high water usage which brings with it significant economic and environmental issues. Branston needed a safe method to recycle the water rather than continuously drawing water from a borehole and contacted the water treatment plant supplier MSE Systems for a solution.

MSE Systems supplied a complete water treatment plant, based on a Membrane BioReactor (MBR) technology.. MBRs combine activated sludge treatment with a Mitsubishi hollow fibre membrane liquid-solid separation process. The membrane component uses low pressure microfiltration and eliminates the need for conventional clarification techniques and tertiary filtration.

The process of recycling the wash water is complex as the water has to be purged not only of the inevitable soil content but also of the nitrogen and phosphorus within it from fertilizers and from organic contamination. Other aspects of repeated water use such as chemical build up were anticipated and these were dealt with through granulated activated carbon absorption. The filtering and treatment process includes solids separation, aeration, carbonaceous oxidation and nitrification, final membrane filtering, granulated activated carbon absorbsion, ultra-violet treatment and chilling to 10 C prior to re-use.

Laboratory equipment is used to monitor the system and analyses the water which confirms environmental compliance as well as  provide data to operate the plant. Up to 90% of water at the South West site is now recycled, with any excess waste being safe to discharge off site.

The control and automation of the plant was undertaken on behalf of MSE Systems by InControl Systems using Wonderware technology - InTouch SCADA and data collection, with PLC control.

Branston announced that, “By working with several local agencies, we have successfully created a water recycling unit which, after just a few months of being up and running, is reducing our mains water usage by an incredible 52%.”