An efficient approach to water treatment from Diversey

By Helen Adams
Boniface Kariuki, the Global Leader of Water Treatment Solutions at Diversey, discusses a cost-effective approach to water treatment

As water scarcity intensifies, Boniface Kariuki, Global Leader of Water Treatment Solutions at Diversey, contends that achieving efficient and cost-effective water resource management in the beverage, dairy, brewing and pharmaceutical industries, requires a solution that embraces an innovative approach. This must be underpinned by exceptional industry knowledge and a truly consultative partnership - Boniface Kariuki tells Sustainability how this can work.


Water scarcity is a natural and man-made phenomenon - amplified through climate change - that has become a recognised threat to successful and sustainable Food and Beverage (F&B) production. 

Water scarcity is heightened in the F&B sector due to so many water-intensive processes – such as:

  • Cleaning
  • Lubrication
  • Steam
  • Cooling
  • Production process treatments. 

As a utility, water is typically less than 1% of total costs, however, for a brewery, water is a raw material. 


An innovative approach to a finite resource 

Potable water is a finite resource. Freshwater costs are rising globally, and this will continue as it becomes an even bigger percentage of operational costs. Businesses are under pressure like never before to act responsibly - often underpinned by legislative penalties - and to adopt sustainable practices, such as implementing innovative water treatment systems to reduce usage. A failure to do so can threaten your company’s reputation and brand. 

Soft drinks plants consume three litres of water for every one litre of product, while the dairy industry can use from one to sixty litres of water per kilogram of processed milk. Water is also an ingredient, putting a sharper focus on water quality maintenance, sustainability and in delivering food safety for consumers. 


Reusing wastewater and moving toward self-sufficiency

Historically, applications or programmes to limit water usage have seen water run straight to wastewater plants, with very contaminated water simply dumped. An increasing emphasis on reuse and recycling in other parts of the process that require less high water quality – irrigation or washing the transport fleet - can minimise water sent to the treatment plant. Other options, including drying the sludge of wastewater treatment plants, also contribute to less transportation costs.

One key factor to improve overall efficiency and reduce freshwater use is conditioning processed water onsite and allowing safe reuse to lower the overall amount of wastewater and associated costs. This can reduce total impact on the environment, and help to meet sustainability commitments and environmental guidelines.


Employing a total water treatment solution

Many existing relationships have one company providing water treatment, while another provides hygiene solutions. However, more businesses are looking for the one single point of contact. Our consultative, total solution enables a focus on optimising hygiene chemicals, as well as water usage throughout a plant’s processes, delivering maximum benefit and efficiencies. 

A water and wastewater treatment solution is tailored specifically to your precise needs to provide multiple benefits - including reduced energy, chemical and labour costs. It also helps eliminate health and safety issues, while improving environmental performance. This can lower the total wastewater produced, which in turn decreases sewage discharge costs and impact on local communities.

From a consultative multi-stage process to assess and understand your specific needs, we develop a bespoke water treatment solution. Your specific goals and KPIs can be addressed, while the right mix of technical and chemical procedures are implemented to deliver required levels of performance and opportunities for added value.


Achieving a differential

Establishing a marketplace differential depends on how basic methods are applied, the knowledge of implementation, and in establishing predictive analysis. Experience and knowledge should play a significant role in the choice of a total solution, making a focus on each process in the context of the entire site essential.

All systems must adhere to regulatory standards; with benchmarks established of water used per unit of products to determine basic KPIs. A full picture requires awareness of your products, quality and brand. Then it’s possible to enhance efficiency, sustainability, community contributions, reuse of water and asset protection, while ensuring equipment availability and reliability is never compromised through our Clean-in-place solutions.


Ensuring chemical compatibility

Water treatment, and water used in cleaning and disinfection, are two distinct processes. Looking at these as two separate issues overlooks common challenges and the efficiencies of managing both together.

Many major water treatment providers may lack the necessary specialised expertise in sectors where hygiene is such a critical issue. Ensuring that water treatment chemicals are compatible - without one impacting negatively on the other - is essential to maximise efficiency and runtime by aligning everything in the process. 


A detailed understanding of your total cost of ownership (TCO)

A consultative approach can achieve accurate forecasts of water treatment and maintenance costs, providing a detailed understanding of TCO. Enhanced monitoring and control capabilities can identify potential savings through lowering overall chemical usage, improving productivity, reducing manpower and producing faster responses to treatment issues.

For a global company, maintaining the same criteria across different facilities and regions is a considerable challenge. Ongoing accountability ensures continuous delivery and efficient monitoring of results. This approach also contributes to training operators who can then identify the savings.


Creating a competitive advantage

As water scarcity intensifies, achieving efficient and cost-effective water resource management in the beverage, dairy, brewing, food and pharmaceutical industries is essential. 

A total solution approach to water treatment is crucial in future-proofing your production. It’s also the main driving force in publicising your brand and products and in positioning your business as a responsible member of the community.


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