Wastewater specialists Aerofloat helps pizza maker meet industry compliance
Michael Anderson, Aerofloat general manager of Engineering and Projects, speaks with Food and Beverage Industry News about the flexible offerings from the company.
Wastewater treatment specialists Aerofloat offer a client specific service with a capacity to tailor each project to the specific needs and requirements of any company, its most recent collaboration with Picasso Foods being a prime example.
The company can troubleshoot for clients, whether through managing variability in the wastewater flow rate, contamination levels or desired outcomes.
“We can cater to space challenges and budget constraints,” said Anderson.
“We can also automate systems to a very high level of manual solution. In this case we made it fit the space, worked with the client closely and also partnered with another company.”
Anderson speaks of the Aerofloat’s latest project, installing a new wastewater treatment system for Picasso Foods, an Australian manufacturer of fresh-prepared food, such as pizzas.
“Picasso Foods are a rapidly growing, ready to eat, pizza company and the business has been growing for a number of years now,” said Anderson.
“When they took on the new site that they are in now they installed a grease trap which would take care of their wastewater, however, as the business grew the grease trap became too small and with trade waste requirements all around the country, in this case Sydney, Sydney Water enforced that they must get complaint for suspended solids, which is a limit of 600 mg per litre and a fat grease limit of 100mg per litre and have the pH in spec.”
“We are a company that specialises in trade waste systems and we were able to help the company with its compliance issues.”
Picasso Foods commissioned Aerofloat because of its speciality and ability to cater to a client’s specific needs and customise a solution to meet those requirements.
“We converted the old grease trap into a pump station and pumped it up to a treatment plant that we custom designed and installed in a space that was an old area where they had their outdoor lunch area,” said Anderson.
“All the wastewater goes into the drain and then into the ground through this grease trap and then into the sewer. We basically pump into an underground tank and pump it back to ground level and run it through our wastewater treatment plant and then transfer to the sewer connection.
“We take the waste and suspended solids out of the water, correct the pH level of the water and then we drop it into the sewer. We also measure the flow of the water leaving the site.”
Sydney Water conducted a series of tests on Picasso Food’s wastewater once the new wastewater treatment system was fully operational.
“And we are well under the acceptable trade waste limit, so it has been a successful project,” said Anderson.
Aerofloat’s detail-oriented approach to each project plays a large part in the success of its business.
“We get out there to do our full due diligence on the plant, we design the whole thing and have all the components manufactured. Then we install it, commission it and wire it with our in-house staff, which not a lot of companies do,” said Anderson.
“It means the client is ultimately dealing with one company managing everything from start to finish.”
But for Aerofloat, the job isn’t done once the new wastewater treatment system in installed and operational.
“We continue to support the relationship well beyond the capital project through operating and maintaining the plant and supplying chemicals to the company. The relationship continues for years and the customers like that because they know we will be sticking around,” said Anderson.
“The wastewater was a bit of an afterthought for them, so having Aerofloat provide the solution to satisfy Sydney Water, means they can now just focus on doing what they do best – making pizzas.”
Anderson said it was common for a company to overlook the importance of wastewater treatment systems, especially for a growing business.
“If you’re an industrial wastewater customer you put more heavily polluted waste into the sewer, it is serious in terms of its impact on the sewers and the treatment plant it is flowing too,” said Anderson.
“Sometimes it gets overlooked without realising the implications. We do a lot of plants where this happens late in the piece. In this example the customer has outgrown what was satisfactory at the start. Then they get too big and have to upgrade it not realising there is capital and ongoing costs.
“Whilst you are compliant there is still a cost to discharge to the sewer in terms of discharge specification limits and volume. It can be a burden on businesses with some having high BOD loads in urban environments where expenses can prohibit operations based on cost.”
BOD is a measure of the amount of oxygen used by bacteria to consume waste organic matter from the wastewater. The only way to reduce BOD is through a biological wastewater treatment plant, which Aerofloat has extensive experience and robust in-house products to contribute to the final plant design.
An Aerofloat installation takes on average 12 weeks from start to finish according to Anderson.
“Time varies from project to project, but we will typically do a plant like that, we will be on site in 12 weeks and have it all said and done about a month later. We say about four months from the order to completion.,” said Anderson.
“We have an inquiry at the moment, the EPA is on their back about their discharge being out of spec, it is a rural food manufacturer. With that project there we can have it all running within 12 weeks or thereabouts.”
Aerofloat is a growing company containing specialist professionals such as process, electrical, environmental and mechanical engineers. As well as a strong automation and commissioning team.
“We cover all the disciplines and have a good range of in-house skills and a diverse team. It’s a great team of enthusiastic professionals who are dedicated to the job.”