Water Preservation and Pollution Prevention Program (WP4) Audit
Water pollution prevention and water reduction programs are often implemented independent of each other; however, common to both programs is the need to first conduct a baseline water assessment to identify current water consumption, plant locations that use water, associated flow rates, and wastewater discharge characteristics. SES has developed a systematic baseline assessment process referred to as the Water Preservation and Pollution Prevention Program (WP4) that integrates pollution prevention and water reduction objectives. Over the last four years, WP4 has been successfully implemented at industrial manufacturing facilities in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and across the United States.
WP4 was recently implemented at a battery manufacturing plant that was experiencing frequent wastewater discharge permit violations for nickel, zinc, and manganese. Under a corporate mandate, the plant was also asked to reduce water usage by at least 10%. SES developed a WP4 strategy for the facility that focused on updating site mapping, creation of a water process flow diagram, developing a flow balance, and characterizing all sources of wastewater flowing to the sanitary sewer and to an on-site wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). An in-depth evaluation of the WWTP infrastructure, treatment processes, and controls was also conducted.
Through a systematic evaluation of water usage, source characterization, flow study, and mapping, the WP4 program enabled SES to isolate the root cause of permit violations and the corrective measures necessary to prevent future violations. Identified water usage reduction opportunities totaled approximately 16%, which exceeded the corporate challenge of 10%. Water usage reduction, along with a significant reduction in chemical usage at the WWTP, will save the facility approximately $110,000 per year.