In October 2014, as Nestlé inaugurated its new dairy plant in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico, the celebration was about more than just the facility’s production of Nido, one of the world’s leading infant formulas. It was also about achieving zero-water dairy production. To achieve this feat and as part of its global commitment to preserve water resources, Nestlé entrusted Veolia, along with dairy technology firm GEA Filtration, with finding a solution to reduce water consumption at its plant in the water-stressed state of Jalisco.
ISSUE AT STAKE
► Conserve scarce groundwater resources in Mexico and limit extraction.
► Recycle the water used in powdered milk production at Nestlé’s dairy facility in Lagos de Moreno.
► Treat effluent from the water used to produce dairy products in two steps. First, a membrane reactor removes solids and then the reverse osmosis step allows the water to be reused.
In 2013, Veolia added new technologies to treat the effluent from the GEA Filtration built wastewater treatment plant so water could be reused within the plant. The effluent is made up of “cow water,” the condensate recovered from evaporation of dairy products, and discharges from the “clean in place” sanitization of processing equipment.
The project, called “Cero Agua” (zero water) by Nestlé, enables the treated water to be reused for non-food production applications such as cooling, watering the gardens and cleaning, eliminating the plant’s need for external water resources.
A good thing for the State of Jalisco, particularly impacted by growing water stress.