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J Wray & Nephew invests in wastewater system

Published:Wednesday | November 9, 2016 | 12:00 AMBY PETRE WILLIAMS-RAYNOR


J. WRAY and Nephew Limited (JWN) has spent in excess of $700 million to improve its waste water management system at its three Spanish Town Road complexes to better manage the industrial waste generated by its operations.

It has heralded what the company describes as an even "more environmentally friendly JWN" and with the added benefit of treated water that can be used for irrigation.

JWN's Spanish Town Road home sits on three distinct complexes, each with its own independent systems. All that has now changed with the waste from all three complexes flowing to one new state-of-the-art central waste water management system.

"The capacity of the old plant at the 234 Spanish Town Road complex wasn't sufficient to treat what we were generating at all the complexes. The infrastructure that was there before needed to be upgraded before all the waste could be treated by one plant," said Public Supply Chain Director Jorge Gonzalez.

"(With the new design), we can treat 500 cubic metres of trade effluent per day," he added.

The systems of all three locations have been funnelled into this newer, more efficient system, with the broader objective to upgrade the capacity and efficiency of this aspect of the company's operations.

The project began in January 2014 with an 11-week waste characterisation study. Both flow and water quality were measured to determine which treatment processes would be necessary.

For the design and implementation, JWN contracted three other companies, Italian firms Setam and Ser.Eco and local entities CEAC Solutions and DT Brown Construction.

A series of pipelines were laid to feed into new lift stations on the east and north complexes. These lift stations are then pumped underground to the south complex into two new large above ground concrete tanks.

"The first of the tanks has a 546-cubic metre capacity and is designed to hold one day's flow from the treatment facility," CEAC's project engineer, Lenmour Bell, said of efficiencies gained.

A 766-cubic metre aeration tank has also been added.

"The effluent then goes over the clarifier on to the company's repurposed old plant, which now serves as a disinfection tank," Bell added.

Sodium hypochlorite is added to kill any remaining bacteria and makes the water usable for possible irrigation in the future.

The plant is somewhat typical of other traditional plants with the exception of tubular diffusers attached to blowers used to input air into the reactor and the centrifugal decanter to dewater the excess sludge for wasting. The centrifugal decanter was a necessity given the lack of space and the sterile atmosphere in which JWN operates.

Design works began as far back as 2014 with plans later approved by NEPA. Civil construction works began in November 2015 and was completed in May 2016.

Construction works and electro-mechanical installation was slated for six months and the team delivered on time.

"We are currently in the testing phase where we are monitoring to make sure we yield the necessary results for NEPA," Gonzalez said.

JWN hopes to eventually obtain a license for irrigation, which would allow the treated water to be re-used, he said.