Food and drink business resource efficiency

Water use in food and drink business

Food and drink processors that take an organised approach to cutting water use can reduce their water use by up to 50 per cent. They may also reduce the costs of buying water and in the cost of effluent (liquid waste) disposal by up to half. Key areas to focus on include:

  • Production processes - effective process control allow you to use water more efficiently. It reduces the amount needed in your processes and the volume that joins effluent streams. This can give substantial savings on your water supply and effluent bills.
  • Cleaning - this can account for as much as 70 per cent of the water that your business uses. Changing cleaning routines to make the most of water use will not only cut your water supply bills but can also reduce your waste water disposal bills. Excessive use of water for cleaning brings many additional costs, such as labour, downtime, lost materials, cleaning chemicals and energy for heating and pumping.
  • Ancillary water use - large amounts of water are often used in staff facilities such as kitchens, laundries, washbasins, showers and toilets. Applying some basic, low-cost water-saving measures can reduce your water use up to 40 per cent.
  • Effluent treatment and product recovery - even with savings in place, your business will generate waste water and effluent. However, with effective on-site treatment it is often possible to reuse water. It is also possible to recover waste materials from effluent streams.

For more information, see our guide on food and drink business water efficiency.