High-quality recycled water brings many advantages; a higher quality finish to the end product, lower wear and tear on grading and washing machinery, reduced input costs, less downtime and considerable environmental benefits.

A new Haith Water Recycling System was recently installed at Fresh Growers Ltd near Newark, Nottinghamshire. Alan Hunt is the Factory Manager at Fresh Growers. With his considerable experience gained over many years at the company, Alan was logically chosen to be responsible for the new Haith installation.

“This is a new water recycling installation to replace another type,” he said. “Our objectives were, of course, to save water, to put cleaner water into the system and eliminate soil damage to bearings and machinery from soil recirculation. We are now removing 99% of soil and debris. The complete installation process took just four weeks from start to finish.”

Alan continued, “I am pleased to say we’ve greatly reduced our downtime hours, production has increased by 10-15% as there’s no longer any need to keep stopping to clean out. We’re noticing that as the new system settles its effectiveness is increasing, and our water quality continues to improve.”

Waste water from the factory is collected by the Haith Waste Water system’s Reception Sump, constant mixing keeps the waste solids in suspension. The sump’s contents are then transferred to a Rotary Brush Screen at around 50 cubic metres an hour, for fine screening.

Water now feeds from the screen, into a balance tank and then to a Flocculator; flow is regulated, and can be adjusted on the Lamella HMI control screen. The Flocculator is simply described as a serpentine. Coagulant and flocculent are added and efficiently mixed; rates are controlled by an Auto-Sampler which takes samples from the Lamella settler and separator.

A Filter Plate Press produces solid material known as ‘cake’ which is around 70% dry, at about 5.5 tonnes per drop. Equipped with a high-pressure cloth wash facility, this is selected manually once or twice a week; the wash cycle is automatic. Clean water from pressed cake is returned to the clean water tank for reuse within the factory.

Water from a clean water holding tank is transferred to a further clean water tank for replenishing water supplies to the washers, ensuring the crop, carrots, in this case, is thoroughly washed in high volumes clean of water. The clean water pump is automatically activated when its valve is opened and the pressure bladder senses a drop in pressure.

From the HMI screen on the main panel, the system is constantly monitored with a high degree of automation and security checks. Water returning to the factory is dosed with chlorine dioxide, but only if the CL02 meter sees a flow on the CL02 panel, and the Probe readings are in the correct range. All tanks can be balanced and water topped up as required.

Samples are taken daily and checked against a test kit to ensure the calibration of the Probe is correct.

Haith designs, develops and manufactures machines for crop grading, washing and polishing. Box and bag tipping and filling. Packhouse equipment, elevators and conveyors, processing and peeling equipment, bulk feeders, inspection and sorting systems, brassica handling, waste water treatment and AD Feed Systems are also part of the Haith product range.

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