One of Australia’s largest food and beverage companies saved over 98% on projected water wastage.

Lion Dairy and Drinks, a subsidiary of Australia’s largest food and beverage company Lion, markets premium brands across a variety of categories. Its diverse portfolio across 38 sites covers dairy, juice, soy, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Their cheese making site in Burnie, one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest specialty cheese factories, was undergoing a $110 million development to extend the factory. The new development would see an increase in its milk processing going from 83,000,000 litres to 145,000 000 per annum.

Lion had a few issues with its water, with inconsistent high fluctuations in pressure and sediment present in its incoming water supply. Fluctuating water pressure can cause dislodgement of sediment particles, such as rust and scale, from old steel or cast iron pipework. This impacts valves, causing flooding from breakages and can corrode plumbing systems at a great expense.

We were engaged to design and supply a water filtration system on the mains inlet to produce premium quality water to treat a volume of up to 58L/sec. “The solution was a package unit comprising six JUDO backwash screen filters” said James Cox, Technical Engineer “which automatically removes sediment from the water supply without interrupting service flow and limits large pressure fluctuations on the mains water inlet to the site”.

Our system not only used just 1% of the floor space of media filtration but also required just 180 litres of water to backwash, compared to 12,775 litres for a media vessel with the capacity to handle the same water flow. The site has filtration down to 30 micron with pressure reduction and balancing to 500kPa.

A brine filtering system was also introduced as salt is a critical component in the cheese making process because it reduces the residual moisture within the cheese. This slows down bacteria converting lactose into lactic acid, which prevents ripening. Lion make their own brine by placing rock-sized salt into water to make a highly concentrated solution. As water can only hold so much sodium chloride, other contaminants can accumulate as a result of the brine-making process. We provided a media filtration unit comprised of granular sized crushed glass which doesn’t need to be replaced like carbon or sand media which breaks down over time.

The Lion Dairy & Drinks site now has consistently met testing parameters, with reliable incoming water supply to continue producing its world class cheese.