Innovations in Minimizing Waste and Wastewater Effluent
from Food and Beverage Processing Operations

Water Conservation and P2 Strategy Guide


The objective of this guide is to provide the Food and
Beverage Processing Industry with an introduction to
the principles and steps involved in the development,
implementation, and upkeep of a water and waste
minimization plan, including pollution prevention
considerations. To accomplish this, this section will
layout each stage in steps to an effective plan by first
communicating the goals of each stage, and then
provide options and insight into the steps to
completing the plan.


Water reduction and pollution prevention are aimed
at improving efficiency and reducing all types of
waste, such as: a) preventing contaminants from
entering water streams that contribute to final
effluent; b) improving water use efficiency; c)
reducing volume loads sent to waste; and d) a
combination of all of the above. The benefits of
applying these practices include a reduction in:

   Discharge of pollutants in final effluent;
   Reduction in sewer surcharges by municipality;
   Demand on existing downstream treatment
    systems and a corresponding increase in existing
    capacity without additional capital investment;
   Reduced worker health and safety risk;
   Operating and maintenance costs;
   Water consumption and costs;
   Energy and raw material consumption and
    operating costs;
   Quantity of waste (e.g. sludge) generated and
    corresponding disposal costs.

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Use the source-based approach…
                                                                                        STAGE 1:
The traditional “treatment” approach to water and waste
reduction and pollution prevention no longer meets the needs of
many facilities in today’s competitive marketplace. A source based
approach to water and waste in the food and beverage industry is
                                                                                       STAGE 2:
what is now required to remain a competitive food processor in                WATER BALANCE AND BASELINE
Ontario, and as additional regulatory requirements are
introduced, further pressure will be put on food processors.
Challenge your company by leading a source-based approach to
water conservation. Innovate and develop a tailored approach to                       STAGE 3:
efficiency and you will find new, creative ways to reduce,                    OPPORTUNITY PRIORITIZATION
conserve, or reuse resources, resulting in cost effective
improvements. The planning process is outlined in six stages,
designed to help you Succeed in developing a conservation and
pollution prevention plan that manages resources and helps the                          STAGE 4:
competitiveness of the company.

                                                                                       STAGE 5:
                                                                                MONITORING AND ANALYSIS

                                                                                        STAGE 6:

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                                                                 STAGE 1:
                                                  POLICY AND COMMUNICATION

Challenge management…
A Water Conservation and Pollution Prevention (WC-P2) program can be viewed as an extra commitment
in a busy plant environment. However, successful companies that commit to water reduction and
pollution prevention are demonstrating that there is value in this commitment that impacts the future
success of the company. Leaders in the industry understand that conservation (including energy, water,
resources) is a key to the long-term sustainability of the company. In addition, leaders also understand
that these programs require a complete buy in from all staff, potentially leading to a culture change, if the
program is to be successful. Achieving this mind set is not easy. Challenge management to be a

Buy into the strategy with a company policy…

The first step to developing a WC-P2 program is to obtain senior management commitment to the ideals
and intent of the program. Following this, a company policy communicating the objectives and intent of
the program can be developed and rolled out to all levels of staff. The policy can be a separate water and
resource conservation statement, or it can be elements that alter the overall environmental policy. In
addition to water conservation, integrating efficiency with all resources, such as energy, waste, raw
materials etc. is fair game. The elements of a sample policy is offered.

Communicate the policy and strategy to all staff…

Effective communication internally to all levels of staff is important. Communication to and inclusion of
the staff from the inception of the policy and team formation will reaffirm the company’s commitment.
Once established, the team will have a mandate that is clearly committed to by the company as a whole.
The next step is for the company to assign an accountable
manager(s), establish the program team, and then to plan             Policy and Communication
and commit to any additional resources or expenditures                       Action Items
required of the program.
                                                                           Obtain management commitment;
The final step of this stage would be to integrate the WC-P2               Prepare and communicate the
program into any existing management system (such as ISO                    policy;
14000, or internal environmental program) to ensure the                    Assign an accountable manager;
program is followed through throughout the organization.                   Establish the project team;
By integrating the program into an existing management
                                                                           Integrate the program into existing
system, the planning, monitoring and reporting functions
                                                                            management systems.
will already be established and will allow the organization
to integrate the program cost effectively.

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                                                  [Company Name]
                                               Water Conservation Policy

   [Company Name] is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our activities and
   promoting sustainability of the natural resources upon which we depend, while providing quality
   products that meet the needs of our consumers.

   We are also committed to the continuous improvement of our conservation of these natural
   resources, including the efficient use of water in our facilities and processes. We will effect this
   continuous improvement by:

              Encouraging a culture of water conservation in all our staff;

              Implementing procedural and process changes to conserve water use;

              Using non-hazardous materials into process and maintenance activities where possible;

              Utilizing a source based approach to conservation whenever possible;

              Demonstrate good corporate citizenship by adhering to all

               environmental regulations.

                          _________________                          _________________
                                  CEO/Plant Manager                                  Date

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                                                 STAGE 2:
                                  WATER BALANCE AND BASELINE

Challenge the staff…
Development of the water balance and water/wastewater baseline for a facility’s Water Conservation and
Pollution Prevention (WC-P2) Program is arguably the most important step to delivering effective
program results and continued business success. The data gathered and developed at this stage will
serve as the ‘baseline’ with which to measure the impact and improvement of all actions and changes to
the system.

Gather comprehensive data to develop a facility water balance…

The data gathering exercise is based on a detailed mass balance of the facility. A facility water balance
includes a measurement of;

       Raw inlet potable water (usually metered by the municipality);
       Effluent discharge water;
       Estimate of evaporative losses;
       Measurement of water in product;
       Engineering estimates and measurements of water used in process either by department, product,
        or major pieces of equipment.

Data needs include equipment and piping diagrams (particularly water, steam, waste streams, and
plumbing diagrams), in house metering records and details, utility company (water) meter records and
billing details, as well as any specific equipment consumption from engineering and equipment files.

Determine if pollution prevention activities and considerations are necessary…

The next step is to decide if the plan is to include
Pollution Prevention activities or just focus on water and
wastewater reductions. If Pollution Prevention is to be            Case Example: Egg Processing
included to accommodate either regulatory activities,
company policies, or perhaps to minimize wastewater                Reuse rinse water from egg
surcharge payments to the municipality, then a review of
                                                                   breaking for cleaning Inedible
all the on-site chemical MSDS sheets will be required at
this stage to identify sources of priority and concerning          Department for savings of
chemicals. It is important to note at this stage that a            $130,000 per year.
holistic solution is required to ensure any significant
volume reductions should be coupled with waste
concentration reductions. Reduced water consumption
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and wastewater volume reduction can often increase waste loading concentrations.

Identify the system boundaries and focus areas…

The next step is to identify the system boundaries, in most cases this will be just the production plant and
utilities area’s, but occasionally, it will also include waste treatment facilities, plant administration offices,
and other supporting areas like maintenance. Occasionally it will make most sense to divide production
into distinct areas, depending on the facility make-up and the products being produced.

Develop a high-level water balance…

The next steps are to establish the water balance and develop a baseline for water and pollutant
consumption analysis. A high-level water balance can be developed from billing records and the
municipal water meter supply and sewer costs. Additional in-house metering can increase the resolution
and provide increased input. Incoming and outgoing raw materials should be reviewed for water
content, and quantities received or produced, the remaining balance of water purchased will be
evaporated to atmosphere or sent to sewer. Once a high-level water balance for the facility has been
developed or extracted from an existing detailed mass balance, this activity is complete.

Refine and focus the high-level water balance to build in details…

It is prescribed that high-level and billing information can          Water Balance and Baseline
be used in combination with more detailed and focused                        Action Items
data to develop an accurate balance of the facility water
use. As more detailed information is uncovered and                   Gather data;
incorporated a more complete picture of the facility water
use is developed and can be utilized for future analysis and         Identify system boundaries
reduction opportunities.                                              and focus areas;
                                                                     Develop a high-level water
                                                                     Refine and focus water
                                                                     Build in details and review.

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Data sources for facility information include:

Regulatory Information:
Waste shipment manifests (Reg 347)                               Raw Material/Production Information:
Emission inventories                                             Product composition and batch sheets
Hazardous waste storage reports                                  Material application diagrams
Waste, wastewater, and air emissions analyses,                   Material safety data sheets
including intermediate streams                                   Product and raw material inventory records
Environmental audit reports                                      Operator data logs
Certificates of Approval and pesticide permits of                Operating procedures
restricted products                                              Production schedules
MISA program monitoring data
                                                                 Accounting Information:
Process Information:                                             Waste handling, treatment, and disposal costs
Process flow diagrams                                            Water and sewer costs, including surcharges
Design and actual material and heat balances for:                Costs for non-hazardous waste disposal, such as
--production processes                                           trash and scrap metal
--pollution control                                              Product, energy, and raw material costs
                                                                 Operating and maintenance costs Department
Operating manuals and process descriptions                       cost accounting reports
Equipment lists
Equipment specifications and data sheets                         Other Information:
Piping and instrument diagrams                                   Environmental policy statements
Plot and elevation plans                                         Standard procedures
Equipment layouts and logistics                                  Organization charts
Power House Records                                              Experts and information from industry or
Evaporator specifications                                        engineering associations
Cooling Tower Records
Boiler Records

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                                                 STAGE 3:

                                    OPPORTUNITY PRIORITIZATION

Challenge the team…
Once the baseline has been fully established, the WC-P2 team can prioritize the consumption of water
and wastewater producers at the plant. Groupings will occur by plant area (ie. Packaging), plant activity
(ie. equipment wash-downs) and ideally, team members will group the items of interest into various
multiple but lateral grouping structures such that similar opportunity analysis by area and by activity can
be made for comparative and organizational basis.

Prioritize the areas of focus…

As a general rule of thumb, the route to the highest potential savings typically lies within the top 20%
wastewater volume producers, and/or the top 20% water volume consumers, however, identifying the
appropriate target grouping then becomes the issue. For example, the incoming product pre-processing
and washing area could initially be identified as a top consumer of water on a business unit basis;
however, plant wash-downs in general (within and external to the product pre-processing area) could be
identified as a non ‘area specific’ activity that occurs on a plant wide basis, requiring higher prioritization
and hence more in-depth review. Based on consumption, the various grouping structures can be
compared to one another to identify which grouping is
most relevant. It is important to the WC-P2 team to
determine what the appropriate prioritization of areas           Case Example: Pasta Production
and of activities or equipment is before proceeding
ahead.                                                          Switched to oil lubricated central
                                                                 vacuum pumping system from
Each organizational or business unit being considered a
target of the program shall then be compared against             water cooled pumping system,
the total plant consumption to determine the best areas          saving 52,600 m3 annually or
of focus.                                                        $79,000 (1.4 year payback)

Using the top 20% level as an analysis tool, specific
operations or equipment within that level can be
compared to the total consumption or wastewater
generated. Included below is a listing of some commonly considered priorities and project justifications
that have had repeated success throughout the food processing industry in Ontario. The other relevant
sections of this module provide additional details on these items.

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                               Common Priorities and Project Justifications

                               Compliance with current and anticipated regulations
                               Compliance with ISO 14000
                               Costs of current waste management practices
                               Potential for bottleneck removal in process and waste
                               Once through cooling water eliminated or reused
                               Hot water recovery for reuse
                               Hot water heat recovery
                               First rinse / clean water reuse
                               Cost of boiler chemicals
                               Cost of cleaning chemicals
                               Efficient use and maintenance and auditing of steam traps
                               Condensed product vapours recovery from evaporation
                               Vacuum pump seal water recovery
                               Distilling of waste streams for VOC and saleable product
                               Waste stream segregation for lower volume/lower cost pre-
                               Process loss minimization and consideration (spills, leaks,
                                tank overflows, floor cleaning)
                               Water reclamation in bottling/canning pasteurization
                               Automatic shutoffs on high pressure floor washers

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                                                STAGE 4:
                                  OPPORTUNITY IMPLEMENTATION

Be Innovative with solutions…
With the areas of opportunity prioritized, the WC-P2 team should follow up by analyzing in detail each
area of priority. A review of data forming the basis of the water balance should be executed to develop a
complete understanding of the use of water, pollutants, and/or creation of wastewater at this stage of the
plant processes. Once a sound footing has been established in the area of interest, additional analysis for
reduction opportunities should be considered. Other sections in this module highlight potential
technologies, successful projects, and other avenues to develop an understanding of some of the available
projects to explore.

Of course, in many cases procedural change will achieve part of the objective with little or no capital
required. Application of a Best Management Practice (BMP), or common sense, followed up by a
monitoring and reporting program can be effective. In other cases, reusing ‘cleaner’ water for a ‘dirtier’
job (ie. floor washing) can be an easy to implement opportunity. However, more creative opportunities
integrated with process can achieve production improvements as well as reduction of waste streams.
Plant troubleshooting or line streamlining can achieve improvements. Controls based solutions that
automate process, often installed to achieve a production objective, can often result in reduced water
consumption or wastewater effluent. These savings can be used as part of the payback analysis.

Do detailed assessments of the opportunities…

It is at this stage where wasteful practices are often observed and identified, revealing opportunities.
Some companies might want to add additional in-house expertise to the ‘detailed assessment team’ or to
bring in outside resources to fully identify potential opportunities and technological options.

Tour sister plants for best practices and new ideas…

Touring sister plants within the organization might also provide additional insight into best practices.
Once the WC-P2 program has identified a potential savings opportunity, a project capital cost analysis
can be completed on the various options available to address the opportunity to determine which project
is a suitable endeavour.

Stay competitive…

Recall that the goal of the WC-P2 program should be orientating the company for a long-term position as
an environmentally conscious and orientate the business to follow regulatory and public perception
shifts in the competitive business environment. An environmentally conscious project identified within
this program might not always meet the company’s usual capital investment accounting and payback
schedules. However, it is at this time, that management and corporate buy-in to the WC-P2 program,
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through the policy developed in early stages, will help some less financially viable projects identified by
the WC-P2 program to get off the ground.

Rank your options for implementation…

Once some of the high priority items have been identified, and the reduction opportunities determined
and cost estimated, the opportunities should then be evaluated and re-ranked based on all goals of the
program, such as water and wastewater reductions, environmental benefits, current and future
regulatory compliance issues, technical feasibility and of course costs. The preferred options should then
be selected and implemented just as any other capital project would be within the organization.
Employee training needs should be addressed during and following the completion of a project, as well as
integration of any new equipment, processes, and monitoring requirements into the company’s
management systems.

Water Reduction and Pollution Prevention Best Management Practices for Food Processors
         Application       Technique                                                                 Ease of
         Operational       Improved scheduling and/or sequential scheduling of products that         Moderate –
         and               use the same line or equipment can reduce cleaning requirements.          difficult
         housekeeping      Maximise the dedication of process equipment. This can reduce             Moderate
         changes           equipment cleaning frequency and waste generation.
                           Train employees how to use water efficiently.                             Easy
                           Shut water off during breaks.                                             Easy
                           Centralise the control of the water supplies. This will enable water      Moderate -
                           supply to be shut off during breaks.                                      difficult
                           Minimize the loss of product by minimizing spilling ingredients and       Easy
                           product on floors.
                           Place catch pans under potential high strength overflows/leaks.           Easy
                           Use pre-clean and dry cleanup methods before wet cleaning. This           Moderate
                           prevents adding additional waste to the wastewater stream.
                           Sweep up solid materials for use as by-products (if possible) instead     Easy
                           of washing it down the drain.
                           Reuse final rinse from cleaning operations for the initial rinse on the   Easy
                           following day.
                           Use the minimum amount of cleaning agents and detergents                  Easy
                           necessary to comply with food safety requirements.
                           Cover non-process drains that should not be connected to                  Easy
                           wastewater stream.
                           Fit drains with screens and/or traps to prevent solid materials from      Easy - moderate
                           entering the effluent system.
                           Skim grease traps regularly.                                              Easy
                           Install screens at strategic locations in the process to prevent solids   Moderate
                           from entering the wastewater stream.
                           Inspect and execute preventative maintenance of potential discharge       Easy
                           Maintain tanks, equipment and pipes to prevent leakage.                   Moderate
                           Improve maintenance and operational programs to identify process          Moderate
                           upsets, malfunctions and problems early in the process to minimize
                           the amount wastewater produced.
                           Include nozzle inspection in routine maintenance schedule. Wear of        Easy
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         Application       Technique                                                               Ease of
                           spray nozzles increase the water flow rate.
                           Monitor liquid fill machines frequently.                                Easy -
                           Recover as much condensate as possible.                                 Moderate -
                           Do not allow water to run continuously unless necessary.                Easy - moderate
                           Avoid use of wastewater streams as a transport medium. Transfer         Moderate-difficult
                           solids and particulate matter by mechanical means.
                           Review Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and other information         Easy-Moderate
                           provided by manufacturers of chemicals used or purchased to
                           identify products containing non-conventional pollutants (e.g., COA
                           Tier I/II). Identify alternative products for any containing those
         Recycling/        Separate wastewater streams according to level and type of              Moderate
         Reuse             contamination and investigate the potential for reuse of each stream.
                           Some streams may require filtering or other treatment prior to
                           Reuse process water wherever possible.                                  Easy – moderate
                           Eliminate once-through cooling water usage, by implementing             Moderate
                           recycling or reuse practices where possible.
                           Use counter current wash procedures.                                    Moderate
         Process/          Install flow meters and monitor water usage.                            Easy
         equipment         Install automatic shut-off nozzles/valves on all water supplies when    Easy
         modification      feasible.
                           Install controls, like solenoid valves, to stop water flow when         Moderate
                           equipment is not in operation and no water is required.
                           Replace traditional faucets with more efficient faucets.                Easy – moderate
                           Install flow control valves to regulate water flow in sprayers at       Moderate
                           conveyors with variable speed.
                           Replace water based conveyors with mechanical conveyors.                Moderate -
                           Install spray nozzles on hoses and use high pressure rather than high   Easy - moderate
                           volume for cleaning surfaces.
                           Use automated cleaning-in-place (CIP) where feasible.                   Difficult
                           Install controls, like high level alarms, to prevent tanks from         Moderate
                           Direct clean stormwater away from wastewater drains.                    Moderate
                           Use dry peeling methods.                                                Difficult

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                                                STAGE 5:
                                     MONITORING AND ANALYSIS

Be innovative through metering and tracking…
Continued monitoring and analysis is one stage of the program that is an extremely useful tool that
should be ongoing throughout the entire process. This stage should monitor the facility consumption and
wastewater generated within various areas and compare to the established baseline. Depending on the
baseline developed and on-site metering resources available this monitoring exercise will further
develop the understanding of water consumption. Tracking should occur as regularly and frequently as
possible, again, applying the 20% rule. Depending on the resources in place, it could be that significant
flow rates be monitored in real time with the use of flow meters and computer software. As the WC-P2
plan develops, management and team members will observe that any estimates of water consumption or
estimates of wastewater generation both can comprise significant aspects of the water balance and
facility baseline. Assumed volumes will introduce certain ambiguities into the program, and it is up to the
WC-P2 to identify and eliminate these ambiguities through detailed balancing, including metering and

Analyze your implemented changes…
                                                                           Consider the following:
One aspect of the monitoring and analysis is to
monitor facility water, wastewater, and pollutant                 Did a project deliver significantly more
generation against the baseline and review                         then promised?
implemented changes. Another aspect at this stage is              Were additional savings opportunities
to provide analysis of the implementation to date in               developed or uncovered as a result of the
terms of total project cost, outstanding training needs,           program or implemented projects?
and if payback schedules were met or expected
                                                                  Were savings of a project overestimated?
savings were observed. Also, this stage should seek
                                                                  Did a particular cost of a project or impact
out any oversights of the initial reviews.
                                                                   of a project not be observed until
Evaluate other benefits of the projects and program
as a whole…

With appropriate metering and tracking in place, the WC-P2 program can review its implemented
projects in terms of costs, projected savings, and observed savings. The monitoring should include other
benefits such as regulatory and cost avoidances and take corrective action as necessary. While the
success of individual projects should be highlighted, at this monitoring and analysis stage it is important
to review the success, merits, and areas of improvement revealed as a course of this program as a whole.
A particular project might realize significant other savings not previously accounted for, or perhaps over
estimated savings based on errors related to assumed flows.

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Alter, recommend, and refine…

Alterations for a successful program will be uncovered at this stage. Recommendations for refinement at
this stage are critical and expected to ensure the long-term success and viability of the program in

                                                STAGE 6:
                                           PROGRAM REVIEW

Continuous improvement achieves efficiency and optimization…
Program review is an assessment of the success of the overall program from a conceptual point-of-view.
Is the program performing to management expectations and are there new directions to be pursued?
This stage takes the inputs from the past stages, reviews the recommendations for changes, reviews the
original program and projects, the goals, and sets the pace for renewal of the program. This stage in
essence resets the program to it’s beginning, financially, and strategically, and sets the tone going
forward. It will set schedules and timelines for implementation, and it will identify changing internal and
external circumstances, such as new regulatory initiatives, budgetary constraints, staffing, and even
changes in business practices or product offerings.

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Nutrient Management Act, 2002: O.Reg. 267/03, General; as amended by O.Reg. 338/09; new regulation
for non agricultural source material (NASM) handling.

Ontario Water Resources Act: O.Reg. 387/04, Water Taking; relates to Permits to Take Water, allows the
Director to consider issues relating to the use of water including water conservation (Sec. 4(2)3i).

Ontario Water Resources Act: O.Reg. 450/07, Charges for Industrial and Commercial Water Users; relates
to provincially applied charges for water use in specific sectors including bottled water, beverage
manufacturing and fruit and vegetable canning and pickling (where water is incorporated into the

Clean Water Act, 2006: O.Reg. 284/07, Source Protection Areas and Regions; relates to prohibitions on
activities to protect drinking water sources.

Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002: O.Reg. 169/03, Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards.


Agricultural Adaptation Council: umbrella organization of Ontario agri-businesses to access government
funding. AOFP is a member. http://www.adaptcouncil.org

Ontario Ministry of Economic Development. Two programs of note are available: the Eastern Ontario
Development Fund (specific to eastern Ontario) and the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy.
The latter has criteria specifically referring to projects in waste reduction or energy conservation.

Ontario Ministry of Food Agriculture and Rural Affairs: OMAFRA has developed a web page listing
various sources (30) of funding for agri-businesses. Web site is

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (federal gov’t): Two programs of note; the Agricultural Flexibility
Fund and the ecoAgriculture Biofuels Capital Initiative; both programs are noted in a listing of programs
from the Agricultural Adaptation Council noted above.

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Water Conservation and Pollution Prevention

Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention (C2P3): Web site is http://www.c2p2online.com

Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement (OCETA): Web site is
Environment Canada: provides links within Environment Canada for pollution prevention. Access web
site at http://www.ec.gc.ca , scroll down to topics, select pollution and waste, then select pollution

Ontario Ministry of Environment: Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program: Pollution Prevention
Reviews. Grants (100% of eligible costs) for conducting Pollution Prevention Surveys of sites near
municipal drinking water sources. Contact C2P2 for application forms.

Government of Canada: Greening Government web site is http://www.greeninggovernment.gc.ca Web
site leads to Pollution Prevention page with links to Canadian and International web sites on pollution

City of Toronto: Toronto water provides for Pollution Prevention in its Sewer Use Bylaw. Web site is

Toronto Region Sustainability Program: Pollution prevention technical assistance: source of funding for
Pollution Prevention studies in the GTA and public P2 cases studies and tools:

Cleaner Production LLC: The Food Processing Industry: Improvement of Resource Efficiency and
Environmental Performance. Contains links to various pollution prevention and technology sites. Web
site is http://www.cleanerproduction.com/Directory/sectors/subsectors/FoodProc.htp


United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA): Office of Water Management; web site that
contains links to various wastewater technology fact sheets. Web site is

Waste Reduction Resource Center (U.S.): a collaboration of the USEPA Region V and the North Carolina
Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance. Best References: Food Processing (Fruits
and Vegetables) provides fact sheets, articles and reports and manuals. Web site is

Waste Reduction Resource Center (U.S.): a collaboration of the USEPA Region V and the North Carolina
Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance. Best References: Food Processing
(Dairy) provides fact sheets, articles and reports and manuals. Web site is
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Waste Reduction Resource Center (U.S.): a collaboration of the USEPA Region V and the North Carolina
Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance. Best References: Food Processing
(Poultry and Eggs) provides fact sheets, articles and reports and manuals. Web site is

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Water Conservation and Pollution Prevention Program Development


This set of work sheets provides guidance on the development of conservation, minimization and prevention workplan
tailored to your facility. Answering the questions posed will help develop a comprehensive water conservation program. In
addition to achieving environmental compliance and moving toward environmental sustainability, the overall objective is to
save money and continue to be competitive in the marketplace.

Aspect                                 Considerations                                               Action Plan


Environmental Policy                   Consider
Does your company have a written              Should it address resource conservation?
environmental policy? If you don’t            Should it specifically address water conservation?
have a policy, consider developing            Should it reference P2?
one.                                          Does the policy require revision?
                                              Are all employees aware of the policy and is it
                                               used in training ?

Performance Targets                    Consider
Does the company have specific                What are the legislative standards required to
performance targets relating to any            meet compliance?
environmental aspects including               Have internal targets been set for environmental
conservation.                                  improvement beyond compliance?

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                                              Targets can include cost reduction objectives such
                                               as with waste management.
                                              Have improvement targets been set for resource
                                               conservation (water or energy)?
                                              Are budgets assigned or need to be assigned to
                                               specific programs?

Management Reporting                   Consider
Does management have a                        Is the reporting to targets to a member of the
formalized environmental reporting             management team?
system in place similar to reporting          Is the reporting at least quarterly?
to production and operating                   Does the management team require an annual
targets?                                       report and summary of compliance and progress
                                               to targets?

Staff Training and                     Consider
Awareness                                     Training should be scheduled and continuous,
                                               although it can be delivered as part of operations
What kind of environmental
                                               or production training (i.e. response to spills to
awareness and training does staff
                                               the drain as part of job training.
receive and how do they receive it?
                                              Awareness programs should be designed to
Is it a planned and continuous
                                               encourage employee participation and ‘buy-in’
schedule? Is it through Operations
                                               with the goals and targets of the environmental or
                                               resource conservation objective.
                                              Are staff trained or otherwise made aware of the
                                               Environmental Policy?
                                              Is it important that staff understand the
                                               environmental or resource conservation targets
                                               set by the company?

Finance/Cost                           Consider
Management                                    Are you able to identify all environmental costs?
Can you identify the financial costs           Are they broken out separately from other
                                               operational costs? These costs provide useful
associated with managing the                   information on the full cost of specific operation
environment within the company?                or maintenance activities.

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Can these costs be reduced?                   It may help to have specifically identified people
                                               who can collect and monitor costs such as water
                                               bills, waste costs, emergency response costs,
                                               environmental control costs etc.
                                              Does the company review these costs and look for
                                               ways to reduce them?
                                              Are individual departments and functions aware
                                               of the environmental costs which they incur?
                                               Could these costs be allocated directly to them?
                                              Is environmental cost reduction part of the annual
                                               Targets and Objectives for the company?

Legal Compliance                         Consider
Are you aware and in compliance               How do you monitor compliance to existing
with all current legal requirements?           regulations? Who is responsible and how do you
Do you monitor and seek to input to            report compliance/non-compliance?
future standards? Do you have good            How do you monitor new developments in
relations with the regulatory                  legislation to ensure you are up-to-date?

Emergency/Contingency                    Consider
Plans                                         Have you identified potential risks within
Do you have plans and programs                 operations that could pose a threat to the
that identify possible risks , develop         environment? Have you assessed the magnitude
prevention programs, and                       of the potential and the risk level? Is this list
emergency response programs?                   updated annually?
                                              Do you have defined procedures for
                                               communicating with employees, external
                                               organizations (fire/emergency response etc.), and
                                               the public?
                                              Are all staff properly trained and aware of their
                                              Are emergency plans tested and upgraded as
                                              In terms of spill prevention, are programs and
                                               capital in place to implement prevention? Are
                                               capital improvement items considered for budget

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Water Conservation                     Consider
Is water usage and wastewater                 Do you monitor water supply and consumption
generated efficiently managed? Is              quantities and costs? Consider tracking the
water usage monitored and                      monthly utility bills. Look for trends and
controlled? Are costs tracked and              reductions after implementation of
controlled? How is water                       conservation/recycle projects.
conserved?                                    Do you monitor wastewater effluent? Installation
                                               of effluent flow meter is a BMP. Track flow and
                                               perform periodic effluent sampling to measure
                                               contaminant discharge.
                                              Do you track municipal surcharge costs for over
                                               strength wastes? Add to the cost of potable water
                                               to determine full cost.
                                              Is the water consumption measured/metered to
                                               department or major processes? A water balance
                                               is the first step in determining where water
                                               conservation projects will be most effective.
                                              Are flow restrictors and/or employee procedures
                                               implemented to reduce water consumption?
                                               These no cost/low cost controls are the first place
                                               to start to save money.
                                              Have you performed an assessment of how water
                                               is used in operations and identified areas where
                                               water can be minimized/conserved and where
                                               water can be recycled? Have potential cost
                                               savings been calculated? The next step is to
                                               identify the capital equipment or change that can

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                                               achieve the savings and calculate the payback.
                                              Have you looked at the potential to get a rebate
                                               from the municipality based on not discharging all
                                               the water purchased? The cost of water includes
                                               a charge for effluent treatment. In the food and
                                               beverage industry, water is often consumed in the
                                               product and companies can get a rebate on the
                                               water bill if they demonstrate the purchased
                                               water did not go down the sewer.
                                              Have measures been taken to minimize the
                                               generation of wastewater? Is it cost effective to
                                               treat the effluent? Minimizing wastewater
                                               reduces the overall cost for pre-treatment before
                                               the sewer.

Waste Management                        Consider
Is waste of all types minimized? Is           Do you know how much waste you produce and
any residual waste recycled, reused,           its detailed content and source? Do you maintain
                                               records of waste production, including disposal
or, if this is not possible, properly          and costs?
disposed of? Are waste disposal               Do you segregate your waste to facilitate
costs properly controlled.                     recycling?
                                              Have recycling opportunities been fully explored
                                               and utilized? How much recycling is currently
                                               carried out?
                                              Have you explored local waste exchange options?
                                              Have domestic wastes - food waste, packaging,
                                               beverage containers - been minimized?
                                              Are commercial waste disposal contractors
                                               properly registered, cost efficient and
                                               environmentally responsible?
                                              Do contractors recycle some of your waste? If so,
                                               how much and what benefit does this give you?
                                              Do contractors use disposal sites, which are
                                               licensed to accept your waste? Waste Audits of
                                               waste disposal sites can be useful.
                                              Do contractors operating on your site dispose of
                                               waste efficiently and in an environmentally
                                               responsible manner?

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                                              Do you have clear procedures for managing waste
                                               on your site? Are all staff involved in handling
                                               waste properly trained and aware of their

Energy Efficiency                      Consider
Is energy used efficiently? Have              Is energy usage regularly reviewed and reported
measures to reduce consumption                 to management?
                                              Are energy efficiency practices encouraged?
been investigated and                         Are energy bills/usage monitored, by individual
implemented?                                   departments? Sub metering is useful in
                                               partitioning energy use to determine real cost of
                                               production in major departments.
                                              Does the facility have a Monitoring & Targeting
                                               program and does it report progress to targets.
                                              Are buildings designed and insulated to promote
                                               energy efficiency?
                                              Have you maximized possibilities for energy
                                               recovery? For example, by using heat exchangers,
                                               recirculating cool or process waters, or improving
                                              Is lighting energy efficient in design and
                                               operation? Is the use of natural light maximized?
                                               Consider task lighting, sensors, new technology.
                                              Are there opportunities for high efficiency motors
                                               and variable speed motors.
                                              Has the installation of integrated energy
                                               management systems been investigated? These
                                               can control heating, lighting, air conditioning and
                                               electrical loads.
                                              Are your transport and distribution functions
                                               efficient in their use of fuel?
                                              Are emissions from energy sources on site
                                               property controlled, eg boiler houses and
                                              Can use of energy derived from fossil fuels be
                                              Have alternative energy sources been reviewed,
                                               ie. methane from bio gas, refuse-derived fuel, or
                                               combined heat and power systems?

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              Design/Operation                       Consider
              Are your manufacturing processes             Are processes designed to minimize energy and
                                                            water usage and raw material consumption?
              designed and operated to minimize            Do you recycle or reuse energy, water and
              their environmental impact?                   materials where practical?
                                                           Are appropriate environmental monitoring
                                                            systems in place throughout these processes?
                                                           Is the best available technology used to prevent
                                                            damage to the environment? Do you regularly
                                                            review developments in technology to identify
                                                            possible improvements?
                                                           Are processes designed and operated to minimize
                                                            effluent, emissions and solids.

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