Meat and meat product manufacturing

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					                                                         Water saving factsheet:
                                                         Meat and meat product
     Industry profile                                                    Water use breakdown -
     This fact sheet is aimed at abattoirs and those that                Meat processing
     manufacture meat products, which includes small, local
     slaughterhouses, large-scale abattoirs and the manufacturing
     of frozen meat smallgoods and petfood. In Australia the
     industry generates nett revenues of $12.2B and has a large
     export market.

     The scale of an abattoir can vary enormously, from slaughtering
     only a few animals through to thousands each day, with a wide
     variation in the methods and equipment used. Other operations
     (e.g. rendering) might be integrated into an abattoir.

     Major water uses
     The meat and meat product manufacturing sector used on
     average 9.9 L of water/kg of product produced in 20051.             Water saving benefits
     The amount of water used varies widely across the industry,         There are significant benefits that can be realised through
     depending on the specific processes operated at each site, the      becoming more water efficient. These include reductions in:
     equipment used, and the prevailing management philosophy            n	   Costs – water, wastewater discharge and wastewater
     concerning water use.
                                                                              treatment, maintenance. Remember, the cost of water
     Major water uses in the meat and meat product                            is not just the cost of purchase, but includes, handling,
     manufacturing industry may include: livestock watering,                  heating, holding, treating and discharging – often a 20-30
     washing/rinsing/hosing, product and/or equipment cooling,                X multiplier.
     refrigeration systems, boilers and as an ingredient in meat         n	   Energy consumption - energy and water costs are very
     products. The following chart shows a typical water use                  often linked, e.g. reducing hot water for cleaning saves
     breakdown for meat processing sites. Values are indicative               heating costs as well.
     only and will vary from site to site and product to product.        n	   Wastes – wastewater treatment often results in the generation
                                                                              of prescribed wastes, which are costly to dispose of.
     Water saving options                                                n	   Carbon footprint – drops when energy use is prevented or
                                                                              saved and may soon be worth $20 per tonne CO2e or more.
     A number of water saving opportunities may exist within your
     business and the benefit of each option will vary depending         Other benefits include (do a self test to see how much these
     on your operation.                                                  are worth to you):
     Some common water saving options for the metal product              n	   Increased productivity
     manufacturing industry are summarised in the following              n	   Improved public image
     table, though note, other more specific opportunities may
                                                                         n	   Increased staff morale/engagement
     still exist at your site for you to investigate. Savings and cost
                                                                         n	   Improved Occupational Health and Safety.
     estimates are indicative only. Specific estimates based on your
     operations should be made before implementing an option.
     See the Ai Group website for other fact sheets on cooling
     towers and generating a water saving culture.

“Environment Report 2005”, Australian Food and Grocery Council, 2006
                    Water saving factsheet: Meat and meat product manufacturing

Things to consider when                                                                – Overall quantity by mass (e.g. kg/day) may not increase,
                                                                                          but concentration might.
implementing water                                                                     – Talk to your water corporation to determine whether
saving options                                                                            increasing concentrations are a safety issue in the sewer
                                                                                          or whether a treatment option may become available as
As always, before implementing a water saving option the                                  a result – e.g. a higher BOD may mean an opportunity
potential downsides should be considered. These may include:                              for the generation of biogas and secondary generation
                                                                                          of electricity.
n	   Increased energy consumption:
                                                                                  n	   Increased maintenance requirements may occur, depending
     – For example, replacing an evaporative (“wet”) cooling
                                                                                       on the project.
        system with an air cooled (“dry”) system can sometimes
        increase the facility energy consumption.
                                                                                  Please contact Ai Group or your local water corporation when
n	   Increased wastewater (trade waste) contaminant
                                                                                  considering water saving options.

Water savings options – meat and meat product manufacturing
  = <5% total water saving,    = 5-10% total water saving,                      = > 10% total water saving
$ = up to 10k, $$ = 10k - 100k, $$$ = > 100k

       Option Cost             Option Description                                                     Water Saving          Hierarchy Category

          0 – $$               Improve energy efficiency of operations                                      –                      Reduce

             $                 Dry sweep all areas before hosing                                            –                      Avoid

             $                 Eliminate leaks                                                              –                      Avoid
                               Use high pressure cleaners rather than high volume
             $                                                                                              –                      Reduce
                               hoses for cleaning surfaces
             $                 Install flow restrictors on tap water supply line                            –                      Reduce

          $ – $$               Use counter-flow washing                                                     –                      Reduce

          $ – $$               Use water efficient nozzles for spray rinsing/hosing                         –                      Reduce

           $ - $$              Use timer rinse controls                                                                          Reduce

           $ - $$              Install water efficient staff amenities                                                            Reduce
                               Use alternatives to liquid ring pumps, vacuum pumps
          $ – $$                                                                                            –                      Avoid
                               that require seal (gland) water
                               Re-use equipment cooling water (e.g. shrink tunnels)
          $ – $$                                                                                            –                      Re-use
                               in boilers or for washdown
                               Reuse ‘waste’ water for wash-down of animals,
          $ – $$$                                                                                           –                      Re-use
                               toilets, irrigation .
                               Reuse water from a critical rinse stage in a less critical
         $$ – $$$                                                                                           –                      Re-use
                               rinse stage
         $$ – $$$              Treat site wastewater and recycle internally                                 –                      Recycle

         $$ - $$$              Use air cooling spin chillers                                                –                      Avoid

         $$ – $$$              Rain water tanks                                                             –                Alternative sources

         $$ – $$$              Stormwater harvesting                                                        –                Alternative sources

         $$ – $$$              Groundwater                                                                  –                Alternative sources
     Contact your local
                               Class A recycled water (e.g. boilers, cooling towers)                        –                      Recycle
     water corporation
Source: “Water efficiency and water saving factsheets for Industry”, PB, 2008

Further information
Contact Ai Group’s Energy and Sustainable Business Helpdesk on 1300 733 752 or at or visit
the Ai Group website at


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