Water Management

Sandvik’s Hunter Valley site currently runs an award winning water management program. The site, with around 300 employees, manufactures rock tools and other hard materials, and has both aftermarket and warehouse facilities. The Hunter Valley site not only recycles water, but also carries out the process of water treatment of harvested water for reuse.

Two ways water is recycled at Hunter Valley:

  • Via rainwater tanks
  • Via the recycling of settled waste water (used in the machine testing bay)

The recycled water is used mainly for:

  • Toilet water
  • Watering of the site’s gardens
  • Washing down of machinery
  • Machine testing

A 1,000 litre rain water tank is provided per toilet block and two 10,000 litre rainwater tanks service the gardens

Water treatment at Hunter Valley

In addition to water recycling, the Hunter Valley site also treats water that flows into their sewage system from a number of locations in the workshops, via a trade waste system:

ALT

All water runoff that enters the site’s storm water drains flows through storm water pits which are fitted with drain wardens before discharging into filtration ponds. A water testing regime is in place to ensure that any water runoff from the site is not contaminated.

Employee involvement

Employees at the Hunter Valley site are actively involved in the water management program as they are responsible for ensuring the water that enters the storm water or sewage systems are not contaminated. This process involves the following of correct procedures for the disposal of chemicals and other waste products such as degreasers, oils, lubricants and coolants. There is also a process in place for spills management, which includes training and education about the use of substances that may contaminate the water systems.

Recycling water provides real benefits

There are many benefits to the harvesting and recycling of water, including monetary savings. Sandvik’s Hunter Valley site has also experienced a sense of pride in being able to demonstrate an environmentally sustainable practice that works well. Ultimately, in order to protect people, flora and fauna around the site, the company ensures that there is no detriment to the local water supply as a result of the operations that take place on site.

GLOBAL RECOGNITION

Sandvik’s Hunter Valley’s water management program gained the site the ‘Efficient Use of Water’ award at the ‘Master Builders Association Excellence in Building Awards Newcastle’, New South Wales, in 2012.

You can read more about his award here.

The Sandvik Hunter Valley site's grounds benefited greatly from their water management program.

Sandvik Guadalajara, Mexico has approximately 100 employees and over 30 contractors at its site which is responsible for machine overhauling. As the facility does not have access to a public drainage system, it has instead set up a process to treat 100% of the water it uses. This process has proven to be beneficial both economically and ecologically.

THE TREATMENT PROCESS

Due to the lack of public drainage available, water treatment is carried out via two separate processes.


PROCESS 1

Water that is mostly used in the manufacturing process is chemically treated in order to separate oils and chemical substances present in the liquid


PROCESS 2:

A biological plant treats the water originating from bathrooms, kitchens and showers on site.


Much of the oil separated from the water through the chemical process can be recycled and re-used. Through the biological treatment of water, organic and non-organic waste is separated and the organic waste is used in the site’s gardens for compost.

The Guadalajara site has not only saved on costs which would have been incurred by disposing of waste but has also seen a reduction in the amount of potable water used. Due to the biological treatment, there are also environmental benefits, for example, there has been a reduction in the need of fertilizers in the gardens as compost is used as a substitute.

If you would like to find out more about Sandvik’s water management programs then please get in touch.