The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association has honored the Wayne Farms LLC Pendergrass Facility with its 2018 Clean Water Award, one of the organization’s most prestigious environmental awards.
The Clean Water Award is presented annually to poultry processing facilities "with exemplary wastewater treatment and reuse programs."
A committee of industry engineers, university experts and industry media selected winners in both full treatment and pretreatment categories. Wayne Farms’ award in the Full Treatment Category recognizes the company’s compliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, allowing facilities to discharge treated water directly into a stream or final land application system.
Eligible facilities must have a minimum of two years of no enforcement actions, including any significant non-compliance events or notices of violations.
The Pendergrass facility, which processes approximately 130,000 broiler chickens per day, generates an average wastewater flow of 390,000 gallons daily. The facility was one of the first processing plants in the poultry industry to install a membrane biological reactor system. The state of the art system’s ultra-filtration of discharge water produces an extremely high-quality effluent that exceeds natural in-stream water quality, actually improving water quality downstream of the plant.
Pendergrass Complex Manager Ron Rogers said the facility’s strong emphasis on water conservation and reuse allowed them to reclaim approximately 115,000 gallons of reuse water each day, totaling nearly 30 million gallons annually. “That’s a direct reduction of usable, potable water—and that’s a valuable resource we need in our business,” said Rogers. “We’ve installed the latest technology, and we’re always looking for ways to conserve and get better results from our wastewater treatment program—clean water is too valuable to waste.