As pressures from municipal, agricultural and other industrial uses mount on our supply of fresh water, we are trying to reduce our consumption of this valuable resource. At the same time, we have made great gains in our ability to treat wastewater. In fact, the quality of our wastewater exceeds government regulations.
Sustainability Target 2015
Reduce our total water consumption by 15%, without compromising our wastewater treatment standards that are already substantially in excess of government requirements.
To capitalize on opportunities to reduce consumption, we consider both the demand-side and supply-side of the water equation. In other words, we will attempt to both reduce our demand for water and find ways to reuse it.
Two recent projects at our Memphis, Tennessee mill reflect our efforts to look at our operations with a fresh eye that looks beyond the way we’ve always done things. In one case, water that flows through a vacuum pump will be filtered and reused in a paper machine. In the second case, fresh water used to backwash filters will be replaced by polymers. In combination, these two initiatives will reduce our annual water use at this facility by 10% or 750-million litres.
In addition to reducing our consumption of water, we continue to ensure that the quality of our wastewater far exceeds government regulations. Despite our excellent track record in this regard, we are investigating ways to further reduce the concentration of suspended solids in and the biological oxygen demand of our wastewater.