In 2018, the Pilgrim’s Guntersville, AL chicken production facility won the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association 2018 Clean Water Award for advances in wastewater pre-treatment and water reuse. The winners were selected by a committee of industry engineers, university personnel and industry media. The pre-treatment award category criteria included facilities that discharge pre-treated effluent to a public full treatment facility for further treatment.
Pilgrim’s broiler processing facility in Guntersville, AL, was honored according to the pre-treatment criteria. The facility has an average flow of 1.35 million gallons per day and processes approximately 300,000 chickens daily. In 2015, the complex implemented a facility improvement and process streamline project which involved replacing a dissolved air flotation unit and installing four new polymer mixing tanks, new variable frequency drives on process pumps and a programmable logic controller to control wastewater process pump speed and flow. In addition, the production facility conducts routine audits throughout the plant to identify areas of opportunity and waste elimination. Finally, water use data is tracked and monitored hourly in each area and for all shifts. The plant is currently designing a system to reuse chiller water overflow.