Being Eco-friendly is Our Jam!
Here is How We Manage our Waste Water!
Crofters Organic is based in Parry Sound, ON, a small rural community in Northern Ontario, Canada. We are fortunate to be surrounded by stunning freshwater lakes, truly one of Mother Nature’s hidden gems. Despite having an abundance of freshwater at our doorstep, we have implemented unique strategies for reducing our water usage. Being eco-friendly is our jam, so let’s dig a little deeper into how we manage our waste water…
Water is a resource humans, wildlife, and plants can’t live without it! There is no question that it’s mother nature’s more valued resource and unfortunately, also one of the most abused…
While 70% of the earth’s surface is water, fresh water makes up only a microscopic 2.5%. We’re talking about 1% of the earth’s water being available for consumption—a staggeringly small number! Despite being located in an area abundant in fresh water, we do not take this resource for granted.
The food industry is among one of the heaviest users (and abusers) of fresh water. So, we knew we needed to find a way to be eco-friendly, reduce our impact on the environment, and help conserve this vital and finite resource.
Due to our rural location (don’t believe us, check out some of our pictures), we had to come up with a creative way to deal with the large volume of contaminated water from cleaning our equipment and surfaces. We had to get creative with our waste management system because we do not have access to municipal sewage services. And boy, did we ever! Partnering with experts in the water treatment industry, Crofter’s was able to develop a micro-sized wastewater treatment system that is located right on our property! This allows us to collect, treat and reuse nearly every drop of water that ends up in the floors collection drains! BOOM, the eco-friendly wastewater treatment plant was born. The Crofter’s bear is proud (#CroftersBearApproved) to say that our water treatment system has:
Reduced water consumption by over 85%
Has a 97% water return rate to our facilities
We Know What You’re Thinking, ‘But, How?!’. Well, Since You Asked…
First, water transfers through hundreds of feet of piping from floor grates to our treatment plant. Once there, water goes through initial filtration steps removing physical contaminants like debris and pieces of fruit. From there, water heads to equalization tanks in which any other physical contaminants settle to the bottom of the tank.
The Real Magic Happens in the Membrane Bioreactor!
With a name like that, you know it’s going to be cool, right? In the process of cleaning up our sticky jam mess, sugars present in the spreads dissolve in the water. Since there is no way to physically filter the dissolved sugar from water, we rely on our army of specially selected microorganisms to literally “eat” the sugar. The waste water enters a large vat filled with billions upon billions of good bacteria. These good bacteria consume the sugar (talk about job goals)! Ultimately, leaving it free of dissolved contaminants.
Once the bugs have had their fill of sugar, the water continues through the final purification steps which include filtration, ozonation, and reverse osmosis. And there you have it! What was once dirty sugar water, is now perfectly clean and safe water. Indefinitely reused for cleaning or cooling hot jars of spread! Although the water is clean enough to use in our fruit spreads, we use only pure, crisp water from our 400’ deep fresh water well!
Here at Crofter’s Organic, our heart is in the conservation of the environment and the wellbeing of all living things—bear, bee, plants, and human. That’s why we make conscious efforts to be eco-friendly by integrating sustainable processes like waste water management into our daily production—making it a bear approved facility!