Torreón Plant Uses Grey Water To Reduce Resource Impact, Drive Vision 2030

May 27, 2021

If you don’t believe that one person can make a difference when it comes to sustainability, then you have not heard the story of Nitzia Mendoza. His concept to aid in Essex Furukawa’s Green Production goals is just one example of how Vision 2030 is shaping the course of the future of Magnet Wire and aligning the company with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Mendoza, then a process engineer and now an engineering manager at the Torreón (Mexico) plant, had an idea to use “grey water” for industrial purposes within the plant.

Grey water, by definition, is the relatively clean wastewater from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other appliances. Grey water contains fewer pathogens than domestic wastewater; it is generally safer to handle and easier to treat and reuse in non-potable uses – like the manufacturing process.

Torreón is located in a semi-desertic area where shortages of city water is commonplace. The city government prioritizes potable water for its population over industrial need; so is frequent to have city water outages. It also adds a more expensive cost of potable water for those conducting business.

Thanks to Mendoza – the plant decided to investigate alternative sources to introduce  better water usage. The plant was originally looking to use clarified water (one level more purified than grey water) but finally discovering that the amount of water could be expanded with grey water to produce process water based on cost reduction and more importantly to mitigate risk by sustaining the operation for the future.

The application of grey water reuse provides substantial benefits for both the water supply subsystem, by reducing the demand for fresh drinking water, as well as the wastewater subsystems by reducing the amount of wastewater required to be conveyed and treated.

“It was a completely unique initiative; no other company in the Torreón area or even in Mexico was thinking about reusing grey water for industrial proposes,” said Antonio Padilla, Plant Manager for Essex Furukawa. “I know some other companies now are using similar technologies but for sure we were pioneers in this matter.”

Not only is this initiative saving water in near desert conditions, after evaluating cost reduction, the plant has been able to demonstrate a 30% reduction in cost and also reduce water usage by around 150 cubic meters per day (39,625 gallons per day) since the implementation of this idea.

According to a report from the United Nations, water shortages will affect 2.7 billion people by 2025, which means 1 out of every 3 people in the world will be affected by this problem. It is substantially worse in Torreón and other parts of Mexico.

“As you know, water is becoming a very important natural resource that in some areas in the world is starting to be scarce,” Padilla said. “All the credit of this project goes to Nitzia for enabling this amazing effort.”

Reduction in the use of natural resources is a long-term goal for Essex Furukawa. The Torreón plant is leading the way with its water conservation.

It is thanks to one person making an impact: Nitzia Mendoza.

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