Bush Brothers Spills the Beans on its Wastewater Treatment Process

Location: Augusta, Wisconsin, USA • Sector: Food & Beverage

The Client:
Bush Brothers is a family-owned corporation best known for its “Bush’s Best” canned baked beans, which are made from a closely guarded secret recipe. This company produces the majority of the baked beans consumed in the United States.

The Client’s Needs:
Bush Brothers’ manufacturing facility in Augusta, Wisconsin, USA, needed a new wastewater treatment plant, so it investigated different types of technology. The bean producer required a solution that would treat its wastewater so that it met environmental regulations. It also wanted to harness green energy from the treatment process.

The Solution:
ADI Systems was selected by Bush Brothers and its engineer, Donohue & Associates, to design an anaerobic digestion process. The proprietary low-rate anaerobic ADI-BVF® reactor was chosen to digest the bean processing facility’s wastewater.

ADI Systems’ design philosophy was to simply and efficiently treat the bean processing wastewater and, at the same time, produce biogas that could be used to generate electricity. The in-ground BVF® reactor easily meets these criteria with its large reactor volume for continuous and consistent organic removal, which provides stability to the downstream aerobic system.

The reactor became operational one month ahead of the scheduled commissioning date.

The Results:
The BVF® reactor is digesting process wastewater and ground-up beans and consistently achieves over 90 percent chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal in the anaerobic effluent. The BVF® reactor is self-regulating in pH, macro- and micronutrients; therefore, chemical addition is not required on a regular basis.

Biogas generated from the BVF® reactor is treated and utilized in an internal combustion engine to produce electricity. Effluent from the facility is used for irrigation. Both Bush Brothers and ADI Systems are avid believers that the future of the business can be powered by green and sustainable energy at an affordable cost.