Modular Membrane Bioreactor System Allows Noosa Yoghurt to Expand Operations

Location: Bellvue, Colorado, USA • Sector: Food & Beverage

The Client:
Noosa Yoghurt Company, named after an Australian town by the same name, produces a variety of delicious yoghurts in many flavors and sizes. Its production plant is located in a rural area in Bellvue, Colorado, USA.

The Client’s Needs:
When Noosa first began making yoghurt, the plant was able to mix dairy wastewater with manure and apply it to land as a fertilizer. As production increased, this method of wastewater disposal became unsustainable, so Noosa made the environmentally-responsible choice of investing in on-site wastewater treatment.

The company needed a reliable solution that would adapt to varying flows and wastewater characteristics, comply with strict environmental regulations, and generate an effluent suitable for reuse on-site or direct discharge.

The Solution:
The ADI Systems team worked with a local engineering firm on the overall design of an aerobic membrane bioreactor (ADI-MBR) wastewater treatment system for Noosa. An equipment package supplied by ADI Systems was integrated into the plant design, which consisted of prefabricated modular membrane tanks, pumps, scour blowers, and instrumentation.

This prefabricated membrane tank was selected because of its compact footprint, simple “plug-and-play” installation, and its proven ability to produce high-quality effluent. The physical membrane barrier provides a great deal of flexibility and stability in the biological process, as the MBR system can operate at higher mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentrations than conventional activated sludge systems.

The system was sized and designed with expansion in mind. As demand for Noosa products continued to increase, the company soon realized that wastewater production would quickly exceed original projections. The future design flow would be generated much sooner than expected, and the increase in permitted discharge flow meant that Noosa would need to meet stricter discharge limits on nitrogen and phosphorus. Noosa contacted ADI Systems to supply a second prefabricated membrane tank in order to double the treatment plant capacity, as well as evaluate the overall MBR system process design in order to achieve biological nutrient removal.

The Results:
Noosa's state-of-the-art MBR system ensures discharge limits on biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and fat, oil, and grease (FOG) are consistently met:

  • BOD < 30 mg/l (permitted), < 10 mg/l (operating results)
  • TSS < 30 mg/l (permitted), < 2 mg/l (operating results)
  • NH3-N < 15.7 mg/l
  • TN < 14.8 mg/l
  • TP < 1.7 mg/l
  • FOG < 10 mg/l
  • pH range of 6.0-9.0

The treated water is reused for cleaning cow barns and irrigating crops. 

Noosa’s commitment to environmental compliance is evidenced by its investment in responsible on-site wastewater treatment. ADI Systems is pleased to be helping Noosa remain an environmental steward.