Betko Fresh Produce (Pty) Ltd is a leader in fruit packing and marketing, located in Villiersdorp in the Western Cape of South Africa. The company and its suppliers have a reputation for producing excellent quality fruits, particularly apples and pears. However, ensuring that they maintain this quality requires a significant volume of water, which has become increasingly challenging to manage.
Water Quality and Consistency Headaches
The biggest challenge Betko faces is that the water from the schema fluctuates all the time, not only in quantity but also in quality. There’s an excessive amount of chlorine and other chemical and biological continents present, posing a threat to their incoming water’s consistency.
Furthermore, the constant infeed or tipping of fruit from the farm adds a lot of dirt to the water in the flumes, thereby increasing the wear and tear of equipment. The escalating cost increases of the components and resultant downtime due to maintenance has become Betko’s Achilles heel. Not only does this impact operating budgets, but the volumetric requirement is increasing, making paying for water increasingly difficult.
Therefore, the ongoing uncertainty and unnecessary expenses led Betko to search for a solution that could alleviate the pressure on their business.
Seeking a Sustainable Solution
Betko first reached out to NuWater in February 2021. They recognised that they use a considerable amount of water and that the only way they can meet demand and adhere to market compliance regulations is to treat their incoming water from the schema and to recycle and treat the water in the flumes. And they needed someone to help them comply with water contamination standards without affecting business.
Although they approached several firms for advice, NuWater was the only one that offered an optimised ultrafiltration system for their incoming water and a media filtration system with a reliable track record of guaranteed performance. All of the supplied systems are covered under an operational maintenance plan.
NuWater Steps In
As a result, Betko formed a partnership with NuWater in early 2022, whereafter they finalised requirements, layouts and proposals. They placed orders earlier this year, and the final handover will occur in October.
NuWater identified that they needed two systems, namely two ultrafiltration systems for all the incoming water to the packhouse from the schema, as well as a media filtration system for the water in the packing lines.
After implementing these systems, Betko’s plants will consistently provide high-quality water to the packhouse and significantly reduce the amount of effluent water produced from their process.
Their auditing process of water-related matters will also become a lot simpler, enabling them to pass quality tests with flying colours and giving them the ability to monitor these with quick checks. Moreover, NuWater will always be available to attend to any of their queries.
Combined, the ultrafiltration system will enable Betko to produce more than 400m³/day product volume at SANS241 potable water standard, whereas the Media Filtration System will filter 1320m³/day of fit-for-purpose water.
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