Going with the flow at AAK Foods

There are many ways to conduct business, but there is no better approach then a partnership model where two firms work together to find a mutually beneficial solution. This was the case recently, when we partnered with specialist oils and fats supplier AAK Foods to improve effluent water treatment performance at its Runcorn site. Together, we have established a formal partnership, which will reduce running costs, minimise administrative needs and ensure effluent meets the conditions set by the municipal waste water authority.

Since 1971, AAK Foods in Runcorn has been a leading producer and supplier of private label mustards, condiments, sauces and dressings to some of the nation’s largest retailers. Previously, the company had been operating its effluent water treatment service on a month-to-month basis. As a result, the costs associated with the service fluctuated and it was not performing at an optimum level.

Speaking on the inefficiencies associated with the preceding system, Brian Jones, Business Development Manager at Veolia Water Technologies commented: “The customer was happy with their previous effluent water treatment system but hadn’t realised it could be operating more efficiently. Upon meeting with us, it was discovered that the existing approach was unnecessarily costly. We used our expertise to evaluate what water treatment chemicals were best to use. This has helped the customer to reduce the amount of water treatment chemicals they require. In turn, this means less money had to be paid to the municipal waste water authority to have the excess water treatment chemicals removed.”


After reviewing the chemical composition of the water, our team of experts supplied a number of our water treatment chemicals. We supplied the client with its Hydrex 6861 organic coagulant and its Hydrex 6903 water-based polymer. The Hydrex 6861 chemistry was particularly well-suited to the effluent profile at AAK Foods because of its low pH level and because of the small capacity of the wastewater treatment plant.

A further advantage of our solutions is that it helped improve the site’s sludge management. In turn, this helps the dissolved air flotation unit to operate at a higher flow rate. Similarly, the client was able to save more money as they no longer needed to purchase expensive polymer dilution equipment as the Hydrex 6903 water-based polymer is diluted through an inline dilution unit. Overall, the solution has allowed the effluent treatment plant to operate in a more steady and reliable manner.

As water treatment chemical dose rates at the site are now more controlled, usage is more predictable. As such, the site is able to achieve more uniform results, allowing plant engineers to reduce the time they spend checking that the water is within consent limits which is required to avoid MOGDEN charges. This means that a key challenge associated with managing the effluent water treatment process has been eliminated.

Speaking on the project, Neil Heselwood, Engineering Manager at AAK Food Supplies commented: “Veolia Water Technologies presented us with an honest and upfront approach to problem-solving, which helped us to achieve good results and reduce costs. To begin with, we wanted to trial the new system on a monthly basis. We were really impressed with the results and have now specified the new process for a further year. We’re also in constant communication with the Veolia team and they continue to help us operate as efficiently as possible.”

To ensure that the results remain stable after its installation, our team maintains regular contact with the wastewater treatment plant. The team has already met with the plant for its first follow-up meeting and will review the use of water treatment chemicals in the process every four to five months. This helps to ensure that the right levels of water treatment chemicals are being used in the process. We will continue this process, carrying on the partnership model, which has helped make the installation such a success thus far.


To learn more about our water treatment chemicals please click below.



Brian Jones

About the Author

Brian Jones

Brian has over 30 years experience in the chemical and water purification industry. The first 18 years were spent working for Hays Chemical Distribution in senior roles, working in quality, safety and process management. His problem solving approach and chemical background made going into wastewater treatment a good fit. He has spent the last 14 years working in sales in this industry having bought a wealth of knowledge to the role, proving to be a valuable asset.