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Abbott Laboratories
Reducing Facility Costs with Water Reuse and Recycling

Ross Products, a division of Abbott Laboratories and a leading manufacturer of adult and pediatric nutritionals, including infant formula, has reduced costs and risk at several facilities by eliminating “non-value-added water use” and pursuing water reuse and recycling opportunities. At its Michigan plant, the installation of a new cooling tower enabled Ross Products to shut down three groundwater wells, reducing water use by over a million gallons per day. At other facilities, before discharge, boiler blowdown water is circulated through a heat recovery exchanger system to preheat water. Heat recovery projects save each facility over $30,000 per year. Water from process cooling is used for irrigation and cooling tower make-up water. Recovered water systems save some Ross Products facilities over $100,000 per year.

Ross Products’ Arizona and Michigan facilities have taken creative steps to minimize potential wastewater discharge impacts to local surfacewaters from its nutritional operations. Wastewater with high biological oxygen demand (BOD) concentrations is applied to local fields used to produce straw grass for livestock feed. The recycled wastewater serves as a fertilizer while also reducing agricultural watering needs.

Module 3