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Water Use, Reuse and Effluent Treatment

Dedicated to continually improving water management and effluent treatment system practices.

At every step in the manufacturing process, our goal is to use as little water as possible and to reuse water whenever possible. Pulp and papermaking is a water intensive process. Obtained from nearby streams and aquifers, water used in the pulping, bleaching and papermaking processes is treated prior to use. Water that is no longer suitable for reuse is sent to the waste water treatment plant where natural physical and biological processes are used to remove solids and chemicals from the water before it is discharged back to the stream from which it was withdrawn.

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Fresh Water Used
Per Unit of Production
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Effluent Characteristics
Per Unit of Production
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spacer The AMBU Facilities do not discharge effluent directly to the environment. Instead, both facilities have pre-treatment systems that discharge to local municipal wasteswater treatment plans. spacer
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Water Management Initiatives

  • Minimizing the amount of waste water discharged.
  • Ensuring that the discharged water is treated to meet relevant national, state and local discharge standards.
  • Using recycled water during the pulp bleaching process so fewer chemicals are needed.
  • Employing BMP (Best Management Practice) controls—major initiative to reduce liquor losses and recycle to avoid treatment.
  • Reclaiming 1 – 2 million gallons a day from the secondary clarifiers at Chillicothe to use as scrubber water for air pollution control on the #6 wood waste boiler.

Process Effluent Treatment and Disposal

Dedicated waste water treatment plants, located at each Glatfelter manufacturing facility, process and treat the effluent from that facility prior to being returned to its receiving stream. Primary treatment to remove heavy solids and biological treatment to remove potentially harmful chemicals are utilized at these facilities. The quality of the final effluent discharged to the receiving stream is specified via a permit, for each facility, issued by the local environmental agency. The quality of effluent is continuously monitored to ensure it meets permit conditions.


NCASI Long-Term Receiving Waters Study

The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) is the environmental research organization serving the North American forest products industry. The compatibility of properly treated pulp and paper mill effluents with their receiving streams have been studied and documented for over five decades.

The Long-Term Receiving Waters Study, a comprehensive long-term study of the effects of pulp and paper mill effluents, has been in place at four sites across the United States for over a decade. The impact of pulp and paper mill effluents on plants, insects and fish in receiving waters is monitored through a comprehensive series of laboratory and field studies. The results of these studies have been published in the peer-reviewed literature and are generally available for the public to review on the NCASI website. Glatfelter’s Spring Grove facility is one of four pulp and paper mills participating in the Long-Term Receiving Waters Study.

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