Water use reduced on mushroom farm
Custom filter bags preclude need for retrofit yet still increase productivity
Proper washing of produce ensures its cleanliness well before it enters the supply chain or is placed in retail bins. The right filtration system makes washing thorough, efficient and as cost-effective as possible.
As a case in point, one prominent, family-owned mushroom farm in the United States — priding itself on quality and safety — found itself often filtering as many as 60 gallons of well water per minute. The farm used about 700 filter bags per year.
The aging filtration system was no longer efficiently handling the high flow rate. Moreover, bag seams tended to rip.
Called in to help, Eaton found the standard support baskets used weren’t right for the premium filter bags. That is what caused them to often rip open at a seam, exposing the mushrooms to unfiltered water. Those mushrooms had to be rewashed, wasting time and resources.
“Cleaning and processing of fruits and vegetables demands tremendous consumption of water for effective product washing,” Rick Jacobs, president of Eaton’s Filtration Division, commented. “Technology is now available that is helping organizations to better utilize wash water in a variety of applications."
A decision made
Eaton recommended upgrading to a premium filter bag, along with a special support-basket and bag-positioner to aid bag insertion into the filter housing. This would ensure correct bag alignment inside the support basket. However, to limit disruption, the company wanted no changes to the existing support baskets.
Eaton therefore furnished a more durable and longer-lasting filter bag that integrated with the existing hardware. The high-performance, needle-felt filter bag needs no special support basket and could be used with the current hardware.
A trial proved the filter bags lasted longer than the old ones. No changes were made to the existing equipment. Water efficiency increased by eliminating product re-wash.
Eaton says the DURAGAF filter bag performs as well or better than other standard polypropylene filter bags, while lasting up to five times longer. The bags come in either polypropylene or polyester, and the fiber-blended materials have a finer diameter and more weight than is found in standard filter bags.
What’s better and why
Increased media thickness enhances the area in which particles are trapped, leading to higher dirt-holding capacity. What’s more, welded construction in the side, bottom and rings eliminates the ripped seams that occurred with standard sewn filter bags. Fewer filter bags are consumed and downtime, storage and disposal costs reduced.
In short, the farm is looking at savings of about $22,000 a year and its filtration system is no longer choked for capacity.
The mushroom farm recognized, as many others have, the need to better manage water use. The Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) 2013 Global Water Report says organizations are increasingly aware of water-related issues and the economic effects of mismanaging water resources. Responsive companies are identifying profitable business opportunities.
Eaton’s Filtration Division is a leader in liquid filtration that can help companies improve product quality, increase manufacturing efficiency, protect employees and equipment and help achieve sustainability goals.