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Leading the Way

At our facilities around the world, we are implementing the same solutions we offer our customers to reduce water and energy use. Step by step, we are making our plants more sustainable and reducing our impact on local watersheds and the communities where we live and work.

Water Safety

Our number one priority is — and has always been — the safety of our employees and customers. Water safety is no exception to this rule. 

Ecolab is the leader in providing solutions that reduce risks associated with waterborne pathogens such as Legionella.

Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
In 2017, our plant in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, completed a water safety audit to ensure that its water safety plan was comprehensive and that it protected the plant’s employees and neighbors. Testing the cooling towers daily and keeping up with regular cleanings and inspections, we prioritized water safety and reduced risks to safeguard the health of those located in and around the plant.

Yangsan Team
Water Efficiency

As a global leader in water treatment technologies for more than 90 years, our technologies help our customers do more with less water. In our own facilities, we also are committed to reducing our water use and increasing water efficiency using our own technologies.

Circular water management helps Ecolab customers in water-stressed regions lessen their environmental impact. We take the same approach at our own plants.

Elk Grove Village, Illinois
Our plant in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, specializes in refurbishing Ecolab dishmachines for Institutional customers. This water-intensive process was mainly a manual operation with little automation.

In 2017, the Elk Grove Village plant partnered with Ecolab’s Food & Beverage team to build a custom Clean-in-Place (CIP) system that recirculates all the water used in dishmachine testing. The plant also upgraded the restrooms with LEED-certified fixtures. Together, these two projects resulted in savings of more than 600,000 gallons (2.2 million liters) of water annually, a 50 percent reduction in the plant’s water use.

Yangsan, South Korea
At our Yangsan, South Korea, plant, the team identified an opportunity to reclaim a significant amount of water for their cleaning processes.

A key ingredient for many of our products is pure water, which is produced using reverse osmosis. The reject water from the reverse osmosis process is filtered and reclaimed for cleaning vessels. Instead of discharging it as waste, the Yangsan plant devised a way to re-route this high-quality water to clean blending vessels.

Using this circular approach, the plant saves more than 1.3 million gallons (2.9 million liters) of freshwater per year, along with 137,000 kWh of energy and USD $24,800 in costs. Most importantly, the plant was able to reduce its impact on the local watershed, resulting in more water being available for the community

Elk Grove Village Team
Water Stewardship

City of Industry and Carson, California
As a founding partner of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) International Water Stewardship Standard, Ecolab is committed to collaboration with other businesses at the local level and sustainable water use in its facilities.

The AWS Standard is a globally consistent and locally adaptable framework to promote sustainable freshwater use. These certifications further solidify Ecolab’s commitment to water stewardship, the preservation of natural resources and environmental protection.

In September 2015, our Taicang, China, plant became the first facility in the world to be certified under the AWS Standard. At the end of 2017, we achieved our second and third AWS certifications for Ecolab’s manufacturing facilities in City of Industry and Carson, both located in water-stressed southern California.

Thanks to steps taken during the AWS certification process and Ecolab’s own water-saving technologies, including 3D TRASAR™ Technology, these plants saved a combined total of more than three million gallons (11.3 million liters) of water annually, which is equivalent to the annual drinking water needs of more than 10,000 people.

Both facilities also worked with other users in the same watershed to drive collective action on water stewardship. The California Water Action Collaborative allowed the two plants to share best practices and current projects with other large companies in the same watershed.

Fresno Team
Water Quality

Ecolab makes the world cleaner, safer and healthier — this includes the water we use at our own facilities.

Fresno, Texas
Our plant in Fresno, Texas, was experiencing high copper and zinc concentrations in its cooling tower and boiler blowdown, affecting system reliability and wastewater quality. Working with Nalco Water’s commercial team, the Fresno plant team solved the problem and reduced operating costs at the same time.

A new chemistry program was adopted to address microbiological activity in the cooling towers and prevent corrosion. The plant addressed microbiological contamination by switching from a bleach feed to Nalco Water ControlBrom CB70, which is easier on metals such as zinc and copper, and by monitoring water chemistry in the cooling towers. The new treatment program was automatically controlled and monitored using the plant’s existing 3D TRASAR™ system, significantly reducing metal content in the wastewater. As a result, the plant no longer needed to haul off wastewater, saving the associated cost.

Celra, Spain
Located in Northern Spain, Ecolab’s Celra plant looked to improve its effluent quality and wastewater management. The plant manufactures products that include surfactants, used in numerous cleaning and sanitizing products. But the surfactants also ended up in the wastewater, posing a wastewater treatment challenge.

Nalco Water partnered with the Celra plant team to come up with a science-based solution to manage the wastewater stream at the on-site waste treatment plant. Using a reactive process called Fenton, this approach lowered surfactant levels in the wastewater by 85 percent and reduced treatment costs significantly, saving an estimated USD $230,000 per year.