By Silvia Nyambura
Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has today commissioned their Ushs 20 billion Effluent Water Treatment plant after recent expansion of the original plant that was constructed in 2005 to manage a production capacity of 800,000 hectoliters per year.
Purposed to safe guard Lake Victoria, the expansion allows for UBL to comply with local regulatory consent limits and its commitment to the environment for the discharge of waste water at an expanded site production capacity of up to 1.4 million hectoliters per year.
“Our business is highly dependent on Lake Victoria as all the water we use in our production processes is sourced from this lake. In fact, for every one liter of beer made, 5 liters of water are consumed. It’s therefore imperative that we do safeguard this resource for both our sustainability,” said UBL Managing Director Mark Ocitti.
The water treatment plant filters and purifies waste water to potable state before it is disposed of cleaner than it was taken out.
“We have intentionally and purposely set environmental protection in our sights and we continue to daily put in place mechanisms and processes that ensure that as a company, our green foot print leaves lasting changes for our communities. Our Vision 2020 is to see that we eliminate all waste to landfill from our operations by finding better ways to reduce, reuse and recycle,” he added.
Making her remarks as guest of honor, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Jennifer Musisi said, “Since we restructured in 2011, pollution control and improving sanitation have been at the core of our operations. Last year, we commissioned the ‘Green Industry’ campaign in which we work with different institutions and industries to protect our environment. Everyone in this city consumes water from Lake Victoria. It is therefore good to see UBL taking it upon themselves to improve the quality of water.”
How the plant works
The water from all sections of the brewery comes through all the drainages and it is sieved from the course screen to remove particles. It goes to the effluent pump pit which later pumps it to the retention tank. Here, it is controlled by the level switches and when the water builds up to a certain level, the switches start automatically and pump water into two retention tanks; the equalization tank and the emergency tank. The water then goes to the fine screen which removes the remaining dirty particles before it goes to the lake.
The biogas generated is used as fuel to power the brewery while UBL gives out the highly fertile sludge to local farmers who use it as a fertilizer at no cost. The new belt produces about 20 tons of manure per day.
Nyambura is a senior journalist based in Kampala