TUCKER, GA. — The US Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) awarded both a Tyson Foods and a Pilgrim’s facility with the 2022 Clean Water Award. The annual award, selected by a committee of industry experts, is granted to poultry facilities that excel beyond their commitment to sustainable wastewater treatment and reuse.

Tyson Foods’ broiler processing plant in Dardanelle, Ark., was the winner of the full treatment category. According to USPOULTRY, the facility generates an average wastewater flow of 1 million gallons per day and processes around 294,000 broilers every day. Before discharging wastewater into the Arkansas River, Dardanelle implements a treatment of 2-stage screening and equalization, biological treatment and disinfection.

“This facility consistently removes 99% of total suspended solids, biological oxygen demand (BOD), and oil and grease from the wastewater,” USPOULTRY said. “This high level of treatment allows the facility to reuse approximately 27 million gallons of treated water annually in numerous non-contact processes. In addition to efficient wastewater treatment, the Dardanelle facility has implemented a recycling culture that has allowed them to offset hundreds of tons of waste from being sent to landfills.”

For the second category, the pretreatment category, Pilgrim’s Arcadia, Wis., facility was the recipient of the award. Processing around 200,000 birds per day, the plant generates roughly 1 million gallons of wastewater per day, which gets pretreated every day. Treatment includes screening first for feathers and larger biproducts, then adjusting chemical dosage into a dissolved air flotation unit (DAF) for consistent, high-level pollutant removal.

Pilgrim’s Arcadia plant intends to reduce wastewater intensity by 15% by 2030. Through third-party partnerships, the facility has trained team members on wastewater equipment and operations to help meet their goal. The processing plant also formed a water conservation team dedicated to reducing water intensity.

“We received numerous exceptional applications for this year’s Clean Water Awards, and they should all be commended. Each facility that submitted an application operated for no less than two years without a noncompliance issue, which is highly notable,” said Mike Levengood, Perdue Farms, and USPOULTRY chairman. “The quality of the applications received is representative of our members’ unwavering commitment to wastewater treatment and the conservation of our earth’s natural resources. Congratulations to this year’s winners.”

Honorable mention with distinction awards in the full treatment category were presented to Tyson Foods in Union City, Tenn., and Wayne-Sanderson Farms in Tyler, Texas. In the pretreatment category, Tyson Foods’ Berry Street facility in Springdale, Ark., received an honorable mention with distinction award.