Good practice

Water savings in a meat processing plant

Water savings in a meat processing plant
© Fotos 593, #92210438, 2019, source:
Energy, Materials, Water
Food processing
Low cost
Annual saving:
100% / 42000€
Payback time:
0 - 1 Year(s)
Resource savings: Raw material:
Fuel savings are equal to 425000 kWh annually.
Resource savings: Water:
Water savings achieved 7 000 m3 annually
Associated cost savings: Raw material:
Associated cost savings: Energy:
Associated cost savings: Water:
Payback time:
As the measure includes regulating pressure in existing hoses for cleaning, there are no investment costs (the savings are immediate)
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes
Size of company:
Medium (less than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
One off investment:
0 - 100€

Pressure goes down, savings go up

  • Meat processor identifies excess water consumption during cleaning
  • Calculations reveal where savings could be made but the end result maintained

An audit of water and energy usage at a Midlands pork meat processing factory revealed that a vast amount of hot water is being used to clean equipment on a daily basis. Typically, cleaning involves the use of high-pressure (triggered) hoses that spray hot water at temperatures ranging from 55º C to 65º C.

The plant identified that 31 % of the monthly water used (about 2 500 m3) goes towards cleaning processes. Heating such high volumes of water costs the company 5 cents per kWh. Altogether, this corresponds to a cost of € 3 500 a week for water and energy.

Key impact

The high-pressure triggered hoses release around 26 litres per minute. Substantial savings can be made, without compromising cleaning efficiency, simply by reducing the flow to around 20 litres per minute.

This change translated into savings of 7000 m3 of water and 425 000 kWh of energy annually.

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