How We Reached 100 Percent Recycled Water for Operations at Chihuahua and Chennai
At our Chennai site in India and our Chihuahua Engine Plant in Mexico, we use only potable water for domestic use while using treated non-potable water sources in production.
At both facilities, we have developed partnerships with local authorities to invest in infrastructure to facilitate the recycling and reuse of treated municipal wastewater.
Over 10 years ago in Chihuahua, we began treating externally sourced treated wastewater to achieve 100 percent recycled water for operational uses with potable water for domestic use only. After treating and extracting the recycled water, any final discharge from our recovery system goes to an evaporation lagoon, eliminating any discharge from the site. In 2018, the site was expanded with a new three-pipe water distribution system. This new system uses not only high-quality treated wastewater in production and potable water for domestic use, but also quality treated gray wastewater for use in toilets, which reduces the plant’s freshwater demand even further.
At Chennai, we utilize wastewater from our own site and treated wastewater from the local supplier park to feed our recycling system. The treated wastewater goes through a three-stage reverse osmosis system, followed by evaporation and crystallization. This maximizes the amount of recycled water we can extract and eliminates any liquid discharge from the facility.
At Ford manufacturing facilities worldwide, we are always looking for ways – both hi-tech and otherwise – to reduce net water usage. These include utilizing stormwater, installing minimum quantity lubricant (MQL) machining, and the installation of dry paint booths.
Internal and external treated wastewater recycling is a critical piece of Ford’s “Go Further” water conservation mindset, and our successes in Chennai and Chihuahua create a framework for exploring alternative water sources at other facilities as we move forward.