Chelsea Sugar has survived for over a century by being resourceful and sustainable. As an industry that relies heavily on water in its processes, the chosen location of the Refinery (close to Duck Creek) was a strategic move by our forefathers to ensure that the Refinery had fresh water that was readily accessible.
Water has been drawn from the sequence of dams since the Refinery began operating in 1883. In 2009 a project was initiated to draw 100% of the Refineries’ water demands from the dams. Chelsea Sugar Refinery has a consent to draw from the dams and has only historically drawn around 60% of this consent. By increasing the take the Refinery is now able to disconnect from the town supply.
This project will improve sustainability by reducing reliance upon local infrastructure and ensuring two independent water supplies to the site. This will reduce exposure to expected future rises in town supply water costs and provide control over the incoming water quality allowing us to meet customer requirements which at times town supply water quality does not achieve.
The project utilises carbon filtration and ultra violet light to treat the water to a potable standard. Daily laboratory analysis is carried out and foolproof controls exist to test the quality of the water. Should the quality of the water be compromised, we will be connected back to the town supply instantly.
It is still expected that at least 20% of the Refinery water use will still come from town supply. This will be during some periods of peak demand when the water treatment plant cannot process enough water and at dry times of the year when the ponds may be too low for safe extraction of water.