Reclaiming Effluent For Nestle Qingdao

The Client’s Needs

Laixi, the county-city where the Nestlé Qingdao plant is situated, has seen rainfall levels declining drastically (recording a drop of 140 milimetres) over the past 20 years, with rainfall levels reaching only 583mm recently.

With a population of over 5 million, Qingdao faces an increasingly acute and chronic water shortage issue, with per capita water resources allocated to the city at only 12 per cent of the national average. 

As a result, Nestlé decided to build an effluent reclaim system and a COW Water reuse system at the Qingdao plant.

Veolia Solution

Based on Nestlé’s needs, Veolia Water Technologies (Veolia) proposed that Nestlé reclaim 750 m3/day of water mainly from secondary effluent and COW Water to be reused for non-potable purposes and, in response to the issue of limited indoor space, to install a unique BiopROtector to optimize the existing Reverse Osmosis Polisher (ROP) system.
The proposed system also had to meet a stringent water quality requirement —stipulated by Nestlé’s internal requirements.

Veolia installed a biological treatment system with a design fl ow of 1,300 m3/day, and a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system with a design flow of 600m3/day. 

Two processes were also put in place to further treat the effluent: an intermediate disinfection process using UV lamps, and a final disinfection using chemical biocide.



  • Reusing 750 m3 of treated wastewater a day for utilities and production.
  • Saving 16,500 tons of water a month (equivalent to 6 olympic size swimming pools)
  • Reduced total organic carbon (TOC) levels in recovered COW water to <0.3ppm

The Client

Since its establishment in 1994, Nestlé Qingdao has been one of Nestlé’s main dairy production sites in China. The plant was expanded to include coffee production capabilities in 2013.