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Reduction of water consumption at the Bécancour Rod Plant
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More detailed notes accompany graphs, at right.
We recognize that the consumption of fresh water by various community, industrial, and agricultural interests is an issue reaching critical proportions in many areas of the world. Alcoa has acknowledged the need for a sustainable water management strategy since 2000, when we set long-term, global objectives to reduce our process water requirements.
Reducing water use in our operations will achieve two things: 1) make more water available to the communities in which we operate, and 2) reduce the volume of wastewater that has to be discharged or managed under increasingly strict regulatory requirements. At Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products, our facilities are equipped with systems designed to reduce water consumption and wastewater generation. Our wastewater treatment systems enable us to reuse the water in our processes.
Water consumption at the Deschambault Smelter is particularly low because the plant is equipped with a system that recycles process water and recovers rainwater.
Although there is still some wastewater generated, there is less of it, and it is treated and regularly tested to ensure we meet required standards while minimizing our environmental impact. The Baie-Comeau and Bécancour smelters run closed-loop water management systems—which produces zero waste water—in their carbon sectors. The cooling waters are recycled and treated at the casthouse, and only treated purge waters are discharged into the environment. Our Deschambault Smelter is equipped with a zero process water discharge system.