Recycling of Water Will Protect Environment, Resources at DaimlerChrysler
30 March 2000Complete Recycling of Water Will Protect Environment, Resources at DaimlerChrysler Plant in Mexico
* Third DaimlerChrysler facility in Mexico to totally recycle water * Water Recycling System conserves scarce water supplies AUBURN HILLS, Mich. and STUTTGART, Germany, March 29 DaimlerChrysler's manufacturing facility in Toluca, Mexico, home of the new Chrysler PT Cruiser, will achieve another milestone later this year with the opening of a state-of-the-art wastewater recycling facility. The recycling facility, the most advanced of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, will conserve precious water resources and reduce the potential for pollution by totally recycling all of the water used in the plant. Toluca will become the third DaimlerChrysler facility to achieve total water recycling: the first two are the Saltillo Engine Plant and Saltillo Truck Plant that began Total Water Recycle Systems in 1994 and 1995, respectively. When the new system is launched later in 2000, not one drop of water will be released from the Toluca plant, dramatically reducing the potential for pollution to reach the nearby Lerma River system, the most extensive in Mexico. In addition, the total reuse of water inside the plant means the facility draws less water from the Toluca region's dwindling aquifer. Toluca's underground aquifer, which supplies water to residents and industry, is dropping at a rate of more than six feet per year. Total recycling ensures that production at the plant will not be limited by the lack of water in the future. "With this facility, we are making sure that our plant will have minimal impact on the environment and on the water supply, not just in Toluca but across the region," said Neil McKay, DaimlerChrysler senior manager of Wastewater Planning and Compliance. "At the same time we are meeting our environmental responsibilities, we are also ensuring that our plant will continue to operate without being constrained by the limited water supply in the region." The Toluca facility employs 7,000 workers and includes four separate engine, transmission, stamping and assembly plants. As part of the total recycling of water, the $17 million wastewater facility at Toluca will be able to treat more than 2,200,000 liters (approximately 610,000 gallons) of water each day, enough to fill 10 medium- size baseball stadiums. The treatment process is complicated by the fact that the water supply is high in silica, which clogs water pipes and is hard on wastewater treatment equipment. Wastewater from DaimlerChrysler's manufacturing plants is treated by two separate systems: * The Sanitary Water System biologically treats wastewater from restrooms, showers, cafeterias, dishwashers and other domestic areas of the plants. * The Manufacturing Process Water System chemically treats wastewater mixed with heavy metals and paints from the assembly plant. It also treats wastewater fixed with emulsified and free-floating oils from the engine, transmission and stamping plants. An extensive computer system monitors the wastewater treatment plant and the remote lift stations at the Toluca complex. Workers skilled in hydraulics, mechanics, electronics, computer software, biology, microbiology and chemistry operate the treatment plant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to insure proper operating procedures and environmental protection. As a result, DaimlerChrysler's water quality standards in Toluca are stricter than those set by the State of Mexico and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.