How Granarolo company reuse the wastewater to have a good save cost.
Granarolo is the leading Italian company in the sale of fresh milk and is one of the market leaders for fresh cheese (3rd largest market share). Granarolo is located in a subsidence area, i.e. an area where there is an excessive withdrawal of ground water. Before, Granarolo was taking 50% of the water needed from wells and 50% from the aqueduct (data of 2012 - 2013), with a total amount of about 1 million cubic meters of water. However, water consumption decreased to 860,000 m3 and then 600,000 m3 from wells given the authorized limit. Today, thanks to the plant of wastewater treatment, water coming from the sedimentation of the purifier is treated through sand filtration (to remove most of the suspended solids) and subsequent ultrafiltration to appropriately filter the water sent to final reverse osmosis. Part of this water is sent to the thermal power plant and the rest is mixed with water coming from the ultrafiltration in order to obtain a suitable mix to supply the cooling towers. Osmosis and ultrafiltration concentrate will then be sent to the purification plant. Thanks to the reuse of wastewater, the water saving rate is equal to 12% compared to the last medium term. The main stakeholders are businesses and the main beneficiaries are clients of Granarolo that are consumers.

Resources needed

400.000 euro (financial resource) and 20.000 euro/year (staff, chemicals and utilities)

Evidence of success

60,000 m3 of water are reused every year.
Water saving rate is 12% compared to the last medium term.
The cost of the water used is 2,00 euro per cubic meter, so the money saved through reuse of wastewater is equal to 120,000 euro.

Difficulties encountered

Wastewater could be reused also for other means, however, given the strict prohibiton of contact with products, this is not possibile.
The agri-food sector is indeed a very delicate and high controlled sector.

Potential for learning or transfer

This is a very good practice for European area with scarcity of water. It could be a good solution also to save money and transform many projects more profitable.
Main institution
Metropolitan City of Bologna
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2013
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Demetrio Antonio Zema

Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria