A Sustainable Distillery Water Supply
High quality water is critical to Annandale Distillery. It feeds the boilers that produce the steam to drive the stills and dilutes the raw spirit from 72% ABV to 63.5% ABV before being filled into casks. The quality of the water used to produce the wash from which the spirit is distilled has a significant effect on the taste of the whisky, so a water supply of consistent quality is vital. The new owners wanted the distillery to be sustainable and as far as possible, self-sufficient in water. They had the choice of using mains water which would be expensive and potentially of variable quality, or its own onsite borehole which would be of consistent quality, but would require more extensive treatment. Veolia Water Technologies carried out a detailed economic evaluation which confirmed that treating the borehole water would be the best option; ensuring a consistent source quality, whilst avoiding the added cost of installing a mains supply.
Distillery Manager Malcolm Rennie worked closely with Veolia’s engineers to develop a water strategy for the distillery. Filtered borehole water, fully compliant with drinking water standards, is used as brewing liquor for the wash and is also softened prior to demineralisation in a SirionTM Maxi 14-1000 reverse osmosis plant. Veolia’s online RecoBLUE calculator showed that 50% of the reject stream from the RO could be economically recovered, reducing the distillery’s water footprint.
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