Founded in 2005, Chobani has realized remarkable success within the U.S. dairy product industry, growing to a more than $1.5 billion company that has had a positive impact on both the dairy industry and on employment in Upstate New York. As yogurt sales skyrocketed for the company, so did its wastewater flows. Chobani contracted with Delaware Engineering to plan, permit, design, and supervise the construction and start-up of a new 900,000 GPD membrane bioreactor (MBR) wastewater treatment plant. The new WWTP was constructed while the existing 100,000 GPD aerobic lagoon system remained in service. Delaware designed and constructed the plant in a way that minimized initial capital outlays and ensured that subsequent expansions will be cost-effective.
This fast-tracked project was constructed in the winter of 2011 on a parallel track with NYSDEC review and approvals. Delaware, Chobani staff, on-site contractors and the MBR system supplier worked closely to keep project design and construction on track. New WWTP components to treat the high-strength wastewater included a new aerated equalization tank upstream of the existing dissolved air flotation process, MBR tanks and components, in-line UV disinfection, a 1500 KW diesel generator and a new 2 story masonry control building. The new WWTP went online in 2012, with subsequent closure and removal of the existing lagoon, clarifier and WWTP building. The WWTP is meeting all SPDES permit limits, including new Chesapeake Bay nitrogen and phosphorous limits.