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News 461 views update:Feb 3, 2010

Water reduction puts pressure on poultry

Executives of the Georgia Poultry Federation met with representatives of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to discuss with the city of Gainesville the possible impact of a 10% reduction in water use.

With three poultry processing plants, Hall County is the largest primary poultry processing centre in the state. Now, with a cutback in the availability of water, a significant challenge to the industry has been presented.
According to executive vice president of the Federation, Mike Giles, water conservation has been a top priority for the industry for 20 years. He says that Hall County plants return more pre-treated water to the wastewater system than they take from the Gainesville water system due to the use of well water to supplement the public water.
In poultry processing, water is used for a number of functions, including conditioning and cleaning the chickens, adding and removing heat from the product in process, cleaning plant surfaces and removing waste materials.
Giles and the federation's president, Abit Massey, said the conversations were held to brief state and local officials as to how the industry operates and the implications of further restrictions.
An official with the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Craig Wyvill, said the typical poultry processing operation uses about five gallons of fresh water per bird. Perdue, through the EPD, ordered all holders of water withdrawal permits to reduce their consumption by 10%, based on their usage in December 2006 through March 2007.
 
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