Making wastewater even cleaner in Alfeld Mill, Germany

Water is vital to all life, and especially to our business. Water not only nourishes trees but is used to make pulp and paper, generate steam power and so much more in our mills. That’s why we take so seriously our role as responsible water stewards in the regions where we live and work.

Alfeld mill on the river Leine 

Alfeld Mill is no exception. Dating back to 1706, it’s uniquely positioned on a small island on the river Leine in the town of Alfeld, south of Hanover in the Leinetal region. From the time you cross the bridge, the connection between the mill and the river is ever present.   

Finding new and better ways to return water even cleaner to the river Leine is a top priority. A project that began in 2016 did just that by reducing the phosphorus levels in Alfeld’s water discharge.    

From one-step to two 

Nutrients like phosphorus are essential for plant and animal growth and nourishment, but their overabundance in water can cause a number of adverse health and ecological effects. The cleaning agents that we use contain low levels of phosphorous that during irregular cleaning, could cause phosphorous to peak in the wastewater. 

A dedicated team at Alfeld set to work to find an innovative way to reduce our phosphorous discharge. Their solution: change from a one-step diffusion-washing process to a two-step process during pulp production.  

The result: a reduction of phosphorous levels to 20% below the permitted level. Even more, this achievement created real cost savings that we could pass on to our customers. Now that’s eco-effectivity in action!