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Water recycling at Cute Dress Industry Ltd

Cute Dress Industry Ltd is a sustainable knitwear manufacturing unit in Bangladesh that has been striving to minimize the use of natural resources. The factory is made by the guidance of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and has achieved an excellent rating point on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Cute Dress Industry Ltd
Figure 1: Cute Dress Industry Ltd factory premises.

Beside sustainable infrastructure, Cute dress has developed a sustainable process in the entire production unit to recycle water and save valuable groundwater.   Recently Textile Today team visited the factory to explore how they developed a sustainable model to save fresh drinking water.

Why Cute Dress has taken initiative for water recycling

Cute Dress Industry Ltd water saving plan
Figure 2: The water saving plan can save 5000 liters of water in a day at Cute Dress Industry Ltd.

To save the environment: Wastewater can be discharged in two ways:

  • The first option is discharging into a surrounding water body like a river or stream.
  • The second option is to reuse.

In Bangladesh, the 1st option is commonly practiced to discharge the household and industry gray water even sometimes black water intermix with this gray water and contaminate all the surface water.

Commitment to sustainability: If sustainability gets the uppermost priority then saving the freshwater has to be top in the list. In this regard, recycle water can be used in many ways and this is the best approach for sustainability.

So Cute Dress Industry Ltd includes the recycling process in the overall procedure to keep commitment for sustainability. They have a complete design for materials to recycle particularly to reuse of gray water in the manufacturing process.

Sheikh H M Mustafiz, Managing Director, Cute Dress Industry Ltd said “Water is precious – especially freshwater that we use from the ground. Of all the water on Earth, only 3% is fresh. Of course, this 3% is consumed for the world’s drinking water, crop irrigation, construction and other household use.”

“Surprisingly freshwater is also using for necessary sanitation. Now we have to think for the future world and reduce using fresh drinking water in construction or for sanitation,” he added.

The model of daily water-saving practice

Gray water in the industry: As an apparel manufacturing organization Cute Dress Industry Ltd maintains 1400 people for its overall production process. These numbers of people use thousands of liter of water just to flush in the toilet. So, a comprehensive plan has been taken by the authority to recycle the gray water that can save valuable freshwater.

Sheikh H M Mustafiz informed Textile Today that as per daily water-saving model minimum of 5000 liters of water can be saved that usually people drainage out for toilet flush. If we consider 5000 liters to be saved by the recycle process every day that used for 1400 people that means an immense amount of fresh water can be saved that used by 4.4 million apparel workers in Bangladesh.

Treatment processes of greywater

Gray water that used in kitchen sinks, bathrooms and other activities that contain fats, oils and grease and high loads of organic matters are generally safer to handle and easier to treat. It should undergo preliminary treatment to remove the gray water substances before discharge into a recycle water tank.

underground waste water treatment plant
Figure 3: Underground treatment plan to recycle the gray water has three compartments to remove the various waste substances from the gray water.

3 Level of treatment process of gray water

Cute Dress Industry Ltd has built an underground concrete tank with three compartments that can treat the gray water for reuse.

  1. The compartment removes the chubby substances from the gray water. This is a tank that can take a lot of water at once and then slow down the flow. This process is to slow down the flow just enough so that any solids waste can settle out to the bottom and then let the cleaner water move on.
  2. The compartment is designed to remove the gray materials further by a cycle of the treatment.
  3. In the final stage, the gray water becomes matured that safer to handle and easier to treat and reuse onsite for toilet flushing, landscape or crop irrigation, and other non-potable uses.

Gray water is not for long time storage

The gray water can deteriorate rapidly during the treatment process because it often contains warm and nutrients and organic matter (e.g. dead skin cells), as well as pathogens. It also leads to odor nuisances for the same reason.

Should maintain properly

To maintain overall recycle process Cute Dress authority developed a complete management system. Because gray water can be contaminated in many ways and improper treatment can be harmful for the environment.

Separate water supply set up for recycling water

water recycling tank Cute Dress Industry Ltd
Figure 4: Recycle water tank at the rooftop set by Cute Dress Industry Ltd for necessary water supply.

Recycled water is most commonly used for nonportable (not for drinking) purposes, so the water supply system has to be completely separate from the fresh drinking water. The model needs a separate water supply system just to flush in the toilet as well as this can be used for the cooling process in the motor-generator.

Separate drainage system to storage the gray water in the treatment plant.

  • A reserve tank in the ground after necessary treatment of gray water
  • A reserve tank on the rooftop for a necessary supply
  • Water pump to lift water at the rooftop tank
  • Separate water supply system for toilet flush

Sheikh H M Mustafiz told Textile Today, “We had to invest further to set the water supply system to use recycled water. A separate hog pipe and the water tank is set for the process. Because recycled water has to be completely separate from that of freshwater supply.  This additional investment is our commitment to sustainability.”

Water-saving is the burning issue of today’s world as people are spoiling the freshwater tremendously.  So, the recycling process of water use can be a great effort to step forward for sustainability.

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