Partnership for Innovative Water Reuse

Ron Hackett

Sr. Manager
Manufacturing Facilities

Philip Morris USA

If you think about Altria as a whole, the Manufacturing Center is the heartbeat of the company and is where Marlboro is produced. When you talk about a place the size of the Manufacturing Center, environmental sustainability and your impact need to be front of mind. We’ve got to use water, we've got to use electricity. The thing that makes you proud is we get to help decide how we acquire that electricity and how we’re going to use our water; these decisions end up leading to some great initiatives. The WaterHub® is one great initiative when it comes to sustainability. We bring water in and generate wastewater. We send that wastewater to the WaterHub®, which uses a plant-based filtration method to clean the water and ultimately send it back to us for reuse in our Utility Plant operations.

We’ve had some challenges in installation but what we've learned early on is that there is whole hearted commitment from both parties. We’ve learned that the WaterHub® could continue to take on additional wastewater streams that might not have been part of the original assumption, so we’re looking at expansion across the campus.

The City of Richmond has also been a great partner. This project means less water revenues for the city. That conversation can be, if you don't handle it right, a little contentious. But it wasn't. From the very beginning, it was a great relationship to my understanding. They appreciated us taking some of the pressure off their infrastructure and even to this day as we look to expand where we pull water sources, they’re great partners.

In 2020, what I'm most excited about, is we really have an opportunity to showcase what the WaterHub® has done. It is fully functioning day to day and is giving us quality water back for reuse in our Utility Plant.

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