How Data Pointed a Food Company Toward the Right Pre-Treatment Solution


Busy consumers increasingly look for healthy, ready-to-eat meal options. Riding the wave of “grab and go" eating, Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen, a Midwest-based producer of prepared sides, salads and entrees was ready to expand production to meet market demand. Because the company did not pre-treat its wastewater, sanitary sewer related utility fees were relatively high. And, at the same time expansion plans were being developed, the utility notified its large industrial users of potential upcoming rate increases. Surcharges combined with higher utility rates can significantly affect any business.


Making a decision required more data. So SEH analyzed the company’s total wastewater fees to determine how to minimize charges. Utilizing data from a pilot plant that SEH previously facilitated, engineers assessed incoming water quality, production wastewater characteristics and the viability of pre-treatment approaches. Cost information allowed the company to fully understand its potential investment and payback period. Construction of a pre-treatment facility offered the company an economical alternative. During the design of pre-treatment systems and facilities, the company decided to use SEH’s Design|Build subsidiary for project completion. Design|Build could deliver the project for a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) and help expedite completion to meet an aggressive construction schedule.


  • Wastewater analysis provided clear picture of investment in new pre-treatment facility.
  • Pre-treatment facility operating as efficiently or better than the pilot plant predicted.

Wastewater Pre-Treatment

Albert Lea, Minn.

Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen


  • Wastewater Engineering
  • SEH Design|Build
  • Pilot Plant Testing