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Drainage management for the Food Processing Industry

ACO. The future of drainage. The ACO Group offers sustainable, integrated drainage systems designed to protect your business and the environment. Our aim is to constantly improve every aspect of safety, hygiene and functional performance. We believe our systems and services are truly unique, delivering unparalleled benefits to everyone involved in project delivery or subsequent operation.

ACO worldwide With over 60 years experience in the design and manufacture of drainage components ACO have developed a unique global competence that has resulted in development of innovative and award winning products. As a recognized leader in many of our markets, our success is attributable to anticipating and understanding our customer needs: whether a large international producer or independent local operator, our resources extend to provide the levels of service and product excellence that are only possible from global research, development and production facilities that are implemented with local considerations in mind.

Sustainable integrated Drainage Systems — where safety and hygiene matter. Drainage is a crucial aspect of protection, both internally and externally. It is possible to amplify the benefits available by integrating design, product and processes. ACO illustrates the concept through the Collect, Clean, Hold and Release framework. Each of these interrelated and interacting elements can have a positive impact on the safe, hygienic and sustainable performance of the operation.





Intercepting and conveying liquid from source equipment and surfaces efficiently is fundamental to safe and hygienic operation. Drainage components with these properties are vital, linking elements of the system chain together enabling integration and synergistic benefits to be realised.

Managing and modifying liquid condition can be effected throughout the system chain at multiple points. As such benefits cascade, with incremental improvements combining to effect greater overall performance. Of equal importance is the role of effective maintenance and clean ability in safe, hygienic performance.

The value of hydraulic buffering can be realised internally and externally. Internally, drain component volumetric affect conveyance and interception rates as well as separation and treatment stages. Externally, components may prevent ingress of both storm water and sewage as well as facilitating treatment before release to the environment.

Moderating system flow allows effective treatment - potentially enabling re-use. Managing the rate of release helps satisfy environmental considerations. This part of the ACO system chain brings the collected, treated and controlled water to the interfaces for further treatment, re-use or release.

ACO in the Food processing industry Food touches every single individual on the planet in various aspects: health, pleasure, socialisation. More broadly food safety and access to food are fundamental prerequisites for public health, social stability but are also paramount for business sustainability and profitability. Drainage is a critical component affecting the hygienic performance of food production facilities. Effective drainage helps mitigate hazards from the external environment and is central to the safe and hygienic operation internally. Within the food production facility, surface liquids present a hazard for which an appropriate risk assessment strategy can be devised. Liquids may be part of the cleaning process, or may originate from specific equipment discharge points, or be simply the result of accidental spillage. Quite often the liquids contains other components – organic matter being prevalent. Floor drainage components cater for these situations through three core functions - interception, conveyance of fluids, and the ability to act as a barrier. ACO — focus on hygiene ACO is one of the world’s leading drainage specialists. We are familiar with HACCP and the prerequisites, including suitable drainage, which underpins it. We are thus committed to implement the requirements of the food industry

Hygienic solution

into our product’s design and development to meet the sector’s needs on a risk reduction basis. Furthermore we are active in cooperation with major European institutions such as the EHEDG and Campden BRI, who have expertise in food hygiene and hygienic design. ACO’s research and development is contributing to global research in the field of contamination control and this knowledge helps to set guidelines for hygienic drainage. For the food processing facility operator, specification of components that meet appropriate standards EN1253, EN1433 or their regional counterparts ensures compliance with basic criteria for function, durability and load class. These standards are not necessarily aligned with best hygienic practice. For example EN 1253 permits the design of gullies with an non-drainable sump. The image below illustrates this non-hygienic design can lead to the presence of stagnant water, microbial growth or the retention of cleaning fluids which may be a chemical hazard. ACO gully‘s take hygienic performance one step further. We apply standards reserved for food contact surfaces EN 1672 and EN ISO 14159 to the gully design. All our building drainage products are of course tested according to the relevant European standards.

Non-hygienic solution

“Floor drains in food processing facilities are a particularly important niche for the persistence of listeria and can be a point of contamination in the processing plant environment and possibly in food products” Zhao, T. Podtburg, T.C. Zhao, P. Schmidt, B.E. Baker, D.A., Cords, B. Doyle, M.P. (2006). Control of Listeria spp. by compet-itive-exclusion bacteria in floor drains of a poultry processing plant. Applied and Environmental Microbiology Volume 72, Issue 5, Pages 3314-3320.

Open product area low risk — high care — high risk The British Retail Consortium (BRC Version 6, identifies four different risk zones (low risk, high risk, high care, enclosed product area) within the processing and storage facilities, with corresponding levels of hygiene requirements and segregation to reduce the potential for product contamination. Drainage, as other aspects of factory hygiene, should reflect the potential risk of hazards to food. ACO recognizes the different risks in all four food production and in non-production zones and has appropriate solutions for each.

ACO solutions



High risk area This is physically segregated area, designed to a high standard of hygiene. These areas process products which have received a pasteurization process (6 log reductions of microorganisms) via a heating process. These product are basically ready to eat and require the highest possible protection from pathogen contamination.

cooked sliced meats diary desserts fully cooked prepared meals

ACO hygienic drainage designed to the highest hygienic design standards and installed as an effective segregation barrier form low risk areas.

ACO gullies (fixed height) ACO tray channels (fully welded gully)

High care area This area is designed to a high standard of hygiene to minimize product contamination. Vulnerable products prior to entry to this area usually receive 1-2 log reduction of contamination so they are safe to eat however spoilage organisms will be present.

sandwiches unpasteurized soft cheeses fermented dried meats chilled pizzas cold smoked salmon

ACO hygienic drainage that conforms to same global standards as rest of equipment designated for most exposed areas.

ACO gullies (fixed height) ACO tray channels (fully welded gully)

Low risk area Processes products and materials which will always require cooking before consumption. The hygiene standards in such areas require greater emphasis on preventing foreign body and allergen contamination of products.

Ingredients storage and preparation prepared meals and pizzas with uncooked components canned products dried foods confectionery

ACO drainage designed to primarily intercept and convey large volume of waste water, emphasis on safety, hygiene, and clean ability. General cleaning procedures should be applied.

ACO gullies ACO tray channels ACO box channels ACO slot channels

ACO hygienic design features ACO gully takes hygienic performance one step further. We apply standards reserved for food contact surfaces EN 1672 and EN ISO 14159 to the gully design. All our building drainage products are of course tested according to the relevant European standards.

All radiuses larger than 3mm which greatly increases cleaning effectiveness

Edge in-fill ensures stable and durable transmission between the gully and surrounding floor and helps to minimize risk of floor cracks which could harbour microorganism

Deep-drawn body ensures smooth contours eliminating crevices that can nest dangerous bacteria

Dry sump design, completely drainable - eliminating stagnant water, smells, microbial growth and potential chemical hazards.


ACO gully With 3 body sizes, this range caters for various flow rates and construction requirements including shallow construction depths and applications where preventative fire measures are required. Hygienically, the new gully range excels: it incorporates many hygienic features required of food processing equipment – surpassing any requirement for a drainage product. Certified to EN 1253.

ACO tray channels High capacity channels that offer exceptional control for large volumes of fluid. This range is ideal for applications where considerable volumes may be discharged quickly. All tray channel systems are designed with a built in gradient and certified to EN 1253.

ACO slot and box channels Our modular range with standardized 20, 125 and 200 mm widths provides a most versatile system with off-the-shelf availability. Accessories such as corner units and choice of numerous grating make this system perfect for a wide range of applications. Certified to EN 1433, CE marked.

ACO pipe Stainless steel push-fit pipe system designed for grey or black water. ACO pipe offers 40+ years product life thanks to stainless steel material. Easy installation and handling on site is ensured by push-fit assembly. ACO pipe is more hygienic, robust and durable when compared to plastic pipes systems for gravity and vacuum drainage.

Integrating drainage in your processes Virtually every food business is required to implement HACCP in their operation. A fundamental component is the Prerequisite Programme, (PRP) and subsequent Operational Programme (O-PRP), which itself requires adequate drainage. ACO have developed guidance on implementing effective PRP using the systems stages of Collect, Clean, Hold, Release.

ACO safety features Slip resistant surfaces Efficient surface water removal Products specific to food processing industry Robust and durable to allow regular maintenance ACO grease separators A comprehensive range addresses all size requirements within the EN 1825 specification, with performance at or beyond the Standard’s requirement. Certified to EN 1825, CE marked. separators are tested and certified according to EN 1825 and therefore CE marked.

ACO lifting station Lifting plants are used when the grease separator is installed below the backflow level. EN 1825 requires a twin pump system to improve overall system reliability.

ACO durability and functionality features Self draining gradients Optimal surface area to flow rate where high interception is required Rapid, semi-bespoke design service Accessibility to on-going drain line Fully pickle passivated to control corrosion Tested and certified to EN 1253 (gullies and tray channels) and EN 1433 (slot and box channels) ACO stainless steel Coefficient of linear expansion similar to concrete Highly corrosion resistant Non-porous, easy to clean and disinfect Resistant to temperature extremes and thermal shock 100% recyclable material All ACO products are manufactured from austenitic stainless steel grades 1.4301 (304) or 1.4404 (316L) to EN 10088.

packaging raw materials storage finish product storage dispatch area transfer pipework fully enclosed equipment aseptic filling equipment filling

ACO drainage designed to primarily intercept and convey large volume of waste water, emphasis on safety, hygiene, and clean-ability.

ACO gullies ACO tray channels ACO box channels ACO slot channels

Non - food production area is internally separated by walls from departments in which food manufacturing activities take place. Separation have to be sufficient to prevent contamination of food production areas by pest, particulates gases and fumes. Drainage might be considered as a barrier between food and nonfood production areas.

A significant problem for food preparation areas is the collection of fat, oil and grease (FOG) within the drainage system. These substances not only have a major effect on the performance of any internal or local external drainage system, but can also have a major impact at regional level: water pollution, obstruction of drainage infrastructure and reduced efficiency at sewer plant are all possible occurrences.

locker rooms canteens/restaurants boiler rooms laboratories meeting rooms

ACO drainage designed for industrial use. Drainage might be considered as barrier between open production areas. ACO gullies ACO tray channels ACO box channels ACO slot channels

meat processing slaughter house poultry

ACO has wide range of grease trap systems. The systems provide hygienic, effective methods of dealing with these substances with a selection of accessories to suit all applications. Eco - Jet Hydrojet - Rse Lipurat - Rae


Grease management


In Enclosed product area products are fully closed and therefore not vulnerable to environment pathogen contamination. They are typically found in liquid processing plants (CIP). This may also include raw material and finished product storage and dispatch areas.

Non food area

ACO solutions

Enclosed product area

Factory site Modern food production facilities are designed to protect foods from the risk of environmental hazards. Particularly where sites produce ready-to-eat products, the design of the drainage systems must protect high risk and high care areas by the installation of equipment fitted to prevent back up of waste water. Serious problems are related to potential ingress of surface water into the production facility and / or back up in the sewerage system. In more modern schemes, site connection will be to surface water sewer only and in many cases, no sewer at all. In such situations the risk of building flooding can be reduced by accommodating more storm water in the now ubiquitous under-ground geo-cellular storage devices ACO Waste Water Management offers complete portfolio external polymer concrete drainage, grease and oil separation backflow devices and attenuation systems.

ACO MultiDrain MD

ACO Qmax

ACO Heavy metal filter

ACO StormBrixx

Product portfolio

ACO StormBrixx is a unique and patented plastic geocellular storm water management system. Designed for surface water infiltration and storage, its versatility allows it to be used in applications across all construction environments as a standalone solution or as part of an integrated sustainable drainage (SUDS) scheme.

ACO Qmax has been developed to satisfy the demand for a versatile, high capacity slot drainage system for a wide range of applications involving small to large catchment areas to any load class. The system is specifically designed to form an integral part of any modern, sustainable surface water management solution requiring effective storage, attenuation and eliminating carry over in storm water conditions.

ACO MultiDrain MD is a high strength channel drainage system designed to provide an economical solution for the efficient removal of surface water. The system is suitable for use in a wide range of applications including industrial, commercial and residential developments, pedestrian precincts, landscaping and parking areas for all vehicle types.

ACO Access covers Access Covers provide quick and easy access to underground services and enable any floor finishes to be maintained with minimal interference. Access Covers are easy to integrate in the overall design for supply and drainage installations to close off the end of the structure. Access Covers are available in different load classes. They are watertight and odour tight. ACO Access covers are certified according to European standard EN 1253-4 and EN 124.

ACO Heavy metal filter ACO Systems for rainwater treatment, including the metal roof filter, serve as protection of infiltration systems against pollution and congestion by deductible solids during the ingress of rainwater from e.g. uncoated roof coverings from copper, zinc and lead. The water discharge requirements are very strict, because the water is classified as a heavily burdened. The metal roof runoff is purified by ion exchangers. The quality of water after filtration is so high that it can be introduced directly into the infiltration (drainage trench or soak away), outfall, or into a rainwater using plant. It is also possible to use underground seepage to seepage boxes or soak away.

Industry is experiencing rapid change. Changing weather patterns and increasing urbanisation are forcing us to rethink approaches to water management, a process which is being hastened by a host of new legislation and policies. ACO‘s comprehensive product portfolio helps manufacturers satisfy demand for sustainability as well as effective operation in any kind of environment.


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