Parr Paints Pty Ltd

Waste Water Elimination: Parr Paints


Courtesy of Parr Paints Pty Ltd

Parr Paints solved its waste water problem by optimising cleaning processes and reusing the collected wash water in the next batch of product. The purchase cost ($800) of an off the shelf high pressure wash unit was more than offset by the $3000 pa savings in waste disposal and improved labour efficiency.


Parr Paints Pty Ltd (Parr Paints) is a small family owned business that manufactures paints and textile coatings (latex adhesive). The company was started in 1971 and currently employs eight people.

Water based house paint accounts for about 80% of production, while solvent based paint accounts for the remaining 20%. The main water based paint is white acrylic suitable for tinting at the point of retail sale. Coloured acrylic paints (browns, reds and blacks) are also produced.

The Process

Waste water is generated from the clean out of the new blending tanks after each batch. The main types of waste water are:

  • wash water from white acrylic paint manufacture which is reused as make up water in the next production run;
  • waste water from coloured acrylics which is also stored for reuse in the next production run. However because
  • of the lower demand for these colours it is usually six months or so between production runs, by which time the
  • wash water has 'gone off' due to degradation and bacterial activity. It therefore requires disposal;
  • wash water from the latex adhesive which was collected for disposal; and
  • wash solvent from solvent based paints is collected for reuse.

The wash water from coloured acrylic paints and the latex was stored in 205 litre drums and spare vats pending pick up by a waste disposal company.

Cleaning of the latex blending tank was done using a low (mains) pressure hose and generated approximately 200 litres of wash water for each 800 litre batch. Approximately 800 litres of latex wash water was generated per month.

The company had made attempts to re-use the wash water in the next batch, but found that the ammonia and latex in the wash water caused the thickener to form lumps and impacted on product quality

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