Dairy Wastewater Treatment

Dairy wastewater treatment refers to the collection and cleaning of water, wastewater and process water that is generated during the processing and manufacturing of milk based products. Dairy products include yoghurt, cheese and milk based foods and drinks. Dairy wastewater is generally cleaned and treated in a dairy wastewater treatment plant to allow it to be discharged to a public sewer, to the environment or reused. 

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The following page gives a step by step guide on everything you need to know about dairy wastewater. From understanding your wastewater composition, to process selection, and finally, information on what specific points you must consider before you buy and install a wastewater treatment system for your dairy.

Each dairy is unique, producing different products and using different manufacturing processes. Our customised products offer simple solutions to your complex wastewater treatment problems. 

With the correct wastewater treatment plant design and process technology selection, it is easy to clean dairy wastewater to meet any environmental compliance standards or to allow for wastewater reuse. 

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Whether you are designing a new wastewater treatment plant or upgrading and existing dairy wastewater system, we can provide expert help every step of the way. 

“The ClearFox® Team helped us with every step in the planning, design, procurement and installation of a dairy wastewater treatment system for our client Biocell Water, UK

If you feel you would benefit from a no obligation and totally free consultation with an expert from one of our team, please just contact us now. We love to speak to people in the industry and to help. 

Sources and characteristics of dairy wastewater

FBBR foe a dairy wastewater treatment

FBBR biological treatment for dairy wastewater

A dairy wastewater treatment plant may be needed for various situations, including: 

  • Compliance issues with parameters such as BOD, COD, TSS, TKN, etc 
  • Planning a new dairy processing factory 
  • Expansion of an existing dairy 
  • High costs from wastewater tankering 

There are many different types of dairies, and they produce a very wide range of dairy products and milk products. These include: 

  • Milk 
  • Cream 
  • Butter 
  • Yogurt 
  • Cheese 

Within these groups there are many subcategories. For example, just within the cheese category there are soft and hard cheeses, rennet coagulated cheeses, sour milk cheeses and whey cheeses. 

dairy wastewater and slurry treatment

FBBR biological treatment for milk effluent

dairy wastewater treatment effluent characteristics

Typical dairy effluent characteristics

The composition of dairy wastewater is also quite variable with each product category. This table lists the typical average, minimum and maximum values for some key parameters and pollutants such as BOD, COD, suspended solids, ammonia and nitrogen. 

Understanding your wastewater composition is critical in designing your dairy wastewater treatment plant correctly. Using the wrong design data will mean your wastewater treatment system will not operate efficiently and will not meet the required cleaning and compliance standards. We have a step by step process with each client to make sure that our designs are accurate. This allows us to provide effluent quality guarantees with our equipment and solutions. 

The reason that the wastewater that is produced in dairies is highly variable is due to the many different sources of dairy wastewater and process water. 

This table gives a list of some wastewater sources from the milk processing industry. As you can see, there are wastewater streams from each step in the process. 

To learn more about the composition of dairy wastewater, and how you can better understand your specific dairy industry sector then please click below to continue reading.

wastewater sources for milk processing

Dairy wastewater treatment options

Wastewater SourceManagement optionWastewater process technology
DairyStorage and removal offsiteNo treatment
Discharge to sewerMechanical screening
Dissolved air flotation
Discharge to environmentMechanical screening
Dissolved air flotation
Biological wastewater treatment
ReuseMechanical screening
Dissolved air flotation
Biological wastewater treatment

Typical dairy wastewater treatment options

The first option is collecting your untreated wastewater and then getting it tankered offsite by a waste collection company. This is a very expensive wastewater treatment option, as depending on the volume of wastewater produced you can have tanker trucks visiting your site daily or weekly. 

The second wastewater treatment option is discharge to sewer. In this situation you will generally need permission from your water utility or local government office to put your wastewater into the sewer. As dairy wastewater can have a very high load of COD, BOD, FOGs and solids, it is generally a requirement that wastewater is treated before discharge to sewer. But in many cases the cleaning standards that need to be achieved are not too stringent. Cleaning standards can be achieved with an optimised pressure release flotation system bult for your specific wastewater. 

The third wastewater treatment option is to discharge into the environment. This discharge route is generally selected when the dairy has no access to a main sewer. Here the cleaned dairy effluent can be used for irrigation or can be directly discharged to a stream, river or soakaway.

For this higher cleaning standard, you often need a combination of treatment steps such as pressure release flotation and FBBR biological treatment. 

The fourth option is where the wastewater is cleaned to a higher standard to allow for wastewater reuse for clean in place [CIP] and other onsite washing activities. To make your dairy effluent clean enough for this, an ultrafiltration step or reverse osmosis cleaning stage may be needed. 

The correct wastewater treatment process selection is a very important decision. Unsuitable dairy manufacturing wastewater treatment process selection leads to system failure and effluent compliance issues. To learn how to avoid this then please click below to read. 

Ask us which process technology is best for your dairy

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Planning and buying a dairy wastewater treatment plant 

After learning about the sources and composition of your specific dairy wastewater and determining the best process technology for use with your dairy wastewater treatment plant, you are now ready to look at the final design factors that must be considered to get a final quotation and determine the price of your dairy wastewater treatment system. 

With many equipment suppliers on the market, it can be difficult to select the right partner. 

Customers come to us for integrated solutions with process guarantees because we are one of the market leaders in Europe.

ClearFox FBBR wastewater treatment solution

Aeration process in an FBBR reactor

Our focus is on:

  • Compact footprint 
  • Automatic operation with remote monitoring 
  • Low OPEX process technologies 
  • Easy integration onsite 
  • Simple solutions for complex problems 
  • Working within budget 
  • Customer satisfaction 

We have extensive experience manufacturing dairy wastewater treatment and effluent treatment plants. Our individual process steps such as our dissolved air flotation and FBBR biological wastewater treatment technology are all independently tested and verified by PIA GmbH and have the lowest operation costs on the market. 

Our solutions are modular and scalable, which allow us to design a dairy wastewater treatment system that can be easily expanded or modified to deal with different wastewater compositions. For short term requirements we also have some systems available to lease

Each specific dairy product manufacturing process produces a unique type of dairy process wastewater. So, it is important that the dairy wastewater treatment plant designer and system manufacturer has specific knowledge of dairies. 

We have worked with some of the biggest dairies in Europe and have helped them implement simple solutions to effectively clean their dairy wastewater and process water. 

As industry experts, we develop and install integrated solutions that have a very low operational cost. And with simple user interfaces and reliable process technology, our solutions can operate with minimal operator input.  

With a service team that visits customers all over the world each month, you can be assured of continued support with your system for trouble free operation. 

For a detailed breakdown of the questions and key factors that should be considered when you are ready to design or purchase a dairy wastewater treatment plant, please read the short guide below.

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