our Case Studies

Milk & Dairy Industry

Wastewater Treatment Solutions for the dairy sector

Case Study

The dairy industry has been growing in most countries of the world since the demand for milk and milk driven products has been rising. This industry is now one of the largest sources of industrial effluents in Europe. A typical European dairy unit generates approximately 500 m3 of waste effluent daily. Dairy wastewaters usually contain proteins, salt, fatty substances, lactose, and residues of chemicals used during cleaning processes. Since the dairy industry produces different products, such as milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, condensed milk, dried milk (milk powder), ice-cream, and various types of desserts and cheese, the characteristics of these effluents also vary greatly, depending on the type of system and the methods of the operation used. Having holistic and efficient wastewater treatment solutions for dairy companies is, therefore, extremely important.


What do they do?

At stake is a dairy Portuguese company, located in the south of Portugal, which collects, treats, processes, and produces milk, dairy products, and other food and beverage products. Their production is intended for the wholesale trade of milk, milk products, and other food and beverage products.

What are they trying to achieve?

This Portuguese company is trying to treat wastewater, so it can be reused for irrigation and general washing operations around the plant. Besides, this client’s headquarters follow a strategy in which wastewater reuse aims to be part of the group’s environmental policy. Yet, reusing wastewater in the dairy industry is rather challenging since it comes loaded with organic matter (greases, fats, and proteins) which needs to be removed for the water to be reused.


Biological wastewater treatment solution to enable water reuse

Keeping in mind the best available wastewater treatment solutions for the milk industry, in which we include, butter and cream processing, we suggested the use of a batch biological oxidation process or an SBR process (sequence batch reactor). In this case, the client ended up using three SBR reactors, all under VentilAQUA’s SmartSBR system, to treat around 600m3 daily. This wastewater treatment technology enables one to partially recover the water, which may then be reused in irrigation and current washing activities. Dairy wastewaters coming from the cheese production site are pre-treated on a DAF system, before the common biological oxidation step. Besides, the sludge produced on the oxidation process is dehydrated by a centrifuge unit.



Fruits of using biological wastewater treatments: environmental compliance and water reuse

This client was one more success case of our efficient wastewater treatment solutions for dairy companies! Full compliance with most stringent environmental regulations and 99,9% treated dairy wastewaters recovery for irrigation, industrial washing procedures, and truck washing. The implemented technology fully treats all types of dairy effluents, from butter to normal milk, flavored milk, cream, and yogurts. At the end of the day, no chemical treatment was used, at all. Moreover, among the main results, we may find low sludge production and reuse of produced sludge for agricultural applications, all according to the EU regulations.

Data Results

The perks of using biological wastewater treatments translated into numbers

"Ever since the beginning of the wastewater treatment project, VentilAQUA responded to our needs, expectation, and requirements, not only by efficiently treating the effluent which is typical of the industry at stake but also by allowing us to reuse water, attracting savings of this scarce resource. From the construction until the launching of the plant, the availability and technical ability demonstrated, confirmed us that opting for VentilAQUA was the right decision, for it has been establishing with us a trustful relationship, beneficial to all interested parties."

General Manager

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