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Water and sustainability have always been important points in the food industry. The industry is incredibly varied, with many different types of wastewater. The large volumes of water used to result in large volumes of wastewater containing mainly organic compounds and nutrients, and often also fats, oils, and grease.

Since wastewater treatment is no core business, smaller food companies discharge their wastewater almost untreated after simple mechanical screening. Larger companies frequently have a biological treatment and then discharge their effluent.

If wastewater is discharged directly, an enhanced pre-treatment with fine screens usually has a payback period of 1 to 3 years. In case biological treatment is installed, this treatment plant can be relieved from high loads of organic material and nutrients, decreasing sludge production and operational costs.

Relieving biological WWTP

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Depending on the vegetables that are processed, the biological wastewater treatment plant of a large Dutch vegetable processor gets overloaded during certain periods over the year. By installing a fine screen in the feed stream, suspended solids are removed with high efficiency, without dosing chemicals or additives. Not only can the WWTP be operated in a more stable way but the separated solids can be discharged more economically than the biological sludge.