Treatment Overview in the Food & Beverage Industry

Wastewater is water which has been “used”, in this case, during food and beverage processing. This used water must be treated or processed so that it meets all applicable regulations before it can be discharged, or in some cases recycled.

Recently, as regulations have tightened and technologies advanced, traditional sewage treatment equipment is being replaced or augmented with package wastewater treatment.

The Food and Beverage Industry: A Wastewater Challenge

The treatment of wastewater from the Food and Beverage Industry can be quite challenging because of the complex and variable composition of the constituent streams. Also complicating matters is the tightening of environmental discharge regulations, which can make it difficult to operate without violating discharge or NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits. Additionally, to conserve water some wastewater treatment facilities are recycling a portion of their water for in-plant use. The requirements of that in-plant use may necessitate an even higher quality of water than what would be required for discharge.

This article will briefly describe a typical wastewater treatment system and the associated sewage treatment equipment. For further explanation including figures and tables, please download the whitepaper by using the link at the end of this article.

Wastewater treatment can be divided into these five processes:

  • Pretreatment
  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Tertiary
  • Disinfection

Wastewater Pretreatment

The combined wastewater streams enter the pretreatment process which may include any of the following: screening to remove large items, comminution which is a physical chopping up of solids, grit removal to protect downstream equipment from excess wear, and flow equalization to damp hydraulic peaks, ensure uniform pH for downstream processes, and even out contaminant loading.

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