Food and beverage processors typically consume high volumes of water and generate high organic-strength wastewater in batch mode. These high-pollutant loads increase the cost of treatment and may require significant storage volume for equalization at the head of the treatment system. Major pollutant loadings often include biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), fats/oils/greases (FOGs) and nutrients in varying concentrations.
Wastewater plants at food and beverage manufacturing facilities are constantly challenged by changes in influent conditions caused by load shocks; temperature changes; increases in production; changes in manufacturing operations; spills; washwater surges; operation malfunction; and limited equalization capacity. Effectively treating this wastewater is often difficult, for reasons numerous and varied. In many cases, conventional activated sludge treatment systems are not capable of handling large, sudden variations in BOD, COD and nutrients.