Dairy Processing Wastewater: Success Stories

Dairy processors worldwide are challenged to meet market demand while remaining environmentally and economically sustainable. To achieve this, they must carefully manage every step of the production process. Here are a few examples of dairy processors that have realized the many benefits of on-site wastewater treatment.

Achieving Environmental & Economic Sustainability 

On-site wastewater treatment systems allow dairy processors to comply with strict environmental regulations, helping keep the world’s water clean. Moreover, the right solution can greatly reduce—even eliminate—expensive surcharges and disposal costs.

Richmond Dairies’ plant in Northern New South Wales, Australia, produces wastewater that can be challenging to meet increasingly strict wastewater discharge limits. The plant’s dissolved air flotation (DAF) system was not meeting effluent expectations, so Richmond Dairies installed an ADI-BVF® reactor. The system now produces high-quality effluent, while minimizing chemical and sludge disposal costs.


Biogas from Anaerobic Digestion of Dairy Wastewater Helps Power Operations 

On-site energy production is one of the most practical initiatives dairy producers can take to become more sustainable. By investing in an anaerobic digestion system, dairy processors can harness biogas, which can be converted into renewable energy to reduce operational costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Laticínios Bela Vista Ltda., the fifth largest dairy producer in Brazil, was expanding its production plant in Bela Vista de Goiás. The dairy processor wanted a solution that would provide greater environmental benefits, including sustainable bioenergy generation. Anaerobic pre-treatment of dairy effluent with a BVF® reactor helps Laticínios Bela Vista collect money-saving biogas, which is used in the plant’s boilers to reduce operating costs and the plant’s overall environmental footprint.

Laticínios Bela Vista dairy plant .jpg

Reuse Water & Reduce Sludge Hauling

According to the Midwest Dairy Council, over the last 60 years the dairy industry has reduced water use by 65 percent*, but with new technology innovations, even more progress can be made. Treating wastewater on-site can help lower dairy processors’ water footprint and also help with agricultural growth.

How? Dairy processing wastewater contains many nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Using sludge as a soil amendment can help crops grow, while reducing the amount of commercial fertilizers needed. Making better use of wastewater sludge places essential nutrients and water back into the soil, all while reducing hauling costs and the associated emissions.

One real-life example of a dairy processor that has been successful in reusing wastewater is Noosa Yoghurt. Wastewater is treated in a membrane bioreactor (ADI-MBR) and the high-quality effluent is reused for irrigating crops and cleaning cow barns.


On-site wastewater treatment helps dairy plants save money and the environment. To read more dairy success stories, download this ebook.

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*Source: Midwest Dairy Council: