Soil Treatment of Food Processing Wastewater

by Kenneth C. Mitchell, Gray & Osborne, Inc, Yakima, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Integrated Perspectives


Wastewater from food processing contains a large oxygen demand. Most food processing wastewater requires primary treatment to remove some solids and secondary treatment to oxidize oxygen demand prior to surface water discharge. Land application of the wastewater is an alternative to mechanical secondary treatment. Proper irrigation practices are important in providing the time necessary to meet the oxygen demand. The oxygen demand is composed of two parts: 1) soluble oxygen demand that is transported by the wastewater into the soil profile and 2) biological solids that are filtered out of the water at the soil surface. Both components must be adequately treated and provided with oxygen to minimize adverse environmental impacts. Many soils have the capacity to treat over 85 pounds per acre (95 kg/ha) of soluble BOD per application depending on the wastewater management and 198 pounds per acre per day (221 kg/ha/day) of COD with an irrigation interval of three days.

Subject Headings: Soil treatment | Soil water | Industrial wastes | Wastewater treatment | Solid mechanics | Sediment transport | Soil gas | Wastewater management

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