A Natural Bio-Organic Wastewater Treatment for the Dairy Industry

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Wastewater Treatment Case Study at Bulla Dairy Foods

Following our first blog: "Natural Bio-Organic treatment for wastewater - an environmental and financial imperative", we have begun a series of discussions on the merits of Natural Bio-Organic practices generally in water treatment. Here, we are looking at the wastewater issues that exist in the dairy industry.

Over the last few years there has been a steady rise in the demand for milk and milk products in many countries, especially in the developing nations. Advancements in animal husbandry practices has led to steady growth in the production of milk per head of cattle, generating enormous growth in the dairy industries around the world. As a result, there has also been a tremendous increase in the amount of wastewater created.

This wastewater is primarily generated from the cleaning and washing operations in dairies and in milk processing plants, especially between product changes, when different types of products are produced in a specific production unit and the subsequent clean-up operations that occur between products. Apart from the wastewater, it is estimated that about 2% of the total milk processed enters the farm or the processing plant drainage system.

Due to the high pollution load of dairy wastewater, the milk processing industries discharging untreated/partially treated wastewater cause serious environmental issues. The organic components of the wastewater from dairy processing operations can be classified as proteins, lactose and fat. These will affect the environment in different ways depending on their biodegradability and their solubility.

Nutrients lead to eutrophication of receiving waters, and downstream water systems have their aquatic life affected by detergents used in the cleaning process.

Remember: the dairy industry creates an average 2.5 litres of wastewater for every litre of milk processed; and there is approximately 620,000,000,000 litres of cow's milk produced in the world every year - that is a serious amount of wastewater.

The typical dairy industry water cleansing issues include:

  • Costly residual Chemical Oxygen Demand/Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD/COD)
  • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen and Suspended Solids post effluent treatment are also major concerns
  • Solid and semi-solid waste generated as a by-product of effluent treatment is often isolated for off-site treatment at a significant cost
  • Residual Oils, Fats and Grease discharged to the sewage conveyance network behaves as an accumulating organic load (Oil and Grease raft accumulating on the aqueous phase within pump stations) leading to Septicity, Odour and Corrosion Issues within the pump wells and the network in general.
  • These issues lead to increased Maintenance and Labour Costs; increased Operating Costs; and a reduction in the Life of the Plant and its Capital Equipment.

A Solution - The application of a Natural Bio-Organic Concentrate into selected parts of the Dairy Plant and its wastewater treatment system.

Expected Results

  1. Elimination of dense floating organic rafts within the treatment plant tankage
  2. Substantial reductions in Oil and Grease with a resultant cleaning of sewage pipes
  3. Significant reduction in Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  4. Significant reduction in Chemical Oxygen Demand
  5. Reduction or elimination of Odour within the plant
  6. Reduction in Total Suspended Solids
  7. Reduction in Phosphorus
  8. Reduction in Kjeldahl Nitrogen
  9. Reduction in any Coagulant used at the plant
  10. Aerobic and Homogeneous effluent presented to the treatment plant
  11. Reduction in Operating Energy costs; reduction in maintenance costs and extended plant life

Other Major Benefits

Anecdotal evidence suggests that by using the Natural Bio-Organic solution employed by the dairy farms in our trials when Solutek is used as part of the dairy wash-down process, the risk of Mastitis is reduced or totally eliminated. This saves the dairy farmers significant costs in:

Natural Bio-Organic Dairy Industry Case Study

Bulla Dairy Foods
Regal Cream Products Pty Ltd
Colac, Australia



Cost Analysis



Reduction in Trade Waste Charges


Reduction in Maintenance and Call Outs


Improved Production (30 days p.a.)


Direct cost of the Natural Bio-Organic Concentrate


Net Impact of our Natural Bio-Organic Concentrate p.a.


Details and Outcomes



These were the results at the end of the trial - continued use of Solutek is expected to significantly improve these Outcomes.

In 2014, Bulla Dairy Foods was named "Australia's Best Food Producer" by the Royal Agricultural Society after being evaluated on their operations and production practices.

By Roger Holden

Director Media and Communications
Solutions Ecologique Limited