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A bench scale experimental study of the treatment of milking centre effluent using a sequencing batch reactor Tam, James Ping-Cheong


Until recently, the management of milking parlour effluent has received very little attention. The wastewater produced by milking operations comprises mainly milk solids and manure and can impose environmental threats to nearby water bodies if not properly treated before disposal. In this study, three bench-scale Sequencing Batch Biological Reactors were used to treat the UBC dairy barn milking centre wastewater. The experiment was designed to investigate the treatment efficiency of the reactors under different operating temperatures and different numbers of cycles employed per unit daily flow (for the same hydraulic retention time). Parameters studied included BOD₅, COD, Total Suspended Solids, NH₃-N, N0₂-NO₃-N and dissolved oxygen uptake. It was concluded that very high and consistent treatment efficiency can be achieved by using a Sequencing Batch Biological Reactor to treat milking centre wastes. Over 90% BOD₅ removal was observed in the room temperature and 30°C reactors. Even in low operating temperatures of 3.7 and 10.5°C, over 70% BOD₅ removal was attained. Removal of the other pollutional parameters studied was similarly excellent. Uncontrolled denitrification also occured to various degrees in all three reactors. It was also concluded that within the range studied in this experiment (4 to 8 cycles per day), changing the number of cycles employed per unit daily flow did not have any significant effect on the treatment efficiency of the reactors.

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