Wastewater Treatment for an Ice Cream Factory

The Problem

One of the south east’s largest ice cream processors was having a problem with excessive FOG (fats, oils and grease) in their effluent wastewater. The levels of FOG in their wastewater were far above the county’s limits and were causing problems in the county’s lift stations. As a result the county had given the plant a deadline of 6 months to fix the issue or face closure of the facility altogether. Furthermore, an odor problem had also lingered around the processor’s old wastewater treatment system because it had been undersized and overwhelmed with their high strength wastewater.

The Requirements

  1. The level of fats in the ice cream plant’s wastewater needed to be reduced to allowable standards mandated by the local county.
  2. 2. The plant required assistance with the permitting of their new wastewater treatment system with the county authorities. Without the new permit, the plant would not be able to operate its new treatment system.
  3. Offensive odors produced by the biological treatment system also need to be eliminated.

The Solution

The Final Results

  • FOG levels from the plant were reduced from an average of 1,290 mg/L to less than 10 mg/L.
  • Total suspended solids (TSS) levels were reduced by over 99%
  • Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) was reduced by almost 45%.
All this using just a primary treatment system. No secondary or tertiary treatment has been incorporated yet. Independent lab results of the ice cream facilitiy’s influent wastewater (before treatment) and effluent wastewater (post treatment) at the plant is shown below.

Independent Lab Results

Initial (Pre-Treatment) influent composition results

Test Method Analyte Name Result Units Det. Limit Analysis Date
EPA160.2 Total Suspended Solids 1940 mg/L 2 2 Apr 2015
EPA1664 Oil & Grease 1290 mg/L 3 7 Apr 2015
EPA405.1 Biological Oxygen Demand 6190 mg/L 1 2 Apr 2015
Post-Treatment effluent composition results
Test Method Analyte Name Result Units Det. Limit Analysis Date
EPA160.2 Total Suspended Solids 6 mg/L 2 2 Apr 2015
EPA1664 Oil & Grease 8 mg/L 3 7 Apr 2015
EPA405.1 Biological Oxygen Demand 3560 mg/L 1 2 Apr 2015