Flow and Composition Balancing

Because discharged dairy wastewaters can vary greatly with respect to volume, strength, temperature, pH, and nutrient levels, flow and composition balancing is a prime requirement for any subsequent biological process to operate efficiently [28]. pH adjustment and flow balancing can be achieved by keeping effluent in an equalization or balancing tank for at least 6-12 hours [7]. During this time, residual oxidants can react completely with solid particles, neutralizing cleaning solutions. The stabilized effluent can then be treated using a variety of different options.

According to the IDF [30], balance tanks should be adequately mixed to obtain proper blending of the contents and to prevent solids from settling. This is usually achieved by the use of mechanical aerators. Another critical factor is the size of the balance tank. This should be accurately determined so that it can effectively handle a dairy factory's daily flow pattern at peak season. It is also recommended that a balancing tank should be large enough to allow a few hours extra capacity to handle unforeseen peak loads and not discharge shock loads to public sewers or onsite biological treatment plants [30].

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