Of equal importance is the problem of obtaining a truly representative sample of the stream effluent. The samples may be required not only for the 24 hour effluent loads, but also to determine the peak load concentrations, the duration of peak loads, and the occurrence of variation throughout the day. The location of sampling is usually made at or near the point of discharge to the receiving water body, but in the analysis prior to the design of a wastewater treatment, facility samples will be needed from each operation in the seafood-processing facility. In addition, samples should be taken more frequently when there is a large variation in flow rate, although wide variations may also occur at constant flow rate.

The particular sampling procedure may vary, depending on the parameter being monitored. Samples should be analyzed as soon as possible after sampling because preservatives often interfere with the test. In seafood-processing wastewaters, there is no single method of sample preservation that yields satisfactory results for all cases, and all of them may be inadequate with effluents containing suspended matter. Because samples contain an amount of settleable solids in almost all cases, care should be taken in blending the samples just prior to analysis. A case in which the use of preservatives is not recommended is that of BOD5 storage at low temperatures (4°C), which may be used with caution for very short periods, and chilled samples should be warmed to 20°C before analysis. For COD determination, the samples should be collected in clean glass bottles, and can be preserved by acidification to a pH of 2 with concentrated sulfuric acid. Similar preservation can also be done for organic nitrogen determination. For FOG determination, a separate sample should be collected in a wide-mouth glass bottle that is well rinsed to remove any trace of detergent. For solids determination, an inspection should be done to ensure that no suspended matter adheres to the walls and that the solids are refrigerated at 4°C to prevent decomposition of biological solids. For the analysis of phosphorus, samples should be preserved by adding 40 mg/L of mercuric chloride and storing in well-rinsed glass bottles at -10°C [4].


In the treatment of seafood-processing wastewater, one should be cognizant of the important constituents in the waste stream. This wastewater contains considerable amounts of insoluble suspended matter, which can be removed from the waste stream by chemical and physical means. For optimum waste removal, primary treatment is recommended prior to a biological treatment process or land application. A major consideration in the design of a treatment system is that the solids should be removed as quickly as possible. It has been found that the longer the detention time between waste generation and solids removal, the greater the soluble BOD5 and COD with corresponding reduction in byproduct recovery. For seafood-processing wastewater, the primary treatment processes are screening, sedimentation, flow equalization, and dissolved air flotation. These unit operations will generally remove up to 85% of the total suspended solids, and 65% of the BOD5 and COD present in the wastewater.

14.3.1 Screening

The removal of relatively large solids (0.7 mm or larger) can be achieved by screening. This is one of the most popular treatment systems used by food-processing plants because it can reduce the amount of solids being discharged quickly. Usually, the simplest configuration is that of flow-through static screens, which have openings of about 1 mm. Sometimes a scrapping mechanism may be required to minimize the clogging problem in this process.

Generally, tangential screening and rotary drum screening are the two types of screening methods used for seafood-processing wastewaters. Tangential screens are static but less prone to clogging due to their flow characteristics (Fig. 1), because the wastewater flow tends to avoid clogging. The solids removal rates may vary from 40 to 75% [4]. Rotary drum screens are mechanically more complex. They consist of a drum that rotates along its axis, and the effluent enters through an opening at one end. Screened wastewater flows outside the drum and the retained solids are washed out from the screen into a collector in the upper part of the drum by a spray of the wastewater.

Fish solids dissolve in water with time; therefore immediate screening of the waste streams is highly recommended. Likewise, high-intensity agitation of waste streams should be minimized before screening or even settling, because they may cause breakdown of solids rendering them more difficult to separate. In small-scale fish-processing plants, screening is often used with simple settling tanks.

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