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Biological Treatment of Dairy Wastewater: A Mini Review

K. Zhao1, Y. W. Wu1*, S. Young1,2, and X. J. Chen1

  1. Department of Environmental Systems Engineering, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4S 0A2 Canada
  2. Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities, 240, 2 Research Drive, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4S 7H9 Canada

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 (306) 5816491; E-mail address: (Y. W. Wu)


The dairy industry is one of the primary water consumers. It produces a large quantity of wastewater with a high concentration of solids, nutrients, fat, and organic compounds characterized by biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). Therefore, the treatment of dairy wastewater attracts increasingly more attention. The purpose of the paper is to provide an overview of biological treatment processes for dairy wastewater treatment, including one-stage and two-stage biological processes. The advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of aerobic and anaerobic technologies have been summarized and discussed in detail. Two-stage biological systems are also analyzed. In conclusion, the combined anaerobic and aerobic systems are determined as the most promising technologies for dairy effluent treatment in terms of the quality of the treated water.

Keywords: anaerobic treatment, aerobic process, two-stage biological system, dairy wastewater

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