Wastewater from citrus processing contains high levels of sugars, suspended solids, and caustic cleaning agents. Biological treatment is the only economical process for removing and neutralizing all of these contaminants, and the activated sludge process is the workhorse of the biological treatment stable. The biological treatment system must produce a treated effluent of the highest quality, regardless of the wild variation in flow and composition of the influent. Problems in the treatment process can almost always be traced to either a wastewater loading that is higher than the system can tolerate, or a failure to maintain and operate the treatment system to realize its treatment potential. A thorough review of the operational and loading characteristics of the system will determine whether excessive loading or inadequate treatment system is responsible for the system failure. When the problem has been identified, it can be resolved in one of three ways:
□ A new treatment system of greater capacity can be installed to replace the inadequate system.
□ The wastewater loading, hydraulic and organic, can be reduced through changes in fruit processing practices.
□ Changes in the existing treatment system (equipment or operational) can be identified to increase its capacity.
Paper published with permission.