The beef food industry produces wastewater loaded with a variety of pollutants that require positive monitoring and treatment. These particular pollutants are called parameters whose tolerable standards are provided within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines in the US. It is important to monitor each of the parameters at regular intervals of at least a month to determine their specific levels against the prescribed standards (Masse, and Masse, 2000 p.23). Depending on the assessed levels of the individual pollutants, remedial measures are always taken to ensure that they meet the allowable limits of pollutants as a means to avoid overshooting the earths capacity to absorb wastes.
Some of the parameters that are evaluated to determine the quality of wastewater include biodegradable organic compounds (BOCs). This value determines the available dissolved oxygen in the water. Reduced amount of dissolved oxygen in wastewater reduces the activity of microorganisms, results in the death of aquatic organisms and exposure of human beings to a wide variety of bacterial sicknesses (Masse, and Masse, 2000 p.48). Another parameter is the nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates which when released into the water bodies may cause excessive growth of algae through a process of eutrophication and algal bloom. This bloom further reduces the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. Moreover, the meat processing is one of the sources of agro-industrial effluents that contain different amounts of toxins such as chromium and tannins that have direct effects on the water quality (Masse, and Masse, 2000 p.65). The specific measures that determine the quality of wastewater from meat processing industries are the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and some Suspended Solids (SS).
Environmental Monitoring of Wastewater from the Beef Food Industry
The wastewater generated from meat industry is very dangerous to the environment. For instance, the wastes reduce the oxygen concentration in rivers and contaminate the groundwater. Monitoring of the quality of wastewater generated from meat processing takes into account various factors including the blood capture and water usage (Manjunath, Mehrotra, and Mathur, 2000 p.1931). The blood capture is the efficiency in retaining blood from the animal during slaughtering which profoundly determines the amount of organic matter contained in the water hence an indicator of biological oxygen demand (BOD). The other significant trend for assessment is the water usage which determines the concentration of pollutants in parts per million (ppm). In cases where the level of organic matter in the water is too high to be naturally treated through the natural cleansing system of flowing water, then artificial interventions such as aeration are used to increase oxygen supply (Ward, Hobbs, Holliman, and Jones, 2008 p.7932). Biochemical and physical tests are used in determining the number of parameters of wastewater.
Wastewater Pollution Prevention and Control
Sorting out of every product from the wastewater at each stage is a critical approach towards maximizing the product recovery and reducing the waste loads. All the materials handled in the meat processing industry are putrescible. This reality means that cleanliness is critical. The management of water used in the meat processing should design to achieve effectiveness without generating a lot of waste. Some of the recommended best practices for reducing the wastes in meat processing plants include dry removal of solid wastes and erecting screens on wastewater collection channels (Manjunath, Mehrotra, and Mathur, 2000 p.1933). Various in-plant practices can also be used in reducing the generation of liquid wastes and solid wastes ways from the meat production.
There are different ways of preventing and controlling pollutants in wastewater from meat processing is recovery and converting blood into other useful products. Allow time for the blood in meat dry, processing the intestines utilizing fact and slime, and reduce the amounts of water used in the whole processes (Oller, Malato, and Sanchez-Perez, 2011 p. 4152). Some of the ways of reducing the quantities of water used include using taps fitted with automatic shut off, using water under high pressure and improving the efficiency of the layout. Install screens and fats-trap along the wastewater channels to block different amounts of suspended organic and inorganic matter that affect the quality of the water. In cases where the wastewater is likely to have reduced amounts of dissolved oxygen, it is important to isolate and ventilate all the sources of odorous emissions.
Treatment Technologies for Wastewater Emitted From Meat Processing Factories
Reducing the pollutants in wastewater from meat treatment requires multiple technological approaches. The screens and fat-traps are the first pre-treatment way of handling wastes. Floatation including the addition of some chemicals to remove suspended solids and emulsified fats is another way of managing wastewater. These products can then be returned for reprocessing of new products at the source plant. Various factors are considered in deciding the biological treatment of the effluent. These considerations include the load and odor produced by each pollutant (Olle, Malato, and Sanchez-Perez, 2011 p. 4147). Wastewater typically has a significant amount of organic and nitrogen load that can be reduced through extended aeration to reduce the foul smell. In cases where contaminant bacteria is detected, it is important to disinfect the water using products such as chlorine
Masse, D.I. and Masse, L., 2000. Characterization of wastewater. Canadian Agricultural Engineering, 42(3).
Manjunath, N.T., Mehrotra, I. and Mathur, R.P., 2000. Treatment of wastewater from slaughterhouse by DAF-UASB system. Water Research, 34(6), pp.1930-1936.
Oller, I., Malato, S. and Sanchez-Perez, J., 2011. Combination of advanced oxidation processes and biological treatments for wastewater decontaminationa review. Science of the total environment, 409(20), pp.4141-4166.
Ward, A.J., Hobbs, P.J., Holliman, P.J. and Jones, D.L., 2008. Optimization of the anaerobic digestion of agricultural resources. Bio-resource technology, 99(17), pp.7928-7940.
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