The on-site pilot-scale Static Granular Bed Reactor (SGBR) was used to treat the dairy processing wastewater at the Tulare Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant (IWTP). A pilot unit with approximately 42.5 m3 of active volume was operated for 7 months on a continuous basis with a range of 9 to 48 h HRT condition at ambient temperature. Throughout the whole study, COD and BOD5 removal was consistently over 90% under a broad range of organic loading conditions ranging from 0.63 to 9.72 kg/m3/d. TSS removal was also greater than 80% on average. In terms of organic removal, the SGBR system was robust to the temperature variations ranging from 10 to 29 °C. The adequate periodic backwashing consistently provided the maintenance of a head loss and the wastewater level in the reactor. Based on these results, the SGBR seems to be an excellent alternative for the required pretreatment system from the Tulare IWTP. Several benefits for IWTP could be provided by a full scale application of SGBR due to its simple design and operational advantages over conventional high rate anaerobic systems.

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