The small cheesemaking plants in the Jura Mountains (N.E. France) need self-contained solutions for treating their wastewater. Any solution must suit the characteristics of the effluent produced by these small production units and be simple, robust and financially feasible in regard to both capital and running costs. Given this context, a technique based on an SBR was recommended and the operations of the first treatment plant established on an industrial scale, monitored for the first year, with particular attention paid to operating constraints. The results obtained show that the SBR is, from a technical point of view, perfectly adapted to treating cheese production wastewater, with purification levels at 97.7% for total COD and 99.8% for BOD5. In the course of this study, it has been shown that the SBR process, thanks to its simple design and operation, can easily be run by the cheesemaker who will need to devote a minimum of time to it.
Furthermore, with treatment costs of around 2 centimes (0.33 US cent) per litre of milk delivered, the SBR process meets perfectly both the technical and financial conditions for treatment as laid down by the Federation of Cooperatives of the Doubs and Jura départements.