A new treatment scheme for the treatment of easily biodegradable industrial waste waters has been developed. The side stream treatment of dairy waste water with the excess sludge from the domestic treatment line of the regional treatment plant Bad Vöslau has been operated successfully for a period of three years during which the industrial load stemming from the dairy increased from 800 kg COD/d to 2,500 kg COD/d with peak loads up to 5,000 kg/d. Despite of the increased load to the treatment plant the total aeration tank volume had not been increased. This treatment is performed in an existing aeration tank of the WWTP (V = 1,800 m3) which is now used as contact tank for the combined aeration of dairy waste water and excess sludge from the domestic treatment line (volume aeration tank = 15,000 m3). In this tank the easily degradable substrate from the industrial waste is mainly adsorbed to the biological sludge and after a mechanical dewatering transferred to the anaerobic digester where it yields in an increased gas production. The filtrate of the dewatering process is completely free from biodegradable material and can without danger of bulking be fed to the aeration tank of the domestic treatment line.

The new process has proven to be extremely flexible since already now daily peak loads exceeding the design load by more then 60% could be treated in the plant without any problems. Compared to other alternatives for the dairy waste water treatment that were investigated during this study, the new side stream process is very advantageous. No other pre-treatment process for industrial waste water could have been operated under comparable loading conditions without severe operating problems.

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