This paper investigates the effectiveness of a biological trickling filter for the treatment of wastewaters produced by a company manufacturing dairy products. First a bio-trickling column with a height of 150 cm was packed with lava rocks from north mountain of Tehran. It operates with the recirculation of liquid through the packing. In order to startup the pilot scale, steady state condition was gained by pumping activated sludge and dairy wastewater for 23 days. Afterwards, dairy wastewater was added to liquid tank for treatment. Hydraulic retention time (HRT) of treatment decreases from 5 days to 1 day then at HRT of 12, 8, 7, 6 and 4 h. Results show that the average chemical oxygen demand (COD) decreased from 2,750 to 98 mg/L at HRT of 7 h and efficiency of TKN removal was more than 70%. The microorganisms developed in the bio-trickling filter were able to efficiently remove COD levels up to 2,750 mg/L, under aerobic conditions at pH values between 6.8 and 7.2 under low temperature condition between 10 and 13 °C.

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