Implementation of the EC Directive on Urban Wastewater Treatment has led to the introduction of more stringent discharge standards being imposed by the Regulating Agencies in the United Kingdom. It is for this reason that this investigation into the pre-treatment of a dairy wastewater prior to aerobic biological treatment was carried out. In order to upgrade the existing treatment plant at a local dairy a Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) and an anaerobic digestion system as pre-treatment process were studied at pilot - scale. Results obtained from this study showed that the existing aerobic biological treatment plant failed to achieve both the present consent conditions and those required in 1995. It was shown that an anaerobic filter would enable the plant to meet the discharge standards proposed by the National Rivers Authority but due to the configuration of the land available for new works it is recommended that the existing aerobic biological filter be replaced by an activated sludge system. It is anticipated that such a system would reduce the final effluent COD to less than 125 mg/l.