Fruit & Vegetable Processing Wastewater Treatment

Fruit and vegetable processing operations are vulnerable to high sewer discharge services. Our screening and treatment solutions can help producers to recover organics and by-products, remove damaging inorganic materials, cut effluent discharge costs and save money. 

For fruit and vegetable processing operations, surcharges for sewer discharges can be very high due to the amount of solids and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) present in the discharging effluent water. Washdown of plant equipment and clean in place (CIP) activities can also dislodge processed product along with inorganics, such as sand and dirt, that will be washed away with the cleaning water.

Typically a separate conventional screening and dewatering system is required prior to the effluent passing onto a Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) system, where fine particles, oils and grease are removed. 

Our food processing water management solutions can help you to improve the way you capture these materials, to protect your DAF system and improve its operational efficiency. 

Our solution: ultrafine rotating belt filtration

The Hydro MicroScreen ultrafine rotating belt filter can eliminate the need for both the conventional screening system and the dewatering system, while significantly reducing the load sent to the DAF system, ensuring that it can operate at maximum efficiency


  • Captures 66% more material than a conventional wedgewire screen
  • Reduces surcharges
  • Improves DAF efficiency

Our solution: sand and grit hydrodynamic separation

By nature, ground crops have sand and dirt associated with them. Raw materials received from farming operations are never quite clean enough to prevent abrasive damage to rollers, conveyors, pumps, knives and other processing equipment. Sand and dirt cause equipment to prematurely fail and can force your line to shut down when you are operating at peak capacity.

Flume receiving stations also require a tremendous amount of water, and plants with conventional technologies are often left with no option other than to send flume water to large settling basins that require dredging, excavating, and hauling to regain volume for settling.

Our small-footprint hydrodynamic separation systems - such as the HeadCell®, Grit King® or TeaCup® - remove grit, sand and other inorganic solids with extremely high efficiency, protecting downstream systems from clogging and abrasive damage, and preventing the need for large, costly settling tanks. 

Recycle water and protect downstream equipment

With over 45 years of experience, our industry-leading liquid / solids separation systems are optimised to remove these abrasive particles from flows to cost-effectively protect your plant. We capture more, and finer, sand particles, than any other technology and, in most applications, our solutions will remove more than 95% of grit 75 micron (200 mesh) and larger. Our small-footprint solutions make it easy to eliminate abrasion issues in even the most constrained plant layouts.

In many types of food processing applications once the dirt and debris are removed by one of our separation systems the water can be recycled for immediate re-use upstream to wash or convey additional product or reused in other plant operations.  When paired with a Grit Snail® dewatering escalator, the captured solids have very low water content, allowing cost-effective disposal or re-use.


  • Protect downstream processes from damaging abrasive solids
  • Reduce clogging of downstream systems
  • Provide a dry output that is ready for cost-effective disposal or re-use

Case Studies

New Jersey - jalapeños

The Hydro MicroScreen™ system was piloted for a large fruit and vegetable processing plant in southwestern New Jersey.The jalapeño process effluent was tested for both TSS and particulate BOD removal; the Hydro MicroScreen™ was shown to remove nearly twice the amount of TSS as the existing technology, as well as the same amount of particulate BOD (47%).

Read more: Hydro MicroScreen™ removes 63% of TSS for a New Jersey jalapeño plant

Bakersfield, California - carrots

A carrot producer in California was unhappy with the performance of their disc screen system. They piloted the Hydro MicroScreen™ system and discovered that it removed 100% more solids than the existing filtration technology.

Read more: Hydro MicroScreen™ doubled effluent solids removal for a carrot processing plant

California - corn

An inefficient wastewater treatment process that resulted in high-moisture sludge was costing a California corn processor $250,000 each year in haulage costs. A Hydro MicroScreen™ system produced sufficiently drier sludge that the savings from haulage were calculated at around $158,000 every year

Read more: Hydro MicroScreen™ slashed effluent haulage costs for a California corn processing plant

California - peppers

A southern California pepper processor wanted to improve on their existing drum and shaker screen for primary clarification and screening of pepper solids in their process flows. The Hydro MicroScreen™ was shown to reduce particulate BOD by 50% and TSS by 70% under heavy solids loading conditions.

Read more: Hydro MicroScreen™ reduced loads on digesters at a pepper processing facility

See it in action

Watch our video to see the Hydro MicroScreen™ filtering jalapeño processing water:

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