Meat & Poultry Processing

Meat and poultry processing requires a significant amount of water, and associated wastewater can reduce operating efficiency, carry away potentially valuable by-products, and attract sewer surcharge fees. How can plants, often constrained by space, turn water costs into savings? 

On average each American consumes around 90 pounds of chicken, 55 pounds of beef, and 50 pounds of pork each year. With ever-increasing demands on production, meat processing plants can be constrained by available plant footprint or existing wastewater treatment options.

Meat processing requires a tremendous amount of water to maintain sanitary conditions, and all that water needs to go somewhere for treatment after it is used. Sewer surcharge fees are an all-too-common occurrence for many meat processors. Additionally, surcharge fees continue to rise as populations grow and strain the capacity of municipal wastewater infrastructure. 

Meat processing requires a significant amount of water. As an example, beef processors use about 1 gallon of water for each 1 pound of hamburger they produce despite efforts to increase water use efficiency and water recycling. Dealing with all that generated wastewater is a significant cost of operation.

We can help you reduce your wastewater treatment costs, protect expensive wastewater treatment processes, increase your by-product recapture, and allow you to reuse your water faster and more efficiently.  Download a brochure covering summarized versions of several of the tremendous cost savings Meat processors have acheives with the Hydro MicroScreen™ system.

Typical Water Use by Meat Processors per animal*

Animal Water (in gallons / animal) 
Beef: 150-450 gal.
Turkey: 11-23 gal.
Broiler: 3.5-10 gal.
* Source 

Protect Expensive On-Site Wastewater Treatment Like DAF 

Hydro International provides solutions tailored to help rendering plants and slaughterhouses reduce their surcharges and maximize the capacity and efficiency of expensive on-site wastewater treatment processes like Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF). While DAF is great at removing extremely fine solids and oils, DAF is not so good at treating bulk solids. Let your DAF do what it does best by removing more bulk solids than conventional screens before it gets to your DAF.  

The Hydro MicroScreen™ ultrafine rotating belt screen removes bulk solids from your flows and can be configured to discharge them as either a compacted dewatered solid ready for cost-effective disposal or sold. It can also be configured to separate solids from the bulk of plant flows into a slurry which provides additional downstream treatment options. 

Protecting your DAF’s capacity allows your plant to maintain sustainably profitable operations and grow to meet increasing demand for your product. The small footprint design of the Hydro MicroScreen™ system easily fits in your existing plant layout or within the footprint of the existing conventional screening system that it replaces. 

Re-Use Water Faster 

High-pressure, low-volume spray systems can reduce your overall raw water costs. Re-using water from operations such as chilling, scalding, and canning often requires treatment before it can be re-used. For many types of meat processing applications the Hydro MicroScreen™ provides the pre-treatment needed to help you recycle your plant water faster and more efficiently. 

Maximize the Efficiency of By-Product Recovery with the Hydro MicroScreen™

Nearly every by-product in meat processing applications has value. Discharging it to sewer systems can result in astronomical surcharge fees. The Hydro MicroScreen™ system can also be sized to capture the fine particles as small as 100 micron that are so frequently missed by conventional technologies like drum screens. This recovers significantly more byproduct than conventional wedgewire screening technologies.

The Hydro MicroScreen™ system captures much more of these valuable by-products than other technologies and delivers a compacted, dewatered product that is cheaper to handle and transport.

Hydro MicroScreen™ Meat Processing Case Studies 

To learn more about how the Hydro MicroScreen™ can help meat processors check out these case studies.


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