Secondary & Further Processing Wastewater Treatment

Secondary food processing requires large amounts of water, and that water contains potentially valuable by-products as well as materials that can clog or damage downstream processes. Our industrial water screening and treatment solutions can help you improve efficiency, recover and re-use process material, recycle water and save money. 

Secondary or further processing is a broad group of activities that food processors use to add value to food products. Secondary food products include ready-made meals, breakfast cereals, cured meats, chicken nuggets, pet foods and the like. 

While there are too many different types of processed and packaged foods to count, secondary processing lines have one thing in common – water use. All over a plant, most further processing activities require water; production lines need continuous cleaning, product needs washing and conveying, cutting and processing equipment needs to be cleaned...the list goes on. Sanitation is paramount for operational success. 

Secondary processors strive to maximise re-use and operational efficiency, with zero waste an increasingly common goal. Steps like optimising pressure and volume efficiencies on spray systems, intermittent flows, cascading rinse processes, and condensate recovery all help. However, with all the water that is needed wastewater is inevitable

Our food processing water management solutions can help you reduce your wastewater treatment costs, protect expensive downstream processes, increase your by-product recapture, and help you to reuse your water faster and more efficiently.

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. It will also help you to reduce effluent discharge fees

Remove solids for water recycling and re-use

Depending on the source, some of your plant water can be reused in applications where lower quality water can be tolerated. Often flows from processes like cooling and canning can be re-used immediately upstream on processes that don’t require high purity if the solids have been removed. However, any solids present in these flow streams limit reusability options as they will clog pipes and spray nozzles and impact distribution systems.

The Hydro MicroScreen™ captures much finer particles than conventional screening systems, removing Total Suspended Solids (TSS), particulate Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) in wastewater streams. In many cases, depending on the temperature, the system can also reduce FOG. The Hydro MicroScreen™ produces treated water that can be used in secondary applications

Protect expensive wastewater treatment processes

Process water from secondary processing plants often requires expensive advanced downstream treatment to reduce BOD and TSS before the water can be sent to a sewer, a river, or land applied (depending on level of treatment). Removing fine particles before they enter expensive processes like Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) maximises treatment efficiency and sometimes can replace the need for some of the equipment in the downstream treatment system entirely.

The Hydro MicroScreen™ removes solids from your flows with better performance than conventional screens, and it can be configured to discharge them as either a compacted dewatered solid ready for cost-effective disposal or onward sale

Protecting the capacity of your DAF 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.


  • Reduce or eliminate the need for a conventional wedgewire screen prior to DAF
  • Maximise performance of DAF by reducing solids loading and compressor run for aeration
  • Reduce organic loading on biological treatment processes to increase capacity

Case Studies

Pennsylvania - beef

Faced with increasing effluent surcharge fees, a Pennsylvania deli meat producer wanted to upgrade its existing drum screens and DAF. Testing demonstrated that the Hydro MicroScreen™ could replace both the DAF and conventional screening system with comparable performance, in a fraction of the footprint and at a fraction of the price

Read more: Small-footprint treatment solution for a beef renderer in Southwestern Pennsylvania

Battle Creek, Michigan - cereal

A large cereal manufacturer was looking to expand their ageing on-site wastewater treatment system to meet growing demand for their product, and address escalating effluent surcharge costs. Pilot testing demonstrated that the Hydro MicroScreen™ system would save them over $2M in construction costs, reducing their surcharges by 30% and eliminating the cost of disposing of wet solids from their primary screen.

Read more: Hydro MicroScreen™ cut cereal manufacturer surcharges by 30%

California - chimichangas

A southern California chimichanga manufacturing facility was facing ever-growing sewer surcharge fees. A Hydro MicroScreen™ demonstration project indicated that the system would pay for itself within seven months in surcharge reduction alone. 

Read more: Hydro MicroScreen™ cuts surcharge fees for California chimichanga factory

See it in action

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

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