Characterization of poultry processing operations, wastewater generation, and wastewater treatment using mail survey and nutrient discharge monitoring methods
Kiepper, Brian Harry
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Periodic evaluation of wastewater characteristics and treatment practices within U.S. poultry processing plants is needed due to the industry’s rapid expansion. U.S. poultry processing plants slaughtered over 9.01 billion birds in 2002. Total wastewater generation by U.S. slaughter plants is now between 45 and 90 billion gallons annually. Two separate methods were used to characterize poultry slaughter and further processing plant operations, wastewater generation, and wastewater treatment practices. The first method, a self-administered mail survey questionnaire, was completed by 58 U.S. poultry processing facilities. Completed surveys were received from 46 chicken and five turkey slaughter plants. Further processing plants submitted five surveys along with two stand-alone rendering facilities. The second method involved the monitoring of phosphorus and nitrogen discharges at four locations within six plants. Each sample was analyzed for total phosphorus (P) and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN). Results show statistically similar trends in nutrient discharges from slaughter plants.