Palestinian regulators face big challenges to enforce laws on industrial pollution. Discharge of untreated “Industrial” wastewater leads to environmental degradation. In the case of disposal into the municipal sewer, it leads to treatment plant malfunctions. With current operational 21 Livestock and 14 Poultry Slaughterhouse in Palestine (PCBS, 2018), many slaughterhouses discharge untreated wastewater to Wadi or directly into the municipal sewer system without any treatment. Meat processing produce huge quantities of wastewater due to the slaughtering processes and facilities cleaning. Slaughterhouse wastewater contains high amounts of organics and nutrients e.g., COD (5,000-15,000 mg/l), where the wastewater characteristics can vary depending on the numbers and types of animals slaughtered and the water requirements for the process. The main source of slaughterhouse wastewater is blood, non-digested food in the intestines of the slaughtered animals, urine, feces, lint, fat, carcasses and the production leftovers and the cleaning of the facilities. Thus, due the high-strength characteristics of the slaughterhouse wastewater (effluent), an extensive treatment is needed for a safe effluent discharge into the environment. This study evaluates the design, operation and monitoring a pilot scale system for slaughterhouse wastewater treatment at Birzeit University campus. The aim entails checking the feasibility of using an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) system as a pretreatment option to reduce the organic pollution loads before entering the sewer network. To achieve this purpose, the UASB pilot system was designed, installed put into operation, operated under process optimization as a pretreatment stage to comply with Palestinian regulations for slaughterhouse wastewater connection to public sewerage system. The evaluation of the system performance and process efficacy of the UASB pilot scale was evaluated under variable hydraulic and organic pollution loads. Samples were taken from two different slaughterhouses in Ramallah district, (Albireh Municipality Centralized Slaughterhouse-Hooved Livestock), and Birzeit Poultry Slaughterhouse. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) was the first indicator to compare between the two (2) slaughterhouses, the results were 9,630.0 mg/l and 14,188.0 mg/l, respectively. Since Albireh Livestock slaughterhouse has a direct connection to the municipal sewerage network, it was not possible to obtain representative wastewater samples reflecting slaughterhouse wastewater. Therefore, wastewater form Birzeit Poultry Slaughterhouse formed the feed of the UASB using a vacuum truck. The Poultry slaughterhouse consumes about 200300 m3 per day and sometimes during hot season (Ramadan, etc.) reaching 400.0 m3/day. Two
wastewater samples were analyzed from different wastewater sources from inside the slaughterhouse; the first sampling source was from the fresh wastewater stream directly after the slaughtering and cleaning process. The second sampling was taken from inside the underground storage tank, which contains the whole wastewater originating from inside the slaughterhouse, where all wastewater streams are mixed inside it. A full analysis was made for the two samples, and the results obtained from fresh wastewater stream for (BOD5, COD, TSS and VSS) was 6790, 14188, 1436 and 1500 mg/l respectively, while the results obtained from the storage tank for (BOD5, COD, TSS and VSS) was 7239, 14901, 1509 and 1450 mg/l, respectively. Since the Slaughterhouse lacks a central sewerage service, produced daily wastewater is stored in a large septic tank with intermittent discharge on a daily basis forming the feed source for the UASB systems. The possibility of slaughterhouse wastewater treatment using a UASB reactor as a decentralized treatment solution was investigated. The system was operated at two different operating conditions (different feed flow rates → hydraulic retention time) under unsteady organic loading rate, for removal of organic matter and solids from the wastewater. The UASB reactor was operated under two variable flow rates (225 ml/min and 450 ml/min. Organic pollutants were partially removed in the UASB reactor, COD, TSS, VSS average removal efficiency was 77%, 55% and 58% respectively at an average organic loading rate [8.6 kg COD/(m3.day)]. The COD removal ranged from 20-96%, TSS removal ranged 11-90%, while VSS removal rate was 15-97%. The overall removal efficiency of the UASB system during the applied phases was promising, complying with local standards for sewer network connection. These results obtained help water policymakers and legislators endorse the wide application of the UASB technology at all operational slaughterhouses in Palestine. Finally, the UASB system has environmental and economic benefits pertinent to the reduction of current environmental degradation and reduces wastewater expenditures at slaughterhouses.