Large quantities of water are required in any processing dairy on a daily basis for production and other technical purposes. The quantum of water required is calculated mostly on per thousand litres of milk processed and in some cases, the absolute consumption of water per day or per annum is calculated.

The water consumption in a dairy is usually 1000 - 5000 litres per 1000 litres of milk processed. But the actual requirement may vary between different dairies and is mainly dependent on the production process or the production profile, supplementary or auxiliary processes such as generation of steam, design of the refrigeration mechanism involved including domestic use and finally multiple use or reuse.

We all know that water is a precious or very valuable basic resource that belongs to one and all and is not available in un­limited amounts; it is therefore an important cost factor, bearing much significance and hence should be carefully utilized. The design of the water supply system should be such that con­sumption for each production department and auxiliary processes can be more or less determined in an accurate manner.

This helps to avoid major losses or wastages and paves the way for scrupulous and judicious utilization of water.

Water supply

The uninterrupted operation in any dairy depends among other things, the constant availability of the required quantum of water. Hence uninterrupted and potable quality water is a prerequisite in a processing dairy. The possible source of water supply for any dairy include

  • Own water supply
  • Water supplied through the municipal water system and
  • Mixed supply (own water and municipal water; i.e. a combination of the above two)

Regarding the own water supply or self-supply of water,  the major resources are well water, ground water and / or surface water which can be used with limitations. But the own supply system requires a great deal of investment for the construc­tion of installations like well, machines, treatment plants and others and it requires a continuously con­trolled operation.

Most of the time, the water quantities from the own supply or self-supply system are not suffi­cient to meet all requirements, and hence calls for other alternatives such as such as a mixed water supply system or water from the municipal water source is required.

The municipal water supply is controlled by the local authorities, and they undertake analysis of water samples from the plant.

In the case of self-supply system, water is usually pumped from a well or deep bore well into a large storage tank or basin, which is usually kept covered to keep the water cool and prevent air borne contamination. Generally the capacity of the storage system is equal to 1­-2 days of total water consumption.

Learn more about Quality of water used in dairy processing