Large Australian slaughterhouses can use a large amount of water, in some cases 1-3ML per day, and are therefore strong candidates for processes aimed at water conservation, reuse and/or recycling. The high cost of water supply, wastewater treatment and effluent discharge represent strong economic motivation. Beyond the economic benefit, Australia’s variable climate can lead to uncertainty in water reserves and impact the freedom to operate an agri-business. The use of alternative sources of water can reduce operating costs and improve the sustainability of the process.

This research project focuses on:

  • Assisting meat processors to develop a policy framework and benchmark targets for a global best practice in conservation and reuse/recycling of water during meat processing operations;
  • Evaluating the cost of common wastewater treatments used in abattoirs and their benefit (energy and water saving) depending on the end-use (river discharge, sewer discharge, irrigation or internal reuse as potable or non-potable water);
  • Developing a cost benefit analysis (CBA) model to reuse clean streams and treated wastewater with different conventional or new advanced treatments such as membrane bioreactor (MBR), ceramic membrane and disinfection (physical or chemical).


  • AMPC
  • Meat and Livestock Australia

Project members

Associate Professor Paul Jensen

Associate Professor
Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology