Disclosed is a novel method for reducing microbial levels on a hide of an animal. In one embodiment, the method comprises stunning the animal having a hide with a quantity of microorganisms on its hair, contacting the hide of the animal with an alkaline solution having a pH from about 8 to about pH 13, contacting the animal with a second solution including one or more of water, an organic acid, and hydrogen peroxide, and reusing at least a portion of at least one of the first and second solutions.

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> Denitrification system for nitrified wastewater or nitrified water

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