Dairy industry wastewater contains high levels of organic matter, consisting mainly of fat, protein and products of their partial microbial decomposition. In the present study, the use of continuous electrocoagulation is proposed for the primary treatment of dairy wastewater. The electrochemical treatment was carried out in a continuous flow cell with aluminum electrodes. The influence of the voltage, the distance between the electrodes and the hydraulic residence time (HRT) on the process performance was assessed, by measuring the removal of color, turbidity, total organic carbon (TOC) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). The optimum voltage, distance between the electrodes and HRT were 10 V, 1 cm and 90 min, respectively, yielding a current density of 13.3 A.m−2. Under these conditions, removal of color, turbidity, TOC and COD were 94%, 93%, 65% and 69%, respectively, after a steady state was reached in the continuous flow reactor.