By Leah Weissman
Wastewater has never been so profitable. The process of turning liquid sludge into water clean enough to flow back into the Tualatin River has a new by-product anticipated to bring in millions of dollars – commercial fertilizer.
Starting in Spring 2009, Clean Water Services will have the first wastewater treatment plant in the country to use a new kind of chemical technology that recycles nutrients from wastewater into a slow-dissolving fertilizer for golf courses, nurseries and agriculture. The Durham Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility in Tigard is anticipated to generate 40 tons of this eco-friendly fertilizer a month.
Called Crystal Green, the fertilizer – and the technology that produces it – were created by Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., a company in Vancouver, British Columbia that specializes in developing equipment to recycle nutrients from wastewater into valuable products.
CWS has signed a 15-year contract with Ostara to use the technology. The multi-reactor Ostara plant at the Tigard facility will cost about $2.5 million to construct and will be owned and operated by CWS. The fertilizer will be dried and bagged in the facility and purchased by Ostara, which will market Crystal Green in Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
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