A Big Deal For Chicago Wastewater… And The Future Of Nutrient Recovery

Oct 17, 2013

Water Online

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., famous as an environmentalist and even more famous for his ancestry, stepped to the podium at WEFTEC promising a “monumental announcement.” Though such words at press events are often overstatement, this particular announcement lived up to the billing — certainly for the show’s attendees, but also for any wastewater treatment professional, public official, or environmentalist worth their salt.

After setting up the audience with remarks on the importance of recovering nutrients from wastewater, Kennedy delivered the news: Chicago’s Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, the world’s largest wastewater treatment facility, is soon to be the world’s largest nutrient recovery facility. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) struck a deal with Ostara to extract phosphorus and nitrogen from Stickney’s wastewater and turn it into commercial-grade fertilizer, with plans to go online in the fall of 2015.

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