potential for Transforming dairy waste into clean water and commercial products

Though frequently regarded as an environmental liability, dairy manure may be an economically viable feedstock for products including fertilizers, peat moss, compost, biochar, and other products that have value in agricultural, horticultural and other commercial and consumer markets. 

The Alliance for Puget Sound Natural Resources is seeking to support dairy farmers and conservation districts in demonstrating new technologies to manage manure more sustainably—from cows to end use customers—in ways that reward manure management practices that enhance the health of key Puget Sound watersheds. Current efforts include:  

1.       Technology assessment and demonstration of a proposed pilot project for Advanced Distillation System for Dairy Waste. For more information or to join the coalition of partners interested in this new technology, contact Jay Gordon with the Washington State Dairy Association. 

2.       Whatcom Conservation District, the current recipient of a Regional Conservation Program (RCPP) grant, will offer dairy producers the opportunity to implement Advanced Waste Treatment Practices that will have the effect of:

·       Eliminating fecal coliform bacteria from wastewater (liquid manure) currently collected and spread on fields as an organic fertilizer; 

·       Reducing the very high volumes of wastewater (e.g., from 10,000 down to 100 gallons/acre) thereby:

o   Reducing the risk of runoff or spill of nutrient laden wastewater to surface water in the Puget Sound; and

o   Conserving energy and, potentially carbon emissions, due to the reduction in pumping and transport.

·       Eliminating the non-agronomic application of phosphate and potassium because the byproduct of the process concentrates and stabilizes these nutrients such that they can be economically exported and utilized by other farms.

For more information about the dairy waste program in Whatcom County please contactWhatcom Conservation District.