DairySmart Project - treating farm dairy effluent to achieve cleaner waterways

dairysmart-logo-150pxExpansion of dairy farming throughout New Zealand has highlighted an issue with the disposal of Farm Dairy Effluent (FDE). Current best practice within the sector is to dispose of this effluent through either direct application to land, or storage in effluent ponds and deferred irrigation to land.

Neither of these methods impact on the nutrient load (mainly Nitrogen (N) and Potassium (K)) of the wastewater when it is applied to land in a controlled manner as a fertiliser.

DairySmart offers a new system, based on old technologies, that treats the FDE waste and its nutrients in a containerised continuous-process plant.

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Problem Definition:

Feedback from regulators and the dairy sector has revealed that approximately 20-25% of dairy farms face difficulties with applying the nutrient load of farm dairy effluent (FDE) sustainably.  Therefore, FDE represents a significant pollution load on our rural environment.

Both Central Government and Regional Councils have identified the disposal of dairy shed wastewater as a major pollution control issue.  The issue is gaining publicity resulting in increasing media and political pressure to find a solution.

Problem Solution:

Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) and Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) waste treatment systems have been shown to be an effective means of treating FDE.  They significantly reduce organic matter, ammonia, suspended solids and nutrients by treating FDE in a process similar to treating city waste.  The SBR system is better suited to the small scale of dairy farms and in trials, has been shown to be both efficient and cost-effective.

DairySmart has the services of Mr Maocai Wang, reputed to be China’s foremost waste treatment system designer. Mr Wang is in New Zealand with the objective of contracting a dairy farmer to trial his patented SBR treatment system.

The new design is particular to New Zealand FDE and no plant has yet been constructed. Mr Wang has the support of a number of factories in China that could manufacture the plant but none will run a trial at their expense.

We have visited four dairy farms, the Waikato Regional Council (the regulator for FDE disposal in the Waikato) and Dairy NZ.  We have a farmer willing to run the trial but he will not do so at his expense given that the plant has not yet been shown to operate as designed.

It is clear that the SBR process is appropriate for New Zealand, and that Mr Wang’s patented SBR design has significant technological advantages to be worthy of developing in New Zealand.

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Bronze "Carbon Awareness Coin"

CarbonAC is a contraction of Carbon Awareness Coin.  Use the coin on your website and social media pages to let the world know that you are a bona fide supporter of Green Economy Projects.

Earn the Bronze coin on the first Green Economy Project that you contribute to.

Subsequent contributions to any Green Economy Project will earn a Bronze Bar to the Coin.

Collect four bars and on the next contribution you will be automatically upgraded to a Silver coin.

Again, four more contributions will each earn a Silver bar and lead to a Gold CarbonAC coin.

 

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I personally recommend this project to you as one worthy of your support.

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