Dairies Wastewater to be Wasted No More

The Dairy Farmers of Washington organization is announcing a $250,000 investment in clean water.

Sedro-Woolley-based, Janicki Bioenergy, a technology developed to treat sewage in Africa by has been championed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On his blog, Bill Gates says the technology “re-invents the sewage treatment plant.”  Stanwood dairy farmer, Jeremy Visser hopes that same type of technology, applied to dairy farming, will re-invent the way his farm cares for water.

Partnering with the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Visser is hosting a demonstration project that will test the technology in a dairy farming environment.  Called an Advanced Distillation and Nutrient Separation (ADNS) Processor for dairy wastewater, the new technology could move dairy operations from simply managing manure resources on available land to actually treating wastewater to produce clean reclaimable water. The processor will also produce pathogen-free liquid and solid fertilizer-like products that can be used more effectively or exported from the dairy.

“If this works, this changes the future of dairy farming,” said Visser.  “I entered into this partnership with the Stillaguamish Tribe, Janicki, the Snohomish Conservation District, and Washington State University hoping that the end result would benefit agriculture as a whole.  That is why I asked the Dairy Farmers of Washington to join me in providing matching funds for this project.  Their $250,000 investment helps secure funding to make this whole project pencil out.”

In addition to first-generation equipment and controls, the demonstration project would fund lots of lab tests, techno-economic analyses, outreach and education to the dairy industry and regulators.

Chairman Shawn Yanity of the Stillaguamish Tribe agrees. “The history and future of the Stillaguamish Tribe is bound to the Stillaguamish River and its tributaries.  We are honored to join with dairy farmers on this project and look forward to seeing the results of our joint endeavor.”

The Stillaguamish Tribe, with partner support, has applied to the Dept. of Ecology, Floodplains by Design (FbD) 2017-2019 Grant Round and the Natural Resource Conservation Service, 2017 Conservation Innovation Grant Round to help fund this project.

For Scott Kinney, CEO of the Dairy Farmers of Washington, the decision to support the project was an easy one. “My board of directors reviewed the technical summary of this project and agreed this investment deserved our full support and commitment.  We are glad to demonstrate that commitment through funding of up to $250,000 to be used as matching funds. More than anything, we are just proud to be a part of this.”