Projects explore turning dairy waste into marketable by-products, final reports available

August 23, 2019

OLYMPIA, WA – Reports are available from five projects that received funding from the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) to evaluate technologies that may reduce potential environmental impacts and costs associated with manure management.

Project leads explored ways to turn manure into nontoxic by-products that can be used on-farm or sold to other markets. The request for proposals (issued March 2018) specified that all proposed technology should be cost-effective for dairies of various size to use.

A total of $3,880,000 was awarded to the five grantees.

Project summaries and reports:
Coldstream Farms and Regenis / Flocculation and Membrane System for Treatment of Dairy Manure to Produce Fertilizer Concentrates and Dischargeable Clean Water

Goal: Install and test operation of a combined fine solids separator and clean water membrane system. Co-products from manure treatment will be a nutrient-rich solid, a liquid ammonia/potassium concentrate, and dischargeable clean water as a potential new water right. Read final report

Location: Whatcom County | Other partners: Whatcom PUD

Organix / Installation and Operation of BioFiltro BIDA System: Operation Efficiency, Effects on Air and Water Quality, and Marketability of Byproducts

Goal: Install a processing system that uses worms to convert wastewater into irrigation-grade water. Partners will evaluate potential impacts to air and water and explore market options for the “worm tea” generated by the system. Read final report

Location: Yakama Nation | Other partners: J & K Dairy, Washington State University (WSU)

Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians / Demonstration of an Innovative Distillation and Nutrient Separation Processor for Dairy Wastewater

Goal: Demonstrate and evaluate a Vapor Recompression Distillation (VRD) processor for the whole treatment of dairy manure. The VRD processor will convert manure wastewater in real time into distilled recycled water, concentrated liquid ammonia, and a pathogen-free, dry, organic fertilizer or nutrient product. Read final report

Location: Snohomish County | Other partners: Janicki Bioenergy, Natural Milk Dairy, Snohomish Conservation District, WSU

WSU – Puyallup / Capture and Recycling of Phosphorus from Dairy Manure as Struvite: Focus on Cost Reduction and Organic Production

Goal: Test a mobile processing system that turns manure into struvite, which is a non-toxic, sand-like mineral fertilizer. Partners will demonstrate the use of struvite fertilizer on commercial alfalfa hay operations to develop a regional nutrient recycling relationship. Read final report

Location: Testing on dairies in eastern and western Washington | Other partners: Alfalfa hay growers in eastern Washington, dairy producers in eastern and western Washington, Washington Dairy Products Commission

George DeRuyter and Son Dairy and DVO, Inc. / Installation and Evaluation of a Lagoon-Based Nitrification Denitrification for Treatment of Digested, Solids/Liquid Treated Dairy Manure

Goal: Build on existing digester technologies to achieve nitrogen removal efficiencies and reduce nitrogen concentrations in dairy manure. The project will convert reactive nitrogen to non-reactive nitrogen gas, providing valuable by-products and the potential for new market opportunities for dairies. Read final report

Location: Yakima County

Please direct questions about this funding award to Karla Heinitz ( or 360-407-6212).

washington state conservation commission logo in blue
Dairy project

Eric Powell from Regenis talks during a project tour about a new manure treatment system at Coldstream Farms that, among other marketable by-products, produces consistent clarified water.