$3.8 million awarded for innovative dairy nutrient management projects

Projects aim to find environmentally friendly, cost-effective solutions for turning dairy waste into marketable by-products

June 15, 2018

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) has awarded $3,880,000 in grants for projects that will evaluate the use of innovative technology in reducing potential environmental impacts and costs associated with manure management. Each project will be conducted in partnership with at least one dairy.

Awards were made to five grantees.

Dairy is the second largest commodity produced in Washington and a major contributor to our state’s agricultural economy. Currently, a variety of methods are used to manage manure produced on dairy farms. Faced with increased environmental concerns and regulations, dairy farmers are looking to adopt new technologies that protect the environment and create new sustainable markets for manure by-products.

The goal of the awarded funding is to evaluate innovative technology that will 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.

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

Location: Whatcom County | Other partners: Whatcom PUD
Partners will 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.

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

Location: Yakama Nation | Other partners: Castle Grove Dairy, Washington State University (WSU)
This project will 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.

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

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

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

Location: Eastern and western Washington | Other partners: Alfalfa hay growers, dairy producers, Washington Dairy Products Commission
This project will 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.

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

Location: Yakima County
Partners will 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.

All projects will conclude by June 30, 2019. Grant recipients will submit reports of project findings to the SCC at that time. The SCC will compile results from all projects into a final report for the Washington State Legislature by December 1, 2020.


Please direct questions about this funding award to Karla Heinitz (kheinitz@scc.wa.gov or 360-407-6212).

washington state conservation commission logo in blue