Clean Water Services, Ostara to unveil $4.75M water-treatment plant
By Lee van der Voo
Sustainable Business Oregon contributing writer
Clean Water Services and Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies have teamed on what is billed as the world's largest municipal facility to extract usable nutrients from wastewater.
Washington County’s Clean Water Services — the utility that manages waste for more than 536,000 tri-county residents — has joined forces for a second time with British Columbia’s Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. This time the pair built the world’s largest municipal facility dedicated to making fertilizer from water waste.
The $4.75 million facility in Rock Creek will extract approximately 1,200 tons of phosphorus from wastewater annually to produce a high-end fertilizer branded as Crystal Green. The facility officially opens Tuesday morning with a keynote speech from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an Ostara board member, who is speaking Monday at a Pioneer Square rally against coal.
This is the second such facility from the increasingly green-trending Clean Water Services. In 2009, CWS became the first utility in the United States to launch a commercial facility using Ostara’s Pearl technology at its treatment facility in Durham. To date that operation has produced 700 tons of Crystal Green fertilizer while reducing rates for customers and creating a new revenue stream at the utility.
Both facilities use Ostara technology, which recovers magnesium ammonium phosphate from wastewater processed at the treatment plants. The $4.75 million cost of the Rock Creek facility was funded by Clean Water Services. Ostara then pays for the nutrients the facility produces, a fee officials said would make the project cost-neutral in five years. The project received a $1.12 million Business Energy Tax Credit from the state to aid financing.
"We got the credit for the energy conservation value of production this type of fertilizer versus the energy associated with producing conventional fertilizer," said Mark Jockers, government and public affairs manager for Clean Water Services.
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