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Lagoon treatment study receives funding


A national Conservation Innovation Grant will allow Sustainable Conservation to continue our work promoting biofilters as a powerful method for treating dairy wastewater. Following our testing of the technology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (pictured), we will now assess the effectiveness of the system on a commercial dairy in the Central Valley. Sustainable Conservation

October 31, 2012, Merced County, CA – Sustainable Conservation was recently awarded a $484,000 National Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to demonstrate the effectiveness of a biological system to treat lagoon water on a commercial dairy in Merced County, Calif.

The system operates by exchanging wastewater between two tanks where beneficial microbes convert the excess nitrogen to a harmless gas. The system was formerly tested at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where an air quality study was also conducted. The results showed reduced levels of volatile organic compounds, greenhouse gases and odors.

The goal of the CIG-funded project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of this low-tech, clean-water solution and spur adoption of the technology in the Central Valley – especially in the San Joaquin Valley where most of the state’s dairies are located. The technology will be especially helpful to dairies located on highly permeable soils with shallow groundwater levels or those that lack sufficient cropland on which to apply excess manure.