Ottawa to use $100,000 state grant to study sludge process - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Ottawa to use $100,000 grant to learn about sludge

OTTAWA, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The Village of Ottawa isusing a state grant of $100,000 to figure out how to turn hundreds of thousandsof pounds of cow manure into Class A sludge, or fertilizer.

Dairy farmers in the areasay this will be a huge help.

"It just gives us anotheroption on when we can apply our manure or fertilizer onto our fields," saidDennis Rieman, dairy manager at Van Ham Farm.

The feasibility study willanalyze how cost-effective it is to take manure from dairy farms and process itat the village sewage facility. It will determine if they can make the liquidproduct into a more dry fertilizer. Once treated, the product is called sludge.

"Basically, reduce theamount of volume of the product and make it something more beneficial tofields," said Jason Phillips, the Ottawa Assistant Municipal Director.

Van Ham Dairy Farm issupplying the manure for the study. They have 2,200 cows that produce about 100pounds of manure every day.

Currently the manure ismixed with water and sits in one of their three lagoons until it can be used asfertilizer. The problem is it can only be applied to dry land. If the manurewas in a dry form, it could be put to better use.

"We want to put it back onour fields to grow our crops, but it's nice to have that option that we canturn it into another drier product so it can be applied," Rieman said. "Homeownerscan take it and put it in their garden, put it in their grass."

And according to Phillips,the process would better benefit the crops grown, as well.

"It will allow for a moreslow release of the product out on the fields, so farmers can get betterbenefit from the nutrients that are in the cake product," he said.

Ottawa students will learnabout the testing and even help with studies later this year.

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