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

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

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OTTAWA, OH (Toledo News Now) -

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

Dairy farmers in the area say this will be a huge help.

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

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

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

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

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

"We want to put it back on our fields to grow our crops, but it's nice to have that option that we can turn it into another drier product so it can be applied," Rieman said. "Homeowners can 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 more slow release of the product out on the fields, so farmers can get better benefit from the nutrients that are in the cake product," he said.

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

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