Ground Water Canada

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Ostara awarded grant to address phosphorus pollution in Lake Erie watershed


February 13, 2019
By Ground Water Canada

Vancouver – Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies has been awarded a grant from the Environment and Climate Change Canada for a research project that will address both non-point and point source phosphorus pollution in the Lake Erie watershed.

The research aims to demonstrate how municipalities and farms can both help battle nutrient pollution using nutrient recovery. Reclaiming nutrients from municipal, livestock and industrial wastewater, Ostara’s Pearl technology produces a land-applied, high-yielding granular fertilizer proven to reduce nutrient runoff (Crystal Green).

The agronomic research being conducted on Crystal Green in partnership with the University of Guelph in Ontario will include:

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  • phosphorus runoff data focused on the reduction of non-point source pollution comparing Crystal Green’s citrate-soluble release to a traditional fertilizer application
  • multi-year field trials focused on provincially viable crops – corn, beans and winter wheat
  • yield data comparing combinations of traditional fertilizers with Crystal Green

The goal is to reduce up to 33 per cent of traditional water-soluble fertilizer sources, which contribute to phosphorus runoff, replacing it with Crystal Green.

The phosphorus recovery research will explore pathways to implement nutrient recovery at eligible wastewater treatment plants in the Waterloo Region. This project will highlight the benefit of updating infrastructure to leverage technologies that can reduce point source pollution by returning cleaner water to area lakes and streams; reduce phosphorus content in biosolids produced by wastewater treatment plants (reducing water-soluble phosphorus land applied within the watershed); and renewably recover phosphorus for responsible reuse as a phosphate fertilizer that reduces runoff.

Currently, Ostara has 22 commercial installations recovering nutrients that are then sold through an international network of industry partners, including into the Canadian market through Taurus Agricultural Marketing.