(By Brandon Hansen/Chewelah Independent)
Facility will treat 200,000 gallons of water each day using worms to treat dairy wastewater…
Local lawmakers attended the ribbon cutting of the BioFiltro wastewater treatment facility at the Royal Dairy in Royal City Washington. It’s the largest dairy wastewater treatment facility in the nation and will treat 200,000 gallons of water each day through an organic filtration process which ultilizes worms to treat the wastewater and produce irrigation grade water along with organic fertilizer and animal feed protein.
The system, according to BioFiltro, reduces greenhouse gases by 90 percent.
Washington state representatives Shelly Short and Joel Kretz were present for the ribbon cutting of the 81,000 square-foot facility which began operation on Aug. 7.
“Dairymen now do not have to utilize nearly as many acres to dispose of their water as before,” Country manager of BioFiltro Mai Ann Healy said. “By significantly reducing the amount of contaminants in the water, one can reduce the amount of acres used, thereby freeing up acreage for cash crops and more herds.”
BioFiltro, Healy said, offers small, scalable, cost effective solutions to enable dairymen to meet wastewater management requirements. They offer a “wastewater as a service” model that allows daries to pay as they go with a flat fee also.
“BioFiltro enables more dairymen to target if not exceed their nutrient management goals which, consequently, stands to improve overall water and air quality in the region,” Healy said. “Additionally, the system generates castings, or worm poop, which is a highly nutritious and natural soil amendment, or fertilizer, which dairymen can apply back to their fields to increase crop yield.”
The system at Royal took four months to build.
BioFiltro was founded in 2009 by Alex Villagra, who studied at the University of Chile and arrived in the US in 2011. BioFiltro began US operations in 2013. Austin Allred, owner of Royal Dairy, became aware of BioFiltro in 2015 at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA.
He spent two years operating a 10,000 gallon per day system by BioFiltro before expanding to 200,000 gallons.