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New technology squeezes clean water out of cow manure

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DANE COUNTY (WKOW) -- A first in the U.S. technology was unveiled today that turns cow manure from area farms into drinkable water.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi joined representatives from AQUA Innovations and GL Dairy Biogas LLC, along with three local dairy producers at a ribbon cutting ceremony.

This community nutrient concentration system (NCS) is believed to be the first in the United States and is part of Dane County’s ongoing effort to clean up area lakes and expand its renewable natural gas network among local farms.

The $1.6 million project, which has been years in the making, is located in the Town of Springfield, and is receiving digested manure from GL Dairy Biogas LLC.

The nutrient concentration system cleans manure through a series of ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis filters before discharging the remaining clean water into Pheasant Branch Creek.

Nutrients, including phosphorus, are removed from the manure, concentrated, and stored for later use as a fertilizer for growing crops.

Most dairy manure consists of a majority of water mixed with manure, bedding and other farm related wastewater.

Removing water from manure reduces the total volume, according to a news release from the county executive's office.

This volume reduction allows agricultural producers to reduce transportation costs, transport concentrated manure nutrients further distances, and reduce the amount of farm related traffic on local roads.

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