Prosiectslyri Project is a Welsh Government funded project run in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and Swansea-based company, Power and Water.
The project is developing a cost-effective slurry dewatering and water purification system in response to the increasing volumes of slurry and deteriorating water quality in rivers due to the intensification of dairy farming.
Due to significant interest from the industry, the project held its first open day on August 31 at Coleg Sir Gâr’s agricultural campus in Gelli Aur where the processing unit has been installed using the expertise of Power & Water, which specialises in sono-electrochemical water treatment. If successful, the system will be a world’s first in agriculture.
Project staff are resolute that the system should be suitable for every farm, regardless of size. “If this process isn’t suitable for all farmers, it won’t make a difference to water quality,” said project manager John Owen. “Technology hasn’t really moved forward within the industry to manage the amount of slurry we’re producing and although this technology has always existed, it has never been applied to the agricultural industry until now.”
The event, which was co-hosted by Farming Connect, attracted around 300 delegates consisting of farmers and industry representatives who were given insights into the science, analysis and effects of nutrient management.
Industry experts gave presentations about slurry storage and management, Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales explained their role in the process including how contaminated water affects the environment and their ability to protect public health and wildlife.
Project manager John Owen added: “This project will continually undergo independent analysis by Natural Resources Wales and processed water will comply to licence regulations for discharge consent, based on low continual volumes rather than a batch treatment approach and emissions will be monitored to process the system’s current output which is around 3,000 litres of slurry per hour.”
The system uses Soneco® (sono-electrochemistry) to break down contaminants and nutrients, then separates them from the water. The remaining water is treated using the Soneco® advanced oxidation process to reduce any remaining ammonia, which is broken down to nitrogen and hydrogen.
The processing unit reduces water content of the nutrients by 80% but increases the nutrient concentration, resulting in the requirement of a new nutrient management plan. The equipment will be categorised by herd size, ensuring a cost effective and robust solution to any size farm.
Gareth Morgan, Power and Water CEO said: “We are pleased with the outcomes achieved to date and will continue our joint efforts to ensure that that the treated water from the slurry is of good quality for re-use or discharge, and that the nutrient value of the solids is retained or improved for a variety of re-use applications.”
Further work could be carried out on improved biosecurity, destruction of pathogens and possibly weed seeds.
Prosiectslyri Project has received funding through the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for rural Development and the Welsh Government
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