MWRD contracts out nutrient recovery system at water reclamation plant in Illinois

Black & Veatch and Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies have been chosen by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to design and build a new nutrient recovery system at its Stickney water reclamation plant in Cicero, Illinois.

The facility will help to improve water quality in local rivers, lakes and streams. It will also produce commercial fertiliser from recovered resources.

MWRD commissioner and chairman of the Monitoring and Research Committee Patrick Thompson said that the Stickney project enables the recovery of phosphorus and nitrogen from waste streams that can be converted into fertiliser.

"In addition, the sale of this product will help offset the cost of operating and maintaining the new facility," Thompson added.

Nutrient removal process developer James Barnard is advising the project team. He said: "Phosphorus is a non-renewable resource that is critical to farming and food production. Nothing grows without it but too much of it can negatively impact water quality. Biological nutrient removal enables us to address water quality challenges and recover this precious nutrient for beneficial reuse purposes."

Ostara president and CEO Phillip Abrary said: "With this new facility, the district is transforming a water challenge into a sustainable solution. Removing nutrients from where they shouldn't be (in the waterways) and using them to create a new generation of slow-release fertilizers is the smart thing to do economically and the right thing to do environmentally."

Black & Veatch is providing design, procurement and construction services, while Ostara will provide the nutrient recovery system, including equipment. Ostara will also provide operations and maintenance assistance to the district once the project is completed.