NRLS Informational Exchange Held
Nutrient Loss Reduction Stewardship Information Exchange participants toured Ostara at the Stickney Reclamation Plant in Cicero. Ostara’s technology enables the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to remove and repurpose phosphorus and nitrogen into a high value fertilizer.
In addition to visiting Ostara, participants also visited the control room at Stickney Reclamation Plant, a brownfield site testing the application of biosolids, a composting site, the McCook Reservoir, and a biosolids processing site. Participants also engaged in conversations about future collaborations related to the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. The strategy guides state efforts to improve water quality by reducing nutrient levels in our lakes, streams, and rivers. The strategy lays out best management practices for reducing nutrient loads from point sources (e.g., wastewater treatment plants) and non-point sources (e.g., agricultural lands), with long-term goals of reducing loads of total phosphorus and nitrogen by 45%, with interim reduction goals of 15% nitrate-nitrogen and 25% total phosphorus by 2025.
Since 2021, Cook County Farm Bureau® has been actively engaged in conversations and collaborations related to nutrient reduction and reuse. Projects include two Nutrient Loss Reduction Stewardship Information Exchanges, compost and biosolid promotions, and preparation to launch two research projects studying the effectiveness and application rate of struvite. This year’s Nutrient Loss Reduction Stewardship Information Exchange was made possible through granting funding from Compeer Financial and Illinois Farm Bureau®.