City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management Announces
Completion of the Ostara Pearl® Nutrient Recovery System
New facility at the R.M. Clayton Water Reclamation Center recovers phosphorus from recycled water
for reuse as a sustainable fertilizer and creates new revenue for the City
Atlanta – (March 6, 2020) City of Atlanta Chief Operating Officer Joshua L. Williams joined the Department of Watershed Management (DWM), Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., (Ostara) and District 9 Councilman Dustin Hillis today to announce the official opening of a state-of-the-art Nutrient Recovery Facility, at the R.M. Clayton Water Reclamation Center (WRC). The City’s Ostara Pearl® Nutrient Recovery System is a groundbreaking process for extracting nutrients from wastewater and converting them into a highly pure continuous release fertilizer, sold as Crystal Green® for use in various land applications.
“We are pleased to announce the full operation of the Ostara Pearl® Nutrient Recovery Facility at the R.M. Clayton Water Reclamation Center, a system that allows us to scale back on the amount of chemicals needed to reclaim our water and create additional revenue for the City,” said COO Williams. “These improvements at R.M. Clayton are one more example of how the City of Atlanta is building a world-class infrastructure, reducing costs to taxpayers and enhancing services to the communities we serve.”
“The Ostara Pearl® Nutrient Recovery facility will recover phosphorus that can be repurposed from reclaimed water, help protect local waterways from nutrient pollution, and create new revenue by producing an environmentally sustainable fertilizer,” said Kishia L. Powell, Commissioner, City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management. “This new system is a cutting-edge approach to achieving core strategic priorities that will enhance operational efficiency, increase fiscal responsibility and improve customer service.”
R.M. Clayton WRC is required to meet regulatory limits on nutrient discharges to help prevent excess nutrients, including phosphorus and nitrogen, from entering waterways. Phosphorus, which can potentially cause nutrient overloading in waterways, contributes to toxic algae blooms harmful to aquatic life. Additionally, within the water treatment facilities, these nutrients can also build-up — blocking pipes, pumps and valves—causing costly operational and maintenance issues.
“City of Atlanta residents will benefit greatly from the innovative technology that is bringing circular solutions to local communities,” said Dan Parmar, President and CEO of Ostara. “Together, we’re working to recover phosphorus and clean the water to grow more food and transform recovered nutrients into high-efficiency fertilizers that will help boost the City’s resiliency and food systems from source to field. We’re very proud of our work with the City of Atlanta.”
The Ostara Pearl® Nutrient Recovery System was launched in 2011 as a pilot program at the R.M. Clayton WRC to:
- help meet existing regulatory requirements that limit allowable nutrient discharges — phosphorus and nitrogen — entering local waterways.
- achieve annual cost savings in chemicals, solid waste disposal, maintenance, and power use.
remove 150 tons of phosphorus and 70 tons of nitrogen per year from recycled water for reuse as pure, granular and environmentally sustainable fertilizer sold by Ostara under the Crystal Green brand portfolio.
- generate a revenue stream for the City through Ostara’s purchase of the fertilizer.
The City’s investment for this design-build project was $11.9 million. Ostara will operate the nutrient recovery facility for a base term of 10 years. The Ostara Nutrient Recovery System will result in an immediate payback of $2,500 per day net savings to the City under a 12-year lease term.
The City’s payments will be supported by operational savings and new revenue generated from the production of the fertilizer. This financing model increases access to nutrient recovery solutions by providing utilities with a means of completing capital projects that offer operational savings and don’t require an allocation of capital funds. This project highlights Watershed Management’s commitment to triple-bottom line stewardship to the community, the environment, and the economy, as we continue to build a more resilient future for the City of Atlanta.