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ClearTech wins Fieldays innovation award

Ravensdown’s ClearTech dairy effluent treatment system which was developed in conjunction with Lincoln University has won a Highly Commended Award at the Fieldays innovation awards.

The system uses a coagulant to bind effluent colloidal particles together in order to settle them out from the water. This clarifying process reduces freshwater use, helps existing effluent storage go further and reduces the environmental and safety risk linked with farm dairy effluent (FDE).

“ClearTech is ideal for those dairy farmers who want to save on effluent pond storage and take back control of their capacity and compliance,” said Product Manager Carl Ahlfeld.

Stripping out the E. coli and other bacteria in farm dairy effluent means cleaner water to wash down the dairy yard or irrigate on to paddocks and less volume of effluent that has to be stored and used safely. The nutrients in the effluent can be re-used back on to paddocks with minimal odour.

“These environmental and safety benefits are important, but commercially the system makes sense,” added Carl. “Reducing compliance risks, saving on pumping, fertiliser or effluent storage costs are the bottom line benefits to those farmers who also want to do the right thing in terms of reducing water use and reducing environmental impact.”

The judges were impressed with the technology and its potential benefits.
“Fieldays is all about showcasing the best of the sector and it’s a great way to get feedback on innovations. We are stoked with the result and all the positive comments from the stream of people stopping by the stand,” concluded Carl.
Professor Keith Cameron and Professor Hong Di of Lincoln University both said they were really pleased with this recognition.

“This is a great example of how researchers and industry can work together to deliver new innovative technologies for the benefit of New Zealand,” said Keith.

“Our field lysimeter studies have shown significant reductions in leaching losses of E coli. and phosphate from ClearTech treated effluent applied to land. Application of ClearTech treated effluent is therefore less likely to harm water quality than untreated effluent.”

The research behind ClearTech has been published in internationally peer-reviewed scientific papers (Cameron and Di: Journal of Soils and Sediments, January 3, 2019: doi.org/10.1007/s11368-018-02227-w).

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