Many water plants across the country are facing the problem of lime build up from the water treatment process and no cost-effective way to dispose of the byproduct. An Ohio water treatment plant came up with a creative solution to this problem that involved finding an agricultural partner to re-use the lime as a soil additive.
After researching possible partners, the plant teamed up with a local farmers’ co-op and together they implemented a plan to dredge lime from the water treatment plant’s quarry and sell it to area farmers at market price.
The co-op invested about $1 million in infrastructure next to the quarry, consisting of a VMI MD-615 dredge, tanks, pumps, testing equipment and a scale. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency approved the plan and the co-op began serving local farmers in 2011.
The project will remove approximately 10,000 wet tons of “soft” lime from the quarry per year which the co-op then applies to farmers’ fields. Soft lime is a superior product to the dry lime that local farmers typically use to balance the pH of their fields after harvest.
The smaller particle size or “fineness” of soft lime mixes into the soil more effectively than dry lime and can be applied more evenly. Because soft lime is liquid, the wind doesn’t blow it away. Environmentally, farmland application is better and more cost effective because the byproduct is not dumped into a landfill.
VMI, Inc. is a quality manufacturer of dredges and dredging equipment. VMI began business in 1972 and continues to provide customers worldwide with top of the line equipment.
VMI, Inc. demands excellent workmanship and quality be put into each and every VMI product made.
Dredging Today Staff, March 7, 2012; Image: vmi-dredges