An innovative project is underway to address the
agricultural industry's impact on the environment by developing a
dewatering and purification system to manage slurry.
Driving the project are Power & Water as the technology specialists and Coleg Sir Gâr’s Gelli Aur agricultural campus.
This Project has received funding through the Welsh Government’s
Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded
by the European Agricultural Fund for rural Development and the Welsh
Government. The project will apply innovative and proven concept
technology to reduce air and water pollution to reduce the overall
volume of slurry by up to 80%. A de-watering and purification system is
used to filter slurry, transforming the water to a suitable quality for
recycling or discharging to a clean watercourse. The system will also
utilise nutrients from the slurry to produce good quality fertiliser.
John Owen, farm manager at Coleg Sir Gâr, said: “With the
intensification of the dairy industry, slurry management is becoming an
increasing issue for farmers and the environment.
“We aim to reduce significantly the risk of air and water pollution
at the same time as maximising the recycling nutrient value. This
development process will considerably reduce storage of slurry on farms
as well as handling costs.
“Efficiently extracting nutrients from manures could save on the cost
of commercial fertilisers and reduce serious environmental impact.
However poor manure management can cause pollutants, including
nutrients, to enter the water cycle through run-off or drainage.”
The project also aims to design, develop and validate economically
viable systems that will be made available commercially and used on
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) states that the number of pollution
incidents caused by dairy and beef farms across Wales has fluctuated
between 85 and 120 for each of the last six years. Wet winters and a
significant downturn in the dairy market have added to the pressure on
the environment and farmers; reducing their capacity to invest in slurry
and silage store management and over 60% of the incidents involving
pollution during the last three years took place within the milk field
of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
- According to the Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in its
‘Agricultural Pollution Issues – and the implications for natural
resource management’ document (Summer 2016), agricultural pollution is
the third most frequent reason for failing to achieve good status in
Wales. It affects some 180 individual waterbodies. The number of
pollution incidents caused by dairy and beef farms across Wales has
fluctuated between 85 and 120 for each of the last six (6) years.
Recent wet winters and a significant downturn in the dairy market have
added to the pressure on the environment and farmers; reducing their
capacity to invest in slurry and silage store management.
- Point of source pollution incidents (such as those caused by
overflowing slurry stores) are concentrated in particularly parts of
- The ongoing agricultural pollution arising from both point and
diffuse sources is having a serious detrimental effect on the Welsh
environment and impacts on the ability to meet WFD targets under the
River Basin Management Programme. This situation could lead to
substantially extending the area currently covered by Nitrate Vulnerable
For further information, contact Zoe Matthews firstname.lastname@example.org