Starkville plans to reuse wastewater as fertilizer

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Once wastewater leaves a person’s house, they probably never think of it again, but now Starkville engineers have plans to reuse the water. Reused wastewater may sound odd, but with nowhere to store the water, Starkville Utilities had to find somewhere to put it.

“We found that our lagoon is at capacity and we had to find an alternative and this is what we decided to do and upgrade our system to where we can remove it safely and environmentally friendly,” said chief wastewater operator Thomas Ware.

Ware said the wastewater won’t be a liquid after it goes through their new machine.

“We’re putting it through the thickener, running it through screw presses, adding a polymer which makes it fluctuate, and removing the water from it. It will come in at like 1% solid and it will come out of these screw presses at 20%,” said Ware.

After the process waste will be 75% solid. Starkville Utilities is partnering with Mississippi State University for the next steps.

“I take the by-product of it and make it into something a “Class A” fertilizer you can use it for produce,” said waste operator Kody Dupre.

With the lagoon being full the staff had to learn how to operate their new machine quickly.

“We’ve been training on it now for about 2 months getting it set up, getting it dialed in, getting the right polymer,” said Ware.

Starkville is the first city in Mississippi reusing wastewater through the screw pressers and Mayor Lynn Spruill was enthused about that.

“Oh I love us being a leader are you kidding I’ve always loved that you know the things that we’ve done that have been cutting edge whether in technology and cutting edge in concept I think it’s really important. Starkville utilities looking at being progressive and how we’re handling the things that are our future and wastewater plan is important it’s one of the things cities do,” said Spruill.

Starkville Utilities plans to have fertilizer ready for Mississippi State within the next month.

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