Nutrient recovery system to be built for world’s largest reclamation plant in IL

MWRD selects Black & Veatch and Ostara to design-build a nutrient recovery system at Stickney Water Reclamation Plant in Cicero, IL.

CHICAGO, IL, Sept. 16, 2013 -- Black & Veatch and Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies have been selected by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to design and build a new nutrient recovery system at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant in Cicero, Ill.

The facility will improve water quality in local rivers, lakes and streams. It will also produce commercial fertilizer from recovered resources. Black & Veatch is providing design, procurement and construction services. Ostara will provide the nutrient recovery system, including equipment. Ostara will also provide operations and maintenance assistance to the District once the project is completed.

"The MWRD's mission is to protect the source of our drinking water, improve the quality of area waterways and manage water as a vital resource for the Greater Chicago area," said Patrick D. Thompson, MWRD Commissioner and Chairman of the Monitoring and Research Committee. "The Stickney project achieves these goals and enables us to recover phosphorus and nitrogen from waste streams that can be converted into fertilizer. In addition, the sale of this product will help offset the cost of operating and maintaining the new facility."

Advising the project team is Dr. James L. Barnard, Water Global Practice and Technology Leader and winner of the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize. Known to the water industry as "The Father of Biological Nutrient Removal," Dr. Barnard is credited with developing the nutrient removal process used in many wastewater treatment plants worldwide.

"Phosphorus is a non-renewable resource that is critical to farming and food production. Nothing grows without it but too much of it can negatively impact water quality," said Dr. Barnard. "Biological nutrient removal enables us to address water quality challenges and recover this precious nutrient for beneficial reuse purposes."

"With this new facility, the District is transforming a water challenge into a sustainable solution," said F. Phillip Abrary, Ostara president and CEO. "Removing nutrients from where they shouldn’t be -- in our waterways -- and using them to create a new generation of slow-release fertilizers is the smart thing to do economically and the right thing to do environmentally."

About Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building Critical Human Infrastructure™ in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2012 were US$3.3 billion. Follow us on in social media.

About Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc.

Ostara designs, builds and markets a proprietary nutrient recovery technology that transforms phosphorus and nitrogen recovered from municipal and industrial water treatment facilities into a high-value, eco-friendly fertilizer, sold and marketed as Crystal Green®. Ostara currently operates five nutrient recovery facilities in North America and will launch two additional plants later in 2013, including its first European site in the UK. Crystal Green is the first plant-activated, nutrient technology to offer plant-available, slow-release nutrients sustainably made from a renewable source of phosphorus. Crystal Green offers more consistent, plant-available nutrients than conventional fertilizers, resulting in greater efficiency, lower application rates, and reduced nutrient loss, while lowering the risk of leaching and runoff. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, Ostara is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2011 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, and being named to the Global Cleantech 100 for the past four years. For more information visit and

About the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago ( is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in a 883.5 square mile service area in Cook County, Illinois. The MWRD’s mission is to protect the health and safety of the public in its service area, the quality of the water supply source (Lake Michigan), improve and protect the quality of water in watercourses, protect businesses and homes from flood damages, and manage water as a vital resource. The MWRD is committed to achieving the highest standards of excellence in fulfilling its mission.


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