Value from Sewage? A New Technology Cleans Up Waste Water

Category: Water and Waste

1) Problem: Wastewater from sewage treatment plants is often seen as more of a liability than a resource. Furthermore, treated sewage water, which can still contain elevated nutrient levels, is sometimes dumped into rivers and oceans, which hurts water quality and biodiversity.

2) Summary 


Company website 


  •  Ostara, the Vancouver-based company responsible for this new technology, uses it to collect phosphorous and ammonia from municipal sewage treatment plants, and then turns them into fertilizer pellets
  • “Instead of viewing wastewater streams as waste, Ostara sees a renewable resource that can generate cost savings and revenues for the treatment plant while helping them meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations.”
  • Process can save cities money by ensuring that treatment plants operate smoothly and efficiently, and reduces sludge and associated disposal costs
  • Will likely reduce polluted agricultural runoff as the company’s fertilizer pellets are easier for plants to absorb than regular synthetic fertilizers
  • Phosphorous is also in short supply, with the last big reserves located in Morocco, China, and Algeria, and prices have tripled since 2006

3) Stakeholders 

  • Ostara and and investors
  • Sewage treatment plants
  • City governments
  • NGOs
  • Communities affected by agricultural runoff

4) Deployment 

  • Target cities with largest sewage treatment plants
  • Collect data to determine how effectively this technology reduces costs and sludge output
  • Expand deployment to other US cities and other countries

One thought on “Value from Sewage? A New Technology Cleans Up Waste Water

  1. I think this technology has great opportunities in wastewater management with a creative solution to satisfy the need of long term effectiveness of clean water supply, besides PPP to work with municipal government, it can also work with existing wastewater management plants as well.


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