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Dane County Partnering With Company To Convert Manure Into Drinkable Water

Officials Say Water Could Be Discharged Into Pheasant Branch Creek With DNR Approval

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Dane County is hoping to turn manure into drinkable water with the help of a Beloit company called Aqua Innovations.

The effort is the latest upgrade to a manure digester in Middleton that’s already providing power as methane is turned into electricity.

No one will actually be drinking the water, but company officials said they could and it will be clean enough to be discharged into Pheasant Branch Creek with approval from the state Department of Natural Resources.

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Tom Hrinowich, with Aqua Innovations, said their filter process is mechanical and no chemicals are used.

“Transforming liquids into dischargeable water is nothing short of miraculous,” he said.

The new filtering system will take nearly all phosphorus out of manure going through the digester.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said that currently, 60 percent of the phosphorus is extracted.

“This is truly a game-changer in our efforts to clean up our lakes,” he said.

Three farms contribute manure to the Middleton digester, which is owned by Gundersen Health System.

The new manure treatment system could begin construction in early 2016. County officials still need to approve the deal with Aqua Innovations. The estimated cost is $1.3 million