Water is essential for life and important for many types of agricultural processing. In some cases, the most available source of water could be water that’s already been used.
A joint effort by AURI and Metropolitan Council Environmental Services has resulted in reports examining the potential for using treated wastewater in nonpotable ag processing applications. Instead of using fresh water, some applications such as heating or cooling can be accomplished using reclaimed wastewater saving resources of the aquatic and financial kind.
While there are examples from other states where reclaimed wastewater is being utilized, water treatment facilities and ag processors have made no such connection in Minnesota. Yet.
This spring, AURI brought together members of the state’s ag processing industry to consider the possibility of treated wastewater utilization, identify technical needs and to try to make connections between major water users and those discharging treated water. Reusing water could save ag processors money the 2009 report says, provided the end user has relative proximity to the supply.
Minnesota’s approximately 600 municipal water treatment plants yield about 425 million gallons of treated wastewater a day, which nearly matches the daily water use of Minnesota industries.