Volume 5 January, 2021

PRC Update
Spotlight on our people
New collaborator: Chris Roelands
The Thames River PRC worked with Chris Roelands, owner of Honeyland Ag Services, to have P extracted from some of the materials we used in our Woodstock and Chippewa First Nation demonstration sites.

Chris used a sodium hydroxide solution that had a pH of 11, to saturate the material (P04 Sponge and Smart Sponge), stirred it and let it sit for an hour. After doing this five times (industry standard is 3x), he found that 75% to 80% of the phosphorus was extracted in the first rinse.

The material could then be re-used to collect more phosphorus from runoff. See the results of the Chippewa First Nation pilot below.

Thanks, Chris, for your ground-breaking work!
Waterloo Biofilter results
Chris Jowett, Head of Technology and Government Relations at Waterloo Biofilter presented the results of the demonstration project he's been working on near Chatham Ontario to the Thames River PRC Steering Committee on November 26, 2020.

The EC-P technology that was used is effective, works year-round, is a low-energy user and there's even a potential to recover the phosphorus for commercial fertilizer use.

The site was decommissioned in December, and the results are very encouraging - especially for municipalities looking to extract P from their waterways.

More details are here.
Chippewa First Nation demo project results
Ed Weinberg, President of ESSRE Consulting Inc., took the Thames River PRC steering committee through the results of his demonstration project on the Chippewa First Nation.

The Nano-enhanced Phosphorus Adsorptive Material (Ne-PAM) that he used works, is reusable and cost-effective for point and non-point sources of phosphorus in agricultural and urban settings.

Check out the full presentation here.
International Joint Commission receives reaction to report
In the fall, a report was submitted by the Great Lakes Water Quality Board to the IJC summarizing the reaction of the agricultural community and the public to recommendations put forward around manure management in the Great Lakes.

Overall, there was agreement in four areas: assessing and co-ordinating regulatory oversight using Ontario as a model, strengthening manure management rules and policies, funding to support agriculture and understanding the international and indigenous context.

Mark Wales, who is on the Board, will be doing a presentation during our webinar on January 29th, noted below.

More details about the report are here.
New tool coming soon for farmers
A new online application is being developed to help farmers choose the right mix of Best Management Practices for their farms. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario have teamed up and received funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership for the project, which is aimed at providing sound advice to farmers so they can reduce nutrient loss, maintain soil health, better manage during the growing season and handle water and drainage issues. There's advice on advanced soil health regeneration practices here.

The application is currently in beta testing and will be made widely available later in 2021.

Upcoming events (check websites for event status)

  • Webinar - Update on Thames River PRC research and special guests. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST January 29, 2021. Agenda and registration are here.

  • Water Canada has a four-part webinar series about the Keys to a Blue Economy starting on January 20, 2021. Details are here

New on the web

  • Check out Us in the News for coverage from all over southwestern Ontario.

  • See our Idea Pool page for updates on what's going on in the world of water and phosphorus.
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