Sludge Treatment Wetland in Tar Heel, NC
Jordan Phasey, Founder of Phinite, Inc. has created the first full scale Sludge Treatment Wetland in Tar Heel, NC and it could be the answer hog farmers are looking for when dealing with disposal issues of their hog waste. Becky Spearman with the Bladen County Department of Soil and Water Conservation District linked Phasey with Bladen County Hog Farmer, Michael Inman in Tar Heel, NC.
R & M Farms owned by Inman has been in operation since 1998. Excited about the possibility of the new permanent solution to sludge management, Inman and Phasey pose for a photo while holding a sign stating, “This farm is committed to Sustainable Agriculture.”
Exactly what is all the hype about? According to Dean Morris, Director of Bladen County Soil & Water District sludge removal on hog farms is a necessary evil, you have to take care of it and farmers are running out of places to apply the sludge. Phasey’s company, Phinite proposes a solution to the abundance of sludge farmers are facing and the phosphorus shortage needed to grow food.
The sludge from the hog farm lagoons is very concentrated; it’s made up of Zinc, Copper and Phosphorus. If you over apply the sludge from the lagoons on land you could ruin the land for farming use forever according to Morris.
Kenneth Inman, from R & M Farms agreed with the fact there is a concern of what to do with the hog waste. He said, “There isn’t enough land in the world for all the sludge.”
R & M Farms has the very first patented wetland system Phinite, Inc. offers for hog waste management. Owner of the farm, Michael Inman said, “It is our first application. It is going to take time, but it is good from an environmental stand point to use organic materials in farming.”
Phasey introduced his waste treatment idea saying, “The Sludge Treatment Wetland works completely naturally. There are no chemicals and it’s a new sustainable option for dealing with sludge and hog farm waste.”
Phasey explained, “The constructed wetlands here are basically like a really big sand filter. We have a filter and then we put the sludge on the there and the filter, filters out water from the sludge. The solid material stays on top and through that material we plant cattails. The cattails grow their roots out through the sludge and drys the material out naturally.”
Relative to Geobags being used for hog waste management at the moment, Phasey says the wetlands treatment will make the material two to three times dryer, which will make the material less expensive and easier to transport. Phasey says his company also offers to take the lighter, dryer material created from the wetlands away for free to make organic fertilizer out of it.
“Farmers won’t have to worry anymore about where they are going to spread their stuff out, we will handle that now completely,” Phasey said.
The new Sludge Treatment Wetland in Tar Heel is the first full scale creation of Phasey’s method. It was built with the help of Singletary’s Landscaping and Tree Service. The process of building the wetland took about two weeks and is fairly inexpensive according to Phasey.
The wetlands process does not replace anaerobic lagoons, but is a method of removing and managing the sludge that accumulates in the bottom of the lagoon according to Morris with the Department of Soil and Water Conservation District.
Michael Inman and Jordan Phasey are readily awaiting the Field Day organized by Bladen County Live Stock Association on September 27th at R & M Farms in Tar Heel to show case the new technology. Register to attend the field day by visiting Phinite’s website at https://www.phinite-us.com/
Learn more about the process and the wetland at R & M Farms from our YouTube video interview: