Minister’s visit investigates project’s environmental solutions

A collaborative project between Coleg Sir Gâr and Power & Water has drawn interest from Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.

The minister recently visited project staff at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Gelli Aur campus, where they’re working to reduce the environmental impact of farm waste.

With new agricultural regulations soon to be implemented in Wales, the minister was keen to learn about developments within Prosiectslyri Project, a ground-breaking initiative to address slurry management.

The project, funded by Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, has developed a specialist dewatering and purification system in response to the increasing volumes of slurry and deteriorating water quality in rivers.

This specialist partnership between Coleg Sir Gâr and Swansea-based company Power & Water brings together agricultural and scientific expertise resulting in a slurry management solution using Soneco® which is a method of sono-electrochemistry which reduces water content of nutrients by 80% and increases nutrient concentration allowing the by-product to be recycled as fertiliser.

Prosiectslyri Project has made significant developments and is achieving its project goals but there is room for further investigation. 

Project staff are interested in exploring solutions to destroy pathogenic bacteria to reduce disease in cattle from pasture spread. They are also keen to investigate reducing capital expenditure by introducing constructed wetlands as well as looking at better destruction of weed seed in the current separation process through composting and using heat treatment and bio-digesters.

As a result of the project, Power & Water are developing farm-based treatment units based on herd size.

John Owen, project manager said: “We were thrilled to welcome the minister as we feel we’re developing a tangible environmental solution for farms of all sizes.

“Our long-term vision would be for us to create a centre for best environmental practice here at Gelli Aur.”

Gareth Morgan, Power & Water CEO added: “Power & Water are overwhelmed with the performance of this collaborative project which has massive environmental benefits for Wales and the rest of the World.

“The outputs would not have been achieved without this partnership and the support of suppliers and stakeholders.”

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said:  "I was pleased to visit Gelli Aur to hear more about the slurry project which aims to tackle the very real issue of agricultural pollution head on. 
 
“I have proposed regulations to be introduced across the whole of Wales in January to help tackle the issue. 
 
“The project complements the aims of the proposed regulations and it has the potential to contribute significantly to the protection of water quality whilst helping the industry to address the challenges it faces in reducing pollution."

There will be an opportunity to view progress and developments at an open day on September 30

<https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/how-embrace-new-environmental-expectations>