In 2009, Clean Water Services Durham Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility was the first facility in the United States to recover fertilizer using the Ostara struvite recovery system. Clean Water Services then opened the world's largest municipal Nutrient Recovery Facility at the Rock Creek Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility on May 8, 2012 in Hillsboro. 

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. developed a technology that simplifies the treatment process by directly removing phosphorus and ammonia from wastewater. Traditional methods involve sending water through multiple cycles, which increases operating costs and takes up capacity while also forming struvite that can coat pipes, valves and other equipment. This proprietary technology, called the PEARL™ process, diverts the phosphorus and other nutrients to a reactor that converts them into a premium, slow-release, environmentally-friendly commercial fertilizer called Crystal Green® instead. This product is made from a renewable resource—wastewater—and is the most environmentally responsible source of phosphorus available. 

In addition to the benefits to our wastewater facilities, it takes one seventh the amount of energy to create Crystal Green® as it takes to create an equal amount of conventional fertilizer. Crystal Green® is certified by the Oregon State Department of Agriculture. Its unique slow-release characteristics provide a steady, season-long supply of phosphorus and magnesium that is always available to the plants, when they need it. Learn more about Clean Water Grow® All-Purpose Plant Food, our retail product produced from recycled, local nutrients from our treatment facilities. 


Benefits of Ostara

In addition to phosphorus recovery, the PEARL™ process offers additional benefits to our wastewater treatment facilities:

  • Pollution reduction and reduced greenhouse gas emissions through reduced energy usage
  • Reduced chemical use
  • Potential for revenue generation from the sale of Crystal Green® fertilizer
  • Increased wastewater treatment facility reliability and capacity
  • Reduced operations and maintenance costs
  • Potential generation of carbon credits
  • Learn more about Ostara.

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