Maryland's First Woodchip Bioreactor Installed - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland's First Woodchip Bioreactor Installed


RIDGELY, Md.- The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy has installed a Maryland first, a woodchip bioreactor.

The goal of the project is to cut down on nitrate runoff from farms throughout the state.  Drew Koslow is the riverkeeper who took charge of the project.

"They have about the same efficiency, that is nitrate removal efficiency as a treatment wetland.  So that's about forty percent of the nitrates that will be moving through this system, should be removed in our practice over here" said Koslow.

But it's not the woodchips doing the filtering.

"The woodchips provide a home for bacteria.  And that bacteria basically eat the nitrates that are coming through the water coming off of this farm." said Koslow.

The project cost $25,000 to build, mostly in installation costs.  That means the project only costs $5 or less per pound of nitrate removed according to Koslow.  Hey says other projects can cost up to $50 per pound or more.

Richard Edwards, one of the owners of Oakland View Farms says the project was worth the expense.

"don't think it can be anything but a big success.  I think it has all the features that we should use in taking care of our land." said Edwards,

Koslow says the system was invented in Iowa and has been met with success throughout the Midwest.  He hopes the same success can translate to Delmarva's farms.


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