First cheap pollution-free pig farm in Indiana

An Indiana farm is the showcase for a new method of treating pig waste, which leaves no trace of pollution or odour and costs less than current methods both to install and run.

John Candler, an inventor from Tulsa, Oklahoma, has devised what he believes could become an answer to animal waste elimination all over the world, with a cost-effective method of treatment which solves the problems of air and water pollution, odour, disease and animal welfare associated with current methods used. The lagoon and sprayfield systems have, until now, been the only cost-effective ways to treat pig waste, and although alternatives have existed they have proved far too expensive for the vast majority of farmers to use.

The pig’s waste is first sterilised in a small holding tank by injecting it with ozone, immediately breaking down all ammonia and hydrogen sulphide and killing all bacteria. Then solids are separated from the liquid, producing odourless sterilised solids which are immediately available as dry soil nutrient. The sterilised liquid is then recycled as clean flush water back to the pigs’ barns. The Candler Waste Elimination System is in operation at a farm in Clarks Hill, about 30 miles south of Lafayette, which raises 13,600 pigs in 16 barns. Because the process only requires a small holding tank, the entire complex, including the barns and the sterilisation equipment, only uses three acres of land.

“The entire farm emits virtually no odour,” Marty Solomon, a journalist who has written about the system, told edie. “In fact, if you stand directly beside an 850 hog barn, you will experience virtually no odour at all. The surrounding farmers consider the technology a godsend and applaud the owner because they do not suffer the severe consequences that neighbours of many traditional hog farms must endure. I came away as excited as could be since I had been told by almost everyone that there were no cost-effective alternatives to lagoons.”

The initial investment in the equipment is less than that of lagoon/sprayfield technology and the annual operating costs are lower too. Another advantage of Candler’s system is that animals are healthier because they live in clean barns without being forced to breathe ammonia and hydrogen sulphide and without needing to be fed low-grade antibiotics. The cleaner environment also attracts less flies, resulting in a lower disease rate. Solomon says that the pigs also drink more water, absorb more feed and are ready for market one to two weeks earlier, yielding hundreds of thousands of extra dollars each year for the farmer.

Candler has now been asked to investigate designing new pig farms in Australia and Belize.

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