Vreba-Hoff Dairy says it is set to implement the mediated order issued this week concerning the management of manure and storm water at its two Hudson, Mich., farms. The order's primary objective is to upgrade Vreba-Hoff Dairy's manure-treatment facilities and replace treatment equipment that experienced frequent mechanical problems.

The order marks the conclusion of a rigorous three-and-a-half month mediation.

The mediated order covering Vreba-Hoff's farms in Lenawee and HillsdaleCounties directs the company to use proven municipal wastewater treatment technology to safely and efficiently manage cow manure and storm water from their operations in the best interest of public health and the environment. The new technology will replace existing treatment equipment that was unable to keep up with manure production.

"Vreba-Hoff is pleased that all issues have been resolved, and is looking forward to proceeding with exciting new advances in technology," said Tom Menke, a consultant to an environmental management company retained by the dairy.

The centerpiece of the system approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is the EarthMentor Natural Nutrient Reclamation and Treatment System, a six-step, largely non-mechanical process consisting of proven technologies used successfully by municipal wastewater operations.

One of the new system's chief features is its technology for separating solids from liquids. By reducing the organic material of the liquid, the system efficiently treats the wastes while drastically reducing odors. The new technology, along with detailed procedures for land application, will assist the farm in preventing discharges. Once fully operational, the system will give the farms maximum flexibility in determining how and when to land apply manure according to the best agronomic practices.

The farms' existing treatment system will be used temporarily to treat manure until the EarthMentor system is fully functional.

Vreba-Hoff Dairy press release