Wastewater Tracking for Wisconsin DNR Reporting
Wisconsin cheese manufacturers generate wastewater as a byproduct of the cheese making process.
This wastewater is rich in nutrients and makes a good fertilizer for local farmers. Manufacturers
that discharge wastewater to the environment are required to report the levels of nitrates and
chlorides in the wastewater to the Department of Natural Resources(DNR).
Companies face fines if they exceed the limits established by the Wisconsin DNR, and the task of
calculating chemical output totals is tedious and time-consuming.
The farmers need to know how much of each chemical is being spread on their fields so they know
if they need to supplement field fertilization, and the Wisconsin DNR needs to know because there
are defined limits per acre that need to be followed.
Solution:The trucking company that hauls the wastewater and applies it to the fields
decided to take a lead role by coordinating the tracking process for the cheese companies they haul for.
Since they are directly involved with both the manufacturer and the farmer it made sense for them to add
this as a service for their customers.
StrategyBytes, LLC created a software program, aptly named Wastewater Tracker, that allowed the hauling
company to track their customers, organize the farmers and fields that they use to spread the wastewater,
and track which loads where spread on which fields. Wastewater Tracker automatically calculates chlorides,
nitrates, phosphorus, and potassium totals applied on farm fields throughout the year, and then transcribes
the data into the DNR report format. Our client was able to track total chemical usage applied by field,
and could alert the customer when their output was approaching the DNR limits.
Results: The wastewater tracking software saves the manufacturer a lot of time
and effort because the hauler can provide them with the DNR report directly. It also provides the farmer with
accurate fertilizer information so they can better manage the fertilizer needs of each of their fields, helping
prevent over fertilization and run off. The software guarantees that the total chemical application to a field
is accurate, and it also warns when a limit on a field is getting close, so it helps prevent over application,
which results in fines from the DNR.