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digesters turn wastewater solids into methane gas, reducing the waste that goes to landfills.  The 
P.O.W.E.R (Processing Organic Waste for Energy Recovery) system uses the methane gas to drive a 2.1-
megawatt generator that helps power the Center.  

In addition, F. Wayne Hill receives high-strength waste streams, such as fats, oil and grease waste and 
other food processing wastes to add to its digesters. This generates additional methane while 
generating revenue from disposal fees.   

Activity Area 6:  Nutrient Materials Recovery  The Ostara nutrient recovery process at the F. Wayne Hill 
Water Resources Center (WRC) is a clean technology project that converts a waste product, produced 
during the water reclamation process, into an environmentally sound, slow release fertilizer.    

The F. Wayne Hill WRC has one of the most stringent limits on phosphorus and ammonia discharge in 
the United States.  Both of these nutrients can cause overgrowth of algae in lakes and ponds, negatively 
affecting drinking water, wildlife and recreational uses.  

The Ostara nutrient recovery process (known as the Pearl process) is an innovative process that takes 
the phosphorus, removed from wastewater during treatment, and combines it with ammonia and 
magnesium to make ‘struvite,’ which is a fertilizer.  Struvite will not dissolve in water and, therefore, will 
not impact runoff from fertilized land to lakes and streams.  Struvite only dissolves when in contact with 
the root of a plant.  Ostara markets and sells this product as ‘Crystal Green.’  

Using two of Ostara's Pearl 2000 reactors, Gwinnett County's nutrient recovery facility has an annual 
Crystal Green production capacity of up to 1400 tons. The County receives revenue for every ton of 
fertilizer it produces. In addition, the nutrient recovery facility creates annual cost savings in chemicals, 
solid waste disposal, maintenance and power.  This benefits, not only the environment, but Gwinnett 
County ratepayers as well.  

  

ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE  

 

Proactive leadership that engages in both internal organizational and broader external 
community priorities  

 

Establishes a participatory, collaborative organization dedicated to continual learning, 
improvement, and innovation   

 

Workforce and leadership development program in place to assure recruitment, retention, and 
competency of utility staff relative to a Utility of the Future business model. Development 
program includes a leadership and management skills training program that provides both 
formal and informal leadership opportunities for employees  

 

Employee “in-reach” program established to share work experiences and ensure greater 
understanding of the utility’s key strategy relative to the Utility of the Future business model 

 

Innovation initiatives adopted that encourage risk-taking, and that are adequately funded and 
staffed   

Employee Skills Development Program:  A partnership between employees and DWR designed to 
increase employee and organizational knowledge, skills and abilities.  

Active co-op and internship program