Since 2001 the swine experimental station of Guernévez has studied biological treatment plants for nutrient recovery and water recycling, suited to the fresh liquid manure coming out of flushing systems. An integrated system with continuous recycling was set up in 2007, associated with a piggery of 30 pregnant sows. It includes a screen, a vermifilter, and macrophyte ponds alternating with constructed wetlands. The screen and the vermifilter had a lower removal efficiency than in previous studies on finishing pigs. A settling tank was then added between the vermifilter and the first lagoon to collect the worm casts. A second vermifilter was added to recover this particulate organic matter. A storage lagoon was added to compensate for evaporative losses and complete pollution abatement, with goldfish as a bioindicator of water quality. The removal efficiency of the whole system was over 90% for COD and nitrogen, over 70% for phosphorus and potassium, and more than 4 logarithmic units for pathogens (E. coli, enterococci, C perfringens). Plant production was about 20 T DM ha−1 y−1. Floating macrophytes (Azolla caroliniana, Eichhornia crassipes, Hydrocotyle vulgaris) were more concentrated in nutrients than helophytes (Phragmites australis, Glyceria aquatica,…). Azolla caroliniana was successfully added to feed finishing pigs.

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