CRESTVIEW The city's high-tech sewage treatment plant offers a lesson on the circle of life. Treated waste water is used to water hay, which is harvested and fed to cattle. Residents consume dairy products and then contribute to the sewage stream.

CRESTVIEW The city's high-tech sewage treatment plant, which daily can process up to 2.75 million gallons of waste water, offers a lesson on the circle of life.

Treated water from sewage is sprayed on 275 rolling acres of fertile fields off Arena Road in southwest Crestview, growing hay that local farmers mow and feed to their cattle.

Farmers provide a free service to the city by harvesting grasses grown under the nutrient-rich spray, which by law must be cut and removed.

The state licenses Crestview's treatment plant, and CH2M Hill officials regularly check monitor wells throughout the spray field to assure the effluent meets Florida Department of Environmental Protection guidelines.

Before reaching the spray fields, sewer water goes through several treatment steps, beginning with aeration that forces oxygen into the water to stimulate naturally occurring bacteria that clean the water.

The treated water next goes into huge stirring tanks that separate bio-solids from water. The solids are collected and sold for fertilizer, while the water is disinfected with chlorine gas.

After the water has been cleaned, it is piped to the spray fields.

This is just half the story! See the full report on this program, with insight from CH2M Hill project manager Jayne Swift, in the Jan. 8, 2014 Crestview News Bulletin.

Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.