Soon, one of the spray fields near Sunnyside Port District's lagoon #4 will be covered in straw.
The straw is not a new crop, but actually the base for a composting material, which will be used to create edible fungi, according to Port officials.
Thanks to an agreement with Superior Straw of the Tri-Cities, the 20-acre spray field is the new site for a composting flat for the company, said M'Liss Bierlink, Sunnyside Port finance officer.
She said Superior Straw provides compost materials for a British Columbia company which raises organically grown mushrooms.
Bierlink said the Port's spray fields have an abundancy of the constituents needed for the composting process. "We think this is a great recycling project and excellent use of our treated industrial wastewater," she said.
The composting process has a 20-day turn-around, Bierlink explained.
"The company won't be stockpiling the materials on the field," she said.
"Superior Straw workers will process the straw and remove it for shipment to Canada," she explained.
Lagoon #4 is located south of Sunnyside near McClain Road in the Port District. Bierlink said the Port is working with the state Department of Transportation to give the field an alternate access.
"We will be accessing the Sunnyside-Mabton Highway to the east of the field, in order to reduce truck traffic on the McClain Road neighborhood," she said.