Reichardt Duck Farm


Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma, California is the biggest supplier to the huge number of Chinese markets in the SF bay area.  They sell only fresh birds at a rate of 5,000 day.


Reichardt’s annual crop of 2 million ducks generate 200,000 gallons of poop a day. In 2014 the first of 3 manure ponds was almost full and would cost over a hundred thousand dollars to excavate.  John Reichardt had to use 180 gallons of chlorine each week to disinfect the recycled wash water for the coops to prevent avian flu.  And the Water Quality Board was concerned about nitrates so he approached SludgeHammer for help.


With almost 50 million gallons of manure in 5 ponds the farm was too big to put in a SludgeHammer aeration system.  What the farm needed was a source of SludgeHammer bacteria to supercharge their large, extensive pond system. We set up a 1,500 gallon SludgeHammer Bacterial generator on site that used the ducks’ own poop to grow 500 gallons of concentrated bacteria each day to inoculate the system and bring it to life.


The ponds responded with explosive bacterial growth.  The scum layer disappeared and Pond A now was able to get oxygen from the surface so the sludge in the pond was digested.  As the organic load decreased, so also did the need for chlorine.  Usage went from 180 gallons/week to just 30 gallons/week.  The ducks grew faster and the farm saved over $180,000 in annual feed costs.