2011 Water – Co-winner 1
Town of Olds, Alberta and Waste Not Ltd.
The Town of Olds’ wastewater treatment plant was almost 30 years old and serving a population of 7,500 when trouble began — the facility was at capacity and posed an environmental hazard to receiving waters. Plans to upgrade and expand the plant were put on hold in 2006 when the Province announced plans for a regional wastewater system. The new system involved piping the town’s wastewater to Red Deer for treatment. This left the town with limited funding for upgrades and rendered its poorly functioning plant non-compliant with provincial regulations on effluent quantity and quality. The town needed a non-infrastructure solution to respond to ministerial requests to meet provincial regulations.
Guided by its sustainable community plan, the town decided to implement an innovative approach in which a bacterial treatment is injected into the wastewater pipes before wastewater reaches the treatment plant. The Canadian agent for the American-designed In-Pipe® treatment system managed the town’s conversion to this pre-treatment model, with no capital spending and no extra energy costs for the town. The initiative resulted in better-than-ever compliance with provincial requirements.
- The town’s wastewater treatment system now complies with Alberta Environment’s requirements.
- The system’s treatment capacity has increased without any new capital costs and with no additional energy consumption.
- The levels of total suspended solids (TSS) in the town’s effluent fell from 17.1 mg/l to 2.4 mg/l in less than six months after the system was installed.
- Lower levels of fats, oils and greases at the plant mean significantly less maintenance for town staff — once or twice a week versus 30-minutes each day.
- Sludge volumes are 25 per cent lower, resulting in lower shipping and processing costs, as well as reduced energy to ship and process the sludge.