Residents of Sundre, Alberta and surrounding area will soon benefit from a state-of-the-art electrochemical wastewater treatment plant made possible through an innovative partnership between the Town of Sundre, the Government of Alberta, and private sector technology partners.
The Government of Alberta has committed to fund $7.5 million starting in 2022-23 towards a full scale wastewater treatment plant that will use a closed loop system where only treated water is discharged. Resulting waste sludge will be turned into treated pellets that meet Fertilizer Standards which could then be sold as fertilizer or used as land fill.
“Sundre will soon be home to a new generation of cutting-edge wastewater treatment technology,” stated Jason Nixon, Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks. “This technology will set a path for other municipalities to explore innovative solutions to improve wastewater quality outcomes and reduce costs.”
Construction will begin this year and the resulting wastewater treatment plant, expected to be operational in early 2022, will act as a pilot project to prove the capability of this technology to operate successfully in Alberta.
“We are very excited about the future opportunities for this technology in Alberta as it far exceeds the regulations for the purification of wastewater, will reduce effluent effects to the pristine Red Deer River, will keep operational costs low, “fits” seamlessly with our traditional lagoon system, and reduces the capital costs for future upgrades, to all levels of government,” added Sundre Mayor Terry Leslie. “This is a very “good news” story for all of us.”
Many communities in Alberta currently utilize a traditional lagoon to treat their wastewater, and while lagoons are reasonably inexpensive to operate, they take up a significant amount of land, and can take up to 200 days to treat the wastewater. The advanced technology Sundre will deploy is more efficient and is designed specifically to outlast the lifespan of a lagoon. In comparison to a traditional lagoon, this proposed technology has a significantly smaller footprint, and can treat raw sewage in less than 60 minutes.
“The AUMA is optimistic that this collaboration will lead to significant operational cost savings and improved water quality for residents. We also hope it serves as a model for other innovative and collaborative projects across Alberta,” said Barry Morishita, president, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.