If a pilot project works out, Penticton could end up saving millions in future capital costs at the Advanced Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Penticton was invited to participate in a joint pilot project involving AECOM, World Water Works and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, that would test and advanced granular sludge system at the plant.
“The implementation of a granular sludge treatment process could eliminate the need for additional clarifiers and more than double our bioreactor capacity,” said director of operations Mitch Moroziuk. “Three to five years down the road, we have to make a decision on our secondary clarifier, and that is going to cost us $3 million to $4 million.”
If the granular sludge proves itself in the pilot project, Moroziuk said, there wouldn’t be a need to build a secondary clarifier to expand the plant capacity.
“That is something that is quite important to us and we have an interest in wanting to investigate this,” he said.
It didn’t take city council long to agree with Moroziuk, unanimously voting, without any discussion, to approve the pilot project.
It’s not the first time advanced tech was installed at the plant. The City of Penticton plant was originally constructed in 1960 and it was upgraded in 1990 to become one of the first biological nutrient removal plants in North America.
“This is a continuation of what has been a longstanding practice at the treatment plant. We have piloted many things at that plant over the past decades,” said Moroziuk.
“It is something that benefits not only us, it benefits our consultants because they are exploring new technology and it benefits the sewage treatment industry in general when we participate in these things.”
If it the project proves out, Penticton would receive a free licence to use the technology, a value of about $38,000. Moroziuk said a full installation of the new technology would cost around $735,000.