Town of Ponoka tests a new waste water filtration system

The project is set for six months and is paid for with a provincial grant

Submitted

The Town of Ponoka is hosting a six-month pilot project at its Waste Water Treatment Facility to test and evaluate the potential benefits of new waste water filtration technology.

The new technology is owned and developed by an Edmonton-based company, Swirltex, which recently invited the town to participate in the pilot project.

Potential Benefits

“The benefits we’re expecting to see with this new technology include an even higher quality of treated waste water than we see with our current lagoon system, as well as an accelerated waste water treatment process that could expand the capacity of our lagoon system by allowing us to process much higher volumes of effluent year round,” said Kwolick.

Peter Christou, president of Swirltex, explained the reason for the accelerated treatment process and higher quality of treated waste water is largely due to the micro air bubbles produced by the technology.

“The micro bubbles increase the amount of dissolved oxygen in the effluent, accelerating the bacterial process that removes ammonia from the waste water,” said Christou.

The higher quality waste water also opens the possibility of selling treated waste water for industrial or agricultural use.

Laboratory Testing Ensures Safe Waste Water Quality

The town will continue to conduct scheduled bi-annual discharges of its treated waste water during the six month trial.

Once the pilot project is completed, the town will analyze the trial results and determine whether the benefits generated by the technology make it worthwhile to implement at the sewage lagoon on a more permanent basis, or if the town should continue exploring other technologies and options.

Kwolick noted that one consideration may be that rather than requiring municipalities to invest capital in purchasing a stand-alone system, Swirltex would provide its waste water treatment technology on a fee-for-service basis.

“We are curious to see how much effluent the Swirltex technology is able to treat during the winter months when bacterial activity in the town sewage lagoon typically slows to almost a halt as the lagoon ponds ice up. If they are able to significantly increase the volume of waste water we can treat through the winter, that could greatly expand the capacity of our existing lagoon system,” said Kwolick.

Other municipalities are expected to visit the Ponoka Waste Water Treatment Facility to view the pilot project during the coming months. NorQuest College is developing a Lagoon Specialist Course for lagoon operators that includes training on the use of new technologies such as the Swirltex system.

The training course, which is expected to begin this spring, will bring NorQuest students to Ponoka to visit the pilot project site. Swirltex has previously conducted smaller scale testing of its technology, but the Ponoka pilot project will be the largest trial to date, with plans to process in excess of 1,500 to 2,000 cubic metres of effluent daily.

Project Funded by Provincial Grant

The project is being funded through a provincial grant from the Alberta Innovates Water Innovation Program, which supports initiatives that promote improved water productivity, healthy aquatic ecosystems and safe, secure drinking water.

“We anticipate the Swirltex technology could help improve the performance of traditional waste water lagoons, resulting in increased capacity and a higher quality of treated waste water being discharged into the environment,” said Vicki Lightbown, Director of the Alberta Innovates Water Innovation Program.

Just Posted

Ponoka Victim Services brings support dog to court hearing

One support dog was in Ponoka to provide support for a young victim attending court

Life of Darrell Paulovich honoured at Ponoka memorial

One of rodeo’s biggest fans was remembered during a memorial celebrating his life

PHOTOS: Volunteers add lights to Ponoka’s Centennial Park

Centennial Park in Ponoka will have a festive appearance once again thanks to volunteer supports

PHOTO: St. Augustine teams will head to volleyball provincials

Both Ponoka’s girls and boys teams from St. Augustine School are heading to provincials

Rollovers near Ponoka keep crews busy

Wintry road conditions proved a struggle for motorists on the QE2 highway with several incidents

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Shots fired near Chicago hospital, multiple victims: police

Police say at least one possible offender has been shot

Calgary bobsled death inquiry recommends infrared technology, safety audits

A judge found the deaths of 17-year-old twins Evan and Jordan Caldwell were accidental and caused by blunt-force head and neck trauma

Wetaskiwin RCMP searching for owner of missing urn

Police say the small blue urn, with label ‘BAIER’ at the bottom, was handed in recently

Examine ‘monstrous’ allegations of forced sterilization of Indigenous women: NDP

The issue of forced sterilizations will also be raised at the UN Committee Against Torture

Canada Post ‘cooling off’ period won’t resolve postal dispute, says CUPW

CUPW national president Mike Palecek says the union isn’t holding rotating strikes to harm the public

Most Read