New plant will turn city’s waste water into fertilizer

Sep 30, 2014

Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON – What will be Canada’s largest facility of its kind will recover nutrients from Edmonton’s waste water and turn it into eco-friendly, slow-release fertilizer.

Partners Edmonton-based Epcor Water Services and Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, of Vancouver, announced Tuesday they are building a plant to recover phosphorous from the waste water stream produced by the Clover Bar biosolids settling lagoons at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre.

The plant will be built by Ostara and PCL Construction Management at Clover Bar, where Epcor discharges the bio-solids produced at its Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Sewage from the city flows into the Gold Bar plant. After a first round of treatment at Gold Bar, it is piped to Clover Bar where ponds are used to settle heavier materials. The remaining water is then piped back to Gold Bar where it’s further treated.

When fully operational in 2015, the nutrient-recovery plant at Clover Bar is expected to produce at least 2,032 tonnes of Crystal Green-branded fertilizer annually. It’s used in the specialty agriculture, turf and ornamental markets.

“Implementing Ostara’s nutrient recovery technology will help us reduce the amount of phosphorous that we are discharging to the North Saskatchewan River at the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant,” said project manager Gavin Post, in a news release.

Excess nutrient discharge contributes to the growth of algae and other plants, which reduce oxygen and sunlight and harms other aquatic life.

It will also reduce the need to use chemicals to fight the buildup of struvite, a hard mineral deposit caused by excess nutrients that chokes water-treatment equipment.

The companies say the facility will recover up to 85 per cent of phosphorous — about 245 tonnes of phosphorous a year — and 25 per cent of nitrogen from the Clover Bar biosolids lagoons.

“It provides a proven and affordable means of helping cities become better stewards of their environment through sound management practices,” said Ostara president and CEO Phillip Abrary.

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