Gold Bar Centre of Excellence
Over the past decade the city of Edmonton has invested heavily in upgrading the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant to the east of the city in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Built in 1956, the p...
Over the past decade the city of Edmonton has invested heavily in upgrading the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant to the east of the city in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Built in 1956, the plant most recently has been retrofitted with cutting-edge biological nutrient removal (BNR) secondary treatment and ultraviolet light disinfection technologies. It serves approximately 650,000 people and has a capacity of 320 ML/d.
Once it was retrofitted with the advanced technologies, school groups continually applied to tour the plant, researchers wanted to use it to explore new processes, and manufacturers wanted to use it for demonstrating technologies. Many of these research projects, however, had to be restricted due to the high set-up costs and concern that the tests might disrupt the processes of the plant.
However, the new Centre of Excellence completed in 2004 on the site of the demolished old administration building answers these educational and research needs. The centre includes a viewing platform overlooking the existing plant, a 100-seat auditorium and computerized classrooms.
It also has a large pilot laboratory that provides a controlled and safe environment for testing procedures without risk to the effluent flowing from the plant into the North Saskatchewan River. The laboratory has a permanent dual train BNR pilot plant which occupies about 30 per cent of the space. The rest of the laboratory is available for mobile pilot plants. Feedstock from the live plant services the laboratory with degritted raw sewage, primary effluent, fermentate, and final effluent.
Procedures and technologies that can be researched and refined at the BNR pilot plant are in the following areas: membrane bioreactors, membrane filtration, submerged attached growth, integrated attached growth fermentation and primary treatment, enhanced biomass flocculation, comparison of BNR configurations, impact of volatile fatty acid on nutrient removal, and future technologies such as Sharon, Canon and Annamox.
The architecture of the $4-million centre is inspired by the distinctive form of sludge digesters. The building incorporates some re-used and recycled materials, such as cabinetry and a fume head from a transfer station in West Edmonton. The building is heated using biogas generated by the plant’s sludge digestion system.
Owner: City of Edmonton
Prime consultant/architect/engineering: Stantec Consulting (Dan Chernishenko, P.Eng, Seven Cho, P.Eng, Marshall Opyr, P.Eng, Werner Kiefer, P.Eng, Simon Chan, P.Eng)
Environmental approvals: Spencer Environmental