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Lake Simcoe pilot to test treatments for pharmaceuticals in wastewater

A plant near the town of Georgina on the south shores of Lake Simcoe in Ontario is piloting a process to treat micropollutants that could enter the lake through wastewater.


A plant near the town of Georgina on the south shores of Lake Simcoe in Ontario is piloting a process to treat micropollutants that could enter the lake through wastewater.

The pilot involves an advanced oxidation process to see whether it might be an effective and economical solution to treat micropollutants from pharmaceutical and personal care products. Calgon Carbon is building the pilot project at the Keswick Water Pollution Control Plant south of Georgina.

The University of Toronto’s Civil Engineering Department (Professor Ron Hofmann), the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the Region of York are all taking part in the initiative. According to a spokesperson, the goal of the pilot is to see what might be done to deal with the problem of micropollutants if it becomes necessary in the future.

The Ontario government is sponsoring the pilot as part of its “Showcasing Water Innovation” program (applications closed last year). The program supports projects that demonstrate innovative and cost effective approaches to improving drinking water, wastewater treatment and stormwater systems in communities.

In a separate initiative, the Keswick plant as a whole is being expanded, with Hatch Mott MacDonald as the prime consultant. The plant will provide tertiary level wastewater treatment and membrane filtration. Its capacity is being expanded by 50% from 12 ML/day to 18 ML/day and the existing outfall into Lake Simcoe is being twinned. The project is scheduled to be completed in summer 2013.