Kitchener Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades, Region of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


The effluent water from the plant will be used to provide building heat in the UV disinfection facility

Region of Waterloo's Kitchener Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), located at 368 Mill Park Drive in the City of Kitchener, Ontario, is currently being upgraded. The project will primarily improve the odour management and the water quality in the Grand River.

The upgrades were proposed in the Region of Waterloo's 2007 Wastewater Master Plan, with construction activities commencing in 2010. Upgrades will be completed in 2022.

The first phase (2009-2012) included the design and construction of a new dewatering facility for the Kitchener WWTP. The new facility was designed and contract administered by Tetratech.

The second phase (2009-2013) included the design and construction of a new UV disinfection facility, effluent pumping station and upgradation of plant two, with fine bubble diffusers and a new blower building. The consultants involved in the detailed design and contract administration was the CH2M Hill / Eramosa Engineering team.

The third phase (2010-present) consisted of completing a site-wide facility plan, a Municipal Class Environment Assessment (EA) Schedule B by AECOM Canada.

Following the completion of the Class EA, the Region and its consultants AECOM are working on the detailed design of the next contracts including a new Energy Centre, digestion upgrades, new secondary treatment, new headworks, new outfall and new tertiary treatment to be constructed by 2020.

Future contract phases will include a new administration building, sludge thickening and miscellaneous upgrades that will be completed by 2022.

Funding Ontario's Kitchener WWTP upgrade

The estimated cost for the project is $340m, with funds being sourced from the Regional Development Charges and the Regional Wastewater Reserve Funds. Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FMC) awarded $200,000 in grant funding and $2m in low-interest loan funding through its Green Municipal Fund in October 2011 for the plant two upgrades including the new blower building.

Kitchener Wastewater Treatment Plant history

"The first phase (2009-2012) included the design and construction of a new dewatering facility for the Kitchener WWTP."

The water treatment plant was originally constructed in two phases, respectively in the 1960s and 1970s. It has a designed capacity of about 120 million litres per day (MLD), currently operating at 60% of its designed capacity. The treated effluents from the WWTP are being discharged to the Grand River.

The two separate secondary treatment plants are served by a common headworks facility and primary clarifier facility. The plants incorporate a conventional activated sludge process with chemical phosphorus removal, anaerobic sludge digestion and sodium hypochlorite disinfection.

Both plants apply preliminary treatment, primary clarifiers, biosolids treatment and processing as well as effluent disinfection.

The site comprises of two biosolids storage lagoons which were historically used for seasonal storage of biosolids. The biosolids storage lagoons and their ancillary facilities were constructed in 1989.

Components and construction of the WWTP upgrades

The first phase was completed by early 2012 with a new dewatering facility located approximately three kilometres away from the Kitchener WWTP including two centrifuges, cake hopper and conveyors and biofilter odour control system, effluent water system and centrate force main.

"Waste heat from the air blowers will be used to provide building heat in the blower building during cold seasons."

Phase two upgrades to the aeration system of the two existing plants and construction of a new air blower building are completed as of June 2013. Other completed facilities under the current project include a new ultraviolet (UV) facility and a new effluent pumping station.

The third phase of the project is being implemented under five different contract phases. Contract one involves the decommissioning of the existing biosolids storage lagoons to enable process replacements, and construction of a digested sludge pumping station.

Contract two involves upgrades to the energy centre and the anaerobic digestion facilities. Contract three will involve the construction of new secondary treatment plant and headworks.

Contract four will involve the construction of the tertiary treatment plant with a capacity of about 60 to 80 MLD and new outfall. The final (future) contract will upgrade the sludge thickening facilities and add a new administration building.

A new process control network integrating supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system will also be installed as part of the project.

Plant three will provide nitrification and tertiary treatment for enhanced phosphorus removal. Upgrade works for plant two will provide about 50 to 60 MLD nitrification capacity in a plug flow configuration.

The project will enable conversion of the biosolids into cake form rather than liquid form and reduce the amount of ammonia-nitrogen in the treatment plant effluent by about 75%.

The current project, however, will not increase the treatment capacity of the plant, as the current capacity is adequate to serve the community until 2041.

Energy efficiency improvements at Canada's Kitchener WWTP

Energy efficiency at the treatment plant will be improved by recycling the effluent water for use as process water for the biosolids dewatering facility.

The effluent water from the plant will be used to provide building heat in the UV disinfection facility. Waste heat from the air blowers will be used to provide building heat in the blower building during cold seasons. Effluent water is also delivered via force main to the new dewatering facility for processing the biosolids cake.

Other energy efficiency measures include the installation of large windows, skylights and white roofs for the UV disinfection facility and blower building and dewatering facility, use of specialised mixes of concrete incorporating waste materials and installation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) on all major electrical equipment.

NRI Energy Technology

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