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Dryden Wastewater Treatment Plant

Designing a wastewater treatment plant that neither looks nor smells like one

Dryden, Ontario

Cities don’t usually put their wastewater treatment plants on display. Dryden is hoping to change that. They have completely replaced the old way of treating sewage and what took its place is truly changing the landscape and the way communities treat sewage.

The new plant was deliberately situated next to the river, an unusual choice for a sewage treatment plant. The location and position of the building provides spectacular views of the river and surrounding green areas. The exterior was designed to look unique and architecturally interesting, another unusual choice for a wastewater treatment plant. Odour has been eliminated by putting the tanks in a building, rather than in open air – the usual practice. Odour has been further reduced by the use of a bio-filter. These elements create a beautiful scene for pedestrians and residents who now proudly show off their newest jewel in the city.

Inside, the floors are heated in occupied areas. Two large primary treatment tanks were placed underneath the floors and heat has been captured to warm it. This is heating from the ground up. The result is that there is less need for conventional forced air heating, saving the city heating costs. Windows have been designed to maximize daylight giving employees the most natural light, as well as reducing electricity use. Light fixtures have been outfitted with specialized sensors to gauge how much light to give off. Recycled water is used for a variety of processes. All of these design features, and many others, were incorporated to ultimately save natural resources and significantly reduce operating costs.

Supervisory control and data acquisition technology connects the city’s wastewater plant with the water treatment plant, which is located across the city. Both plants can now communicate with each other. Operators can control the plants remotely and know the status of each plant at any time. If there is an emergency, the operator is notified immediately. Any treatment process issues can be assessed, evaluated, and potentially rectified in a matter of minutes, regardless of geography.

The City of Dryden needed a new treatment plant to accommodate its growing population and handle the increasing volume of wastewater. What they got was an environmentally sustainable facility that meets these needs, provides residents with spectacular scenes, and reduces costs for city administrators.

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