Finding creative ways to increase capacity without expanding the site
The City of London is perpetually growing. So it came as no surprise that the wastewater treatment plant would eventually be too small to service its growing needs. The City needed a creative solution that worked within their existing site yet significantly increased the capabilities of the plant. Sensitive environmental and aesthetic concerns required any expansion to minimize the visual impact from Oxford Road, maintain the recreational value of the Thames River, minimize the impact on nearby residences, and be sensitive to the concerns of downstream stakeholders.
After significant research and cost/benefit analyses, we recommended the existing system be retrofitted to a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) process, which requires a much smaller footprint than other options and generates higher-quality effluent. This conversion not only tripled the capacity of the plant – making it the largest MBR municipal pollution control plant in Canada – but improved the quality of the filtering system by two entire grades without altering operating costs. It also provided the room for growth that the City of London continues to require.
The change to a compact MBR technology allowed the plant to remain within the existing fence line, protects the water quality of the Thames River, and accommodates an ultimate build-out to 50,000 m³/d capacity. With less use of adjacent land, there are also fewer impacts on riverine habitat and a future walking trail.
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