Over the past few decades, municipal and industrial wastewater treatment has changed enormously. This is due in large part to the evolving regulatory and legislative framework that our government agencies use to protect our environment. In addition, advances in technology allow us to easily detect and track the type of contamination that our plants produce at a fraction of the cost compared to before. But what impact will this have on you, the operators of industrial wastewater treatment plants?
If your wastewater is sent to a municipal water treatment plant through the sanitary system, there was a time when neutralizing the pH of your effluent as well as stabilizing the daily flow of your wastewater were appropriate methods for your municipality’s regulatory framework. So why do municipalities seem to be getting stricter and stricter with discharge limits?
There are two main reasons, the first is the changes that provincial and federal environmental protection agencies are putting in place to protect the environment. With advances in technology, it is now easier to detect and quantify the types of contaminants at the outlet of municipal water treatment plants and their effects on the watersheds downstream of these plants. To limit the negative effects of discharges on our environment, provincial authorities are adjusting their regulations to align with the Canada-wide strategy, which is creating a tightening of discharge limits for municipal water treatment plants and consequently industrial water treatment plants. As an operator of an industrial wastewater treatment plant, you can expect your standards to become more stringent in the coming years. Quebec and Ontario legislative frameworks are set for tightening the limits until at least 2028!
The second reason is the urban densification around our major centres. Water treatment plants have a nominal and maximum treatment capacity in terms of flow rate and maximum quantity of contaminants. Urban densification therefore led to an overload of contaminants from the many households that connect to the sanitary sewer system over the years. Each household added to the sanitary system increases the flow rate and the quantity of contaminants that the plant must treat. In many cases, water treatment plants have not received the necessary investments to increase their nominal treatment capacity and are therefore approaching their maximum treatment capacity. This puts you, as an industrial water treatment plant operator, in the crosshairs of municipalities to reduce the contaminant load going to their water treatment plant.
These pressures to tighten discharge limits creates the need for new treatment techniques and technologies to meet the need of small-scale wastewater producers. Several new technologies are available on the market and Aquasan has the experience and expertise to guide you in your choice of chemistry to complement your new installations. Whether it’s a DAF, a GEM, a clarifier, or a decanter, Aquasan will be able to guide you in optimizing your existing or future chemical treatment, while supporting you in your transition to another type of treatment if necessary.
Close up drain pipe that provides storm water to a wet retention basin. Snow covers the retention basin's shore.