Partnership Supports Cutting-Edge Wastewater Research Centre in Vancouver
DELTA – Metro Vancouver is receiving $9 million in funding to build the Annacis Centre of Excellence, in Delta. This investment will allow British Columbia to become a leader in sustainable wastewater management.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, the Honourable Bill Bennett, B.C. Minister of Community and Rural Development, and Metro Vancouver Chair Lois Jackson.
“The Annacis Island Centre for Excellence is a great example of how Canada’s Economic Action Plan is working for Canadians. This facility will have long-term benefits for residents of Metro Vancouver by creating an integrated approach to wastewater systems which will help partners respond quickly to treatment challenges,” said Minister Day.
“By providing the proper infrastructure to allow British Columbians to set the standard for environmental sustainability, we’re building the framework for future success,” said Minister Bill Bennett. “Innovation is the key to capitalizing on an emerging economy based on green technology.”
The proposed centre will be constructed at the existing site of the Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in Delta. The plant currently provides secondary treatment to wastewater for over one million residents. In addition to optimizing treatment operations at the plant, the centre will provide laboratory facilities for research, training and equipment demonstrations, and will allow treatment processes to be piloted on-site. This will give partners from various agencies and organizations the opportunity to develop innovative responses to the challenges of sustainability and integrated resource management.
“This generous support ensures the region can now build the first of a planned system of academies. The first one will look for new ways to recover energy, nutrients and other resources from waste water,” Metro Vancouver Chair Lois Jackson said. “The centre, in collaboration with UBC, will pilot innovative technologies, provide educational programming, and help the region achieve its vision of sustainability.”
“The University of British Columbia is delighted to partner with Metro Vancouver on this exciting project,” said UBC President Prof. Stephen Toope.
UBC Civil Engineering professors Eric Hall and Don Mavinic are already excited about the 3,000-square-metre academy, which will open by March 2011.
“We look at wastewater as a resource,” said Mavinic. “It’s not a problem, it’s a resource. We’ve developed the technology to remove nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, particularly phosphorus, from the wastewater,” he said.
Phosphorus and nitrogen are two major components of fertilizer.
“Phosphorus is mined in two or three locations around the world and it’s running out,” said Hall. “The price is skyrocketing.”
Wastewater is a rich source of phosphorus, and the Annacis Academy will be used to see if the technology that works in the lab can be used on a bigger scale.
Posted January 2010