In 2009 some 29 million Canadians were served by sewer systems, with most sewer systems treating the effluent to remove biological matter or even treating it to be able to be used for agricultural purposes. Today, many municipalities across Canada are faced with the prospect of upgrading their wastewater management systems to meet new Federal guidelines with regard to the bio-solids from the sewage. Currently class B is considered sufficient, with bio-solids still containing pathogens, but the new standards demand Class A quality bio-solids, containing no pathogens.
Traditional sewage treatment systems are a form of biological treatment processes like aerobic and anaerobic digestion. These solutions require large amount of land to deal with the sewage. The long treatment times require large holding tanks, which often lead to odor issues, requiring buffer zones. These systems need large bodies of water for discharge of effluent and cannot be easily upgraded as population grows. As well, the traditional treatment methods are based on biological processes, and therefore are not geared towards removing pollutants like herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals or metals.
The new guidelines to meet Class A standards for sewage bio-solids therefor mean a huge investment for municipalities. Investments can run into the tens to hundreds of millions dollars using the traditional systems, all this with a focus on minimizing the cost as much as possible. Our APS technology represents a significant paradigm shift as it will be possible to meet class A without the need for huge land areas, but more importantly the possibility to recoup investments through recovering valuable resources from treated effluent.
The focus of EWS is to apply the APS technology to the challenges municipalities are facing in achieving the new Class A standard. Using the APS technology from Emergent Waste Solutions this cannot only be realized, but can provide a revenue stream from the sewage. The first step is taking out the non-biological waste, the second step is separating the solids from the raw discharge. The APS unit receives the bio-solids for further processing. The liquid waste goes to further processing to remove suspended biosolids, once removed the clean water can be discharged and the biosolids go to the APS for processing.
Processing of the sewage produces several high quality by-products: