Solar Aquatic Systems Wastewater Treatment

By: Brazeau County

Brazeau County Council actively seeks innovative ways of treating wastewater in an environmentally friendly process. The goal of the Solar Aquatic Systems (SAS) Wastewater Treatment project was to treat wastewater to a high quality while keeping the facility footprint small and using green technology. The facility is 2000 square feet and is designed to treat 88m3 of raw wastewater per day. This uses the principles of agricultural practices to consume pollutants, as well as nutrients, that are found in wastewater and may also prevent microplastics from entering our waterways. Some environmentally friendly processes included in this facility are: passive heating from windows, passive solar heat collection panels and no chemical usage in effluent treatment.

This project has numerous environmental benefits, including:

  • The reduction of land required to treat effluent to a high quality.
  • Unlike a lagoon, the SAS boasts a low setback requirement from other developments. (a lagoon is 300 meters, the SAS is 35 meters) This contributes to the reduction of lands required and if desired, this system can be placed within a subdivision.
  • Passive heating using windows to reduce fossil fuel requirements for heating the facility and effluent water.
  • Heat exchangers installed under the catwalk allow for passive heating of the raw effluent using the heat found in the treated effluent.
  • Tropical plants thrive in this facility and assist in treating the raw effluent water as well as creating oxygen.
  • The SAS facility produces a fluid that exceeds regulatory requirements.
  • The high-quality treated wastewater can be discharged with no detrimental side effects to a receiving stream.
  • Treated effluent water, with proper approvals, could be considered for water reuse.