The town of Unity will soon be the first municipality in Canada to use a water treatment technology so green sewage water becomes clean enough to drink.
The community has partnered with Soneera Water to build a new water treatment facility using Memfree technology – a process to remove pollutants from water sources. Soneera’s CEO Darrell Behan said the new technology is not only greener, but much more cost effective.
"So if you have a tank that has 2,000 gallons of water you would clean that 2,000 gallons of water, drain the tank, clean the electrodes out, then put another 2,000 gallons of water in. It was too expensive, too slow and impractical,” he said.
Behan said companies traditionally use a form of treatment called coagulation, which requires waste particles to settle. With the new system, what once sank; now floats.
"So, what you see is like a cappuccino. You've got the coffee underneath – except our coffee is beautiful and pure – and then sitting on top is the waste. We have what we call a wave maker, so we create little waves and the waste is then pushed all to a waste tank," he explained.
Behan said the water that is left is drinkable and, with some extra processing, the waste can be turned into fertilizer.
According to Soneera, the new technology is low maintenance and requires very little staff or energy to operate.
Unity was in need of a new lagoon system as its current one is nearing the end of its lifespan, director of economic development Carey Baker said.
"Every time that you deal with a new technology it takes somebody to pioneer it and I guess we have the leadership that has the will to pioneer this new system," Baker said.
The system has not yet been certified by the province’s Water Security Agency. While Unity will pay for the installation, the operating costs of running the plant will be taken care of by Soneera Water until certification.
Installation is expected to begin in the spring, with operations potentially beginning in the late summer.
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