The Ontario City of Brantford earned a perfect score at a recent workshop because the effluent from its wastewater treatment system was consistently meeting a very high standard when discharged into the Grand River.
The Grand River Watershed-Wide Wastewater Optimization Program workshop reviews the performance of wastewater treatment facilities on an annual basis and awards points based on defined criteria that can earn gold, silver or bronze recognition.
“I was extremely happy and proud when I heard the news,” said Kyle James, City of Brantford wastewater treatment operator, in a statement. “We all love what we do and care deeply about the plant, its performance and take great pride in the quality of effluent we discharge to the Grand River. This is a great achievement and we will continue to strive to meet the same level of performance now and in the future,” he added.
The perfect score means that the Brantford facility, which serves nearly 100,000 residents and was commissioned in 1960, earned gold recognition.
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The facility employs a stream-based wastewater collection and treatment system that collects wastewater from the east and west sides of the Grand River, according to city documents. The collection system generally drains from the north to the south and from west of the Grand River to the east.
“The existing network also includes siphons which convey flow under the Grand River in four locations,” states Brantford’s 2014 Master Plan.
The treatment plant has nine wastewater pumping stations and gravity trunk sewers within the city’s wastewater collection system. The plant’s treatment works consist of two primary clarifiers equipped with raw sludge pumps, two aeration tanks and two secondary clarifiers. Its 2020 annual operations summary report can be viewed here.
Over the last several years, there has been a steady decline in electricity usage at the WWTP as a result of replacement of old blowers and aeration piping.
A goal of the workshop program is for all treatment facilities that discharge into the Grand River to achieve regulatory compliance and more stringent voluntary effluent targets for phosphorus and ammonia to help the Lake Erie ecosystem. Throughout the year, the program provides technical support to facilities in need and conducts workshops to improve operational knowledge.