Three years and $48.2 million have been invested in digester and heating upgrades at Saskatoon’s wastewater treatment plant, which have now been completed ahead of schedule and under budget, city staff announced last week.
The new fourth digester tank will reduce methane emissions and allow the city to maintain water processing standards when other key systems, or other digesters, need maintenance. As the last stage in the treatment process, the digesters remove solids that are held in an oxygen-deprived environment to allow bacteria to form and break them down.
“As our city continues to grow, it’s important to maintain our high standards and stewardship in protecting people and property downstream from Saskatoon,” announced Mayor Charlie Clark, in a statement, adding that the upgrades will improve the plant’s capacity and sustainability. “The expansion includes an exciting sustainable energy recovery process that will recycle biogas to be used as fuel in boilers and solid matter as nutrients for local and nearby crops.”
Upgrades to the boilers will also accommodate additional heat required to run all four digesters.
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Now that construction is complete, city officials said that Saskatoon residents will no longer see an open flame at the treatment plant, as the flare has been replaced with two enclosed flares.
The project also included the installation of new mechanical mixing and gas handling systems, new electrical and mechanical connections, a new heat exchanger, new boilers, modifications to pumping and sludge feeds, modification and relocation of utilities, and landscaping.
The federal government contributed $9.5 million to the project, along with a further $9.5 million from the Saskatchewan government.