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SAIT unveils $1M water, wastewater learning lab in Alberta

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The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) has unveiled a new $1-million water and wastewater treatment lab with state-of-the-art equipment scaled down for student learning.

Students will start working in the lab during the winter 2022 term under the guidance of trained instructors, gaining firsthand experience with water treatment equipment operation, process timing and troubleshooting.

They will also learn what to look for during the treatment process, instructors said.

“Each unit simulates a different process used in domestic or industrial water treatment,” said Pablo Pina, academic chair of sustainability for the MacPhail School of Energy, one of nine schools within SAIT. “Students will have the opportunity to harness their skills and learning in an applied setting, working with the same equipment or processes they’ll use in the industry,” added Pina.

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In development for three years now, the lab was made possible thanks to an ongoing partnership with Spartan Controls and an anonymous donation to MacPhail in support of environmental sustainability, school officials announced.

According to SAIT, the new lab will empower students with hands-on, industry-ready training in the Water and Wastewater Treatment Operations, Integrated Water Management and Environmental Technology programs.

Instruction on the industrial water treatment train will further benefit students enrolled in Bachelor of Applied Technology Petroleum Engineering, Chemical Engineering Technology and Chemical Laboratory Technology.

“Building an understanding of water use in energy will help drive sustainable innovation and new technologies in water resource management,” said Pina in a statement from SAIT.

SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services Water Research and Innovation area in the Centre for Energy Research in Clean Unconventional Technology Solutions — in collaboration with MacPhail — used funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Applied Research Fund to develop the lab’s unique industrial water and wastewater treatment training.

Founded in 1916, SAIT functions with more than 11,000 industry partners.

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