Lacombe approves interim wastewater treatment strategy

 Above: Lacombe's wastewater treatment lagoons will soon be covered for better operational efficiency.

Lacombe, Alberta (June 14, 2016) – Council has approved the current and future effluent release plans for the City of Lacombe’s Wastewater Lagoon treatment facility, to be presented to Environment Canada, and approved a recommendation to install lagoon covers to reduce ammonia levels in the wastewater effluent by approving Stantec’s proposal to design, tender and provide construction management of the lagoon covers.

“The City of Lacombe has been performing minor upgrades to our wastewater system since 2007 in anticipation of the North Red Deer Regional Wastewater line; however, due to the delays in Provincial funding for that pipeline, and changes to the Federal regulations, we currently do not meet the lagoon effluent discharge levels required by Environment Canada,” said Mayor Steve Christie. “While I’m pleased that the regional wastewater line is proceeding, the timing of the construction leaves us in a position where we have to take action in the interim to correct this serious issue.”

“We are proceeding with the recommended option of an aeration lagoon cover system, based on viability, cost and practicality, knowing that the regional wastewater system has obtained financial support from the Alberta Government for construction beginning in 2017,” said Operations and Planning Director Matthew Goudy. “This option helps mitigate the cost of a “throw-away” expenditure that will be decommissioned as soon as the regional system is in service.”

The aeration lagoon cell cover system uses insulated covers to maintain a consistent water temperature for the nitrification process. Nitrification is the process by which ammonium or ammonia is oxidized into nitrite, and further to nitrate, by bacteria present in the wastewater.

The covers are made of semi-rigid flexible foam sheets enveloped in a black geomembrane fabric (40-mil HDPE) that can be welded and fastened together in a patchwork to cover a lagoon cell. The covers are held in place by posts and linear sandbags around the perimeter, and would give complete coverage of lagoon cells 3, 4 and 8, and 17 percent coverage of cell 9. The cost is estimated at $1.2 Million.

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