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The journey to select, design and install a BioCord condominium for bacteria in a far north lagoon

In the cold and snowy terrain of Canada’s far north, traditional wastewater treatment lagoons face a daunting challenge: efficiently removing pollutants like ammonia and BOD from wastewater during the frigid winter months. The Gift Lake Metis Settlement in Northern Alberta is situated 400 km northwest of Edmonton, where temperatures can drop to -30°C. Traditional treatment lagoons suffer from decreased microbial activity in cold weather, leading to reduced effectiveness in removing ammonia and BOD from wastewater. To address this issue, Bishop BioCord™ Reactors offer optimal conditions for microbial growth and metabolism. The rope-type media and fine bubble aeration create a stable biofilm that insulates microorganisms, reducing the washout of bacteria and allowing for continuous treatment in winter conditions.

In the case study presented at the 2023 WEAO Technical Symposium, BioCord™ was evaluated against mechanical options, and was selected as the ideal upgrade option for Gift Lake Metis Settlement’s wastewater treatment lagoon. The BioCord™ system can be installed directly into the lagoon, eliminating the need for infrastructure additions and other costly components needed for post-lagoon systems like tanks, pipes, pumps, and blowers. The full-scale demonstration project, funded substantially by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Green Municipal Fund, involves the installation of nine reactors and baffle curtains directly into Cell 3 near the outlet, creating a compact, in situ treatment cell that will help the lagoons comply with WSER discharge limits consistently.

BioCord™ has demonstrated its ability to achieve and maintain cold-weather ammonia removal. BioCord™ Reactors can be shipped to site fully assembled and installed in just a few days, while the lagoon remains in operation.

The BioCord™ system offers several advantages, including low capital and operating costs, a semi-passive process that requires minimal operator oversight, and a modular design that allows for simple and affordable expansion. With the implementation of the BioCord™ technology, the Gift Lake Metis Settlement can upgrade their wastewater treatment system, improve ammonia and BOD removal in cold weather conditions, and keep costs affordable for the community. Bishop Water is grateful for the opportunity to present a case study of this technology during the 2023 WEAO Technical Symposium.

BioCord™ Reactors - simple, low-energy, lagoon nutrient removal

BioCord Reactors provide a simple, low-energy, fixed-film biological treatment process to dramatically increase the performance of wastewater lagoons and conventional activated sludge systems for ammonia, BOD and TSS removal.

BioCord Reactors can be installed directly into an existing treatment system, which helps to dramatically reduce capital costs by avoiding expansion to the plant footprint or adding side-stream process tanks.

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