Robust cold-weather performance and lower cost make BioCord™ ideal choice for lagoon upgrade in Northern Alberta


BioCord lagoon upgrade for cold-weather biological treatment

Bishop BioCord™ Reactors have been chosen for a unique demonstration project to improve cold-weather biological treatment and effluent quality of the wastewater lagoons serving the Gift Lake Metis Settlement in Northern Alberta. The full-scale project will validate the ability of BioCord’s simple, low-energy treatment process to enhance the removal of ammonia and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in the lagoons during winter conditions and produce effluent that meets regulatory requirements for spring discharge to a nearby creek.

“As part of our assessment of the sewage treatment facility, we identified that the lagoons were not adequately treating the effluent as it progressed from one cell to another,” said Glen Pitt, P.L. (Eng), Principal of TeckEra Consulting. “Several upgrading options were evaluated. Bishop Water was engaged to provide technical guidance to improve the system performance without having to re-construct new lagoons or consider a mechanical treatment plant. The BioCord system was ultimately selected as the most cost effective and practical solution. Their personnel were fantastic to deal with and guided us through the initial testing and analysis phase to preparation of the funding application.”

The easy-to-operate, fixed-film reactors will be installed directly into a facultative lagoon cell while the plant remains in operation. BioCord’s in-situ design eliminates the need to expand the plant footprint or to add costly process infrastructure that post-lagoon or sidestream systems require, such as tanks, pipes, and blowers. Modular components will enable the BioCord system to be expanded as the community grows, which will help keep capital and operating costs aligned with near-term treatment needs and fiscal capacity.

BioCord provides a massive surface area on which biofilm thrives.
The BioCord media provides a massive surface area on which preferred, naturally occurring bacteria can attach and grow to produce a robust biofilm and improve year-round lagoon performance.

“BioCord Reactors are like a condominium for bacteria that supports a robust biofilm and increases the population of nitrifying bacteria far beyond what can be achieved in an ordinary suspended growth lagoon,” said Kevin Bossy, CEO of Bishop Water Technologies. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Gift Lake Metis Settlement and TeckEra Consulting on this project and for funding support from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to demonstrate BioCord’s cold weather performance and lagoon upgrade capabilities.” The Federation of Canadian Municipality Green Municipal Fund is providing a grant of up to $500,000 to cover up to 80% of eligible project costs.

BioCord Reactors will be installed directly into the lagoon cell, near the outlet, and will occupy less than two percent of the lagoon area.

The BioCord Reactors system will occupy a compact footprint of only 80 m2; just a fraction of the total lagoon area of nearly 6,000 m2. Despite the small size, the BioCord system is designed to handle the average flow of 190 m3/day and reduce BOD to less than 5 mg/L, ammonia to less than 1 mg/L and unionized ammonia to less than 0.1 mg/L.

A BioCord Reactors system can also achieve treatment targets using significantly less energy than alternatives, such as MBBR. This is possible because BioCord media is attached to a frame and does not require energy-intensive blowers to provide suspension and circulation of free-floating carrier media. Instead, each Reactor is equipped with an integrated fine-bubble aeration system powered by low-energy compressors. These components provide high oxygen transfer and can achieve the same or greater dissolved oxygen as other systems, while delivering approximately half the air.

“In coordination through our engineering consultant, Bishop Water has assisted our community on two major projects,” said Roger Higgins, Project Manager for Gift Lake Metis Settlement. “The first project was the installation of an OctoAir system and aeration lines. This significantly improved the quality of our drinking water by reducing the manganese levels in the raw water. Our second project is the design and construction of the BioCord system for our sanitary sewage treatment lagoon, which will be installed in early 2023. We are very pleased with the attention to detail and expertise from Bishop Water’s personnel.”

Once installation is completed, the BioCord system will have ample time to establish a robust biofilm and achieve steady-state nitrification for ammonia and BOD removal throughout the following winter.

Watch our video to learn about BioCord’s performance advantages and operation.

Contact us to discuss a BioCord upgrade for your wastewater lagoon.

Learn more about the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund for wastewater pilot systems.