The City of St. Thomas, Ontario has formally approved a $10 million plan to implement advanced biosolids management solutions from Lystek International at its Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP). This project will convert the facility into a Water Resource Recovery Centre (WRRC).

In the current conventional wastewater treatment facility, wastewater flows through the city’s sanitary sewer systems and 12 pumping stations and is collected at the WPCP for treatment.

Historically, the St. Thomas WPCP has utilized anaerobic digestion to process its biosolids. After digestion, the material is dewatered and transported to landfill. However, forward-looking city staff were concerned with the general “health and shape” of their existing digesters and they wanted a better, more sustainable, year-round management solution for their community.

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City staff reviewed seven different solutions using a number of factors including projected and future growth of the community, and the availability of advanced technologies for the safe treatment and beneficial use of this potentially valuable resource. Criteria to evaluate each option led to two short listed options: either invest in new anaerobic digesters, or in the Lystek Thermal Hydrolysis Process. The community conducted a further evaluation based on: 1) environment & community impact, 2) social impacts, 3)  technical considerations, and 3) economics.

The two solutions ranked similarly using the first three criteria; however, the economic evaluation favoured the Lystek solution, based on a total net present value (given capital and 60 years of operation). The study demonstrated that it would be 40 per cent more cost effective than anaerobic digestion.

The new system transforms biosolids and organics into a marketable and federally-registered, Class A quality, biofertilizer product that creates a new revenue stream for the community.

“The lower life cycle capital and operating costs create a significant savings and we can also improve our capacity in the biosolids system. We are confident this decision will pay economic and environmental dividends,” said Justin Lawrence, Director, environmental services and city engineer for the City of St. Thomas.

“We are proud to have been chosen by the community of St. Thomas,” said Bill Mullin, business development manager for Lystek International. “We look forward to working with the city to showcase our capabilities and continue demonstrating our commitment to reducing “waste”, costs, and environmental impact.”

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