The City of Guelph’s wastewater services staff is sharing its expertise with municipal wastewater treatment plant operators and managers aspiring to learn more about wastewater facility optimization programs.

In partnership with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), Haldimand County and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), the City is providing optimization program development training through a series of three workshops called the Watershed Wastewater Optimization Pilot (WWOP). The workshops are lead by recognized optimization leaders and available to neighbouring municipalities along the Grand River watershed.

Guelph's wastewater treatment plant on the Speed River is a leader in wastewater optimization. Image via grandriver.ca

The workshops serve as an introduction to optimization processes including conducting performance reviews, and identifying and evaluating plant capacity using the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Composite Correction Program.

The second workshop took place yesterday at both Guelph City Hall and the City’s wastewater treatment facility. The first workshop was held in September with over 40 participants representing 12 operating authorities within the watershed, and the third and final workshop is scheduled for January 14, 2011 in Haldimand County.

In 2006, the City initiated what would become a federally and provincially recognized wastewater treatment facility optimization program. To date, this program has resulted in savings of $12 million through modifications to existing equipment that eliminated the need for additional equipment or technology. An additional $20 million marked for plant expansion expenditures may also be deferred through efficiencies realized in the optimization program, pending MOE approval.

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