City of Barrie picks SUEZ technology to meet wastewater effluent limits for phosphorus

Faced with the challenge of meeting recent stringent total phosphorus effluent limits, the city of Barrie, Ontario, needed to upgrade its wastewater treatment facility. Today, SUEZ, through its Water Technologies & Solutions Business Unit, announced that it has been selected through an open competition as the membrane bioreactor (MBR) system supplier for this project, which will become one of the largest MBR plants in Canada.

SUEZ will provide its ZeeWeed 500D MBR technology, as well as engineering design support and on-site commissioning, to help the city of Barrie protect the environment and Lake Simcoe, where the plant discharges its treated effluent.

“SUEZ’s cost-effective MBR solution will be retrofitted into our existing tanks, which will not only allow us to meet these stringent requirements, but will also reduce installation costs by using existing infrastructure,” said John Thompson, director of Environmental Services, city of Barrie. “The SUEZ MBR solution also gives us the added ability to potentially expand within the existing footprint to achieve an ultimate capacity of 180 millions of litres (MLD) per day. This will enable us to meet future growth and increased water demands.”

The plant’s total capacity is currently rated at 76 MLD average daily flow. The MBR is being sized to treat 55 MLD with the remaining portion to be treated through the conventional system already in place. The two effluent streams will then be blended and will meet the tighter effluent phosphorus limit. The overall project pre-design is continuing with the city and its consultants (STANTEC), and now with SUEZ. The team is working collaboratively to ensure a value-focused design and end product. The equipment is expected to be delivered in 2021 with anticipated overall project construction and operation in 2022 to 2023.

“Our ZeeWeed 500D MBR system is specifically designed for difficult-to-treat water sources like the city of Barrie’s wastewater and helps environmentally conscious facilities better protect sensitive ecosystems. With more than two decades of membrane design experience, SUEZ has optimised the ZeeWeed 500 membrane to improve flux, achieve greater permeability, reduce energy consumption and increase membrane lifespan, all within a smaller footprint, making retrofits like this one is a very viable option,” said Kevin Cassidy, global leader – engineered systems, SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions.

The City of Barrie Wastewater Treatment Facility is a tertiary treatment plant that uses ultraviolet disinfection to treat all wastewater before sending the treated wastewater to Lake Simcoe. The facility receives domestic, commercial and industrial wastewater and provides a level of treatment to meet the water quality standards of Lake Simcoe. Overall, the entire treatment process can be described as the transformation of wastewater into three useful products – treated effluent, an agricultural crop fertilisation supplement, and energy in the form of heat and electricity. The recent changes in provincial legislation that have lowered the Lake Simcoe effluent phosphorous concentrations require that the city of Barrie invest in upgrading its treatment technology to continue meeting these new requirements while accommodating growth.