SaskWater currently owns and operates three lagoon-based wastewater treatment systems in Saskatchewan.
Facultative lagoons are low-maintenance systems that allow for natural decomposition of organic matter in shallow holding ponds. These treatment facilities can provide an environmentally sensitive and cost-effective solution for industrial wastewater treatment and disposal needs.
The Nipawin Regional Wastewater Treatment System, built in 1995, is a four-cell lagoon system that provides wastewater treatment for Bunge Canada Ltd.’s processing plant, the Town of Nipawin, the Village of Codette, and the surrounding area. SaskWater also owns and operates a two-cell lagoon system in Pierceland, which we recently expanded and upgraded with clay liners to ensure its long-term sustainability, as well as its ongoing compliance with evolving regulations.
SaskWater can also respond to industry wastewater needs where more complex mechanical treatment is required. Aerated lagoons, such as those used in our Echo Regional Wastewater System, are typically deeper waste stabilization ponds that rely on mechanical aerators for oxygen production.
Located near Fort Qu’Appelle, this system consists of an aeration treatment cell and lift station, a primary treatment cell and an evaporation cell. It is a zero discharge system that prevents wastewater from being released into the environment, providing protection to the sensitive Qu’Appelle Valley habitat.
These treatment facilities provide wastewater services for the Town of Fort Qu’Appelle, the resort communities of B-Say-Tah and Fort San and the Rural Municipality of North Qu’Appelle.
Effluent Irrigated Woodlots
SaskWater encourages environmentally responsible wastewater solutions, and has been studying options for zero-discharge wastewater disposal. Our results have demonstrated effluent irrigated woodlots can be an inexpensive means to dispose of wastewater effluent while protecting surface water from pollution. The resulting forested area also offers an opportunity for community-minded businesses that wish to leave a positive legacy and decrease their environmental footprint.
With some upgrades, many lagoon-based systems could be updated to use effluent irrigation offering a lower-cost replacement for some existing wastewater treatment processes. Our research shows woodlots consisting of specially selected hybrid poplars and willows take up significantly more effluent than traditional agricultural crops. Overall, this allows higher volumes of treated effluent to be applied within a smaller footprint, resulting in lower costs. With careful management, a woodlot effluent irrigation system maximizes wastewater application but does not exceed the uptake capacity of the trees or soil and protects the quality of both surface water and groundwater.