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 provide an environmentally sensitive and cost-effective solution to the wastewater treatment and disposal needs of the area.
The Nipawin Regional Wastewater Treatment System, built in 1995, is a four-cell lagoon system that provides wastewater treatment for the Town of Nipawin, the Village of Codette, Bunge Canada Ltd.’s processing plant and the surrounding area.
In 2020 SaskWater secured provincial and federal grant funding to upgrade our Pierceland lagoon system. We constructed a secondary treatment cell and added clay liners to both lagoons to ensure the long-term sustainability of the system as well as its ongoing compliance with evolving regulations.
Aerated lagoons are typically deeper waste stabilization ponds that rely on mechanical aerators for oxygen production.
The Echo Regional Wastewater System is located near Fort Qu’Appelle and consists of an aeration treatment cell and lift station, a primary treatment cell and an evaporation cell. The system 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 municipal wastewater effluent while protecting surface water from pollution.
With some upgrades, many lagoon-based systems could be updated to use effluent irrigation as a lower-cost replacement for 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.