Metro Vancouver’s goal to use wastewater as a resource prompted the creation of the Annacis Research Centre. The Centre provides access to wastewater where several local researcher teams are set up, helping push exciting discoveries forward.
Keeping our local environment clean and safe is one of Metro Vancouver’s most essential responsibilities. The region’s sewers and wastewater treatment facilities are crucial assets for that job. But to maintain and enhance the system, local researchers need access to untreated wastewater samples. Metro Vancouver’s Annacis Research Centre is delivering unparalleled access to this unusual raw material.
“One of the main reasons why the Centre is built here is because it is adjacent to the Annacis Wastewater treatment plant,” said Darlene Reigh, Annacis Research Centre Marketing Coordinator. “Wastewater is piped underground into our Research Hall. That makes it very fresh and very obtainable for research companies to come in and do their work.”
Fresh Wastewater Resource Critical to Research
Associated Engineering is taking advantage of this ideal lab setting. Their research focus is wastewater treatment plants that cost less to build, take up less space, and have lower greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a collaborative effort with the University of British Columbia, the Natural Sciences & Engineering Council of Canada, and Metro Vancouver.
“Doing this kind of research at the Annacis Research Center is made a lot easier because we need to use real wastewater for our research,” said Dean Shiskowski, Vice President, Associated Engineering.
Another research collaboration, with Simon Fraser University, tests wastewater for chemicals that can affect hormonal and endocrine systems. “These can range from things like detergents or industrial chemicals and hydrocarbons as well as pharmaceuticals and personal care products,” said Farida Bishay, Superintendent of Environmental Monitoring at Metro Vancouver.
Protecting the Environment
The effluent water that is returned to the environment after wastewater treatment is also a subject of study. Patrick Tsao, Junior Research Engineer at Prongineer R&D Ltd is studying a technology that removes toxic ammonia from wastewater. “Compared to conventional processes, it requires significantly less energy and reduces chemicals,” he said. “What we are hoping to do is improve the current processes in order to better protect the environment.”
In addition to its research function, the Centre is designed to support wastewater education and training such as professional workshops and other teaching activities. It is equipped to host conferences of all sizes, seminars and functions of up to 175 people.
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