Our Facilities

Advanced research facilities are key features of the Centre for Alternative Wastewater Treatment.

Indoor Greenhouse Research Facility and Environmental Chamber

The indoor testing component has a large greenhouse and analytical laboratory prep room. The greenhouse contains storage tanks to allow bulk storage of effluents for batch-testing and long-term studies, mobile wetland cells on carts to allow for medium-scale mesocosm studies, and tables for establishment of small-scale aquarium-sized test cells for the propagation and testing of various wetland plants and growth media.


Outdoor Research Test Cells and Ponds

The outdoor testing component consists of a twin set of complete and independent test cells sets that include a septic tank, horizontal subsurface flow wetland cell #1, vertical flow wetland cell, horizontal subsurface flow wetland cell #2, and a final discharge/polishing pond. Each of these twin systems can be further separated into a total of three independent streams, therefore allowing for the treatment and investigation of six completely separate wastewater sources. A major advantage of this facility is that the final discharge can be entirely recycled or released to the municipal sewer.

In addition, this cell set has been designed to provide complete hydraulic flexibility for the custom treatment wastewater by permitting the selection of a multitude of treatment step combinations involving any of the options listed above via either sequential or non-sequential configurations.

Currently, a portion of the system is being used to treat domestic wastewater effluent from a number of fixtures within the Frost Campus. Finally, each cell is designed to permit access to all treatment elements (both surface and sub-surface using monitoring wells) for system sampling and monitoring. They are also designed for real-time analysis with a computer controlled SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.

The CAWT also has a series of 20 ponds available for research purposes.


Analytical Laboratory

Analytical Laboratory

Our lab facilities include a high-level analytical lab and a wet chemistry/sample preparation area. These facilities are available to research partners, students, and others involved in alternative wastewater investigation.

A critical component in support of applied research in the CAWT is our capacity for laboratory analyses.  Thanks to a grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) in 2002, the CAWT acquired state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation.  Recently, we have enhanced our lab inventory thanks to NSERC grants, CFI funding, and other awards. The following is a list of some of the key analytical instrumentation and equipment that supports this aspect of our research:

CAWT lab instruments

CALA Testing

The CAWT laboratory participates in PT trials with the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation for the following parameters:

CALA Proficiency Trials