Funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Phosphorus loading in watersheds is a growing concern. As climate changes and rain events become fiercer and more frequent, the result is evident in many bodies of water. Phosphorus makes lakes a friendly environment for algae blooms, and those blooms threaten water quality and existing ecosystems.
This CAWT project with Monteco Corporation and Imbrium Systems includes a pilot-scale study of a media engineered to remove phosphorus from stormwater. The independent variable of interest is breakthrough performance, or the phosphorus removal ability as a function of volume of water treated. Performance can be related directly to media lifetime, which is of major concern to potential users. The dependent variables to be monitored would include flow rate, inlet phosphorus concentration, outlet phosphorus concentration, and hydraulic characteristics such as headloss.
To test the media, the CAWT has installed a horizontal bed type filter containing several cubic feet of bioretention soil and media engineered for phosphorus removal. Ideally, the filter would be tested at the same time as a geometrically identical bioretention cell. As much as possible, the cells should be subjected to real rainfall events and weather conditions. Monitoring and assessment will be done in accordance with company needs.
What we learn from this project should allow for accurate performance assessment of stormwater treatment systems for phosphorus removal, giving watershed managers with phosphorus reduction targets a tool to use as part of their overall plan. They will be able to get the treatment and water quality they need without overspending. The company should be able to gain significant market share by being able to offer this solution.
The CAWT team works closely with industry and technology companies to design, develop, test or improve products and services, prototype and test new technology and processes, commercialize innovative technologies, and access research funding and partners. Visit our Office of Applied Research section to learn more.