Waste Water Treatment & Spray Irrigation
Waste Water Treatment Plant
The City of Swift Current is home to a new, state of the art, biological nutrient removal (BNR) waste water treatment plant. Completed in 2006, the WWTP has been biologically treating the waste water produced by the City of Swift Current.
Under strict guidelines set forth by Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency (WSA), the SCWWTP has been producing an extremely high quality of effluent (treated waste water) since its commissioning, and has provided both a reusable water resource for downstream residents and also reduced the strain on Swift Current’s lagoon system.
The SCWWTP utilizes preliminary treatment methods to remove heavy materials and grit via bar-screens and other specialized mechanical equipment. Once the coarse material is removed, the biological process begins. Microorganisms in the waste water breakdown the pollutants, effectively reducing the amount of nutrients in the effluent by as much as 99%. This high reduction of phosphorus, BOD and nitrogen provide an extremely low impact on the SC Creek, thereby maintaining the existing ecosystems with no disruptions.
Once the biological portion is complete, two circular clarifier tanks allow the concentrated microorganisms (called sludge) to settle out, before being pumped back into the process, or wasted to the lagoon. The clarified effluent is disinfected by means of ultra-violet light before being discharged to the receiving stream.
The SCWWTP, located east of the City along Highway #1, treats an average of 1,750,000 cubic meters of waste water annually.
The City of Swift Current uses four lagoon cells as part of its waste water treatment process. Originally built with two lagoons, as the City grew in population, so did the need for more waste water storage. Two additional cells were built; the last one in the early 1990’s. Two of the cells act as primary lagoons, while the other two serve as storage cells. The four cells are known as facultative lagoons, and have aerobic and anaerobic layers to achieve a proper balance to keep the lagoons stable.
In the past, as the lagoons were filled to capacity, the effluent was released (in raw form) from the lagoon twice per year in the spring and the fall. Due to stricter regulations, in 1978, the City began an irrigation project using lagoon effluent and several agricultural fields northeast of the City. The project continued into 2006 and the volumes of effluent pumped per year varied from 380,000 – 1,500,000 m3.
Although since the SCWWTP was commissioned in 2006, the need for the effluent irrigation project is not required, it is still utilized in order to help keep the lagoon levels at a desired level. Presently, the irrigation equipment and fields are used as an agricultural means rather than an effluent disposal method, and only pump volumes in the range of 250,000 m3 per year.
Directions to the Waste Water Treatment Plant
Highway 1 East for 1 mile out of Swift Current and turn south on Ponderosa Trail. Then, turn south at the Waste Water Treatment Plant sign.