Canada’s Elmira WWTP to install DuPont OxyMem MABR

DuPont OxyMem membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) modules will be installed later this year at Canada’s Elmira Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to increase biological treatment capacity.

This will be the largest deployment of OxyMem MABR in Canada.

Located in the Region of Waterloo in Ontario, the Elmira WWTP is a Class III wastewater treatment plant, constructed in 1967 with process upgrades in 1983 and 2000. The activated sludge plant uses tertiary filtration to treat wastewater from the town of Elmira, providing an average daily capacity of 7,800 m3/d and a daily peak flow capacity of 19,500 m3/d.

MABR technology was selected for the project due to space limitations on site.

For most plants, the drop-in MABR modules can be installed into existing tanks, without the need for overpumping, draining of tanks or pausing the treatment process. The modules at the Elmira WWTP will be slid into a receiving steel framework over a few days and connected to small process blowers.

The drop-in modular nature of the OxyMem MABR also gives the Region of Waterloo the ability to easily expand capacity in the future if and when desired.

The project is being implemented by DuPont with facilitation by local water and wastewater equipment specialist Aquafy Water Technologies Inc. Support for the project will also be provided by engineering consultancy Jacobs and construction contractor H2Ontario.

“This will be the second full-scale operational MABR deployment in the Region of Waterloo,” said Max Rao, president of Aquafy Water Technologies Inc. “It represents a tremendous vote of confidence in the latest MABR technology, with the solution poised to deliver process intensification at the Elmira WWTP. The OxyMem MABR units will help expand current treatment capacity without requiring additional footprint, and will consume little energy when compared to traditional upgrade solutions.”

OxyMem MABR modules contain membranes that carry a flow of air (source of oxygen) at low pressure. This oxygen diffuses across the gas permeable membrane wall, on a molecular level, and is readily utilized by an attached biofilm to reduce ammonia. This latest means of treating wastewater biologically consumes only a small fraction of the energy required by alternate attached-growth systems often considered for plant upgrades, while simultaneously providing effective year-round performance and lower process emissions.

The Region of Waterloo has been a leading advocate for MABR in Canada, first trialling the technology at Elmira in 2018 in collaboration with Aquafy and OxyMem.