July 4, 2014 6:00 pm

Revolutionary waste water treatment developed in Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: Technology developed in Edmonton could change the way waste water is treated in remote areas of Alberta and around the world. It’s a process that promises to be better for the environment and help reduce costs. Vinesh Pratap reports.

EDMONTON — A company is looking to change the way waste water is treated in remote locations of Alberta where temporary work camps are set up.  Over the last couple of months, Orelis has been testing its membrane technology.

“So, our particular membranes are specific for smaller applications.  We can’t do the big city of Edmonton with our membranes. We’ve really designed it for what the industry is in Alberta: a lot of smaller communities.  Smaller, remote industrial camps,” says Peter Christou, the managing director of Orelis.

The company has developed a waste water plant that takes up a small footprint and can be shipped to various locations. Once connected, the waste water is fed into the system. But first, the solids have to be separated.

This is where the solid materials are separated.

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

“We used a hydro-cyclone to separate the heavier solids,” says Christou. “All the plastics and the toilet paper that really has a hard time bio-degrading.  So, these are things you don’t want in your process.”

From there, the water is then pumped through a specially designed membrane, and the treated water quickly emerges.

This is the membrane that’s the subject of testing where the water goes through.

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

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The company is quick to point out, it’s not meant for drinking or activities like showering.  But the water can be re-used.  Peter Christou says a company has already expressed interest.

“They can easily put this plant down.  Start their waste water treatment instead of store and haul.  Since it produces high quality water, they can use that water for dust control, truck washing or drilling applications.  It really saves the company a lot of money.”

The company is testing its technology at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence, a unique facility which is able to provide third-party verification of the process.

“We have live access to the municipal waste water.  So, we can hook up his unit to the live municipal waste water stream and we can test his unit rather than to generate a synthetic waste water stream,” says Shahid Malik, who speaks for the centre.

“We are very lucky here in Edmonton that we have a facility like this and a program like this to prove technologies,” Christou adds.

A look at the before and after.

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

Orelis is looking towards future applications, with the hope its technology could help small communities where lagoons are used in the waste water treatment process.  The company believes its product has a worldwide market.

Industry stakeholders will be able to learn more about the membrane technology on July 10.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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