UXBRIDGE: The Township of Uxbridge is considering a 2 month pilot project to test a new algae-based water treatment solution.
A Trent University based company, called Noble Purifications Inc., promised councillors on Monday, Feb. 1 in a deputation to increase the capacity of the existing sewage treatment plant, allowing the development of 600 to 650 homes in Uxbridge while also saving the municipality money and providing a more environmentally friendly solution.
According to Noble Purifications COO, Andressa Lacerda, the 2 month pilot project would consist of a mobile demonstration unit that will be brought to Uxbridge in order to prove claims of water purification and cost effectiveness. Lacerda says the algae-based sewage treatment uses a type of algae called Euglena- a micro algae that eats Phosphorus and other pollutants such as minerals and heavy metals.
Ms. Lacerda told council that the Euglena-based system is a “Plug ‘N Play” solution that will use the existing infrastructure in place at the water treatment plant and will only replace the current chemical used to treat water, a compound called ALUM saving millions of dollars in the process.
Lacerda says ALUM can be a burden on municipalities as it is quite expensive to remove from treatment plants. She also said that they can take advantage of government grants in order to offset most of the cost of the treatment solution. Noble Purification CEO Adam Noble expanded on the cost effectiveness by explaining that their algae is grown locally in Peterborough instead of being outsourced, which is a more expensive solution.
This new treatment promises to save Uxbridge upwards of $18 million. A similar pilot project is already underway in the City of Kawartha Lakes in Lindsay, Ontario.
Mason Homes CEO, Gord Mason, said Noble Purification Inc. was hired to help the developer meet strict water purification standards in Uxbridge and to provide a cost effective as well as a green solution to sewage treatment.
Council later decided that staff from Public Works and Operations as well as Planning and Economic Development departments needed time to discuss how to proceed.