Innovative NS Treatment Plant Wins Lieutenant-Governor's Award



    DARTMOUTH, NS, March 3 /CNW/ - In the spring of 2004, Pierre Breau,
Director of Engineering and Works for Lunenburg County, had a problem.
    The hamlet of Cookville, at Exit 12 on Highway 103, just outside
Bridgewater, was the site of one of the fastest growing commercial
developments in Atlantic Canada. The area had no sewage system to handle rapid
commercial and residential growth. Hooking into the Town of Bridgewater's
sewage treatment plant proved impractical.
    Concern for the nearby LaHave River meant the Nova Scotia Department of
Environment would require a new treatment plant to meet one of the highest
standards ever established for municipal wastewater treatment in Nova Scotia.
    The standards would be so stringent and far-reaching that, in most
respects, the treated water from the Cookville treatment plant would be
comparable to that from a drinking water treatment plant.
    So Breau turned to Dartmouth-based Terrain Group, an engineering,
planning, and surveying company specializing, among other things, in municipal
infrastructure. Terrain selected an innovative Canadian technology that cleans
water by drawing it through a membrane filled with microscopic pores. The tiny
holes are just big enough to let water molecules pass through, but small
enough to exclude suspended solids and bacteria.
    Tomorrow, March 4, the Honorable Mayann E. Francis, Lieutenant-Governor
of Nova Scotia, will honor Terrain Group and its partners in the Cookville
Membrane Bioreactor Wastewater Treatment Plant with the 2008
Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Excellence in Engineering.
    After a year in operation, the Cookville plant consistently meets or
exceeds all the criteria set forth in its environmental permit.
    Before design and construction of the plant, Terrain hired Loucks
Oceanology of Halifax to study the LaHave River's capacity to absorb
nutrients. The study found that water discharged from the Cookville plant
would have to be extremely low in nitrogen and phosphorus to prevent algae
blooms in the river. Untreated sewage contains high concentrations of those
elements.
    "The LaHave River is a valued and important water system," said Stephen
Wallace, president of Terrain Group. "All the participants in this project
took the responsibility to protect the river very seriously." In addition to
Terrain and Loucks, ADI Group of Halifax carried out process, structural and
electrical engineering for the plant.
    "The team that completed this project has set a new standard for
wastewater treatment in Atlantic Canada," said Wallace. "I'm proud of the fact
that cleaned water discharged from the Cookville plant is generally as clean
as the river itself."
    The Cookville plant uses a deceptively simple process. At the heart of
the facility is a frame holding thousands of tubes, each about two metres long
and the diameter of cooked spaghetti. A slight vacuum applied to the end of
each tube draws water through tiny pores in the sides of the tubes, while
blocking unwanted material. The modular plant can be expanded in phased stages
to meet future growth requirements in the area. Wallace believes membrane
systems like the one at Cookville could find widespread use in new
developments and isolated communities throughout Atlantic Canada, as concern
for the environment brings ever more stringent quality standards. The membrane
technology can be applied to both water supply and wastewater treatment
systems.
    Terrain Group is already using the technology to provide wastewater
treatment for a resort community under construction outside Louisbourg, Cape
Breton.


    Broadcast Version
    -----------------

    On Thursday, March 4, the Honorable Mayann E. Francis,
    Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, will honor the Cookville
    Wastewater Treatment Plant near Bridgewater for achieving some
    of the highest environmental standards ever established in
    Nova Scotia.

    Terrain Group of Halifax, the Dartmouth firm that designed the plant,
    will receive the 2008 Lieutenant-Governor's Awart for Engineering
    Excellence.

    Concern for the nearby LaHave River led environmental officials
    to set unusually high standards for the plant, built to treat wastewater
    from new commercial and residential developments in the area.

    The plant uses an innovative technology that cleans water
    by drawing it through a membrane containing microscopic pores.
    The holes are large enough to let water molecules pass through,
    but small enough to block bacteria and suspended solids.

    After one year in operation, the plant, at Exit 12 on Highway 103,
    meets or exceeds all the environmental standards established
    for the project.




For further information:

For further information: Stephen Wallace, P.Eng., President, Terrain
Group Ltd., (902) 835-9955, exten. 226, Cell: (902) 456-3507,
swallace@terraingroup.com; Pierre Breau, P.Eng., Director of Engineering,
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, (902) 541-1331, Cell: (902)
521-7780, pbreau@modl.ca; Note to editors: High resolution digital photographs
of the Cookville Membrane Bioreactor plant are available on request. Email:
parker@donham.ca

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