Project Update – Keeping Houseboat Season Afloat

Sicamous is situated on beautiful Shuswap Lake in the interior of British Columbia and is known as the “Houseboat Capital of Canada”. Over the years, houseboat activity on the lake has caused increased Total Phosphorous (TP) loading at the local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Houseboats offload their septic tanks, typically on weekends, into the collection system. This heavily concentrated influent puts stress on the existing WWTP’s ability to process phosphorus effectively.

The plant reached out to Waste’n WaterTech to help them find a solution to meet their effluent objective TP of <1. Operations staff provided us with sample data showing TP levels in the range of 4-8 mg/L, higher than their current plant process could deal with given the constraints of a lagoon treatment system. The data confirmed the effluent dissolved phosphorus was low and that they were dealing with mostly particulate phosphorus.

We approached Aqua-Aerobic Systems with the sample data provided by the plant. After analyzing the data and conducting a needs assessment, they determined their Cloth Media Disk Filter Technology was an appropriate fit given the data showed high amounts of particulate phosphorus in the influent stream. The CMF technology is designed and engineered for stringent low total phosphorus applications. The cloth media consists of thousands of hair-like fibers that intercept and trap solids particles in the influent stream. These particles are stored in the cloth media until they are removed by using a backwash process step.

The District of Sicamous officially started up their four-disk AquaDisk® filters on April 7/22 with the assistance of an on-site Aqua-Aerobic Systems Field Technician. The technician guided the contractor and operations staff through the nuances of start-up and performed a field checkout to ensure the unit was installed properly. The AquaDisk® filter was tested using clean water to ensure that the filter and ancillary equipment were working adequately prior to running influent through the system. The filter is now receiving influent flow from the plant. In the coming summer months flows to the unit will be increased. When flows have reached the units design parameters, sampling of the influent and effluent will commence. The District of Sicamous will then be able to evaluate the performance of the AquaDisk®, just in time for the summer houseboat season.