Gold Bar is one of Canada's largest Class IV wastewater treatment plants (class level indicates how complex the plant's operations are). The plant is ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified. Every day Gold Bar produces treated water that consistently surpasses regulatory standards.
Gold Bar plant also utilizes innovative processes that reduce our environmental impact including membrane-based wastewater recycling facility which supplies local industry with reclaimed water. We also recover approximately $200K in annual fuel savings by utilizing biogas produced on site.
We're continually investing in new ways to control odours at Gold Bar minimizing our impact on the surrounding community. Learn more about recent odour improvements.
Each day an average of 265 million litres flow through Gold Bar with the full tertiary treatment process taking 17-18 hours from start to finish, but the plant's current design can treat up to 310 million litres per day. Some other capacity figures include:
Record breaking capacity levels
The highest peak daily flow occured on July 15, 2012 at 1,170 million litres. And the highest annual flow was in 2013 at 103,761 million litres. Yearly fluctuations are due to effects of annual precipitation entering the combined sewer system (~15% of city’s area).
- Peak primary treatment capacity: 910 million litres/day
- Peak secondary/tertiary treatment capacity: 420 million litres/day
- Headworks (grit removal and screening) capacity: 1,200 million litres/day
- Combined digester (8 anaerobic digesters that treat sludge) capacity: 67.5 million litres/day
- Biogas produced (average per year): 11 million m3
Gold Bar also provides biosolids to farmers and has distributed close to 550,000 dry tonnes of biosolids to over 16,000 hectares of farmland since 1978.
The biosolids program is available to Edmonton-area farmers. Additionally, more than 180,000 dry tonnes of biosolids have been made into compost products for sale since 2000.
Plant expansions and upgrades
Since its beginnings, Gold Bar has undergone two major processing capacity (primary and secondary treatment) increases; they occurred a decade apart, with the last in 1981. Solids handling capacity increases occurred right up to 2011, with the addition of 2 new digesters. The plant site has room on the eastern perimeter, if needed and if the same configuration is followed, for three more bioreactors/clarifiers or up to 126 million litres per day.
Improved effluent quality: tertiary treatment upgrade began in 1995 and was completed in December 2001, three years ahead of the mandated deadline from the province.
Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) upgrade
Facilities to support the BNR upgrade component include primary sludge fermenters; sludge blend tanks; Waste Activate Sludge (WAS) thickeners; two new bioreactors/clarifiers; and a new 3,500 horse power blower.