November 13, 2006

Edmonton's Gold Bar treatment plant honoured at national, provincial levels

Innovations at Edmonton's Gold Bar wastewater treatment plant have earned top awards at the national and provincial levels in recent weeks. At a gala celebration at Ottawa's Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel, the plant's industrial water re-use facility received the Schreyer Award, the highest honour in the 2006 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.

The annual awards, launched 38 years ago, are the most important national mark of recognition for projects by consulting engineers. As winner of the Schreyer Award, the Gold Bar treatment plant's industrial water re-use facility is an example of how the work of consulting engineers is helping to protect Canada's environment and conserve precious fresh water resources.

The project, by the consulting firm Associated Engineering, involved the development of a process to treat wastewater in the sewage treatment plant so that the treated water could then be re-used by the petrochemical industry. Using membrane filtration and other technologies, the Gold Bar industrial water re-use facility now delivers high-quality recycled wastewater to a Petro-Canada refinery five kilometres away on Edmonton's "refinery row." The recycled water is also used municipalities of both Edmonton and Strathcona County for irrigating local parks.

The new system has the potential to reduce water consumption by up to 15 million litres per day. The project also stands as an excellent example of a successful partnership between a municipality and industry.

The achievment in pioneering advanced wastewater treatment technology earned Edmonton the Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Award of Excellence for Outstanding Achievement in local government.

Edmonton was among nine Alberta municipalities recognized for leading practices in local government. Another environment-related award went to the city of Medicine Hat, which was presented the Innovation Award for its flood mitigation system.

"It's important that we recognize the great work being done by Alberta municipalities in providing outstanding service to Albertans," said Municipal Affairs Minister Rob Renner. "I congratulate all of the award recipients and thank all those who submitted leading practices for sharing their successes and creative ideas."

The Minister's awards are presented at the annual fall conventions of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties in Edmonton.

A significant proportion of the ten Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards of Excellence went to environmental projects and/or firms specialized in environmental engineering. These included:

the Arrow Creek water treatment plant, in Erickson, BC (CH2M Hill, in Burnaby, BC);

the Kamloops Centre for Water Quality, in Kamloops, BC (Stantec Consulting, in Kamloops);

remediation work at the Nitchequon former meteorological station site (Golder Associates, in Montreal);

Turtle Mountain monitoring, in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta (AMEC Earth & Environmental, in Calgary).

The Awards of Excellence winners were chosen from among 50 entries by a panel of eminent engineers from across Canada. The awards are co-sponsored by the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada and Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine. Full details may be viewed on-line in the October-November issue at www.canadianconsultingengineer.com.

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