Government of Canada and FCM support Sechelt’s effort to remove hormones and pharmaceuticals from reclaimed water (30/01/2015)
Pipes, glass, water and greenery inside Sechelt's Water Resource Centre.
Sechelt, B.C. — John Weston, representative of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, and Brad Woodside, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Mayor of the City of Fredericton, today announced a $169,000 Green Municipal Fund™ (GMF) grant contribution for the District of Sechelt. The funding will be used to conduct a field test to evaluate a novel method for removing hormones, pharmaceuticals and other endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) from treated wastewater effluent prior to use as reclaimed water.
"I'm always so proud when I see communities in our riding taking a leadership role in innovation, particularly when we're looking at how to reclaim vital resources, in this case, water, ensuring a high standard of stewardship and setting a strong example for others," said M.P. Weston. "On the Sunshine Coast, we value the partnership with FCM not only on wastewater treatment but also on other initiatives that will bring all orders of government together to benefit our community."
"The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically addresses the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments," said Mr. Woodside. "The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund support the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. I am particularly pleased when the Fund can support this sort of innovation."
The Sechelt Water Resource Centre is an advanced wastewater treatment facility designed to produce water suitable for intensive agriculture, industrial uses and irrigation of recreational and public areas. This is an opportunity to test innovative technologies that will build public confidence in how industry and other heavy chemical sectors use our natural resources.
The first part of the field test will make biochar, a specialized form of charcoal, from the wastewater biosolids. The charring process is expected to destroy any EDCs in the biosolids. The second part will use the resulting biochar to filter the reclaimed water, capturing and biodegrading the EDCs. The performance of the biochar will be compared to conventional filter media such as activated carbon. If the field test is successful, Sechelt will work to scale up and implement the technology as part of a reclaimed water system and seek opportunities to commercialize the technology for use by other communities.
"The use of reclaimed water would reduce the demands on our community's potable water supply and could provide water for local commercial endeavors," said Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne. "Once it is determined that this can be done in a safe and efficient manner, it will give us another opportunity to reclaim resources from what was once considered waste. Becoming a zero-waste community is one of the goals of our Sustainability Plan."
The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.
FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.