01/22/2014

Convention Center Puts Wastewater to Work

The Vancouver Convention Centre processes 45,000 gallons of sewage a day

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  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Blackwater1.jpg

    This blackwater treatment plant includes a series of processing tanks. The membrane bioreactor has two chambers, one containing bacteria to break down solids and the other to filter out particulate matter (above). The effluent is then subjected to liquid chlorine to kill germs. The treated wastewater is stored in one of the white tanks until it is used for flushing needs.
    Photo Credit: VANCOUVER CONVENTION CENTRE

  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Blackwater2.jpg

    This blackwater treatment plant includes a series of processing tanks. The membrane bioreactor has two chambers, one containing bacteria to break down solids and the other to filter out particulate matter (above). The effluent is then subjected to liquid chlorine to kill germs. The treated wastewater is stored in one of the white tanks until it is used for flushing needs.
    Photo Credit: VANCOUVER CONVENTION CENTRE

  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Blackwater3.jpg

    This blackwater treatment plant includes a series of processing tanks. The membrane bioreactor has two chambers, one containing bacteria to break down solids and the other to filter out particulate matter. The effluent is then subjected to liquid chlorine to kill germs (above). The treated wastewater is stored in one of the white tanks until it is used for flushing needs.
    Photo Credit: VANCOUVER CONVENTION CENTRE

  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Blackwater4.jpg

    This blackwater treatment plant includes a series of processing tanks. The membrane bioreactor has two chambers, one containing bacteria to break down solids and the other to filter out particulate matter. The effluent is then subjected to liquid chlorine to kill germs (above). The treated wastewater is stored in one of the white tanks until it is used for flushing needs.
    Photo Credit: VANCOUVER CONVENTION CENTRE

At over a million square feet and approximately 700,000 visitors annually, the Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) is no stranger to waste management. With a membrane bioreactor treating 100% of collected sewage, water efficiency is a central tenet of this LEED Platinum facility.

Processing an average of 45,000 gallons a day (or 6,000 cubic feet), the 1,200-square-foot treatment plant is located in the Centre’s West building, notes Mike Garcia, senior manager of VCC’s facility operations and engineering. Black and greywater are collected at two lift stations on either side of the centre. Depending on the volume, waste is either pumped to the city sewer or an equalization tank adjacent to the treatment plant.

Two grinder pumps draw the water from the 10,000-gallon holding tank to the aeration tanks, where bacteria break down the solids. The liquid sewage then flows into the membrane bioreactor. Water is extracted by use of a vacuum induced on the filter and effluent is separated. Chlorine is injected into the effluent before going into a touch tank that removes any turbidity.

The treated water then goes to two 10,000-gallon storage tanks. Pumps move the treated water back into the building for toilet flushing and irrigation needs, most notably on the centre’s hallmark six-acre green roof.

The waste treatment plant is staffed by a full-time operator. Daily labs are drawn for water quality and samples are sent out twice a week for third-party testing. A consulting firm is responsible for collecting the reports and submitting them to the Ministry of Environment, a Canadian federal agency.

While the plant has experienced little downtime over the years, the biggest challenge has been adjusting to the centre’s peak and slow times. To keep the bacteria levels consistent during the off season, dog food is used to act as supplemental sewage. It’s an unusual maintenance request, but it keeps the system running smoothly regardless of restroom traffic.

While the membrane bioreactor offers significant water savings, it works in conjunction with several other efficiency features to maximize conservation. The building also uses low-flow toilets and faucets, grease interceptors, and a 72-zone drip irrigation system that has 15 moisture detectors for its living roof.

A reverse osmosis plant also desalinates seawater, which supplements the MBR output during peak irrigation season. These strategies were fundamental to securing a number of LEED credits for the project.

While the investments were part of a bigger sustainability package, the savings are obvious – close to 74 million gallons of water reclaimed since 2008.

“There’s a lot of interest in adopting this technology at other properties,” says Garcia. “Out of all of the convention centre’s green features, the sewage treatment plant is by far the most toured part of the building by industry colleagues.”

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
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Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


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Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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