Wastewater research facility coming along
A water-testing research facility that Fleming College is building at the Minden Hills wastewater treatment plant off Deep Bay Road is getting closer to operation.
Minden Hills councillors were visited by Brent Wootten, the college’s vice president of applied research and innovation, during their June 27 meeting, Wootten giving them an update on the project.
Last summer, council granted the school’s Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies permission to construct the facility at the site. It will be used by companies who deal with wastewater processing to test out their new technologies.
As Wootten told councillors, a structure to house research activity has been installed at the site, and the college is now waiting on an Environmental Compliance Approval from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, from which it is hoping to see expedited review and approval. Fleming College will receive $150,000 in federal funding for research equipment at the facility, including a disc centrifuge system, inline total suspended solids meter and a remote supervisory control and data acquisition system.
“The equipment will allow the facility to provide ideal testing conditions in a controlled setting,” a report from Wootten reads.
He also told councillors there was growing interest in the facility.
“We currently have 10 companies who are eager to come to Minden and finish the R and D (research and development),” Wootten said. Those companies will be testing advanced, on-site wastewater treatment technologies.
“Obviously the funding is recognition at the national level that what’s going on here is really important,” said Mayor Brent Devolin.
“I’m glad this is happening, particularly in a rural community,” said Councillor Pam Sayne, who’s spoken repeatedly about the need for more environmentally friendly and technologically advanced septage disposal in the area. “I think this is the answer to long-term planning.”