The Annacis Research Centre hosts and actively conducts research trials, including trials initiated by Metro Vancouver and hosting of trials by private startup firms developing innovative technologies, all of which could lead to technology advancement and market development in Canada and abroad.
Prongineer is testing a nutrient management technology at ARC. The Unified Biological Aerated Reactor (UniBAR) is a biological wastewater treatment process that can remove ammonia through a newly discovered biological nitrogen removal pathway- anammox- in a single bioreactor, while being flexible enough to function in other modes of operation to drive more applications.
As part of its commitment to using waste as a resource, Metro Vancouver and the University of British Columbia are testing innovative ways to improve the conversion of sludge into beneficial forms, reducing costs for managing remaining biosolids.
Metro Vancouver is testing ways to reduce the production of hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S), which is produced in sewer collection systems. H2S creates unpleasant odors and corrodes infrastructure, reducing its life and forcing replacement costs sooner than planned.
Metro Vancouver is testing an innovative bioassay to assess estrogenic activity, which may be used as a screening tool at a lower cost than currently available chemical analytical methods.
Sanzfield is testing a compact, lightweight advanced septic system that works more quickly than traditional systems.
Axine is testing a breakthrough, low-cost, chemical-free solution for treating high concentrations of complex, toxic organics and ammonia in industrial wastewater, solving a multi-billion dollar problem for large companies in a wide range of industries.
In an effort to better understand emerging contaminants, Metro Vancouver is partnering with the Ocean Wise Conservation Association to study microplastics at its wastewater treatment plants. It is also hosting a laundry machine testing facility for research on microplastics that are shed during washing.
As part of its initiatives to assess and address emerging substances of concern, Metro Vancouver has set up a sampling program to investigate contaminants that may signal the need for the development and implementation of source control initiatives.
As part of its focus on innovation and sustainability, Metro Vancouver has conducted trials of technologies capable of purifying wastewater sufficiently to allow the water to be used for non-drinking purposes. Plans are underway to install such technologies at several of Metro Vancouver’s wastewater treatment plants and to make the reclaimed water available to businesses in the region, as well as using the reclaimed water within the treatment plants.
To help work towards a ‘zero waste’ future, Metro Vancouver conducted a biosolids drying trial, converting them to a form that could readily be used in a number of beneficial applications and could diversify the existing biosolids use portfolio.
To improve technologies that recover resources from waste, Metro Vancouver successfully conducted trials for the harvesting of phosphorus from centrate, a concentrated waste stream within the sewage treatment plant process. Phosphorus is a limited, mined resource that does not naturally replenish. It is a critical input to agricultural industries worldwide. Harvesting technologies are now being evaluated for inclusion in planned future wastewater treatment plants.
Metro Vancouver and private and academic partners have conducted innovative trials on the potential value of new aerobic granular biomass treatment processes, which may be capable of significantly reducing costs for removing nutrients and other constituents from wastewater. This new process is still under evaluation, and will likely be considered for inclusion in future wastewater treatment plant expansions and design of new plants.