The Lulu Island wastewater treatment plant treated 26 billion litres of wastewater in 2012. Located in Richmond at 13500 Gilbert Road, the plant provides secondary treatment to wastewater from about 172,000 residents in the western part of Richmond. Once treated, wastewater is discharged into the Fraser River.
Opened in 1973, the plant's treatment capacity was increased by 50 per cent in 1988, and was upgraded to a secondary treatment facility in 1999.
The wastewater treatment plant is regulated through an Operational Certificate issued by the BC Ministry of Environment. The treated wastewater that is discharged from the plant is required to meet standards for biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids. Discharged wastewater from the plant must not exceed 45 mg/L for both biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids. The plant’s daily average was under 5 mg/L for biochemical oxygen demand and 6 mg/L for total suspended solids in 2012.
Recovering resources from wastewater
The treatment plant uses anaerobic digestion to break down organic materials from wastewater to produce biosolids and methane gas. The methane is used to generate heat for use in the plant’s operations. The Lulu Island plant produces enough energy to meet all of its own heat requirements. It also produces about 7,800 bulk tonnes of biosolids every year.