Canadian Wastewater Treatment Facility Becomes First ISI Envision-Verified Wastewater Facility in North America

March 9, 2015
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The Grand Bend Area Wastewater Treatment Facility, in Ontario, Canada, has earned the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision rating system’s Platinum award, the highest ISI honor a project can receive. The project is the first in Canada to become Envision-verified, and is also the first wastewater facility in North America to do so.

Located on the shoreline of Lake Huron, the project prevents effluent discharges from adversely impacting surface and groundwater quality.

Commissioned by the municipalities of Lambton Shores and South Huron, the global design firm Stantec designed the wastewater facility by converting 1 of 4 existing lagoons into an extended aeration mechanical treatment facility and wetland nature reserve. Key to the project’s success was Stantec using the ISI Envision framework during the design phase to integrate sustainable features throughout the facility.

“[Stantec] involved the community on key project issues and concerns, and made sustainable design choices to reduce negative impacts,” stressed ISI CEO William Bertera.

Key sustainable features of the Grand Bend Area Wastewater Treatment Facility include a constructed wetland to support native wildlife species and further buffer treated effluent, flexible design that makes the facility responsive to changing sewage flows, and reduced construction and operational costs through a focus on efficiency. Stantec also constructed the project within the boundaries of the original facility’s footprint to protect prime farmland, and provided trails and interpretive signage to encourage community visitors.

Stantec Project Manager Elvio Zaghi says that the Grand Bend Area Wastewater Treatment Facility will “protect the shoreline waters of Lake Huron, the area’s most important natural and recreational asset.”

“The Municipality of Lambton Shores is excited to have achieved ISI Envision verification of the Grand Bend Area Wastewater Treatment Facility with our partners, the Municipality of South Huron and Stantec,” says Brent Kittmer, director of Community Services for Lambton Shores. “We take great pride in our efforts to achieve sustainability, and hope this project will pave the way for others in Canada to pursue Envision verification in their infrastructure designs.”

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