Secondary Treatment for Montreal Water

Montreal’s wastewater treatment plant, located in Pointe-Aux-Trembles, is the largest in North America and ranks the third largest in the world. Yet despite it’s an extraordinary capacity of 32 m3/s, the treatment process itself is actually one of the worst in Canada. In fact, a national “report card” issued by the Sierra Club in 2004 gave the city’s treatment process a grade of F-.

The biggest problem is that Montreal only provides primary treatment of its sewage in comparison to most other cities across Canada delivering secondary and even tertiary treatment of wastewater. As a result, the plant’s effluent remains full of pharmaceuticals, in addition to heavy metals, and a multitude of other contaminants.

While this pollution is usually kept clear from the shores of Montreal, it has begun to migrate downstream of the island where effluent was recently shown to be "seriously inadequate" when it comes to removing harmful pharmaceutical drugs from the river’s ecosystem.

In keeping pace with these findings, a variety of biological treatment methods have been developed to treat such persistent pollutants and research continues to provide new and innovative ways of treatment right here in Quebec. Montreal would greatly benefit from a secondary and even tertiary biological treatment process.

As such, the aim of this project would be to explore viable biological treatment processes for the Montreal treatment facility and put forth design alternatives for consideration. It would involve visiting the facility on a regular basis to work with the engineers, collect samples, analyze lab results, and report findings that point towards viable solutions. The project could be expanded to include design alternatives for the facility that would aid future builders (perhaps us) in their endeavors.

UPDATE (09/22/09):  The city of Montreal already has plans to install an Ozonation process once the money is raised and we've hit a dead end with this project.  

1 comment:

  1. I would love to discuss with the stakeholders how we, at Floating Island Southeast (, can help. We might have the answer, or at least part of the answer, to removing the pharmaceuticals from the Montreal wastewater. who should I contact?