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An investigation into the use of solar aquatic wastewater treatment in the new UBC farm centre building… Liyanage, Chamith; Al-Qutub, Wajih; Dusome, Ian; Motalebi, Sina; Fu, Hsuan Wei Mar 28, 2011

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report       An Investigation into the Use of Solar Aquatic Wastewater Treatment in The new UBC Farm Center Building: A Triple Bottom Line Assessment  Chamith Liyanage  Wajih Al-Qutub  Ian Dusome  Sina Motalebi  Hsuan Wei Fu  University of British Columbia APSC 262 March 28, 2012         Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”. An Investigation into the Use of Solar Aquatic Wastewater Treatment in The new UBC Farm Center Building: A Triple Bottom Line Assessment     Course: APSC 262 Instructor: Dr. Florence Luo Date of Submission: March 28, 2011         Prepared by:  Chamith Liyanage  Wajih Al-Qutub  Ian Dusome  Sina Motalebi  Hsuan Wei Fu       ii Abstract  The UBC farm is movi ng fo rward with the design and const ructi on of a new farm cente r buil ding and as a world l eader in sust ainable agric ult ure, thi s buil ding shou ld refle ct those  ide als. The goal is for the buil ding  is to represent a living lab, full y int e grat ed int o the farms prim ar y food producti on ,  while also sett ing a pre cedent for smart design and providi ng educ ati onal opportuni t ies. In ord er t o achieve thes e  goal s ,  ever y asp e ct of the buil dings desi gn must be care full y consi de red to ensure a full y int e grated and sust ainable s ystem. A ver y impo rtant pa rt of thi s s ystem, esp eciall y i n an agricult ural s ett ing, is the water us a ge. Th e Farm would like to empl o y an onsi te was tewate r tre atm ent facil i t y th at captures rainw ater, gre yw ater and blackwate r, tre ats it in an environmentall y friendl y method, and produc es a high qu ali t y resourc e for agricultural use. This report provides a tripl e bott om line assessment on a solar aquati c st yl e wastewate r tre atm ent fac il it y, as one possi ble option to be consi dered b y th e farm.  The tripl e bott om line assessment takes ecolo gical, economi c and soci al aspects int o consi derati on in orde r to make recomm endati ons. It combi nes prim ar y rese arch from dis cussi ons with ECO - TEK Presiden t Kim Rink, with secondar y sourc es such as papers and journals. Th e important ecologic al asp ects to be consi dered pri maril y invol ve the quali ty of the wate r produc ed by a sola r aquati c s yste m (SAS )  treatm ent facil it y and its s uit abil it y in providi ng a sa fe and healt h y resourc e for use on the farm. The econo mi cal investi gati on ex ami nes the cost feasibi li t y and potential financial benefits of inst all ing and operati n g a SAS. The social aspect looks int o an y benefits a SAS woul d ha ve on the Farm and general UBC comm unit ies .  It was found that the water produ ced from a SAS was consis tentl y of hi gh quali t y and can meet drinki ng wat er qu ali t y standards without further tre atm ent. This would be more than enough for irri gati on or other far m uses, how ever in orde r to be us ed as drinki n g wate r  iii gove rnment regul ati on requires furthe r tre atm ent with chlorine. Also the SAS can be tailor ed to specificall y ta r get water quali t y iss ues such as heav y metal contamination or high endoc rine disrupti ng co mpound ( E DC )  levels. Install in g a SAS would also be a financiall y viabl e opti on for the UBC farm as it uses sim ple materials and is eas y to inst all and maintain. It is also modul ar and reli able all o wing for the s ystem to be modi fied in the future with poss ibl e demand chan ges. A SAS is an attracti ve wa y of deali n g with an unatt racti ve was te product,  while also meet ing  the goal of creat ing an edu cati onal living lab space. It fits well int o the farm comm unit y, compl yin g with man y ,  if not all ,  of the farms core  ideals and therefor e ,  it would be a good choice for use in the new farm center buil ding.                 iv Table of Contents ABST RACT .. .…………………………………………………………………………….… ii  TABLE OF CONT ENT S ....................................................................... ..................................  iv  LIST OF ILLUST RAT IO N S....................................................................... ............................  v  GLOSSARY………………………………………………...…………………….................. v i  LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS………………………………………………………….......... vi ii  1. 0  INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………................. 1  2.0  BACKGROUND DETAILS…………………………………………………................. 2  2.1.  SOLAR AQUATIC SYSTEM………………………………………………………. 2  2.2.  CURRENT WAST E WAT ER TREAT MENT AT UBC …………………………... 4  3 . 0 E COLOGICAL ASPECT....…………………………………………………………....... 5  3 .1.  IMPACT S OF WASTEWAT ER TREAT MENT ON THE ENVIRONMENT……. 6  3 .2.  SOLAR AQUATIC WATER TREATMENT QUALITY …......... ............................  7  4 .0  ECONOMIC ANALYSIS......………………………………..………………………....... 9   4 .1. COST IMPLICATIONS.………………………………………………...................... 9   4 .2. DECENTRALIZATION…………………………………………………………....... 11   4 .3. MODULAR AND REL IABL E..…………………………………………………....... 12  5 .0  SOCIAL ASPECT......……………………………………………………………….......... 14  5 .1.  ATT RA CT IV E GREENHOUSE S YSTEM...……………………………………....... 14  5 .2.  PEDAGOG ICAL SE RV ICES. ………………………………………………….......... 16  5 .3.  JOB OPPORTUNITIES..………………………………………………………........... 16  5 .4.  IMPROV E REGULAT IO NS............................................................ ........................... ..  17  6 . 0  CONCLUSION.….....……………………………………………………………………… 18  REFERENCES........................................................................................... ............................  19  APPENDIX..…........………………………………………………………………………......... 21   v List of Illustrations  Figu re 1. Solar Aquatic System… ..... ...... .... ........ ...... ...... ... ... ...... ... ........ ...... ....     2  Figu re 2. Lio ns Gat e Was t ewat er Treat men t Plan t ......... . .. .... ...... ........ ...... ...... .    4  Figu re 3. Was t ewat er samp l e comp ari son ........... ...... ...... ..... . ...... ... ........ ...... ....    6  Figu re  4 . Mult ip le Aerati on Tanks ............ .. ........ ...... ...... .... .. ...... ... ........ ...... .....   13  Figu re 5 . The UV fil ter at CIRS buil din g ........... ...... .. .... ..... . ...... ... ........ ...... ......   14  Figu re 6 . Land scape plan for the Cyn th ia, Alb ert a SAS...... ........ ........ ...... ...... .   15  Figu re 7 . Biop oni cs cat walk used for guid ed tours .............. . ...... ... ........ ...... .....   16   Tab l e 1. Was t ewat e r Samp l e Quali t y Comp ari son ........... ..... . ...... ........ ...... ...... .   8  Tab l e 2 . Econ o mi c Anal ys is .............. ...... ... ........ ...... ...... .... .. ...... ... ........ ...... ......   10  Tab l e 3 . Neg ati v e Effects of Cent ral i zed Sys t e ms ........ ...... .. .... .. . ........ ...... ...... .    12               vi Glossary    Alum: Both a spe cific ch emi cal compound and a cl ass of chemi cal compounds.    Biodiversity: A measur e of th e healt h of ecos ystems. Biodi vers it y is in part a fun cti on of cli mate.    Bioponic:  A s yst em th at encapsul ates both h ydroponics and aquaponics in an or ganic environment.    Bio solid: Nutrient - rich, human - li k e materials that result from the treatm ent of liquid waste.    Black water: W astewater cont aini ng fe cal matt er and urine.    Chlorination: The proc ess of adding the element chlorine to water as a method of water purificati on to make it fit for human consum pti on as drinking water.    ECO-TEK: It is an environmental lea der in th e design and con structi on of sola r aquati c s ystems to treat se wa ge and wastewate r throu gh purel y biol o gic al means.    Gravity Clarifier: A tank used to remove so li ds b y gravit y.     Greywater: W astewater gener ated from domesti c acti vit ies such as laundr y, dishwashing, and bathi ng which can be rec ycled on - sit e.    Hydroponics: Method of growin g pla nts using mineral nutri ents solut ions, in water , without soil.    Hyperaccumulator: Or ganism s that absorb ta ke lar ge r - than - no rmal am ounts of contaminants.   vii Pathogen: In fecti ous agent, a micr obe or microor ganism s uch as a virus, bacter iu m, prion, or fun gus that caus e disease in its anim al or plant host .    Polymer: La r ge mol e cules compos ed of rep eati n g structur al uni ts.    Potable water: W ater pure enou gh to b e consum ed.    Struvite: Magn esium  amm onium phosphate. It is a phosph ate miner al.   Sustainability: C apable of bein g cont inued with minim al long term effe ct on the environment.                          viii List of Abbreviations   BOD -  Bio ch emi cal oxyg en deman d  CIRS – Cent re for Interactiv e Res earch on Sust ai nabi lit y  EDC -  End o crin e - Dis ru pti ng Comp o un ds  GVRD -  Great er Vancou v er Regio nal Dis tri ct  L – Liters  M – Mill io n  mg – Milli grams  MSR -  Muni cip al Sewag e Reg ul at ion  PCB – Polych lo ri nat ed Biph en yl  pH – Potent i al Hyd rog en  SAS – Solar Aqu at i c Sys t e m  Sq. Ft – Square feet  SUB – Student Uni on  Build in g  TSS -  Tot al susp en ded solid s  UBC – Univ ersi t y of Bri tis h Col u mb i a  UV – Ultrav iol et  1 1.0 Introduction  The UBC farm is a gl obal lead er in sust aina ble and or ganic agri cult ure pr acti ces, focusing heavil y on fo od producti on in such a wa y that cooper a tes with the environment, minim iz es  impact and values all potential resources. The new farm center, cur rentl y being designed fo r const ru cti on be ginni ng in the summ er of 2013, shoul d coi ncide with thes e valu es. The aim is for the buil ding to repr esent the f a r ms core ideals in the for m of a full y int e gr ated living lab, providi n g a net posi ti ve oper ati on alo ng with educ ati onal opp ortuni ti es for  not onl y  UBC students but also the  Vancouve r  and sust ainable agricult ure comm un it ies. This report looks int o one poss ibl e opti on for a wastewat er tr eat ment facil it y that could  be int e grat ed with the buil ding ’s ope rati on, a necessa r y asp ect in ord er to meet the go als set fo r t h  by th e farm. This facil it y would coll ect rainwater, gre yw ate r an d blackw ater produc ed in the bui ldi n g and surrounding area ,  for onsit e treatm ent. After t r eatm ent the ef fluent water would provide a valuable resourc e for agricult ur al and educ ati onal uses such as irri gat ion, hydrop onics and aquaponics. A solar aqu ati c s ystem (SAS ) of wastewater tr eatm en t was chosen to be the main focus of this investi gati o n.  This report  begins b y ex ami ning the details of how such a system would work at a buil ding scale and in an agricultural sett ing. Curr ent wastewate r treatm ent methods empl o yed by other areas of UBC ar e also briefl y discussed to provide contrast to an alt ernati ve such as a SAS. The report will then proceed with a tripl e bott om line investigati on, taking int o account ecolo gical, economi cal and social consi derati ons before m aking a final rec omm endati on.     2  2.0 Background Details  Befo re movi n g on to th e tripl e bott om line asse ssm ent it is important to review some back ground  information including a brief desc riptio n of the steps invol ved in a SAS and a quick look int o current metho ds of wastew ater tr eatm en t curr entl y empl o ye d at UBC. The details in regardin g to these two ba ckground subj ects are in the foll owing se cti ons:   2.1 Solar Aquatic Process  Figu re 1: Solar Aqu ati c Sys tem (E coTek, 2012)   To begin with it is important to give a brief ove rv iew of a SA S  and the steps in volved in thi s process. Figur e 1  shows an ex ampl e of a buildi ng scale solar aquati c s ystem sim il ar to  the one inst all ed in the C IRS and sim ilar to what would potentiall y be used in the new farm center. Although the process ca n var y with s iz e and im plementation, the gene ra l idea invol ved is, that  3 biol ogicall y acti ve or ga nism s are used to tr eat the water without the need fo r chemi c als and without producing la r ge quanti ti es of sludge .  (To dd, 1992)  As shown in the dia gr a m ,  most s yst ems start o ut by uti li z ing a blendin g tank to bu ffe r against an y da y - t o - d a y  variati on in the incomin g wastew ater stream. (T eal & Pete rson, 1993)  The wate r then pro ce eds int o large transluc ent pl asti c or glass tanks. Th e se  tanks ar e aerat ed to keep an y soli ds from set tl ing and contain a lar ge variet y of microor ganis ms including bacteria, protoctis ts and fun gi. On the surf ace of th ese t anks a variet y of marsh plants such as wate r hya cint hs or duckw eed ,  for ex ampl e ,  ar e su pported. (Todd, 1992) ( EcoTek, 2012)  The combi nati on of microor ganism s and plants effe cti vel y t reat th e wat er and remove poll utants. After a series of these ta nks the water empt ies into a conical gravit y clarifi er that all ows for an y soli ds to sett le out and be recircul ated back int o the blending tank at the start of the system. A small amount of wate r ma y also be recir culated to help restock the micr oorganism s in the more harsh ini ti al stages. (Tod d, 1992)  In the fi gure sh own the s ystems ends wi th a sand and UV filte r before finall y empt yin g int o a stora g e tank. This i s the sim plest  implement ati on of a solar aqu ati c s ystem and ev en thou gh i t is full y eff ecti ve fo r sm all - scale  op erati on m an y other s ystems include further sta ges to poli sh the wate r quali t y. Thes e stages most often repres ent a more compl ete e cos ystem including zoo plankton, ph ytopl ankton, fish, turtles, snails and freshw ater cl ams for ex ampl e, as well plants gro wn hyd roponicall y on the surface. Th ese pla nts are not limi ted to marsh t ypes and can in clude virtuall y an y plan t that is suit able for gr owth via hydroponi cs. (Todd, 1992)  There ar e man y opti ons to be consi der ed wh en implementi ng a sola r aquati c s ystem besides the basic volume and spacing requir e ments. Different plant species ma y be more effe cti ve at removi ng ce rtain contaminants, such as  heav y metals, from the wastewate r stream.  4 (Todd, 1992)  Be caus e t he wate r is being coll e cted from both buil ding waste and rainwate r runoff ,  it ma y be use ful to have a dive rse sele cti on of plant and anim al l ife to ensure th e best water quali t y possi ble.   2.2 Current Wastewater Treatment at UBC   Lions Gate Wastewate r Treatm ent Plant, located on leased land that is being returned to the Squami sh Nati on, provides prim ar y treatm e nt to wastewater from approx im atel y 1740 0 residents of the Dist rict of West Vancouv er the Cit y of No rth Van couve r, the Dist rict of North Vancouve r and Ele ctoral Are a A ,  which includes the Universit y of Britis h Colum bia.  The Lions Gate Wastew ater Tre atm ent Plant holds seven times more cap acit y as it was opened in 1961.  In 2006, the gove rnm ent of Britis h Colum bia gave the plant the certificate all owing the plant to releas e Biol o gical Ox yg en Demand of 130 mg/ L, Total suspended soli ds of 130 mg/ L and Max im um dail y discha r ge of 318,000 m 3 /da y.  So far the numb er of the times ex ceedin g permit  has remained 0. (Metro Vancouve r, 2012)   Figur e  2: Lio n s Gate Waste wate r Trea tme nt P lant    5 The Lions Gate Waste water Treatm ent Plant i s a Primar y or Me chani cal Wastewate r Treatm ent Plant.  A Pri mar y Plant ph ysicall y s e parates the suspend ed so li ds and can  remove 30 to 40 perc ent of tot al su spended soli ds and 50 percent of biol o gical ox ygen demand which is onl y half as ef fecti ve as t he Secondar y or Biol ogic al Wastewater Tre atm ent Plants.  A Secondar y Plant use bacteri a to co nsum e or ganic matte r and can remo ve up to 90 perc ent of suspended soli ds and biol ogical ox ygen demand.(M etro Van couver, 2012)  In Januar y 2012, a projec t definiti on of buil din g a secondar y tre atm ent plan t on the North Shore had be gun.  The structure will ensur e the wastewat er conti nue to b e mana ged saf el y, afford abl y and ef fecti ve l y.  New fede ral and provincial standards requ ire all prim ar y level treatm ent plants to be upgr aded to second ar y t r eatm ent.  To meet these requir ements, Metro Vancouve r will buil d the new secondar y tre atm en t plant at a site approx imatel y two kil ometers east of th e ex ist ing Lions Gate Wastew ater Tre at ment Plant.  The wastew ater tr eatm ent plant will be upgraded to s econda r y lev el treatm ent b y 2020 .  (Metro Van couver, 201 2)   3.0 Ecological Aspect   The environm ental im pa cts of a SAS wastewat er treatm ent facil it y in co mparison with more tradit ional methods are  obviously important to consider. In order to coincide with UBC’s reputation of sust ainabili t y it is desirable to tre at water on sit e with minim al, if an y chemi c al treatm ent. A SAS achieves thi s by mimi cking the natural processes of wat er treatm ent found in marshlands. How ever the quali t y of the wat er ne eds to be suit able for use in or ganic agricult ur e and ideall y for human co nsum pti on. Environmental factors and wate r quali t y ar e discussed in th e secti ons as follows:   6 3.1 Impacts of Wastewater Treatment on the Environment  In orde r to prote ct the ea rth from the problems it i s facin g, su ch as defo rest ati on, erosion, water shorta ges and wat er poll uti on, ther e needs to be  acti ons t aken. On e of the bi ggest steps enga ged would be to restore water, wher eas wate r can be consi der ed as the foundati on of life on earth. Dif fer ent proc edur es can be taken for savin g water on ou r planet. Ex ampl es include water reclamati on from waste w ater, indus trial waste water tr eatm ent and reuse, urban stormw ater treatm ent and reuse. One of the procedu res pr acti ced  on UBC campus is the usa ge of wastew ater as resour ces. In thi s met hod, valuable nutrients are recove red from waste water and then used to propa gate and fertili z e biodi versit y. Foll owin g t his we can restore l and with biodi versit y and compos ted bioso li ds. In figure 3 , a variet y of wastewater t yp es are being observed and tested for later usa ge.   Fig ur e 3: Waste wa ter Sa mp le Co mp ar iso n     7 This me thod has man y posi ti ve impacts on the environment. This proce dure conve rts tox ic amm onia to reusable nit rate nutrients. It also removes or br ea ks apart contaminant chemi cals, pla cin g clean wate r ba ck int o the env ironment. Another advan tage is that chemi c al s are not required to pro duce high quali t y wate r output . No chlorine, alums or pol yme rs are required b y the pro cess, however gove rnment regulation ma y mak e them necessa r y for human use. Most pathogens ar e destro yed naturall y, and the ult ra - filters and ult r aviol et light used compl etes the disi nfecti o n. (EcoTek, 2012 )   3.2 Solar Aquatic Water Treatment Quality   One of the most important factors for de cidi ng upon the t ype of waste water  tr eatm ent facil it y to be uti li z ed in the new farm cent er buil ding was the qu ali t y of water output . The UBC farm prides itself with being a world leade r in organic, sust ainable farmin g practi ces and as such it places the utm ost importance on the healt h of the land along with the plants and anim als it sust ains. To keep with th ese ide als, an y wat er out put from the new farm center buil din g needs to be of the highest quali t y and suit able for use i n an organic agricult ur e sett ing. It has been demons trated b y earl y pil ot projects ex ploring the viabili t y of SAS that class 1 drinki ng wate r can be obtain ed using thi s method. (Teal & Peters on, 1993)    8  Table 1 : Wastewater Sa mpl e Quali t y Compariso n (Teal & Peterson, 1993 )   The technolo g y has dev eloped as the standards have chan ged all owin g sys tems such as the one currentl y establi shed in the CIRS buil ding to consi stentl y meet the standards requir ed for drinki ng wate r. TSS , BOD, phosphorus, nit roge n and fecal coli form lev els are all reduc ed to levels below the required standards and th e uti li z ati on of UV and sand filte rs also helps to ensur e th at al l harmful pathoge ns are removed.  (Te al & Peterson, 1993)(Todd , 1992)(EcoTek, 2012)  This being said the water quali t y output by a SAS is more than adequate for use as irrigati on. A major benefit of thi s t ype of technolo g y is that the plant life used to  treat the water can be tailored to meet sp ec ific wate r quali t y iss ues. Some marsh pl a nts are kno wn as hype rac cumul ators and are espe ciall y effe cti ve at removi ng heav y meta ls from water .  (Todd,  9 1992) SAS st yle s yste ms have also been de mons trated to be mor e  eff ecti ve at removi n g Endocrine - Disrupting Compounds or EDC’s than traditional wastewater treatment methods. EDCs mimi c estrogen an d have been linked to a lar ge va riet y of healt h pro blems in both humans and anim als. (Kumar, Chiranjeevi, Moh anakrish na & Mo han, 2011)  Th e pro cess uti li z ed in a SAS mimi cs the method of waste water treatm ent found in nature, producing hi gher quali t y, safer and he alt hier water than most tradit ional methods of waste water trea tm ent and so it seems it would be a good choic e for th e UBC farm.   4.0 Economic Analysis  The SAS is economi call y viable to be const ruct ed in the new UBC Far m centre. The costs from const ructi on, operati on, and mainten a nce are lower wh en com pared to conv enti onal treatm ent methods. The material used to const ru ct the s ystem from t he greenhous e to the const ructed wetl ands is reli able and ex pandable. Moreove r, the SAS bri ngs decent rali z ati on ,  which also contribut es to the cost reducti on in man y wa ys. These thre e important features ar e thoroughl y discussed in t he s ubsecti ons below as foll ows:    4.1 Cost Implications  UBC proposed a 15 - 20 mill ion dollar budget on the tot al cost of renovati on for the new UBC Farm centre, wh ich  includes the const r ucti on of the wastew at er tre atm ent facil it y (Rushm ere 2012 ). How e ver, the  speci fic bud get plan for the wastew ater treatm ent itself is not specified. Th e cost of the SAS is less than conv en ti onal s ystems and it pro duces reclaimed wate r  10 that could be sold for revenue (E coTek 2012 ). This means that we can assum e the wastew ater tre atm ent facil it y ex pens es are mu ch lower than 20 mill ion dol lars.    Whil e doing thi s investigati on our group strictl y consi dered the utm ost sust ainabili t y on the cost of the SAS. The t ype of tr eatm ent facil it y must be approp riate an d withi n budget limi ts. P ast research has show n that cop yin g innovati ve technolog y without consi derin g the sit e specificati ons and bud get plans leads to perman ent s ystem shut downs (Volk man 2003).  The area available proposed by UBC for the “living lab space” is 52m 2  so the treatm en t facil it y shoul d tak e up to 20 – 30 m 2  (Rushm ere 2012). Since thi s are a is relativel y low comp ared to other treatm ent facil it ies at UBC `s, such as con structed wetl ands, the ref ore the impl ementati on of the SAS is per fe ctl y acc eptable. EcoTek nee ds about 1 – 2m 2  of ar ea fo r the greenhous e portion for ever y 1m 3  of wastewate r produc ed per da y (EcoTek 2012 ). In C ynthi a, Alberta EcoTek has implemente d a SAS for a 2000 sq. ft wastew ater tr eatm ent fa cil it y. The capit al cost in const ructi on for thi s sys tem was $1.4 M and t he oper ati ng mont hl y co sts were about $1167 per mont h (Chan g, Hai nes, Rit temann, & Trie u, 2011).  Bas ed on the se data from previous resea rch our t eam was ab le to calculate the following:    IND ICAT ORS  COST S AND COMM ENTS  UBC Farm centre capital construction costs for the wastewater treatment facility (Chang et al., 2011) Ass umi ng linear it y for a 2000 sq.ft (~186m 2 ) it is $1.4M. So for the 30m 2  new UBC far m cent r e it woul d cost $226,000 for capit al cons tr uct ion costs.  Monthly operating costs T he cost f or operati ons woul d be $1/ m 3 . Ass umi ng the UBC Far m centr e gener ates 100m 3  it woul d be $35,000 per annum (Ri nk, 2012) . So the mont hl y operat ing cos t s woul d be $2917 per mont h.  Human Resources $100 per per son for 1 year (Ri nk, 2012) .  Operational Revenue from potential sale of by-products (Chang et al., 2011) T hi s is ver y high in SAS since it gene rates recl ai med wat er, compost ed biomas s, and a var i et y of aquat ic and hydr oponi c plants suc h as duc kwee d (Chang et al., 2011) .  T ab le 2 : Eco no mic Anal ysi s   11  4.2 Decentralization  C urrentl y, 85% of wast ewater is tre ated b y th e GVRD (Gre ater Vanco uver Re gional Dist rict) and UBC pa ys $0.40 for the treatm ent, which sums up to $2 milli on doll ars per annum (Binns, D’Souza, & Lam, 2011).          The dependen ce of pu rchasi n g potable wat er from Metro - Van couve r to uti liz e in wastewater treatment processes is part of a centralized mechanism. The aim of UBC is “to achieve a net positive water system” (Binns et al., 2011) which is implicitly stated in the general mass balance eq uati on gi ven below:  0 = Influent – Effluent – Waste – Accumul ati on – Removal  (Kavan a gh, 2007)  Centrali z ati on means that wastewate r comi ng from flushing toi lets, includi ng human ex creta, will be combi ne d with potable water. This creates a lar ge flow of path ogenic wastewat er flowing around the wh ole region, which is centrali z ed to one pipeline (Volkm an, 2003). Centralized systems, in today’s world, are being considered unsustainable due to major concerns over human he alt h iss ues (Volkm an, 2003).    12  T ab le 3 :  N egative e ffec t s of c entr alize d syste ms.  Retr ieved fro m Sustainable Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in Urban Areas of the Developing World (Volkman, 2003)   The SAS s ystem provi des an ex cell ent method for  dec entrali z ati on, which “reduces pumpi ng and pipi n g c osts and installation timelines” (EcoTek, 2012). If the wastewater treatment s ystem is broken down i nto small er indi vidual segments of tr eatm ent, the s ystem can be more flex ibl e to sudden changes such as weathe r cond it ions (Volkm ann, 2003). Therefo re, the new UBC Farm centre would benefit a dec entrali z ed s ystem such as the Solar Aquati cs S yst em b y EcoTek.   4.3 Modular and Reliable  The components used to build the SAS are “easy to assemble” and “lightweight”. This makes it easier to up gr ade the curr ent SAS to sati sf y an y wast ewate r flow treatm ent withi n budget limi ts (EcoT ek, 2012). For ex ampl e, an ad dit ional aerati on tank co uld be inst all ed easil y if there is a sudd en incr e ase in waste water flow. Furthermo re a SAS is co nstructed with sim ple buil ding materia l and does not require a sp eci ficall y skil led work forc e. A lar ge aspect of maintenance includ es te nding to the plants live that thrives in the condit ions created b y thi s  13 s ystem and the refo re tr aini ng a agricult ure stud en t to oversee s ystem main tenance woul d be ver y reasonabl e .     Fig ur e 4 : Multip le Aer atio n Tank s wh ich ca n be insta lled easil y. ( EcoTek, 2012)   To disi nfect th e tr eated wastewate r from pathogenic ge rms, UV Fil trati on is used b y the SAS. Although chlorinat ion is not necessa r y to disi nfect th e tre ated wastewater, the muni cipal gove rnment imposes th at chlorinati on tre atm e nt must be used (Rink, 2012). Moreov er, chlorination relatively has low costs compared to other options but it also introduces “toxic by -products such as PCB’s” (Grant, Hill, H olbrook, Lym burn er, McTavish, & Sundb y, 2002). Th e benefits of having a UV Filter in the SAS are that it doesn’t require a specific pH value or temperatur e const r aint (Grant et al., 2002 ).  The SAS provides indus trial quali t y UV Fil ters that can withs tand peak flows and operat e for man y ye ars wit hout malfuncti oning.   14  Fig ur e 5 : T he UV Filter at CIRS Build i n g (EcoTek Slides, 2012).   5.0 Social Impact  After a thorou gh investi gati on on implementi ng a SAS at the new UBC Farm center , our group con cluded that t he re ar e sever al social impacts that affe ct the neigh boring  comm unit y and UBC as a whole. The tr eatm ent facil it y will include the following factor s; it is att racti ve and odor  fre e, it serv es valua ble educati onal pu rposes to visi tors, and it decre a ses unemp lo ym ent in the UBC comm unit y.    5.1 Attractive Greenhouse System  The SAS is most l y conta ined in a greenhous e whe re the solar tanks and aq uati c plants ar e maintained around a te mperature of 20 degrees Celsi us (Rink, 2012).  These plants, from the aerati on tanks and con structed wetl ands, prov ide a natural view to the publi c eye. Th e gr eenhouse is most l y co mpos ed of glass ,  which embeds the wastewater tr eatm ent facil it y as part  15 of the natural environme nt itself. The figu re belo w is the SAS implemented in C ynth ia, Albe rta in 2009. It shows how th e facil it y acts as part of t he environment to tre at the wastew ater.    Fig ur e 6 : La nd sca p e plan fo r t he Cyn thia, Alb er ta SAS (Eco T ek Slid es, 20 1 2)    Moreover, the SAS op erates on an odor  fre e process. This is main l y du e to the gr eenhouse po rtion of the system that consi sts of aer ati on tanks with diss olved ox ygen l evels (DO levels) (Grant et al. , 2002). Ever ythi ng in th e SAS is compos ed of natural indi cators. Fo r ex ampl e, if an odor  oc curs then the facil it y operator can po int out that the s yst em ma y be overloaded (Gr ant et al., 2002). Fish and pl ant growth also se rve as a str ong indi c ator of how well the s yst em is operat ing. In gener al if life is fl ourishing in a particular aspect of the syst em it can be assum ed that the y a re removi n g the nutrients the y need and in doing so performi n g their required task (Todd, 199 2)       16 5.2 Pedagogical Services  The SAS provides a valuable ac ademi c tool used by student and facult y to resea rch mor e about ecolo gical en ginee ring in the solar a quati cs field (Binns et al., 2011). The structur e in the SAS provides catw alks, such as th e bioponi c catwalk, for guided tours shown in the figu re below.    Fig ur e 7 : Bio p o nics cat wal k used fo r guid ed tour s (EcoTek, 2012)   5.3 Job Opportunities  Maintenan ce, const ru cti on and operati onal functi ons of the SAS could generat e sever al jobs in the UBC comm unit y. Also, the mana gement and sales of b y - prod ucts gen er ated b y the SAS can provide UBC Students with several empl o ym ent opportuni ti es (Binns et al., 2011). These b y - produ cts inclu de reclaimed wate r, whic h could be potentiall y so ld to the GVRD if not used onsi te, and man y more such as struvit e recover y from waste wate r used for fertili z ati on purposes. There is also the potential for sell ing tropical plants or f ruits and ve getables gro wn hydroponi call y in final stages of the s ystem.   17 5.4 Improve Regulations   The Muni cipal Sewa ge Regulation (MSR ) prov ides the standard requir ement for the dischar ge of waste and sewa ge water to compl y with the Waste Manage ment Act.   The code is to moni tor the treatm ent an d use of reclaimed water . (Code of Practi ce fo r t he Use of Reclaimed Water, 2001)  The re claimed wate r can be used on the foll owin g:  1.   Irri gati on  2.  Chemi cal Spra yin g  3.  Fire Fi ghti ng  4.  Toilet and Urinal Flush in g  5.  Ponds and Decor ati ve Us es  6.  Stream Au gmentati on  7.  Habit at Restorati on and Enhancement  8.  Comm ercial Vehicle  9.  Drivewa y and Street Wa shing  10.  Snow and Ice M aking  11.  Dust Suppressi on and Soil Compacti on  12.  Indust rial Uses   One of the MSR  cod e is that chlorine must be added to wast ewate r t o remove an y possi ble bacterial, vir al or parasit ic inf ecti ons to the water.  Th e addit ion of chlorine con flicts with UBC farm’s organic produce.  The construction of the wastewater treatment facility aim s to demons trate with the us e of prope r tr eatm ent, chemi cals would not be required for removi n g  18 biol ogical infe cti ons. (Muni cipal Sewa ge Re gulation, 2010)  There fo re, improve the curr ent regulation for wastewat er treatm ent.   Although the most of current tr eatm ent plants provide drinkable water, the usage of treated water as a drinki n g resourc e was mad e ille gal b y gov ernment re gulations .   6.0 Conclusion  Through ou r resea rch fo r a tripl e - bott om line as sessm ent of the waste w ater tre atm ent facil it y at the new UBC Farm centre, our group was able to conclude that the solar aquati cs facil it y would be the perfect choi ce. Environme ntall y, the facil it y would have a sli m to none impact on the surroundings and not disrupt the inhabit ants. Economi call y, the SAS is the b est opti on since it provides revenue. Sociall y, havin g thi s facil it y he re at the new UBC Farm centr e will provide a stron g publi c ima ge of sust ainabili t y and nurtur e the comm unit y with empl o yment. From th e rese arch that we acqu ired writ in g thi s report , our  group stron gl y recomm ends that UBC consi ders implementi ng another Solar Aquati cs S ystem at the new UBC Farm cent er .                           19 LIST OF REFERENCES  1. Binns, S. D’Souza, R., & Lam, D. (2011 April). Wastewater Treatment at the Univerisity of British Columbia (Course Code: APSC 364). Retrieved March 25, 2012, from SEEDS Library:   2. Chang, D., Haines, B., Rittemann, T., & Trieu, H. (2011 April). Wastewater Treatment at UBC Point Grey Campus. (Course Code: APSC 364). Retrieved March 26, 2012, from SEEDS Library:  3. EcoTek. (2012). Ecological Technologies Inc. Retrieved from  4.Farrell, M. (1996). Purifying wastewater in greenhouses. Biocycle, 37(1), 30. Retrieved from   5. Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water. (2010, December). Guidelines for canadian drinking water quality. Retrieved from   6. Ghunmi, L. A. (2011). Grey water treatment systems: A review. Critical reviews in environmental science and technology, 41(7), 657. doi: 10.1080/10643380903048443   7. Grant, M., Hill, G., Holbrook, C., Lymburner, P., McTavish, A., & Sundby, A. (2002, April). Water management and waste water treatment at the University of British Columbia: A study for sustainable alternatives (Course Code. ENVR 449). Retrieved February 12, 2012, from SEEDs Library:   8. Kavanagh, J, & Lydia, J. (2007 February). Engineered ecosystem for sustainable on-site wastewater treatment. Retrieved March 24, 2012, from Science Direct   9. Kumar, A., Lin, D., Tang, F., & Yulo, K. (2011, April 1). Grey matters: turning rainwater into greywater (Course Code : APSC 262). Retrieved February 11, 2012, from SEEDs Library:  10. Kumar, A. K., Chiranjeevi, P., Mohanakrishna, G., & Mohan, S. V. (2011). Natural attenuation of endocrine-disrupting estrogens in an ecologically engineered treatment system (eets) designed with floating, submerged and emergent macrophytes. Ecological Engineering, 37(10), 1555-1562. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2011.06.009    20 11. Rink, K. (2012). Reclaimed Water System. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from UBC Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS):  12. Teal, J. M., & Peterson, S. B. (1993). A solar aquatic system septage treatment plant. Environmental Science & Technology, 27(1), 34-37. doi: 10.1021/es00038a003  13. Todd, J. H. (1992). U.S. Patent No. 5,087,353. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  14. Sim, D., Sato, E., Lei, K., & Wu,T. (2010, November 30). An investigation into developing a net-zero water management startegy for the new student union building (Course Code: APSC 261). Retrieved February 12, 2012, from SEEDs Library:  15. Volkman, S. (2003, April). Sustainable wastewater treatment and reuse in urban areas of the developing world (Master’s thesis, MTU). Retrieved February 15, 2012, from Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering:                                 21 Appendix   Notes from meeting Kim Rink, the Solar Aquatics System (SAS) President  A meeti n g was set on March 13th, 2012 at the C IRS buil ding with Mr. Ki m Rink, the president of ECO - TEK.   In that me eti ng, we wer e fortunate to hav e a look insi de the S AS and und e rstand the me chanism and functi onali t y of thi s kind of wastewate r treat ment. Mr Rink started explaining the proc ess by showing us how each s eparat e vessel wo rks an d its purpose. The follo wing subse cti ons were ex plained by Mr. Rink:   Biodigestion from the plants: Dependin g on wat er con sump ti on, a specified nu mber of tanks will be pu t in place to serve as a reserv e for waste water. These tanks consi st of plants with large roots th at act as an ex cell ent habit at for bacteria with temperatures of appro x im atel y 20 degre es celsi us. In orde r for clean water (reus able)  to be acquired, bacteri a and other micro - or ganism s sim pl y br eak do wn waste products in the water. Besides contribut in g to the bio - digesti on, plants provide a suit able environment for microo r ganism s.   Economic Features: The cost for op erati ons o n the Sol ar Aquati cs S yst em is about $1/ m^ 3. So for about 100 cubic metre s yst em it would be around $35,000 per ann um. And for human resources of the s yst em it would be about a $100/ year per head.   Social Aspects: Although the pro cess req uires no use of chlo rine for disi nfecti on purposes, Mr. Rink ex plained that the gov ernment su ggests the use of chlorinati o n. Therefo re besides UV disi nfecti on, chlorinati on is also used.                       


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