UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Optimizing resource recovery in Vancouver Thoren, Ryan


Vancouver’s expanding population is putting pressure on the city’s water and wastewater infrastructure; more efficient uses of this resource need to be explored as the cost of upgrading the city’s water and sewer network is daunting. Wastewater presents a significant source of water and heat and, if properly exploited, can reduce pressure on existing infrastructure while reducing stress on the receiving environment. This thesis presents a model with three scenarios that seek to quantify and optimize the amount of water that can be cascaded within the Vancouver Sewerage Area, as well as evaluates each reuse scheme for the economic, environmental, and social benefits associated with each. The first scenario shows a number of potential sources and sinks for direct cascading of wastewater between industries, however water quality represents a significant barrier to this form of water reuse. With the implementation of a satellite water reclamation facility (WRF) in scenario 2, water quality is no longer a barrier and water recycling potential is significantly increased. However, proximity becomes a problem as many of the industries are too far away from the WRF and the cost of pumping and infrastructure far outweighs the benefits of water reuse. When the model is modified in scenario 3 to include the rest of the industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) sector and multifamily housing, the potential for water reuse is much greater than the first two scenarios due to the proximity of reclaimed water sinks. The scenario with the greatest water reuse potential, a satellite WRF supplying ICI and multifamily water users, was calculated to recycle upwards of 1,000,000m³/year. Implementation of this scenario would require up to 50 years to allow for public acceptance, policy implementation, and buy in from government and industry. The required infrastructure is extensive but with proper planning over an appropriate time period, the added benefit of energy recovery from wastewater, and participation from industry and government, water reuse can be a viable option for Vancouver.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International