Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA)

University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
What the facility does

Develops novel municipal wastewater treatment systems, performs ecological, molecular and chemical evaluation of advanced wastewater treatment systems

Area(s) of Expertise

Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets’ (ACWA) primary goal is to develop wastewater treatment technologies that will remove existing and emerging contaminants to improve ecosystem and human health. ACWA's infrastructure is embedded within the City of Calgary’s Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment facility and includes advanced wastewater treatment processes and 12 experimental streams that can be dosed with various constituents of municipal effluents. Together, we use these facilities to demonstrate advanced treatment techniques and the impact of the resultant effluent on the environment.

ACWA's onsite laboratory has state-of-the-art facilities to quantify contaminant residues, identify and culture cells, determine water-borne pathogens and examine gene expression in model organisms. Additional laboratories (microbiology, aquatic and stable isotope) on the University of Calgary campus complement and support ACWA's research program. The first facility of its kind, the ACWA research facility bridges the gap between bench and pilot-scale research laboratories, and applications in full-scale municipal wastewater treatment plants.

The ACWA research facility enables research that cannot be done anywhere else in the world. Current lab-sized facilities cannot realistically replicate actual field situations. Municipal treatment plants around the world are not suited to intensive research programs – particularly if the experiments involve contaminants harmful to people and the environment. We expect that researchers and city planners from around the world will visit Calgary to learn from the system and test their own thinking as they develop solutions for their own unique challenges.

Research Services

Prototype testing and evaluation, analytical chemistry service, bioassays, environmental assessment of treatment technologies, molecular analysis, genetic sequencing

Sectors of Application
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Specialized lab

Equipment

Function

ACWA Pine Creek Analytical Lab

Quantitative time-of-flight liquid chromatrography-mass spectrometer

Identification of contaminants in wastewater

 

Triple quadruple liquid chromatography mass spectrometer

Identification of contaminant in wastewater

 

High-performance liquid chromatography

Identification of contaminant in wastewater

 

Inductive coupled plasma – mass spectrometer (ICPMS)

Identification of contaminant in wastewater

 

Ion chromatograph

Identification of contaminant in wastewater

 

Gas chromatograph with electron capture detector (GC-ECD)

Identification of contaminant in wastewater

 

Gas chromatograph with flame ionization detector (GC-FID)

Identification of contaminant in wastewater

 

Gas chromatograph with nitrogen and phosphorus detector (GC-N&P)

Identification of contaminant in wastewater

 

Gas chromatograph – mass spectrometer

Identification of contaminant in wastewater

 

Total organic carbon analyzer (TOC)

Used to measure water quality

 

Discrete analyzer

Rapid assessment of contaminants and nutrients in water

 

Biological oxygen demand incubator

BOD measurements

 

Chemical oxygen demand incubator

COD measurements

ACWA Microbiology lab

NextSeq 500 Desktop Sequencer

DNA sequencing

 

Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction

Amplification and quantification of target DNA sequences

 

Epifluoresence microscope

Visualization and quantification of cellular and molecular targets

ACWA Isotope Lab

Carbon-specific isotope ratio mass spectrometers

Tracing of the fate and determining the conversion of carbon during treatment

 

Nitrogen-specific isotope ratio mass spectrometers

Tracing of the fate and determining the conversion of nitrogen during treatment

ACWA Aquatic Lab

Aquatic flow-thru systems ( 8)

Experimental aquatic toxicology testing with cold and warm water species

 

Aquatic recirculating systems ( 5)

 

 

Mass embryo production system

Semi-automated Zebrafish embryo collection system

 

Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction

Amplification and quantification of target DNA sequences

 

Digital polymerase chain reaction

Amplification of DNA sequences using molecular counting

 

Multi-mode micro-plate reader

Bioassay analysis using fluorescence, absorption and luminescence

  • IBM Canada Ltd.
  • Agilent Technologies

Title

URL

U of C research facility opens at city's wastewater treatment plant

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/u-of-c-research-facility-opens-at-citys-wastewater-treatment-plant