Phosphorus Reduction Project Meets Objectives
Chatham, ON – Feb 26, 2021
A phosphorus reduction and recovery system aimed at reducing the growth of harmful algal blooms in the Thames River and Lake Erie has been successfully demonstrated. A Waterloo EC-P system was tested that mimics the way phosphorus is removed naturally in iron-rich soils through the crystallization of iron-phosphate minerals. The containerized system treated up to 40,000 L/day of surface water from the agricultural runoff of 340 acres of farmed land and includes a process to allow for the recovery and re-use of captured phosphorus as a fertilizing soil amendment.
The system operated for 15 months treating up to 40,000 L/day and shows promising results in improving surface water quality with low operating costs, no chemical addition, and no sludge production. Total phosphorus was initially reduced 35% with very low influent concentrations (0.12 mg/L) and effluent concentrations near the detection limit. In a second phase with artificially higher influent phosphorus concentrations total phosphorus removal increased to 67%. The system removed 90% of reactive and dissolved phosphorus. Other water quality measures were relatively unchanged (pH, temperature, conductivity, TN) or improved (TSS, turbidity, DO). The system can be scaled up to treat 100,000 L/day in a single container.
Other water quality measures were relatively unchanged (pH, temperature, conductivity, TN) or improved (TSS, turbidity, DO).
The Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative is a voluntary initiative cited in the Canada Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan aimed at contributing to the commitment made in 2016 between Canada and the U.S. to a 40 per cent reduction in the total phosphorus entering Lake Erie.
This project is funded through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative and through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.