You are here

Nutrient Recovery Facility

The City's Nutrient Recovery Facility at the Wastewater Treatment Plant is the first Canadian site to feature the patented Ostara technology. 

The nutrient removal process is a cost effective and environmental solution designed to eliminate the build-up of a cement-like material (Struvite) in the wastewater treatment equipment, which has threatened the reliability of the plant. The elimination of this material forming inside the equipment and pipes throughout the plant will prevent significant reoccurring maintenance and repair costs.

Cross-section of pipe with Struvite build-up (left), piece of Struvite (right) and several small sample vials of Crystal Green®

Piece of Struvite

The Nutrient Recovery Facility recovers phosphorus and nitrogen from the wastewater and transforms them into a highly pure, slow release, environmentally friendly fertilizer called Crystal Green®. The City will produce 240-350 tonnes of fertilizer annually which will be distributed by Ostara, creating an annual revenue stream for the City.

Crystal Green® is an all-in-one fertilizer containing magnesium, phosphorus and nitrogen. It is extremely safe for crops and the environment because of its slow release properties which reduce leaching and runoff. It can be blended with all fertilizer products and soil types and is typically applied to turf grass, golf courses and high value crops, such as, berries and fruit trees.

The total cost of this project was approximately $4.5 million, and the revenue generated from sales of the fertilizer are expected to completely offset the incremental cost of operating the Ostara portion of the plant. 

The main benefit to the City is the significant reduction of Struvite, which will eliminate many millions of dollars in repair costs over the life of the Ostara project and significantly reduce the risk of plant failures.