Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Green Apartment building!!!

"On-site sewage treatment systems are becoming increasingly common with new development projects, and Victoria’s Dockside Green project is setting the bar high with the goal of treating all of it’s waste on-site, with no sewer connection at all. The system won’t shun the sewage system completely however, as it will require an infusion of municipal sewage to kick start the biological processes that will break down the waste from the 1,200 units in the community.

The actual area planned for the treatment facility is very small at a mere 260 square meters, with the only visible indications being a 12 meter long wall along a pathway. To further disguise the buried system, on top of it is a fish pond connected to a stream. Hiding the treatment system is important to maintain the asthetics of the site for the buyers, but also serves as an excellent indication of how integrated with our communities our waste management systems can be. The facility is being built inside the bank of a hill and three meters below sea level, resulting in many construction challenges.

Despite the treatment system’s small size, the effluent standards are extremely high and will be close to drinking water standards. In order to achieve this high quality of treated water, the designers opted to use treatment technology from Zenon Membrane Solutions. 15% of the treated water will be tinted blue and recycled back into the community’s toilets, the remainder will be used for fountains, irrigation and an artificial stream runningg throughout the community. Residents of Dockside Green will be educated to keep inappropriate substances out of the system such as harsh cleaning products.

Plant construction will start early next year and is expected to be completed in 9 months, followed by another month of testing to ensure the biological treatment process is working properly. The plant will cost approximately $3M to build, and will treat 380 cubic meters of wastewater each day at a cost of $0.01 per gallon.

In addition to clean water, the system will output a block of compressed sludge each day. Initially this will be sent to an organic composting facility in the nearby town of Langford, but eventually it will be burned in an on-site cogeneration setup to produce heat and electricity. "

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