Team:NDC-HighRiverAB/Human Practices

Human Practices

High River Wastewater Treatment

Our team has collaborated extensively with the High River Wastewater Treatment Plant; speaking with Jason Craigie (Treatment facilities supervisor) and Eugene Lund (Manager of Operational Services). We wanted to know where the best place in the Wastewater Treatment Plant to integrate our bacteria would be. From meeting with the High River Wastewater Treatment Plant representatives we learned that the largest fat build up problem happened where sewage and drainage pipes met - called lift stations. We looked into integrating our bacteria there, but soon discovered that lift stations are anaerobic, with the average temperature below optimal temperature for our bacteria. This would hinder the production of our enzyme in bacteria, causing our solution to not be as effective. With the help of our local representatives, we found that our bacteria would work best separate from the current wastewater process. Currently, fat in our sewer system is manually removed through a vacuum, then physically broken down by high air pressure. The problem with this method it that fat often clumps back together once reintroduced into the system. Our plan would be to introduce out bacteria to the phase in the current fat removal method where that fat is separated from the system. Our town’s local wastewater treatment system has separate concrete pillars, which the town has offered to let us use to introduce our bacteria to the removed fat. Our method would chemically break the triglycerides down, reducing the probability that they would join back up again.


We have also met with representatives of our local Cargill facility. Cargill is a local industrial plant located outside of our town (High River). As the factory produces lots of wastewater, they have set up their own wastewater treatment facility. We met with Sean Murray, (environmental superintendent) who is responsible for the wastewater treatment facility. Sean told us that the Cargill facility uses bacteria to produce a biofuel, which is then converted into power for the factory. Sean told us he would be interested in collaboration for the use of our e. coli in Cargill’s wastewater system.

Team photo with employees from Cargill
From left to right: Dale Lagrange, Daisy Hagens, Mya George, Miguel LePatourel, and Sean Murray