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Case Study

Pilot treatment wetland

Water Sampling, Environmental Science

Advisian was retained by a confidential oil sands client to provide a conceptual design and ongoing monitoring support for a Pilot Treatment Wetland Northeast of Fort McMurray, AB.

The Situation

Advisian was retained by a confidential oil sands client to provide a conceptual design and ongoing monitoring support for a Pilot Treatment Wetland northeast of Fort McMurray, AB. The Pilot Treatment Wetland is a required regulatory component of the client’s EPEA approval, which has been successfully met. The Pilot Treatment wetland is designed to process storm water runoff and process affected waters.

Approach

A literature review was conducted for design criteria of the surface flow constructed wetland and a historical climate data to establish water budget of the wetland. Hydraulic and hydrologic characteristic of the pilot wetland were analysed. The wetland configuration was designed to meet the water quality criteria associated with the site approval. A plug flow model for water quality treatment (TSS, BOD, TN) in the wetland was developed. The inlet structure was designed and modeling of its hydraulic performance was conducted in XP-SWMM.

Results

A design basis report and drawings of the pilot wetland, Front End Engineering Design (FEED) report of the pilot wetland, and Operation and Maintenance manual of the pilot treatment wetland were prepared as project deliverables.

Ongoing environmental support has been provided for the Pilot Treatment Wetland to assist wetland operation and provide data for treatment capacity modeling research. During the operating season this includes:

  • Biweekly inspections of the site to identify any site deficiencies (e.g., erosion, weeds, and repeat site photographs)
  • Monthly surface water sampling
  • Annual vegetation monitoring assessment
  • Vegetation augmentation recommendations to optimize treatment capabilities

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