The majority of Sparwood is serviced with a wastewater system that either feeds by gravity or is pumped to the District’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, located in the Public Works Yard

The Wastewater Treatment Plan (WWTP) conducts pretreatment, primary treatment, secondary treatment, disinfection and sludge disposal. Treated effluent is discharged under a permit to the Elk River and sludge is transported to the disposal area at the transfer station.

Treatment Method

The District’s WWTP contains the following operations and processes:

  1. Pretreatment: Initially the influent is sent through a coarse travelling bar screen to remove solids greater than 0.25”. No sand/grit removal is provided.
  2. Primary treatment: The influent is then screened and pumped to the Oxidation Ditch.
  3. Secondary treatment: The Oxidation Ditch provides for oxidation of organic carbon and nitrogenous matter in the raw wastewater.
    • Recycled Activated Sludge is re-circulated to the oxidation ditch from the secondary clarifier.
    • The aerated wastewater is discharged to the secondary clarifier where suspended organic matter settle and are pumped back to the oxidation ditch for further breakdown.
  4. Disinfection: Treated effluent is exposed to ultraviolet radiation for the purpose of deactivating micro-organisms prior to discharging to the Elk River.
  5. Sludge Disposal: Sludge is pumped from the clarifier directly into the centrifuge. The sludge is then transported to the disposal area next to the Transfer Station and mixed with compost.

The current Wastewater Treatment Plant consists of the following elements:

  • Screening & solids removal over 0.25";
  • Extended Aeration Activated Sludge (Oxidation Ditch);
  • Ditch Level Control Structure;
  • Secondary Clarifier / Digester;
  • Ultraviolet Disinfection System;
  • Recycled Activated Sludge (RAS) Line;
  • Waste Activated Sludge (WAS) Line; and
  • Centrifuge (To remove a portion of the wastewater solids - Waste Activated Sludge).
  • Pre-Chlorination
History of Existing Wastewater Treatment Plant

The existing WWTP was originally built in the early 1960’s. There have been several modifications and upgrades over the years to improve the treatment process.

In 1992, Sparwood was one of the first communities in BC to implement an ultraviolet disinfection system for effluent in order to protect the natural environment from effects of chlorine which was the alternative treatment method.

Sparwood continued their proactive approach and installed full back-up power generation at the WWTP to enable the facility to operate during power outages.
A new centrifuge was installed in 2008 to improve sludge management. These few additions allowed the WWTP to better dewater waste sludge and to reduce the sludge hauled by approximately 90% while also improving the safety of the operation.

New Wastewater Treatment Plant

If growth in the community continues we will require a new WWTP as the capacity of the existing wastewater treatment plant is approximately 5,800 people. The 2011 Census recorded our population as 3,460 people.

While the exact location has not yet been determined, we are looking at an area that is south and downhill from the rest of town. This will eliminate issues associated with the plant being right in town and the intent is to eliminate the requirement for sewage lift stations.