The Region of Peel Water Treatment
Water is vital to quality of life, and access to fresh water is essential to human wellbeing. The Region of Peel’s Lakeview Water Treatment Plant provides high quality drinking water to almost one million residents in the Region of Peel and Region of York. Located west of Toronto, the Region of Peel consists of the cities of Brampton, Mississauga, and the town of Caledon. Sourcing water from Lake Ontario, the Lakeview Water Treatment Plant is currently being expanded to service growth in the region. Andrew Farr, Manager, Treatment Capital, Water Division, told The Canadian Business Journal, “Lake Ontario is a great raw water source for drinking water. The lake provides drinking water for millions of people but it also receives our wastewater, so we need to have well-planned treatment processes that meet today’s needs, meet water quality requirements, and can take on the challenges in the future.”
The Region of Peel operates two water treatment facilities and two wastewater treatment facilities, as well as pumping stations, reservoirs, watermains, and sanitary sewers. As Peel’s population continues to grow, the Region’s water infrastructure requires expansion in order to provide enough quality water for Peel residents.
The Region of Peel is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Canada. Peel’s population has grown from 352,703 in 1975 to 1,159,400 in 2006; population projections show that Peel will have 1,571,000 inhabitants by 2031. With this fast growth, water infrastructure represents one of the major infrastructure challenges, and Peel’s Water Division has addressed the capacity issue by expanding its two water treatment facilities — Lorne Park Water Treatment Plant and Lakeview Water Treatment Plant. “As far as drinking water capacity goes, the Lakeview and Lorne Park Water Treatment Plant expansions, once finished, will supply enough drinking water for the Region of Peel until at least 2031. However that’s just the plants themselves. During this time there will be other projects that will need upgrading such as watermains, pumping stations, and reservoirs that will carry on for the next 20 years to support growth in Peel’s population. All projects are outlined in Peel’s Water and Wastewater Master Plan which is reviewed regularly to ensure infrastructure is constructed in an economical and timely fashion.”
The Lakeview Water Treatment Plant currently has a capacity of 820 megalitres per day, and the expansion will increase this to 1,150 megalitres per day by mid-2014. The Lorne Park Water Treatment Plant underwent an expansion in 2002 increasing its capacity to 345 megalitres per day, and with an additional expansion, the facility will be able to provide 500 megalitres per day by late 2012.
“The Lorne Park and Lakeview Water Treatment Plants are both operating water plants, so as far as the challenges go, the major issue is to keep these plants running while we are undertaking these upgrades. This engineering challenge represents the hardest part – and also the most rewarding,” Farr said. “We are making major changes to the Pumping and Treatment buildings, but at the same time we have active treatment processes and pumping systems working in the building, so we need to work around and tie into these active processes. As we are demolishing the old and building the new, we must be continuously producing water for the Region of Peel customers.”
Water Quality and Treatment
To maintain the highest water quality for the residents of the Peel Region, the facility performs quality tests on thousands of water samples collected throughout the year, testing for microbiological, inorganic, and organic contaminants, operational checks and additional regulatory testing.
In the water treatment plant, water passes through ‘travelling screens’, removing large debris; following this, a coagulant is mixed into the water. Slow mixing of this liquid (flocculation) helps particles to collide, forming larger and heavier particles (floc). From here, the water passes sedimentation where the floc is removed. Finally, the water travels through layers of gravel, sand, and granular activated carbon removing remaining particles and chlorine-resistant bacteria (filtration). Besides this, with the ongoing expansion, the plant also added the latest in water treatment technologies. Farr said, “We are building two of the most advanced water treatment plants in the world, and we are doing it on a very large scale. The plants now use technology such as membrane filtration, as well as UV and ozone disinfection. Much of this technology is provided by Ontario-based companies that are global leaders in water treatment technologies.”
Taking on the challenges of a growing population and facilities expansion, the Region of Peel’s Water Division continues to work and improve water quality provided to 1.3 million residents of Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon.