See what ACWA has helped industry and research experts achieve
ACWA provides services to technology developers and end users in the municipal, industrial and commercial sectors on a fee-for-service basis, and provides access for researchers from around the world to an exceptional, globally unique facility.
Our mandate is to facilitate the transformation of today’s water research into tomorrow’s innovative technologies to recover resources, improve process efficiencies and protect receiving environments to benefit local and global communities.
Analytical Method Development (for Shell Canada Energy)
ACWA developed a number of new analytical methods to detect specific compounds of interest in industrial wastewater. This provided detection limits that were up to 400X better than previous methods, drastically reduced the use of hazardous solvents and allowed for better monitoring of field conditions.
Treatability assessment (for Shell Canada Energy)
ACWA performed a series of treatability assessments of industrial wastewater, which provided Shell with critical information that allowed them to optimize how they managed their treatment assets.
Bench-scale assessment (for Nualgi America)
ACWA performed a third-party assessment of a treatment augmentation technology, which provided Nualgi with important independent data on the performance of their technology, that they could then provide to their prospective customers.
Pilot testing and de-risking of emerging technologies (for Synauta)
ACWA was one of three sites globally that hosted a year-long pilot test of a new artificial intelligence-driven asset optimization system for reverse osmosis systems. Access to real-world operational data provided Synauta with the critical insights they needed to de-risk the development of their new technology.
Demonstration of mature technologies (for Trojan Technologies)
ACWA hosted a series of pilot-scale tests, where specialists from Trojan Technologies evaluated the performance of an advanced oxidation treatment module, consisting of pressurized ultraviolet reactors and a monochloramine dosing system. Performance verification of the system was conducted, providing the manufacturer with validation that the technology meets the guaranteed performance specifications.
Knowledge Mobilization projects
In partnership with Village Brewery and Xylem, and in consultation with Alberta Health Services (AHS), the project team treated municipal wastewater to the point where it met Canadian Drinking Water Quality standards, and then a batch of beer was brewed. This project provided the partners a chance to mobilize existing knowledge, demonstrate advanced wastewater treatment technologies and bring a focus back on the water reuse conversation in Alberta. It also provided AHS with an opportunity to “test drive” and finalize their water reuse policy.
Researchers aligning with municipal challenges
In collaboration with the City of Calgary, ACWA hosted a workshop where the wastewater team from the municipality described the top challenges for which they were looking for solutions. The City team and the researchers from the University of Calgary engaged in a detailed brainstorming session, facilitated by the ACWA team, to explore a range of possible approaches to these challenges. After the workshop, the researchers self-organized into project teams and prepared proposals that aligned with challenges discussed. Sixteen proposals were submitted to the City, and they selected four proposals for funding.
Guidance Framework for Pilot Testing of Industrial Water Reuse Technology
The first edition of the Guidance Framework for Pilot Testing of Industrial Water Reuse Technology (the Guidance Framework) was published in April 2023 by WaterSMART Solutions Ltd. and ACWA (Advancing Canadian Water Assets). The Guidance Framework was developed over a period of several months through a project co-funded by Alberta Innovates and CRIN (the Clean Resource Innovation Network), and it reflects input from over 45 participants representing technology developers, industrial end users, regulators, and funding bodies.
Recognizing both the importance and the difficulty of effectively piloting water reuse technologies to support commercialization, the Guidance Framework was developed to assist those who are planning, championing, or funding pilot tests for industrial water reuse technologies. It provides an overview of the numerous considerations that need to be addressed when planning the journey from a technology proof-of-concept (i.e., typically something that has been shown to work at the bench-scale in a laboratory or workshop) through to a technology that has reached full-scale commercial maturity and is ready for marketplace adoption. Just like a map for other journeys, this is a planning tool that bridges big-picture aspirations with on-the-ground realities and seeks to reduce the missteps that could occur.
You can find this valuable tool in the CRIN Resource Library.
ACWA researchers have access to facilities that enable them to conduct research that is not possible anywhere else. Projects include:
- Quantitative relationships between salmonid populations (species and abundance) and eDNA.
- Determination of microplastic distribution and partitioning into biosolids and final effluent.
- Spatial variation in macrophyte biomass, dissolved oxygen, nutrients and selected trace metals in replicated experimental research streams.
- Characterization of ultrafiltration membrane microbiome between cleaning cycles.
- Determination of disinfection efficiencies and the incidence of mobile genetic elements and antimicrobial resistance genes in receiving environments.