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Taking Waste Out of Water: Public Tours of the Guelph Wastewater Treatment Plant

Guelph residents got a behind-the-scenes look at the city’s new waste resource recovery center on Saturday.

“It’s more reflective of what we do here with wastewater, in terms of how we treat wastewater and all the exciting things we do in terms of energy management, meeting our energy goals and waste conservation,” said Jayne Holmes, Infrastructure Manager for the City of Guelph.

It was the first time the facility, located at 530 Wellington Street West, had opened its doors to the public in nearly 20 years.

“Guelph’s wastewater treatment has been in one place since 1903,” said Tim Robertson, Division Manager of Wastewater Services. “As the community has changed, as the community has grown, so has the facility. This name change is a natural progression of slightly different technologies, but also emphasizing the changes process of the site.”

“We’ve been waiting for some time to invite people and the public back to our facility,” Holmes said. “One thing we’ve noticed is that Guelph residents are very interested in water and conservation. So we find that as we walk around, there are a lot of good questions.

Processing plant workers were on hand to answer these questions.

“It’s great that our residents are really interested, because we need their help to make sure things that go down the drain don’t affect our water in the future,” Holmes added.

Jenny Bulnes brought her children to the open house, promising them the answer to an important question.

“We told the kids today that we were coming to see how the poop turns into water, so I think they’re quite fascinated to see how, what we put in the toilet that comes out clean water from the toilet. across the river. It’s quite fascinating.”

Visitors also learned how to test sewage for the presence of COVID-19.

“I think a lot of people were surprised to hear that, how do they know all the numbers are going up and how do they know all this before it actually happens?” Holmes said. “The reason is that in Guelph, we are in partnership with [Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health] in terms of sewage testing and that’s how you find out if the COVID numbers are going up. It is very important to understand what lies ahead and how we can prepare for the future.”