MRO Magazine

Manitoba city upgrades wastewater treatment plant, simplifying maintenance


June 20, 2011
By PEM Magazine

A need for an increased level of treatment and growing demand for water used by both residents and industry has led the city of Brandon, Man., to decide to expand its existing wastewater treatment plant. The upgraded facility will feature GE‘s membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology and will be the largest MBR plant in Canada when it enters service in 2012.

The membrane plant was first constructed in 2008 to treat the wastewater from an expanded Maple Leaf Food’s facility, but the desire to improve water treatment and expand capacity for the entire city caused the city of Brandon to seek an additional upgrade to increase the operating peak day flow to 36 million liters per day (mld) or 9.5 million gallons per day (mgd). The upgraded facility, designed by AECOM’s Winnipeg office, will treat the waste from the city’s existing plants as well as additional waste from a Pfizer manufacturing plant and will be designed to accommodate an increasing population and a growing manufacturing capacity. The upgraded facility will include pre-fabricated, stainless steel membrane tanks and equipment skids to minimize site footprint and construction costs on site. The new membrane trains will be integrated with the existing MBR facility to ensure a seamless, control package in the centralized facility.

"The membrane units that GE Power & Water supplied for the second phase of our upgrade have exceeded our expectations in every aspect. We have been provided a top notch product with excellent follow up service. We look forward to working with them again during the final portion of the upgrade," said Patrick Pulak from the City of Brandon.

Under a contract with the city of Brandon, GE will supply MBR technology and equipment featuring ZeeWeed reinforced, hollow-fiber membranes, which have been proven in more than two decades of wastewater treatment and water reuse. ZeeWeed (ZW) 500 technology is an advanced filtration technology that separates particles, bacteria and viruses from water or wastewater. Nearly 1,000 plants worldwide use this technology to produce superior quality drinking water and to meet or exceed stringent wastewater treatment and water reuse standards.


The upgrade of the plant’s wastewater treatment processes with the GE MBR technology will add six ZW500D trains to the existing three trains; six mirror-image, stainless steel membrane tanks installed back-to-back; six mirror-image pump skids to improve equipment accessibility and simplify maintenance; an optimized aeration strategy to more effectively utilize air from existing membrane blowers to achieve 10/30 aeration; the integration of the three existing GE ZW500D trains; and the reuse of existing backpulse tanks and cleaning chemical systems. This will expand both the plant capacity and the city’s future ability to supply recycled water to industrial and other perspective customers.

"In today’s water scarce environment, industrial use of water accounts for more than 20 percent of global demand. Combine industry’s needs with a growing population and the demand for water grows even more. GE is committed to helping cities like Brandon maximize its use of available water supplies and recycle water to optimize resources," said Jeff Connelly, vice president, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.

ZW500 MBR technology is certified under ecomagination, GE’s corporate-wide commitment to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water.