Waterloo Biofilter

Waterloo Biofilter Systems Inc. is a Canadian-owned and operated company that develops, designs, manufactures and maintains advanced onsite wastewater treatment systems. The company has recently focused on advances to its technology to permit phosphorus recovery and reuse from small-scale systems, hoping to capture an emerging market for systems that reduce nutrient pollution and create a valuable soil treatment.

SOWC has successfully supported Professor Lingling Wu from the University of Waterloo and Professor Susan Glasauer from the University of Guelph to obtain separate NSERC Engage Grants from the Government of Canada for projects with Waterloo Biofilter Systems Inc. This is part of SOWC’s unique service capacity as an organization: bringing companies together with researchers to drive forward the development of water technology.

Waterloo Biofilter Systems Inc. has developed ‘Waterloo EC-P™’, a technology that removes phosphorus in septic systems by using electrochemistry to dissolve iron or aluminum into sewage, binding and then moving the phosphorus-rich effluent through a filtration system where the phosphorus is captured. The company has shown that a 95% (or higher) removal rate of phosphorus in septic systems is being achieved using Waterloo EC-P™. Aside from its high phosphorus removal rate, other benefits of the Waterloo EC-P™ process include low energy consumption and the opportunity for retrofitting existing septic systems.

Waterloo Biofilter Systems Inc. worked with Professor Wu to demonstrate that the system could accomplish very high rates of phosphorus removal and keep it from leaching back out of the system because the phosphorus is tightly held by the iron.

The company is working with Professor Glasauer to show that the material captured in the system’s filter can be of benefit when applied as a soil amendment or fertilizer. Dr. Glasauer’s group has shown that phosphate captured by the EC-P system is less soluble than P recovered in a system using an absorbent sponge only. The lower solubility should result in a slower release of phosphate to plants, which will minimize inputs of P to ground and surface water.

The two successful projects will help to advance phosphorus removal and commercial recovery by the Waterloo EC-P™ technology. Clear evidence of the stability of the minerals used in the process will help Waterloo Biofilter Systems Inc. demonstrate to regulatory authorities that its technology is a long-term solution to vital environmental needs. It is expected to be applicable for residential single dwelling households and cottages, decentralized commercial and light industrial lands, as well as large clustered or communal systems. The company recently installed a large Waterloo EC-P™ in a Provincial Park in Manitoba and promising discussions have been led with potential clients in Ontario as well.

SOWC helps water technologies companies to collaborate on projects with researchers from SOWC’s university partners. SOWC works closely with these university partners to identify a researcher who fits the company’s needs, identify appropriate funding programs and provide guidance on budget and proposal development for grant applications.

To learn more about how SOWC can help your research and grant needs, please email Anna Ziolecki, Manager of Research Partnership Development or call her at 519 888-4567 x31799.