Sewage treatment improvements in the Arctic community of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Theme 1. Environmental protection
Session Name 1.5 Sanitation in small Arctic communities
Presentation Type Poster
Author(s) Kenneth Johnson (National Research Council, Canada)
Abstract text

The sewage facility used by the community of Cambridge Bay was a typical northern lagoon system developed through a system of natural ponds, and refined with limited containment and control structures. All of the improvements to the pond system were not engineered and as a result, the system did not meet the regulatory discharge requirements. A planning study was undertaken to identify a new location for the sewage lagoon system, however, none of the proposed sites presented a satisfactory alternative. It was recommended that the existing site be redeveloped with engineered to the facility. The engineering of improvements to a natural system originate from the analysis of the system process and system capacity, and the identification of elements that may enhance the process and capacity. In the case of the Cambridge Bay facility, the existing pond system has the inherent facilitative process to treat sewage, and could be redeveloped to provide the appropriate long term capacity. A series of site investigations including wastewater sampling, and a topographic survey provided the basis for making these conclusions. The next step in the process was the engineering and implementation of the necessary improvements. A key to the engineering was the identification of appropriate materials and methods to carry out these improvements. The use of available soil materials from the community provided the basis for implementing the improvements in an economical and incremental manner.