Water Management

Joffre Site facilities are an industrial user of water from the Red Deer River. We use about 1% of the 'normal' river flow each year for site operations. The majority of the water used evaporates in on-site cooling towers. A small portion is returned to the river after careful testing.
We work to use this important resource efficiently and reduce impacts to the Red Deer River. Water distribution and treatment systems start with in-take facilities at the river and water is delivered to the site by pipeline. On-site water treatment includes: softening for use in cooling towers, demineralization for use in boiler systems (to supply high-pressure steam to the manufacturing process) and potable water for our employees. We also have facilities to treat industrial effluent, domestic sewage and water collected in on-site surface water collection systems.
Water management is a highly regulated activity at the Joffre Site. Programs are in place to meet the various monitoring, reporting, equipment and operational requirements of Provincial and Federal Acts Regulations, Guidelines, Approvals and Licenses, as well as our own societal commitments.
These programs are primarily divided into Water Quantity and Quality Management.
  • Water Quantity Management — deals with Alberta Water Act Licenses. These licenses define how much water can be removed from the river.
  • Water Quality Management — includes meeting the requirements of the Site Approval under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. It also includes studies to look for change in the river bugs and water chemistry upstream and downstream from the effluent discharge.

Some of our Water Management Successes

In 2002, we completed a project to increase our ability to recycle captured surface water back into the water treatment area. This allows us to treat and use surface water, decreasing the quantity of water we need to withdraw from the river.
The Joffre Site employs a state-of-the-art 'Rotating Biological Contactor' system to treat domestic sewage streams.
Our phosphorous removal facility reduces the amount of total phosphorous, a plant nutrient, to less than 1.0 milligrams per liter (as compared to 4.0 milligrams per liter in the past).