September 2016


Shrinking MBR plants reduce capital and operating costs for Clearford One systems

Less is more at the Fetherston Mobile Home Park.

That’s what six months of data suggest about this MBR, which anchors the Clearford One™

system at the Fetherston Mobile Home Park, near Kemptville, Ontario. Since commissioning in

February, 2016, the compact, containerized MBR system has performed beyond expectations and could set a new standard for savings in capital and operating costs.

“Energy usage is very low compared to a conventional MBR system,” says Richard Nie, President of Koester Canada, the company that designed and operates the system as part of the Clearford One Pay-for- Performance system at Fetherston. “We’re seeing savings of 25% in energy costs for biological aeration as well as membrane scouring. Our chemical usage is also about 50% of what a typical MBR system would require.”

What makes the MBR plant so efficient?

Nie says that there are three major technology advancements that were considered in the MBR

design and contribute to the savings in capital and operating costs.

1) ClearDigest™ smart digester: This underground tank is installed for each home as part of the Clearford One system and plays a major role in reducing wastewater volume and load to the MBR plant—up to 75% of the solids and as much as 65% of the COD and BOD. The tank also modulates flow to the treatment plant to deliver effluent with predictable characteristics and to limit peak flows.

2) ClearConvey™ sewer system: Flexible, sealed HDPE pipes are impervious to groundwater infiltration and resistant to damage from ground movement, which can help reduce the flow volume to the treatment plant by as much as 50%. This simple, affordable system has a rated lifespan of 90 years.

3) Fibracast FibrePlate™ membranes: This next generation membrane technology enables the Fetherston MBR to achieve two to three times the treatment capacity of a conventional MBR within the same footprint. FibrePlate membranes incorporate a unique design that significantly improves the packing density, strength and flux rate over alternatives. Despite the higher flow rate, the membranes require less cleaning than other membrane systems and show absolutely no degradation in performance after six months of operation.

“FibrePlate hybrid membrane modules incorporate the strengths of conventional flat sheet and hollow fibre membranes while eliminating their weaknesses,” says Steve Faux, Commercial Manager of Fibracast. “The result is a stronger and more efficient membrane for long term reliable wastewater treatment than conventional membranes. The membranes are designed to be modular to suit the smallest to the largest size wastewater plants. FibrePlate membranes are 100% manufactured in Ontario and used around the world in municipal, commercial and industrial wastewater applications”.

Clearford collection system helps improve MBR performance

“The collection system is often overlooked as a way to improve plant performance and reduce operating costs,” Nie says. “But the Clearford collection system is a huge asset and can help reduce plant size by as much as half and long term operating costs by a third or more.”

“We made a significant investment the MBR plant design to optimize its performance for the Clearford effluent and the Fibracast membranes,” says Nie. For example, Nie says, since the ClearDigest systems remove solids the MBR plant can operate without headworks. Instead, it has been designed with only a small self-cleaning strainer to protect the membranes and requires no grinding or cutting equipment to treat solids.

Reduced loading and elimination of infiltration also means the plant can be a lot smaller. Most conventional treatment plants are built with a peaking factor of three to four times the average daily flow, according to Nie. “We were able to design our Fetherston MBR with a peaking factor of only two because the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change recognizes the benefits of the Clearford One system in modulating flows to the plant and eliminating infiltration. Future plants may be built with a peaking factor of 1.5 or less.”

2x smaller than a conventional MBR

The entire plant, capable of treating 60 m3/day (15,850 gpd), is enclosed in a 40-foot shipping container, which also includes the sludge holding tank. A conventional MBR would be at least twice the size, and a conventional activated sludge plant about five times larger, according to Nie. “We waste very little sludge from this system,” he says. “The sludge tank was designed to provide three months of sludge storage, but even after six months of operation, it’s not even half full.”

Read more about the Clearford One system and Koester MBR at Fetherston Mobile Home Park.

Learn more about Koester capabilities for design, manufacturing and  operation of municipal and industrial water and wastewater infrastructure.

Learn more about the performance advantages of Fibracast hybrid membrane technologies for MBR systems.

Pay for Performance:

Municipalities throughout Canada can take advantage of Clearford’s Pay-for-Performance (P4P) financing program, which provides new wastewater infrastructure without taking on decades of debt or risky construction and performance promises. The P4P model enables Canadian municipalities to pay only for results, through a monthly fee for each connection to the Clearford One system, which covers all aspects of the system including construction, operation and maintenance.

Learn more about the Clearford One system for your community.

Contact us to discuss the Clearford One system and Pay for Performance financing for your municipality or private community.

Clearford in the news

Clearford Announces Results for the second quarter of fiscal 2016

Read more…

Clearford provides Annual General Meeting Report and Financing Update

Read more…

Clearford Water Systems Commissions First Installation of Clearford One™ in India

Read more…


2016 Onsite Wastewater


Oct. 26- 28, 2016

Nugget Casino Resort

Reno, NV, USA


 Attend our presentation:

Decentralized Wastewater Collection and

Treatment Case Studies

Thurs., Oct. 27, 2016

Room: Bonanza A

Wilf Stefan, Chief Technology Officer and

Vice-president of Engineering

Clearford Water Systems

 Book a meeting with us!

Learn more about Clearford One P4P