Harmony Beef Processing Facility Wastewater Treatment Plant

Project details

  • Installation: 2017
  • Location: Alberta
  • System: Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor
  • Permeate Flow Rate: 1,200 m3/day or 13.9 L/s


The Harmony Beef meat processing plant is located near Balzac area in Rocky View County, Alberta. Sapphire Water was engaged to review existing equipment and develop a water treatment process that would be able to reclaim available water from the waste flow generated in the plant and return it for reuse, recycling as much water as possible. With minor improvements, repairs and replacements, Sapphire Water determined the existing wastewater pre-treatment equipment and controls could be re-used in the upgraded treatment process.

The new, innovative treatment process consists of 7 main steps:

  • Mechanical Treatment – Water flows through the existing drum screen with 1 mm slot openings to remove coarse particles and large suspended solids.
  • Primary Treatment – Water flows through the existing dissolved air floatation (DAF) process that combines sedimentation by gravity and a chemical/air accelerated sedimentation process. This stage removes medium to fine sized particles, grit, and FOG (fat, oil, and grease).
  • Secondary Treatment – To remove residual dissolved organic matter the water flows through a moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) system, an attached growth biological treatment process.
  • Tertiary Filtration – Next, membrane ultrafiltration is used to remove emulsified oils, small suspended solids, and larger molecules from the flow.
  • Effluent Polishing – The water then flows through a two-pass Reverse Osmosis membrane filtration system to remove total dissolved solids, pesticides, cysts, bacteria, and viruses. Utilizing a two-pass design minimizes wastewater disposal from the treatment process.
  • Effluent Disinfection – A two stage disinfection system is employed, using ultraviolet to neutralize microorganisms and chlorination to kill bacteria and other microorganisms.
  • Sludge treatment – Finally, the sludge moves through a dewatering process to reduce sludge volume by 60% to 70%.

This sophisticated wastewater treatment plant recycles 85% of its total water throughput back into the system. The final discharge to sewer is only 7% of the process water volume, with the rest lost to evaporation.


Parameter of Interest Raw Sewage Effluent
Sodium (mg/L) 131.6 10.2
Bicarbonate (mg/L) 190 23.5
Sulfate (mg/L) 150 1.6
Chlorine (mg/L) 150 4.5
TDS (mg/L) 766 52.8
BOD5 (mg/L) 600 <5
TSS (mg/L) 100 <5
Phosphorus (mg/L) 10 <0.02