2019 Student Design Competition

WEAO_SDC_2018_Participants.jpg2018 SDC participants

The Student Design Competition (SDC) is an annual challenge that provides an opportunity for student teams to apply their knowledge to a current real world problem.

Since 2014, the Water Environment Association of Ontario (WEAO) has collaborated with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to use the SDC to promote emerging topics within the water industry such as resource recovery and sustainable infrastructure.  The competition is supported by a municipality that provides a current and relevant problem.

The topic of the 2019 WEAO SDC is resource recovery at the Chatham Water Pollution Control Plant (CWPCP). The CWPCP treats municipal wastewater from residential and commercial/industrial sources, and also hauled wastes. Currently, the treatment plant recovers energy by using biogas produced at the plant in a combined heat and power plant.

The goal of the project is to maximize the revenue generated from recovering resources (energy, nutrients) present in the wastewater treated by the CWPCP. The design teams are asked to evaluate the current processes and identify initiatives that will improve financial returns from resource recovery.  Phase I proposals will provide recommendations to improve financial returns using only the existing infrastructure (i.e. operational modifications and minor capital investments).  Phase II proposals will provide recommendations on infrastructure improvements to improve financial returns above those achievable by implementing Phase I.

The SDC is open to all full-time university students in Ontario.  Professors and students who are interested in learning more about the SDC should contact Ellen Stitt with questions or to be put on our mailing list.

To view the Scope of the 2019 project, click here

To view the Guidelines, click here 

To complete the entry form, click here


UOG_WEFTEC_team.JPG 2017 WEAO and WEFTEC Winning Team - University of Guelph

Previous SDC Projects:

2018 Innovative, Cost-Effective Solutions to Reducing Phosphorous Loadings - City of London

2017 Innovative Stormwater Management – City of Toronto

2017 Presentation - University of Guelph

2016 Resource Recovery at the Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant – The Regional Municipality of Durham

2016 Report - University of Guelph

2016 Presentation - University of Guelph

2015 Nutrient Recovery and Process Improvements at the Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant – City of Toronto

2014 Upgrade of the Colony Trail Storm Water Management Pond and Expansion of Storm Water Management in the East Holland Subwatershed – Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority

Thank you to all of our partners who have offered their time and resources to host the SDC.




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