Kingston Regional Biosolids and Biogas Facility
Utilities Kingston manages the water and wastewater infrastructure for the City of Kingston. Through long range planning and identification of operational efficiencies, customers are assured of safe, reliable services at a fair price. A holistic approach to managing the water supply and treatment ensures protection of this valuable resource, minimizes greenhouse gas emissions and protects the natural environment.
The main processes used at the Ravensview and Cataraqui Bay Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs), to clean wastewater prior to discharge back to the environment are:
- Screening and grit removal to take out untreatable materials;
- Settling of organic solid materials;
- Biological treatment to remove dissolved carbon and nutrients; and
- Disinfection to remove pathogens.
‘Biosolids Management’ refers to the processing and handling of the settled organic solid material and material from the biological treatment processes. At both WWTPs, these materials are currently stabilized in anaerobic digesters to reduce odour, pathogens and mass. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a biochemical process where microorganisms convert organic compounds into methane and carbon dioxide. The end products of the AD process are methane and carbon dioxide gases and a nutrient and carbon rich solid soil amendment that can be applied to farm fields as fertilizer. The methane produced by the process is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) which can either be flared to reduce its GHG potential or collected and further refined for use as a renewable natural gas or biogas fuel.
A 2012 Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) for a major expansion to the Cataraqui Bay WWTP identified a preferred alternative for biosolids management to include a new mesophilic anaerobic digester. Although UK proceeded with implementation of most of the 2012 Class EA recommendations for the balance of the WWTP in 2016, the new digester and other digester upgrades were deferred due to budget constraints and the identification that existing capacity could service short-term needs. With Ontario’s implementation of the Cap and Trade program, UK identified the opportunity to positively contribute to CO2 emission reductions through the biosolids stabilization process within wastewater treatment operations, and saw the deferred digester upgrades as an opportunity to holistically reassess options for biosolids management at all of its WWTP facilities.
Ultimately, UK undertook a Master Planning exercise to review opportunities to enhance biogas generation and manage biosolids at both WWTP facilities, and later expanded the scope to review the co-digestion of other waste products such as source-separated organics (SSOs) collected through the City's Green Bin Program given developments in Ontario to consider wastes as resources within the context of a circular economy.
The Master Plan for Enhanced Biosolids Management and Biogas Utilization (Master Plan) was completed in 2020, which culminated with a recommendation to “Develop an integrated biosolids and source separated organics processing facility at a greenfield development site. The opportunity site for consideration would be located within the property boundary of Knox Farm.”. This project aligns with the City of Kingston and Utilities Kingston’s Strategic Plans to Demonstrate Leadership on Climate Action, with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions City-wide.
Utilities Kingston is now moving forward with the next phase of the planning process to further assess the environmental, technical and financial feasibility of implementing the Master Plan recommendation, including a more detailed assessment of the City-owned Knox Farm property, and the development and review of design concepts. A Request for Proposal (RFP) for Professional Engineering Services for the Kingston Regional Biosolids and Biogas Facility Municipal Class Environmental Assessment was issued on Biddingo on January 20, 2022 and a contract was later awarded to Dillon Consulting Limited. The project, which commenced in August, 2022 is expected to be completed in late 2023.
The Master Plan project was undertaken following Approach 1 of the Municipal Class EA (MCEA) process (https://municipalclassea.ca/), thus addressing Phases 1 (problem/opportunity definition) and 2 (alternative solutions) of the planning processes required for municipal projects.
The current project will include a more detailed review of the City-owned Knox Farm Property, followed by an official commencement of the Schedule C Class EA process in accordance with the MCEA's Phases 3 (‘alternative design concepts’) and 4 (‘environmental study report’). The Class EA will culminate with the preparation and public posting of an Environmental Study Report.
Through the current project, the Consultant is developing a comprehensive consultation plan that encourages and solicits feedback from key stakeholders and the general public at key milestones. Related documentation and engagement opportunities will be posted and kept current on this site when available.
Current Project Updates
March 14, 2023 (Step 1 Summary):
- A number of desktop and field assessments of the Knox Farm property were completed in the fall of 2022 in order to assess its suitability for housing a facility of this nature:
- Official Plan land use review on and around the property;
- Baseline air quality and noise assessments;
- Stage 1 Archaeology assessment;
- Preliminary hydrogeology assessment;
- Natural environment study;
- Preliminary site servicing and storm water management assessments;
- Preliminary traffic assessment
- Overall, no major barriers were identified for the Knox Farm property
- Site considerations were identified for consideration in future phases of the project
- The Master Plan was reviewed and the problem and opportunity statement reconfirmed
- Step 1 of the project was completed in January, 2023
- Utilities Kingston is now proceeding with Step 2 of the project, which includes public and potential vendor engagement activities
- Public Drop-in Session: Please join us on March 28, 2023 between 4-8pm at 85 Lappan's Lane, where the public can learn about the project and discuss the results of the Knox Farm assessments. Alternatively, you may revisit this site on March 28, 2023 to review engagement materials and participate in an online survey to offer your feedback! See official notice of the session in the link below.
March 28, 2023:
- Public Drop in Session from 4-8pm at Lappan's Lane - Review materials here: Drop In Session Boards
- Provide feedback by taking our survey here! This will be available until April 14. NOTE: Survey is now closed.
May 10, 2023:
- Utilities Kingston, together with our consultant, Dillon Consulting, has prepared and issued a Request for Information (RFI) from qualified companies active in the supply of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) systems capable of co-digesting municipal wastewater sludge, residential organics, and other suitable materials. The RFI was posted to Biddingo.com on May 9, 2023.
- Responses due 3:00:00pm, Wednesday, June 7
July 20, 2023:
- Utilities Kingston and Dillon Consulting have reviewed several submissions in response to the above noted RFI.
- Final step of the project (Step 3) commencing - stay tuned for public consultation updates near the end of the summer.
September 19, 2023:
- Utilities Kingston, with their consultant, Dillon Consulting, is pleased to announce the official commencement to the Municipal Class EA process (Step 3 noted in the schedule below). Class EA Notice here: Notice of Commencement
Design and Construction
Notice of CommencementThe completed Master Plan and upcoming Class EA are planning studies and do not include a design and construction phase.
Schedule and Project Downloads
- Kingston Biosolids and Biogas Master Plan Finalized July, 2020 (COMPLETE)
- Kingston Regional Biosolids and Biogas Facility Municipal Class Environmental Assessment
- Step 1: Review the Master Plan, and assess the suitability of the Knox Farm property for the proposed facility, started August, 2022 (COMPLETE)
- Step 2: Preliminary Public and Vendor Engagement anticipated beginning February, 2023 (COMPLETE).
- Step 3: Formally initiate Class EA in the summer of 2023 and complete Phase 3 and 4 of the MCEA process (ONGOING)
Master Plan Documents (Project complete)
Public Consultation Documents:
- Notice of Project Commencement:
- Public Information Centre: January 30, 2020. View the slides.
- Notice of Project Completion: August 25, 2020
- TetraTech’s Preliminary Assessment Report
- TetraTech’s Detailed Assessment Report
- Kingston Biosolids and Biogas Master Plan
Current Project Documents (Ongoing project)
- Notice of Public Drop In Session March 28, 2023: Notice of Drop In Session
- Public Drop in Session March 28, 2023 Content: Drop In Session Boards
- Take our survey! Available from March 28, 2023 to April 14, 2023: NOTE: Survey is now closed.
- Notice of Commencement, dated September 19, 2023: Notice of Commencement
The project contacts are as follows:
Lauren Scanlan, M.A.Sc., P.Eng.
85 Lappan's Lane
Kingston, ON K7L 4X7
Office: 613-546-1181, extension 2462
Heather Roberts, C.E.T.
Director, Water & Wastewater Services
85 Lappan's Lane
Kingston, ON K7L 4X7
Office: 613-546-1181, extension 2400
235 Yorkland Blvd Suite 800
Toronto, ON M2J 4Y8
Office: 416-229-4647 ext. 2326