New U of Regina research finds way to improve one of Canada's most polluted streams

·1 min read
Untreated and partially-treated water flowing into Wascana Creek. (CBC - image credit)
Untreated and partially-treated water flowing into Wascana Creek. (CBC - image credit)

New research by the University of Regina shows that removing nitrogen from Regina's wastewater has improved the water quality in Wascana Creek.

The creek has become known as one of Canada's most polluted streams.

The city upgraded its water treatment facility at a cost of $175 million five years ago. That dramatically reduced the amount of nitrogen that was flowing downstream.

Peter Leavitt is a biologist at the University of Regina. He said the improvement in the water quality since the upgrade has had many positive impacts.

"It reduced the total abundance of green stuff in Wascana Creek by about 50 per cent, and it increases the presence of beneficial species that will help with the production of invertebrates and fish," he said. "So not not only did it get rid of the problem aspects of the poor water quality, but it actually benefited those aspects that you'd like to promote."

In the past, Regina's wastewater has been one of the main causes of issues downstream in the lakes of the Qu'Appelle Valley. Full recovery of the lakes will likely take decades.

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