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City Treats Industrial Food Processing Wastewater with ADI-BVF® Reactor

Solution helps Water Pollution Control Facility achieve 90% COD removal despite increase in loading

The City of Portage la Prairie is a small but progressive community located in Manitoba, Canada. The city is situated in the heart of the province’s farming belt, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) west of Winnipeg.


Portage la Prairie’s Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) oversees the city’s treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater. Since the WPCF receives wastewater from several local food processors, it investigated wastewater treatment technologies that could handle municipal sewage as well as industrial food processing wastewater comprised mainly of potato and pea processing wastewater.


After a major study was conducted, Portage la Prairie’s consultant recommended anaerobic pretreatment at the WPCF. A successful on-site pilot study by ADI Systems reinforced the city’s decision to choose anaerobic technology. The city’s consultant completed a functional design report as part of the environmental approval process, and Manitoba’s Environment Department gave its approval for ADI Systems to proceed with the proposed wastewater treatment solution.

Subsequently, ADI Systems constructed a 50,000 m3 (13 MG) ADI-BVF® anaerobic reactor for the City of Portage la Prairie. The BVF® reactor received 3,700 m3 (~1.0 MG) of raw wastewater per day with an average influent chemical oxygen demand (COD) of approximately 3,200 mg/l. The wastewater is effectively treated, and biogas produced from the digestion process is collected, treated, and used to help offset heating costs at the facility.

The BVF reactor is equipped with an ADI® Process Monitor. This sophisticated remote monitoring technology allows ADI Systems’ engineers to access data from the reactor’s supervisory computer and provide operational changes without having to physically be on-site at the treatment plant.


The BVF reactor at the City of Portage la Prairie worked very well and produced enough biogas for the city to run its 175 hp boiler and heat exchange system. This allowed incoming wastewater to be heated to a temperature of 86° F (30° C​).

A short time after the BVF reactor was installed, a nearby food processor (where most of the reactor’s flow originated from) expanded its potato processing plant. The city decided to lease the BVF reactor to that plant so that the food processor would have more control over the treatment of its wastewater.

Soon after the food processing production increased, the influent COD concentrations nearly tripled. Despite this substantial increase in loading, the BVF® reactor has been able to achieve COD removals > 90%. The reactor’s high performance has earned it a respected home on the range.