In Northern Alberta, Canada, the town of Lac La Biche experiences drastic temperature changes, fluctuating from 40°C to -40 °C and even lower. These extreme lows create challenges for various industries, particularly impacting wastewater treatment. Maintaining a consistently warm environment for these systems can be costly and likely not economical for small municipalities.
The water must remain above freezing throughout the year to ensure that the wastewater treatment systems remain operable. The cold temperatures not only diminish the effectiveness of the microorganisms used in treatment but also prolong the time and increase the cost of wastewater treatment. Lower waste treatment production can also mean a strain on the systems during peak times and the possibility of incomplete treatment occurring.
In March of 2021, the Municipality of Lac La Biche contracted Layfield to complete the design, supply, and installation of a Modular Insulated Cover (MIC) for the Biotrain System within their wastewater treatment facility. The MIC design included a 4″ Extruded Foam insulation system for heat loss prevention with 40 Mil High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) skin. The HDPE skin layer was prayer welded together and placed under a vacuum to allow ultrasonic leak testing at the Edmonton Facility before being transported to the site. The panel fastening system included a lapped rope connection for ease of removal and a central ballast system tied into the fastening system to protect from wind uplift. Including a removable cover in the design allowed for annual maintenance and incorporated areas of relief where specific system infrastructures were in place.
Layfield completed the design and manufacturing of the system and installed it in July of 2021. The installation process, carried out by a crew of six, took about four days. They installed 50 MIC panels with 50 Ballast Tubes and 32 connection points to the concrete walls and used 1600 feet of ¼” rope.