Modeling Wastewater to Protect Burrard Inlet

Modeling Wastewater to Protect Burrard Inlet

Modeling Wastewater to Protect Burrard Inlet

A new computer simulation model is helping us analyze how our region’s wastewater affects the Burrard Inlet.

The Burrard Inlet is a fjord-like estuary, located in the heart of Metro Vancouver.  It receives various forms of wastewater, including treated wastewater from the Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant and permitted discharges from municipalities and industry. It also receives overflows from combined sewers, stormwater runoff, and other sources.

To protect human health and the environment, especially as the region deals with climate change and growth, Metro Vancouver has developed a model that simulates the movement of treated and non-treated wastewater in Burrard Inlet.

The three-dimensional coastal circulation model covers the entire inlet.  Influenced by various forces such as wind, tide, and inflows, the model is capable of predicting temperature, current speeds, water level variation, distribution of salinity and temperature, and how substances are mixing and breaking down.

Metro Vancouver will use the model to analyze and improve the environmental performance of Metro Vancouver’s wastewater facilities and ensure facilities are complying with regulatory standards.

Development of the model is part of an ongoing initiative to simulate real-time environmental conditions in Metro Vancouver’s water bodies.

Learn more about wastewater treatment and environmental management here.