Development, application, and testing of an environmental fate model for assessing wastewater remediation capacity of treatment wetlands

The development of the oil sands has led to a large consumption of freshwater in Canada. The wastewater that is produced is contaminated with many industrial pollutants leading the provincial government of Alberta to issue a “zero-discharge” policy for untreated wastewater. This project will investigate treatment wetlands as an option for reclaiming oil sands-related wastewater. To investigate the efficiency of treatment wetlands to safely reclaim wastewater, a model that describes the behaviour of chemicals in a wetland environment will be developed, and tested against empirical data gathered from a pilot-study constructed wetland at the Imperial Oil Ltd. Kearl Lake site. The model’s performance will be evaluated, and novel approaches will be tested to calibrate the model with the real-world pilot wetland. The objective of this project is to build a tool that allows decision-makers to evaluate the feasibility of treatment wetlands based on site-specific conditions, chemical properties, and reclamation objectives.

Faculty Supervisor:

Frank Gobas


Alexander Cancelli


Imperial Oil Ltd.


Environmental sciences


Environmental industry


Simon Fraser University



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