A new form of water treatment developed through Teck’s water quality research and development programme is proving successful in treating large volumes of water to remove selenium and nitrate, the company said recently.
The saturated rockfill (SRF) facility at Teck’s Elkview coal operations, commissioned a year ago, is now achieving near-complete removal of selenium and nitrate in 10 million litres of mine-affected water per day.
SRFs are a new form of water treatment with the potential to augment or replace traditional treatment technology, according to Teck. They are around one-sixth the capital cost and half the ongoing operating cost of traditional active water treatment technology, the company added.
“The SRF is the result of our ongoing investment in leading-edge research and development to find new and better ways to protect water quality in the Elk Valley,” Robin Sheremeta, Senior Vice President, Coal, said. “Teck is committed to meeting the objectives of the Elk Valley Water Quality Plan, and breakthroughs like the SRF will help us do so as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
The SRF uses naturally-occurring biological processes in water collected in former mining areas to treat and improve water quality. The Elkview SRF was constructed at a total cost of $41 million, and is now exceeding the 7.5 million litres/d capacity of Teck’s West Line Creek Active Water Treatment facility, the company said.
Teck has recently been working on proving out the SRF results at Elkview with the idea of implementing the technology at other operations.