Nelson Environmental - Lagoon Aeration - Nitrification - Wastewater Treatment - Canada - United States

Important Features

Project Name: Shellbrook WWTF Upgrade

Location: Shellbrook, SK

Project Type: Municipal Wastewater Treatment

Completion: May 2012

Treatment Objectives

  • Design Flow: 822 m3/day
  • Effluent Quality: TAN < 1 mg/L summer < 5 mg/L winter, cBOD5 / TSS < 15 mg/L, TP < 1.0 mg/L

Post Lagoon Nitrification

Shellbrook, SK SAGR providing post lagoon nitrification year round

Project Background/Challenges

The Town of Shellbrook is a rural community in Northern Saskatchewan with nearly 1,300 residents. Like many other small communities faced with the challenge of an aging lagoon based wastewater treatment facility and increasingly stringent regulations, the Town of Shellbrook was evaluating options to upgrade its wastewater treatment facility. The Town's objective was to treat its wastewater to the standards set by the CCME (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment), which Saskatchewan was in the process of adopting. The desired solution would bring cBOD5/TSS levels under 15 mg/L as well as provide effective ammonia and phosphorous removal on a year round basis.

NEI's Solution

Nelson Environmental Inc. designed a continuous discharge, three (3) cell aerated lagoon system followed by a SAGR (Submerged Attached Growth Reactor) module and two (2) parallel sand filters. Designed for cold water treatment, the horizontal flow SAGR removes ammonia through nitrification (conversion of ammonia to nitrates) and provides BOD5 & TSS polishing. The subsequent filtration and effluent treatment with alum addition ensures effective phosporous removal. 

Commissioning took place in the spring of 2012, the SAGR system was able to reduce effluent TAN from 24 mg/L to 0.01 mg/L within two weeks of commissioning. Implementation of NEI's OPTAER/SAGR system in Shellbrook demonstrates the cost-effective approach of a lagoon based treatment facility combined with the reliable effluent quality produced by the SAGR process.

View Project Gallery


  • Gravity Sand Filter for TP Removal in Shellbrook
  • Horizontal Flow SAGR provides ammonia removal, as well as BOD/TSS Polishing
  • OPTAER floating laterals allows for easy in water maintenance