Floating Islands! We get a closer look at a water remediation project using native wetland plants

Contamination of surface water and groundwater from nutrient loading is a critical problem within agriculture and urban areas across Alberta and Canada. Outcomes from this project aim to provide producers with an additional low cost, low maintenance, efficient, sustainable tool to protect the water, soil, and air through the remediation of contaminated feedlot runoff waters that can then be safely used for irrigation and potentially for livestock drinking water”.

This month, RDAR Research Program Officer Trevor Prout had the opportunity to visit the launch event for an RDAR funded project with Olds College named ‘Floating Islands Waste Water Remediation Solution’.

This RDAR funded project aims to effectively improve water quality for irrigation or livestock use by removing nutrients, heavy metals, and other contaminants — as well as minimizing the presence of algae blooms.

Project members reported that they are also using this ‘islands’ approach on a wastewater storage in Lethbridge area and they have had considerable success. The technology being tested on this project will directly benefit feedlot operators with access to a low-cost options for treating feedlot runoff water while being environmentally sustainable.

Below are a selection of photos that document the construction and launch of a set of ‘floating islands’.