Heavy metal used by Co-op refinery detected in Regina wastewater

The City of Regina says a heavy metal used by the Co-op refinery during maintenance showed up in recent wastewater testing.

Vanadium — which is used at Federated Co-operatives Limited’s Regina plant during routine maintenance — was detected at unusually high levels in the city’s wastewater collection on June 26, according to Kurtis Doney, Regina’s director of water, wastewater and environment.

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On June 28, the city took an effluent sample of the wastewater being discharged from the plant. While preliminary results earlier this week indicated the heavy metal was concentrated  “above provincial reportable standards,” final results Friday showed Wascana Creek to be low risk, Doney said.

The refinery, which also has its own wastewater treatment system, says it segregated the source of the high levels of vanadium and is now hauling that wastewater off-site to a specialized disposal facility.

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Co-op refinery spokesperson Brad DeLorey said the heavy metal is discharged as part of the company’s routine turnaround maintenance process and not usually apparent at such high levels.

That routine turnaround maintenance is complete, said DeLorey, who anticipates that after “a couple of weeks,” the refinery will be able to revert back to its own system tied into the city’s.

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