Green Technology Research and Pilots in Southern Alberta

Event date: Thursday, September 20, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
End date: Thursday, September 20, 2018 @ 10:00 AM
Event location: Town of Okotoks Operations Centre

Congratulations to the Town of Okotoks, which received the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ 2018 Sustainable Communities Award in the category of Water for the Operations Centre initiatives.



We need to understand the performance of solutions that can be built under our local soil, vegetation, and climatic conditions using, ideally, materials that are locally available. With this knowledge we will be able to inform design, construction, investment and policy decisions by both government and industry.


Full-scale green infrastructure demonstration: Enjoy a lazy wander along the pedestrian path at the Operations Centre while observing the bioswales that convey runoff from the site, ending in a half-hectare rain garden nestled in the riparian area of the Sheep River. Along with the design and construction of the full-scale stormwater features, you will hear about the groundwater monitoring that is in the process of getting set up. You will have lots of opportunity to see the many native plant species that have been used in this installation.

Urban stormwater bioretention research beds:
24 beds compare the performance of three media types and the influence on and response of native perennials and woody species. Two of the media under investigation meet the specifications set out in the City of Calgary Bioretention and Bioswale Design and Construction Module. The third media is loam amended with a large proportion of organics. Let the trials begin! This long-term research site is fully monitored for water quantity and quality with a synthetic water application and contaminant-dosing regime. These beds were planted last year and experimental runs began in earnest this year. Preliminary findings will be shared. See the beds in person to make your own visual assessment of vegetation performance. Observe a demo of how the beds are flooded and samples are collected.

Vegetated landfill cover research beds:
Evapotranspirative (ET) covers are vegetated earthen final covers on landfills that balance the storage of water in the soil with ET losses such that leachate generated from percolating rainfall is minimized while, at the same time, oxidation of methane to carbon dioxide in the soil is promoted. There are 8 test beds on site. Hear about the numerical modeling approach for the key processes which define the ET-cover system and tour the beds.

Media sourcing and selection for dissolved phosphorus removal: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry worked with Oklahoma State University to assess a number of sorptive substances found in Alberta, from fly ash to red shale, before settling on a proprietary product to trial at a pilot site in the Lethbridge area. Hear about their journey to final media selection and their pilot experience and what they are planning next. What learnings are there for sorptive amendments in rain gardens and bioretention?

Download a printable version here

This event was offered free-of-charge thanks to support from the City of Calgary.