Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

Foresight, flexibility, collaboration and a commitment to sustainability are what frame this greenfield facility, located in Calgary, Alberta’s ecologically sensitive Bow River Valley.

pine creek wastewater treatment

Project Overview

Since 2003, Jacobs has been working closely with The City of Calgary on the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to raise the bar for wastewater treatment in Canada. With a shared passion for sustainability and protecting the aquatic habitat of the Bow River, only the most innovative and high quality solutions were incorporated into the design of the facility.

Collaborating with the City and other stakeholders throughout the project, the plant was implemented using an integrated approach to sustainability that considers aesthetics and environmental design, leaving the community pleased and the plant’s functionality uncompromised.

Today, the Jacobs and City of Calgary team continue to build on the success of the original project, with the addition of a wastewater research facility in partnership with the University of Calgary, and planning for future expansions that will keep pace with the city’s population growth.

What was involved?

The Pine Creek wastewater treatment plant treats wastewater for one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. With a strong commitment to collaboration, we're providing a dynamic combination of water engineering, environmental expertise and industry-leading program management services to create a next generation tertiary treatment facility.


Providing innovative engineering solutions to protect the ecologically sensitive area – from managing stormwater on and through the site to placing effluent diffusers below the river bed to avoid affecting flow patterns and trout ecosystems – to ensure a limited ecological footprint


Laid the foundation for a more sustainable future for Calgarians through biological nutrient removal and a sustainable biodolids treatment process that produces a bio-gas that can be used to generate heat – and using that heat to warm the plant.

Program Management

Using our passion and best practices in program management, managing multiple procurement and construction contracts simultaneously, in addition to four sub-contractors, fostering a 'one team' mentality focused on project success.

Community impact

Jacobs was proud to be a part of the team that worked with the local community and stakeholders throughout the design and planning process. The facility is located in Calgary's ecologically sensitive Bow River Valley and is surrounded by the communities of Cranston and Lake Chaparral, both well-established residential neighborhoods. To enhance the community’s well-being, we designed pathways for maintaining access to the river’s edge and reduced visual impacts by using natural landscape buffers. We laid the foundation for a more sustainable future for Calgarians by:

  • Implementing a zero-complaint goal for plant odors
  • Using effluent to irrigate a local golf course
  • Partnering with River Watch to deliver water education programs held at the wastewater treatment plant

Raising the bar in wastewater treatment in Calgary

The Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant demonstrates how a sustainable approach can make a big difference for exceptional water quality.

The Pine Creek wastewater treatment plant was designed not only to meet the needs of the city today, but also to accommodate a 700 percent population increase in the future – with an initial capacity of 100 million liters per day (ML/d) and an ultimate capacity of 700 ML/d.

The plant’s design incorporated an intelligent technical focus within an environmental and sustainability context that took into account the surrounding ecology, community and long-term development of the city. Jacobs tackled the complex nature of this project through the following technical innovations:

  • Secondary treatment using the latest generation of biological nutrient removal design
  • Effluent filtration employing filter disk technology
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection using low pressure, high output UV lamps
  • Primary sludge fermentation and thickening, with the supernatant returned to selected zones to augment biological nutrient removal
  • Anaerobic digestion of thickened sludge, with the ability to convert to thermophillic digestion should that modification be required to suit biosolids beneficial use limitations
  • Biogas management that focused on directing this fuel to boilers specifically designed to handle it

Located in Calgary's ecologically sensitive Bow River Valley, and surrounded by established residential neighborhoods and a golf course development, the project demanded foresight, flexibility and a commitment to sustainability from project kickoff through to construction and commissioning.

Sustainability guided project design, construction and management, enabling us to achieve LEED Gold certification through industry-leading practices such as:

  • Green roofs
  • Locally sourced construction materials
  • Minimal construction waste
  • Use of recycled building materials
  • Energy-saving heating/cooling systems minimizing consumption of non-renewable resources and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Use of water conserving fixtures throughout to reduce water use
  • Use of reclaimed water for several non-potable demands