Renovations lead to environmental benefits and cost savings

The University of Waterloo’s aquatic facility now has expanded research capabilities, modernized equipment, and energy efficient infrastructure for Waterloo researchers in the Faculties of Science, Engineering, and Environment who use it.

Previously suffering from aging infrastructure, poor water quality, and lack of backup power, the large-scale renovation over an eight-month period between late 2019 and mid-2020 required a complete shutdown of the facility but the enhancements from the renovations will make a significant difference.

The addition of a water recirculation system provides two tremendous advantages – environmental benefits and cost savings. Before the system was installed, cleaning and maintenance of the facility required a regular dumping of the water resulting in huge costs.

“On a daily basis, we only reject 10 per cent of the water we use instead of 100 per cent,” said Mike Ditty, Manager, Faculty of Science Infrastructure, Special Project Facilities, University of Waterloo.

Prior to the renovations, there was no way to conduct disease challenges in Waterloo, but a new pathogen challenge room makes the facility state-of-the-art and researchers from Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and external organizations are keen to use it.

The $5-million renovation received some funding from the Government of Canada’s Research Support Fund.

July, 2020