Within OCCI, there are four unique research areas that demonstrate excellence, as measured by the connection to student learning, industry partnerships, government investment and the unique facilities and expertise we offer:
The Olds College Centre for Innovation’s Composting Technology Centre receives and recovers the organic matter from fruits, vegetables and plants through a natural cycle (OC Composting Centre feature). Collection of those materials from the towns of Olds, Didsbury, and Sundre, contribute to the compost distributed back to the communities through year round compost sales. Area gardeners and homeowners can return the valuable organic matter and nutrients to the earth as part of a healthy food cycle.
Olds College has a long history of research work on bioremediation of contaminated soil and water, reclamation of previously disturbed sites, and the use of native plants and organic amendments including biochar and compost. This work has been conducted both locally and internationally. The recently completed Olds College Botanic Gardens III and Treatment Wetlands will in addition to treating the College’s storm and waste water and providing solid information to help improve the management of Alberta’s wetlands, be a site to conduct research to determine the best and most effective wetlands plant species, indigenous to Alberta, that can be used for bioremediation of various contaminants.
Although Canada’s supply of fresh surface water amounts to an area which is larger than most countries, there are increasing local issues and challenges. The Olds College Botanic Gardens III and Treatment Wetlands initiative was designed to treat the College’s storm and waste water, while providing solid information to help improve the management of Alberta’s wetlands.
The Treatment Wetlands comprise an area that is about 87 000-plus square meters (approximately 22 acres). The treatment wetlands are equipped with real-time data monitoring and collection systems that provide this facility with a capability that is unmatched anywhere in the country. The treatment wetlands are composed of three series of “polishing wetlands” that are mainly used to treat the College’s storm and waste water and one series of triple-lined research ponds/wetlands that are used to research the effectiveness of wetlands to treat and remove various types of contaminants from waste water without the risk of contaminating ground water. Both the polishing and triple-lined research wetlands are used for research purposes. The main difference is the type of contaminants that each one of them can accommodate. The overall purpose of the treatment wetlands is to treat and decontaminate waste and produced water – thus achieving Alberta’s Water for Life strategy by producing high-quality recycled water through the removal of sediments, contaminants and undesirable nutrients. The treatment wetlands are adjoined to an aesthetically-pleasing Botanical Garden.
Together the treatment wetlands and the Botanical Garden, provide an outdoor laboratory for students, an industry training site, and a nucleus for community programs – all in one. In addition, there is a modern amphitheatre and stage surrounded by a stunning natural backdrop within this state of the art facility. (more on Olds College Botanical Gardens and Treatment Wetlands
World Water day presentation - click here