Wastewater Treatment

The City’s Wastewater Treatment Section consists of six major pumping stations and one state-of-the-art Wastewater Treatment Facility (WwTF).

Wastewater is the mixture of liquid and solid materials that residents and businesses flush down toilets and empty down sinks and drains. This material is directed to the plant through a network of pipes that make up the City’s sanitary sewer system to the WwTF. Treating wastewater is a process of cleaning it to remove solids, chemicals and other undesirable material before it is pumped to Lake Simcoe.

Disconnect to Protect!

The City's wastewater treatment plant is being overloaded and it’s costing you money! Tax payers are paying a lot of extra money to treat already clean water. Learn about the Disconnect to Protect Rebate Program.

COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance Initiative

The City joined the province-wide COVID-19 wastewater surveillance initiative and is providing samples from the WwTF to labs that run analysis to determine the amount of COVID-19 present. Learn more:

Wastewater Treatment Facility (WwTF)

The City currently is undertaking a project to retrofit a portion of the WwTF to meet new Provincial regulations.

The WwTF is a tertiary treatment plant that uses ultra violet disinfection to treat all sewage before sending it into Lake Simcoe. The facility receives domestic, commercial and industrial wastewater and provides a level of treatment to meet the water quality standards of Lake Simcoe. Overall, the entire treatment process can be described at the transformation of wastewater into three useful products:

  • Treated effluent
  • An agricultural crop fertilization supplement
  • Energy, in the form of heat and electricity

The City maintains high standards in wastewater treatment to ensure there is minimum effect on Lake Simcoe. An in-house laboratory, located within the WwTF administration building, allows for constant monitoring of all processes within the WwTF to ensure standards are being maintained. It provides analysis and support for the Environmental Services branch including WwTF Operations and Environmental Response and Investigation. Analysis performed routinely include, but are not limited to; Ammonia, Phosphorus, pH, Turbidity, Solids analysis and Biological Oxygen Demand.

The immediate availability of results aids in plant performance evaluation and compliance assurance of the plant’s discharge with the Ministry guidelines. Internal quality and assurance control are equivalent to those set out by regulatory authorities.


The City of Barrie has engaged the services of a Consulting Engineering firm to conduct a study that will evaluate alternatives for the optimization of biogas usage at the WwTF. See Biogas Utilization Study for details.

Sewage biosolids are nutrient-rich materials that result from the treatment of municipal wastewater. The City uses dual digestion to stabilize biosolids; once stabilized, they can be land applied in liquid form. Biosolids contain nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter as well as essential micro-nutrients such as copper, iron, molybdenum and zinc, all of which are important to improve or maintain soil quality. When treated and processed, these residuals can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.

Frequently Asked Questions