Queen’s wastewater is treated by Utilities Kingston at the Ravensview treatment facility. This state of the art wastewater treatment plant uses biogas collection, allowing the plant to partially power itself from the effluent it receives.
The Ravensview facility consistently overachieves on environmental metrics, full details are available through Utilities Kingston’s wastewater reporting portal.
Through the COVID-19 Pandemic Queen’s researchers collaborated with universities and utility companies across Ontario to launch the Wastewater Surveillance Initiative, a project to identify the early presence of the disease in the community.
Preventing Water System Pollution
Queen’s is situated within the area served by the Cataraqui Conservation Authority, and is part of the Cataraqui Source Protection Area, and is governed by their plans and regulations.
Internal policies at Queen’s are designed to protect the local watershed by providing training and support to eliminate the possibility of contaminants being disposed of in the municipal sewer. Queen’s Environmental Health & Safety coordinates hazardous material pickup across the university.
One of the leading uses of water at Queen’s is makeup water for the campus district steam system. In 2021 the steam system returned well over 70% of total steam production as condensate for re-use in the boilers.
In 52 buildings a total of 59 water conservation projects were completed. The largest single project was an upgrade to re-use the bearing cooling water at the central heating plant as boiler makeup water, saving 25,000 m3 /year.
Sustainable Water Extraction Off-Campus
Queen’s receives water from Utilities Kingston which sustainably draws from Lake Ontario, primarily through the King Street Water Treatment Plant at a distance of 1 km from shore. Annual reports on treatment, testing, and certification of operators are available online.