If Bill Gates can drink sewage water purified by the Janicki Omni Processor, perhaps Torontonians are ready for a public bath at their local wastewater treatment plant. University of Waterloo student Liyang Zhang proposes just that in her thesis exploring the cultural understanding of cleanliness, class and citizens’ relationships to human waste in urban spaces. Concretely, her theoretical approach identifies the North Toronto Wastewater Treatment Plant in Canada’s biggest city as a central location between three disconnected neighbourhoods with varying socio-economic profiles. Zhang has drawn a design proposal for a public bath at the sewage treatment plant that would challenge the various social tensions created by intermingling these different groups of users and by bringing the facility’s input and output so close together.
Project Geographies of Urban Filth School University of Waterloo, Canada Team Liyang Zhang with thesis supervisor Rick Andrighetti
Given the necessity of water for human life, the environmental integrity of this Swiss water-purification facility cannot be understated. With a capacity to purify 19,000 cubic litres per day, the state-of-the-art waterworks contains a three-phase process that provides citizens of Muttenz with the highest industry standard of drinking water. Developed by Indian multinational VA Tech Wabag, the system includes a groundbreaking technology to eliminate micropollutants in groundwater as well as an advanced oxidation process, granulated activated carbon filters, powdered activated carbon (PAC) dosing, a PAC recycling system, ultrafiltration and backwash-water treatment. In addition to containing such innovative technology, the sensitively designed facility has been a hit in the municipality, where the local government has opened it to the public to promote education, awareness and conservation.
Project Muttenz Water Purification Plant Location Muttenz, Switzerland Firm Oppenheim Architecture Europe, Switzerland Team Chad Oppenheim and Beat Huesler Photo Börje Müller