Olds College Wetland Research Park, Olds

2002 - Present

The need to discover better techniques and practices for managing Canada’s and Alberta’s water resources is well documented. Recent provincial and national initiatives have focused attention on water, including the identification of beneficial practices to improve the protection and conservation of water quantity and quality.

The Olds College “Cold Climate Applied Research Wetland” designed by Westhoff Engineering Resources, Inc. complemented these national and provincial initiatives by providing a field scale wetland laboratory to study rural and urban wetlands and their capacities for flood control and water treatment. Dennis Westhoff received an Honorary Degree from Olds College for his dedicated work on the realization of this research park.

This state-of-the-art constructed wetland facility is at the Olds College campus and comprises a total of 17 wetland units. They can be linked to form a treatment train or research can be undertaken in a single wetland unit. A large instrumentation program was completed in 2013 and all units are equipped with multi probe data collection units feeding their data to a centralized gateway from where transmission occurs to the science laboratory computers. Several wetland design courses are being developed at Olds College. These programs are focused on providing the industry with certified professionals in a field that remains a most complex landform all over the world.

“The Ocean is regarded as a bargain basement... People don’t realize that water in a liquid form is very rare in the universe. Away from earth it is usually a gas. This moisture is a blessed treasure, and it is our basic duty, if we don’t want to commit suicide, to preserve it!”.
— Jacques Cousteau