Water and wastewater treatment

WSP’s technical expertise and in-depth understanding of the water sector, coupled with excellent public communications and community consultation specialists, enables us to offer a first-class integrated and strategic approach to industrial and municipal water and wastewater treatment systems on both greenfield and brownfield sites. 

WSP is a leader in providing multi-disciplinary wastewater engineering services and delivering global solutions based on an integrated project approach. Our team includes process, structural, electrical, instrumentation and control, and mechanical resources specialized in wastewater projects. Our strength lies in our team of experts and dedicated planners, engineers and environmental scientists.

At a time when access to safe water is taken for granted, many people still do not have this basic need fulfilled. As demand for safe water increases, due to population growth and urbanization, climate change—combined with aging infrastructure—is slowly impacting the availability of this most basic commodity.

Contamination, related to failing infrastructure and extreme weather events, is becoming more frequent, which affects the ability of treatment systems to effectively meet the most elementary requirements. In some instances, finding alternative water resources to maintain safe clean drinking water is the only way forward. This can be achieved through desalination, or by treating a contaminated or wastewater source for industrial use, thereby reducing the demand on drinking water supply. 

To combat some contamination issues, more stringent environmental regulations have been imposed, either to maintain receiving water quality or to restore the receiving water to a previous cleaner condition. In either case, there is always a residual waste stream to be considered. 

WSP helps clients understand the value of water and how to convert today’s biggest challenges into even greater opportunities. We provide advisory services and engineering solutions that assist our clients with regulatory standards compliance, the protection and enhancement of their environments and the promotion of sustainable development for the future. 

Putting Our Water and Wastewater Treatment Know-How to Work

At WSP, we believe that development of a cost-effective and sustainable source of clean, safe water is of fundamental importance to the well-being of all communities. Using sustainable, efficient technology solutions that are tailored to clients’ needs, our global team of engineers and specialists works closely with clients to deliver optimal infrastructure solutions. 


WSP capabilities cover all aspects of engineering (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, process and automation), enabling us to oversee infrastructure projects from concept to completion. These projects may include early stages of feasibility, planning and asset management, right through to construction management, commissioning or operations support. 

Leveraging Expertise into Added Value

Whether designing a new facility or refurbishing, expanding or bringing an existing facility up to regulatory standards, WSP works in tandem with our clients’ management and operations teams to develop comprehensive implementation plans. Our ability to deliver projects successfully is enhanced by our use of 3D CAD, which enables clients to virtually walk through the facility as it is being designed. For refurbishment projects, one of our innovative solutions includes 3D scanning of an existing installation, which can subsequently be converted into a 3D CAD design.

Our 3D CAD can be integrated with Smart P&IDs and BIM to assist asset management construction sequencing, as well as asset maintenance further down the road. WSP’s experience can also be leveraged to evaluate performance, capacity and energy/cost efficiency.

Conventional and Advanced Water Treatment Technologies

WSP’s depth of experience is built on more than 130 years of infrastructure projects, with more than 100 projects completed at various stages in both water and wastewater. We pride ourselves on being actively involved with new and emerging technologies, which allows us to select the most sustainable and cost-effective approach to meet our clients’ needs.

Examples of our innovated methods include the removal of arsenic and uranium from drinking water, as well as using a biological process to remove high nitrates.


WSP has a wide client base covering industrial, mining, oil and gas wastewaters, and our thorough understanding of environmental regulations allows us to tailor treatment requirements to match, where possible, receiving waters background levels.

Our experience also covers remediation of receiving waters following on-site storage facility failures, restoring receiving waters back to their original pre-contaminated condition.


In inland and coastal areas where conventional fresh water resources are unavailable, or in areas where water is in short supply, desalination of brackish water and seawater, grey water recycling and reclaimed wastewater are alternative or “new” water supply sources for clean, safe water

WSP has been involved in desalination and reclamation projects around the world and has a clear understanding of the environmental issues that surround these projects. Our experienced engineers have taken on roles such as principal design consultants, owner’s engineers and technical advisors.

Several projects have included exploration of funding options through public and private markets to determine the best available source or price for a product. One such project was the Water Conserv II project in Orange County, Florida, US, where the system provides up to 35 MGD of reclaimed  water for agricultural and residential irrigation and aquifer recharge, while providing an environmentally sound and economically feasible regional solution to previously discharged wastewater effluent.

WSP’s experience extends beyond the liquid side of infrastructure. There is also a waste component that requires consideration and which may include mineral reclamation, dewatering, biogas generation, composting or waste to energy systems.

Water Utilities, Government and Private Sector Clients

In Ontario, Canada, WSP provided project management and engineering services for the preliminary and detailed design, tender, contract administration and construction services for the Port Darlington Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) Phase II Expansion project in the Regional Municipality of Durham. This $50 million, state-of-the-art facility was designed to accommodate current and future wastewater treatment needs, while incorporating the ability for modular expansion when needed in the future. The project involves expansion and upgrades to the existing conventional activated sewage treatment plant, permitting an increase of the plant’s rated capacity of 13.6 MLD to 27.3 MLD to meet expected population growth.

In Victoria, Australia, WSP provided multidisciplinary engineering and environmental design services for the Gippsland Water Factory, a wastewater treatment and recycling plant that processes 35 MLD of residential and industrial wastewater and produces around 8 MLD of high-quality recycled water for purchase by local industry. When the project was first considered, the focus was on conventional waste management strategies aimed at solving immediate environmental issues at the outfall sewer. Over several successive stages, the project’s focus widened to include the long-term sustainability of the region’s water supply and the benefits the facility could deliver. The water factory reduces the demand for clean safe water by approximately 3 GLD annually, and emits 38 percent less GHG emissions (20 percent was the theoretical benchmark set during concept design).

In Wessex, UK, WSP radically revised the existing design of Wessex Water’s sludge treatment plant in Taunton to improve efficiency and generate more renewable energy, while reducing the client’s overall costs. Treating sludge as “cake” reduced the volumes involved in transportation. Increasing the importation of sludge from smaller facilities deferred upgrade costs at the smaller facilities, while increasing the overall gas yield to produce an additional 425 kW of power. This was only the second application of this technology for a sludge centre in the UK.

In Bogotá, Colombia, WSP provided technical services for the structuring of a PPP scheme for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Canoas Wastewater Treatment Plant which will treat 1,382 MLD in 2040. With the use of a dynamic software, we performed a model of the plant’s process, mass balance, optimization of reactor sizes and operation parameters, biogas production, and automatization.

This model determined the final quality of the water in discharge in different scenarios (primary and secondary treatment), aeration rates, and energy consumption. Also, we established the amount of sludge that will be obtained during the wastewater treatment and analyzed, at pre-feasibility level, different alternatives for the treatment and disposal of the sludge obtained. Moreover, WSP calculated the investment and operation and maintenance costs that the private sector must incur through the PPP contract.