Taking Inspiration from Nature: Innovative and Efficient Water Treatment with Saturated Rock Fill Technology

March 11, 2020

Nature often provides the inspiration for technological innovations. Inspired by natural processes, Teck’s Saturated Rock Fill (SRF) technology represents a breakthrough in passive water treatment technology. SRF provides an innovative and efficient water treatment solution in the Elk Valley, effectively removing elements such as selenium and nitrate.   

Since January 2018, Teck’s first SRF facility has been successfully treating up to 10 million litres of mine-affected water per day at Elkview Operations, achieving near-complete removal of selenium and nitrate. 

Recognizing the effectiveness of the SRF method, the B.C. government provided its approval to begin construction to expand the capacity of the Elkview SRF to 20 million litres per day in 2019.  

This expansion presents significant opportunities to help reach our water quality improvement goals in the Elk Valley. SRFs have several benefits over other forms of water treatment, including: 

  • Quicker to build and less complex to operate 
  • Lower cost to build and maintain 
  • Able to treat larger volumes of water 
  • Lower energy use  

The expansion of the Elkview SRF facility will replace a previously planned tank-based plant. We expect the expanded Elkview SRF to be operational in late 2020, and we are assessing opportunities to use the SRF technology throughout the Elk Valley. 

Learn more about Teck’s approach to protecting water quality in the Water Stewardship section of our website.


First Published on March 11, 2020