CREDEAU - Centre for Research, Development and Validation of Technologies and Processes in Water Treatment

Polytechnique Montréal, Montréal, Québec
What the facility does

Research, development and validation of water treatment processes and technologies.

Areas of expertise

The Centre for Research, Development and Validation of Technologies and Processes in Water Treatment (CREDEAU) is an interuniversity research centre devoted to research and development and to the validation of technologies and training of specialists in the field of water treatment. CREDEAU specializes in potable water treatment and distribution and wastewater treatment, and it strives to meet the needs of industry, government authorities and Canadian society via a systemic approach to the anthropogenic water cycle in an urban context.

Projects focus on potable water, wastewater, treatment processes and process chemistry, microbiology, the environment, public health risk analyses, the impact of climate change on water quality and emerging problems (algal toxins, trace compounds), as well as ecotoxicology combined with chemical analyses for the optimization and development of water treatment processes. Projects focus in particular on applied research. They can take the form of research partnerships or industrial contracts.

In addition to laboratory spaces at Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and École de technologie supérieure, CREDEAU has seven instrumented, automated, exceptionally flexible pilot units that enable on-site validation of a large number of processes and combinations of processes, depending on variations in raw water quality, for treatment of both potable water and wastewater. The units allow CREDEAU to avoid the use of reconstituted water. They are installed in trailers that can be moved to different test sites. The mobile units have enabled work on upgrading various potable water treatment plants, including those of the cities of Montreal, Laval and Longueil. CREDEAU’s efforts have had a significant impact on municipal decisions and the government’s regulatory vision. In the long term, these efforts lead to lower treatment costs and discharges of better purified water.

Research services

CREDEAU’s research services are aimed at individuals and businesses and organizations seeking water treatment expertise. They comprise: ad hoc information, simple services, contract work, research collaborations and partnerships, technology monitoring, feasibility studies, pilot tests, methodological and analytical pilot support, treatability studies, identification of the occurrence of pollutants and the effectiveness of treatments to remove them, validation of processes, development of new treatment processes.

Sectors of application
  • Clean technology
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Utilities

Specialized facility



Drinking water laboratory (analytical chemistry, microbiology including Level 2 and pilot units) (Polytechnique Montréal)

Gas chromatograph with an electron capture detector (GC-ECD), purge and trap

Analysis of halogenated compounds in water.


Ion-exchange chromatography system (IEC)

Analysis of anions and cations in natural water and drinking water.


Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) system with three injection modules

Detection of trace contaminants in drinking water.


Thermocycler (real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR))

Detection and quantification of pathogens in water.


Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer

Measurement of total organic carbon concentration in water.


Dynamic particle analyzer

Quantification and characterization of particles/cells in water.


Annular reactors

Parallel simulation of the effect of various disinfectants.


Flow cytometer

Quantification of microbial cells in suspension.

Wastewater engineering laboratory (analytical chemistry, microbiology and pilot units) (Polytechnique Montréal)

Infrared (IR) spectrometers

Characterization of clogging agents on membranes.


UV-Visible spectrometers

Measurement of chemical oxygen demand (COD), turbidity and nitrates.


Ion-exchange chromatography system (IEC)

Wastewater anion and cation analysis.


Gas chromatographs with flame ionization detector (FID) and voltage change detector, with headspace sampler and autosamplers

Quantification of anaerobic digestion gases (CH4, CO2, H2S), greenhouse gases (CO2 and N2O) and other gases and volatile fatty acids (VFAs) in aqueous solutions.


Kjeldahl digestor

Nitrogen decomposition.

Environmental analytical chemistry laboratory (Université de Montréal)

Liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) system

Characterization of emerging trace contaminants in water (pharmaceuticals, cyanotoxins, hormones and pesticides).


High-resolution mass spectrometer with online preconcentration and sampling system using semi-automated double chromatography

Analysis of degradation by-products.

Phytotechnology laboratory (Université de Montréal / Montréal Botanical Garden)

Phytozone including an aeroponic cultivation system and a sample preparation and preservation system

Controlled growth to develop wastewater- and sludge-treatment processes.

Biodiversity Centre, Plant Biology Research Institute (Université de Montréal)

Chemical parameter analysis system:

  1. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) heating block

  2. Digestion unit

  3. Spectrophotometer

  4. Dual flow-injection analysis system

Analysis of water and soil and plant tissue (nitrogen, phosphorus, heavy metals, etc.).


Pressure sensor

Measurement of conductivity.


Gas exchange measurement system for vegetative organs (CO2/H2O analyzer and portable photosynthesis system)

Quantification of photosynthesis and respiration for in situ assessment of the impact of pollutants on plant health and growth.

Bio-drying sludge treatment laboratory (Polytechnique Montréal)

Industrial sludge bio-drying pilot unit

Innovative sludge treatment for the pulp and paper industry. The procedure can increase the sludge solids content from 25–35% to over 50%.

Computer design laboratory (Polytechnique Montréal/Université de Montréal)

Analysis and communications computer system

Real-time access to offsite operational data.


BALAS Process Simulation Software

Data modelling for technological development.

Laboratory for hydrodynamic modelling of polyphasic processes under extreme conditions (Polytechnique Montréal)

System to characterize biofuels resulting from sludge pyrolysis. The system is composed of:

  1. Closed-cup flash point tester

  2. Automatic fractional distillation apparatus (ASTM D86 compliant)

  3. Oxygen bomb calorimeter (with cooling water)

  4. Gas chromatograph with flame ionization detector (GC-FID)

  5. Elemental analyzer (C, H, O, N, S)

  6. Hot gas flowmeter

Characterization of bio-oil properties:

  1. Determining the flash point of oil from sludge pyrolysis, a property associated with transportation

  2. Determining the sample content in combustible fractions

  3. Measuring available energy in bio-oils

  4. In-depth characterization of bio-oil composition in hydrocarbons and inflammable compounds

  5. Characterization of the distribution of those elements in bio-oils

  6. Proper characterization of sample weight loss and calculation of pyrolysis kinetics to understand the decomposition process.


Anaerobic digestion characterization system

Continuous measurement of bio-gas product composition and volume, and two gas chromatographs.


Automated nanofiltration test bed

Test the efficiency of removing manganese, iron, dissolved natural organic material and hardness from natural water through nanofiltration.

Mobile wastewater pilot units (Polytechique Montréal)

AS+ wastewater treatment pilot unit: activated sludge (AS) treatment and membrane bioreactor (MBR)

Test various processes for removing a series of contaminants (organic material, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) from wastewater.

  • Treatment capacity depends on configuration used, between 1 and 4 m3/h

  • Biological removal of organic material, nitrogen and phosphorus


Physico-chemical and biological treatment unit (treatment capacity: 2 to 6 m3/h) composed of:

  1. Actiflo™ : ballasted flocculation process

  2. Biostyr™ : floating media biofiltration process

Compact processes for clarification (removal of a series of contaminants: particulates, organic material, micro-organisms, micropollutants) of water and wastewater.


Elimination of carbon pollution (chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biological oxygen demand (BOD)), nitrogen pollution (NH4-N and NO3-N) and particulate pollution (suspended solids (SS)) in a compact unit with a small environmental footprint.


  • Veolia Water Technologies Canada
  • SUEZ
  • EnviroSim
  • Avensys Solutions Inc.
  • Hoskin Scientifique Ltée
  • ColiMinder
  • Municipality of Montreal
  • Municipality of Laval
  • Municipality of Longueuil
  • Municipality of Repentigny
  • Municipality of Saint‐Hyacinthe
  • Municipalité de Joliette
  • Municipalité de L’Assomption
  • Municipalité de Québec
  • Hydro‐Québec
  • Société québécoise d’assainissement des eaux
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • St. Lawrence Centre
  • Ministère du Développement durable de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
  • Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire
  • Ministère de l’agriculture des pêcheries et de l’alimentation
  • Health Canada
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • World Health Organization
  • Zoo de Granby
  • Aqua‐Centrum
  • Montréal Biodôme
  • Montréal Botanical Garden