University of Waterloo has developed the Phosphex™ system, which passively removes phosphorus compounds from water and wastewater in a gravity-driven system. Phosphex™ utilizes basic-oxygen furnace slag (BOFS), a low-cost byproduct of steel manufacturing, to promote adsorption and precipitation reactions. Phosphex™ also disinfects influent water contaminated by fecal coliform and E-coli. Removal of orthophosphate and total phosphate has been demonstrated in treatment of surface water, wastewater, and septic system effluent. These diverse applications illustrate the potential use of Phosphex™ over a broad range of influent concentrations, flow rates, and temperatures.


The passive nature of the Phosphex™ system reduces operation, maintenance and energy requirements. Residuals derived from the Phosphex™system can be utilized as construction materials, agricultural amendments, or ballast for road construction. The University of Waterloo team is comprised of Dr. David Blowes, Carol Ptacek and Julia Jamieson-Hanes.