The Manitoba government has decided to rethink nitrogen removal, but perhaps they should be rethinking water-based sanitation?
The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of nitrogen and ammonia found in sewage water originates from human urine. Instead of diluting our urine with water and then attempting to remove the urine at the treatment plant, perhaps we should be looking at the examples from Finland, Sweden, Germany, China, among others, where urine is being used as a fertilizer.
Human excreta is packed of full nutrients, most notably phosphorous and nitrogen, by adopting a policy of waterless sanitation (i.e. dry composting toilets) we can ensure that these nutrients are returned to the soil from where they originated, rather than ending up in our waterways where they do not belong.