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December 2017 • Vol. 30 No. 6 • ISSN-0835-605X
COMING IN OUR FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE This issue will offer our 40,000 readers across Canada a strong and diverse range of articles: EDITORIAL FOCUS
Water and Wastewater Treatment in Cold Climates and Remote Communities
FEATURES 6 8 16 18 24 28 30
Canada shines at WEFTEC 2017 Solar projects present unique stormwater management challenges Water treatment systems need to control disinfection byproducts Upgrading Millbrook’s WWTP to meet new discharge limits Effective EHS governance: What auditors look for Vancouver WWTP gets larger, more efficient pumping system Concrete cloth used to create stormwater ditch for Vancouver Island mine
WATER & WASTEWATER OPERATORS’ FORUM
32 36 39 40 42
Troubleshooting water and wastewater plant mixing equipment problems Considerations when selecting proper gaskets for water treatment facilities BC WWTP gets new aerators for odour control and innovative new process Maintaining self-cleaning screen filters Proper installation and maintenance ensures reliable online electrode data
22 ANNUAL CONSULTANTS’ FORUM Effective strategies to develop and retain young engineers Understanding the value of external input on project design The relationships between municipalities, consultants, contractors & suppliers What is the role of a professional engineer’s sign-off for new sewers?
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Ontario Clean Water Agency staff check sludge blanket level in the clarifier at the Renfrew Water Pollution Control Plant in Renfrew, Ontario.
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TECHNICAL ADVISORY BOARD Archis Ambulkar, Jones and Henry Engineers, Ltd. Gary Burrows, City of London Jim Bishop, Consulting Chemist, Ontario Patrick Coleman, Black & Veatch Bill De Angelis, City of Toronto Mohammed Elenany, Urban Systems William Fernandes, City of Toronto Marie Meunier, John Meunier Inc., Québec Tony Petrucci, Stantec, Markham
Environmental Science & Engineering is a bi-monthly business publication of Environmental Science & Engineering Publications Inc. An all Canadian publication, ES&E provides authoritative editorial coverage of Canada’s municipal and industrial environmental control systems and drinking water treatment and distribution. Readers include consulting engineers, industrial plant managers and engineers, key municipal, provincial and federal environmental officials, water and wastewater plant operators and contractors. Information contained in ES&E has been compiled from sources believed to be correct. ES&E cannot be responsible for the accuracy of articles or other editorial matter. Articles in this magazine are intended to provide information rather than give legal or other professional advice. Articles being submitted for review should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Canadian Publications Mail Sales Second Class Mail Product Agreement No. 40065446 Registration No. 7750 Undeliverable copies, advertising space orders, copy, artwork, proofs, etc., should be sent to: Environmental Science & Engineering 220 Industrial Pkwy. S., Unit 30 Aurora, Ontario L4G 3V6 Tel: (905)727-4666 Website: www.esemag.com
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6 | December 2017
escribed as the largest conference of its kind in North America, Canada’s presence at the Water Environment Federation’s WEFTEC was in no way diluted among the tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibiting companies from across the world. ES&E Magazine joined approximately 100 other Canadian companies in the cavernous exhibition halls of McCormick Place. OPERATIONS CHALLENGE This year saw 44 teams from Argentina, Canada, Denmark and the U.S., compete in the Operations Challenge, a weighted point test covering five events: Collection Systems, Laboratory, Process Control, Maintenance, and Safety. The OCWA Jets from the Ontario Clean Water Agency were 3rd overall in the Division 1 Operations Challenge, after placing 1st in Safety, 1st in Maintenance and 2nd in Collection Systems. STUDENT DESIGN COMPETITION Off the tradeshow floor, students from the University of British Columbia and the University of Guelph shone in the 16th annual Student Design Competition, which saw a record number of teams from 17 schools participate. The University of Guelph team won 1st place in the Environmental Design Category for their stormwater project. Students from the University of British Columbia were awarded 2nd place in the Wastewater Competition.
of Greater Chicago; George S. Hawkins, general manager, DC Water; and Kishia L. Powell, commissioner, Department of Atlanta Watershed Management. Kingston, Ontario-based Tecta-PDS exhibited for the first time at WEFTEC this year and participated in the Canada@ WEFTEC program. Tecta-PDS makes the only U.S. EPA approved automated microbiological detection system for drinking water testing. While their product is manufactured in Canada, 90% of their business is outside of North America, according to Executive Vice President Tim Adams. “In the U.S., it’s a bit more challenging since we’re just starting,” said Adams. “What we’re looking for is simply to get a trial.” The Canada@WEFTEC program helped Tecta meet with the City of Chicago to talk about implementing the system. While it’s a long sales cycle for technology companies like Tecta-PDS, Adams said, “the meeting went really well and we’re going to push forward. They certainly want to do a trial of our product.” Canada’s international reputation has been riding a wave of success, well timed with its 150th anniversary. For the second year in a row, it ranked second in the annual “Best Countries” survey from the U.S. News & World Report, narrowly losing the top spot to Switzerland. Adams said it’s smart for Canadian companies to show off their brand abroad, especially in the water industry. “I think Canada is looking pretty rocksolid right now and it’s a good story,” said Adams. “We have a good success rate and some really cool innovations coming out of this country.” To learn more about programs and assistance offered by the Trade Commissioner Service, contact Ann Rosen: email@example.com.
CANADA@WEFTEC ES&E Magazine had the pleasure of working with the Trade Commissioner Service of Global Affairs Canada to promote their Canada@WEFTEC program. The goal of the program was to help connect Canadian companies with buyers and assist in the export market. The U.S. Opportunities Breakfast for Peter Davey is managing editor Canadian Firms was part of the Canada@ of ES&E Magazine. Email: WEFTEC program. This event featured firstname.lastname@example.org the heads of three large U.S. water utilities: David St. Pierre, executive director, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Turbid runoff from a solar project during construction.
Lessons learned: Solar projects present unique stormwater management challenges By Jason Sharp, Adam O’Connor and Mark Priddle
he design and construction of utility-scale solar projects in Ontario blossomed with the Green Energy Act passing in 2009. Between 2010 and 2016, more than 100 ten-megawatt (MW) solar farms were constructed in Ontario. Approvals for these sites were issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), usually under Renewable Energy Approvals (REA). A typical 10 MW photovoltaic (PV) installation requires about 40 ha of land for solar panels. During the course of construction of a number of these solar projects, unique challenges associated with stormwater management (SWM) arose. Issues relating to turbid runoff occurred, with subsequent impacts to nearby watercourses, neighbouring properties and downstream locations. 8 | December 2017
SITE SELECTION Selection of a site for solar development is typically based on a number of factors, including land availability and cost, topography, existing site conditions, constraints (water courses and wetlands, agricultural zoning), community acceptance, and proximity to power grid for connection. In hindsight, it has become apparent that the selection of sites must place more significance on topography, existing site conditions, and constraints such as nearby watercourses and soil types. All of these factors influence runoff that, if not properly managed, can result in negative impacts downstream. When a solar farm is constructed on farmland, the land is drastically transformed from a site that would see minimal usage/disturbance until planting, to
a site that requires complete year-round accessibility by machines and workers during construction and early stages of operation. REGULATORY INVOLVEMENT, REVIEW PROCESSES AND CONTRACTUAL ISSUES Under the REA process, public consultation and regulatory review result in comments from the public, all municipal levels of government and Conservation Authorities. While the MOECC is the overall approval authority, the process relies on the proponent and their experts to design the project such that potential impacts to the natural environment are mitigated both during construction and when built-out and in operation. As it relates to the SWM component continued overleaf…
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Erosion beneath solar panels as a result of concentrated flow and limited vegetation.
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of the review process, these projects are approved based on a conceptual SWM report. These reports typically provide high-level information such as delineation of watersheds, identification of internal drainage areas, completion of calculations (e.g., rational method for peak flows), confirmation that SWM is, or is not, required for the site, and estimation of the scale/locations to store stormwater. In some cases, preliminary grading plans are not provided, which may pose the question of whether the proposed drainage areas can be constructed. An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor is usually retained. EPC contracts must place appropriate emphasis on completing grading, SWM and erosion and sediment controls (ESC) prior to installing panels and cabling, etc. Otherwise, civil work (including grading around piles and panels) would need to be completed. This can be especially challenging as solar projects may have 10,000 piles with live panels. DESIGN (STORMWATER MANAGEMENT) The design of large solar projects in Ontario has experienced a learning curve with respect to minimizing SWM issues. A solar farm represents a hard surface with concentrated flow developing during a precipitation event. The hard surface is discontinuous, with solar panels arranged in rows, but with vegetated surfaces (post-construction) in the driplines. The design of SWM and grading for a solar project is markedly different from other types of development. Key issues are the amount of hard surface and subsequent sediment loading. A typical solar site is a grass field with panels, some gravel roadways, a few transformers and a small substation. Calculations may indicate that SWM is not required. However, based on our experience, SWM is generally required, specifically during construction and until the site is fully re-vegetated. The following factors can affect the volumes and rates of runoff leaving the sites: Compaction of soils – Soils experience compaction from numerous construction vehicles. This may increase runoff and continued overleaf…
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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sediment transport until the site is fully re-vegetated. Topsoil – Removal of topsoil from a site results in less vegetation and/or increased time to re-vegetate the site. Where topsoil is not replaced, full re-vegetation is hindered and bare soils may experience erosion and washouts. Soils/depth to bedrock – Often geotechnical information is provided at the start of a project and further studies or investigations may not be conducted. The majority of sites are constructed based on limited soils information. Construction methods – Vegetation and topsoil should not be removed from an entire site all at once. A solar site may experience significant erosion issues as it does not possess sufficient ESC measures to combat the increase in flow from bare soil. Construction phasing of solar projects must be addressed and implemented. Concentrated flow (roadways) – Roads to access on-site buildings are required and these may not account for topography, resulting in construction in undesirable areas. Direct runoff across roadways and into ditches or adjacent fields with limited opportunity to spread flow may result. Concentrated flow (long reaches) – Relatively long distances (or reaches) may be smoothed out to permit piles/panels to be installed and build roads. This combination of long reaches and smooth surfaces may result in increased runoff velocity that erodes soil. There is no single guideline developed, to our knowledge, that addresses the calculations and design considerations relating to these issues.
Wetland formation beneath solar panels.
coefficient during winter/spring thaws. Consequently, standard ESC measures may be inadequate for winter runoff events and the design should consider enhanced ESC measures. Seasonal limitations to implementation of ESC measures must also be considered (e.g., silt fence cannot be installed in frozen ground). Understanding that construction during winter months provides a number of challenges, contractors should install specific controls, limit the areas that are opened up, and ensure additional ESC materials are available for use. Although these measures cannot guarantee there will be no issues with erosion and runoff during construction, they may provide a contractor with CONSTRUCTION the necessary means to maintain and stabiTEMPORARY AND SWM and ESC challenges at solar proj- lize the exposed soils and limit suspended PERMANENT MEASURES ects appear early on in the development of solids transport. As part of the SWM design, tempo- sites that are stripped of vegetation (and rary ESC measures are required during topsoil) prior to site works. Heavy vehic- POST-CONSTRUCTION Re-vegetation does not occur immeconstruction. A solar farm differs from ular traffic during construction may exacother development projects because of the erbate runoff issues. With the widespread diately following solar panel installation continuous and long-term disturbance disturbance over the entire area, ESC at most sites, especially where topsoil has of typically un-vegetated ground during measures may be inadequate. In addition, been removed. In other cases, works are completed late in the year. These condiconstruction. This requires unique and year-round construction may take place. Working throughout the winter and tions may hinder or prevent re-vegetation more robust ESC measures compared to more conventional projects. The designer spring seasons is possible, and in some and design conditions for the SWM and should be reviewing flows, volumes and instances necessary, to meet tight dead- ESC measures may not be met. This may drainage area upstream to ensure controls lines. Designs must account for flows lead to challenges with post-construction are sufficient and will be able to withstand over frozen soils or an increase in runoff runoff, even with properly designed and 12 | December 2017
the anticipated runoff flow and quality. Permanent SWM and ESC measures may be required to control water and sediment transport after full build-out of a solar project. These differ from temporary measures as they are designed for the site that has all its panels in place and has been fully re-vegetated. At the design stage, the final SWM and ESC measures that are proposed have generally assumed that the site is fully vegetated. In our experience, design flows during construction should be increased from the typical post-development conditions to account for bare or partially bare soils that may increase water velocities.
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
• Placement of fill in low-lying areas; • Construction of roads, ditches; • Relocation of panels; • Re-alignment of ditches and movement of discharge points; • Reconnecting damaged/destroyed tile drains; • Placing berms to limit floodwater from REMEDIATION entering site or removing them to limit Following completion of a solar farm, concentration of runoff; and remediation may be required to prevent • Use of flocculants to control TSS in turbid runoff from leaving the site. This runoff water. MONITORING The identification and correction of may require new SWM and ESC measures, At many sites in Ontario, monitoring of combined with concerted efforts to re-veg- issues related to SWM and ESC at solar runoff is required under the REA. Typi- etate sites. Other remediation efforts may projects provides a number of “lessons learned”, which can be applied to new cally, total suspended solids (TSS) are include: required to be tested at locations where • Construction of additional ditching and existing projects to prevent issues in the future. water flows off-site. It should be noted that and grading, and of additional piping; TSS is not the only compound/contami- • Paving of low level crossings; nant that should be monitored. Depend- • Addition of topsoil and seeding; erosion DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS ing on the former use of the site, other control blankets and/or hydroseed on • Ensure design includes prevention of erosion and sediment transport. nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen, etc.) may steep slopes; • Construction of flow dissipation/ • Effectively plan the location of SWM be present and require testing. In all cases where TSS monitoring is spreading devices, retention ponds and measures. conducted, it should be accompanied by infiltration trenches; continued overleaf… constructed ESC measures in place. The positive impact of a fully vegetated site with properly engineered and constructed SWM measures to control runoff and suspended solids movement cannot be overstated. Stripping of vegetation should be avoided wherever possible, and, where vegetation must be stripped, the installation of appropriately sized retention/settlement ponds prior to stripping must be considered.
a contingency plan that provides O&M staff with a procedure to address any TSS concerns. Vegetation, SWM features and outlets should be monitored for the life of the project. Bi-annual inspections should be performed and frequency increased if issues arise.
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Sustainable Ecosystems STORMWATER
Soil retaining system helps urban trees reach • Ensure design is conservative with maturity By Ericand Keshavarzi respect to runoff potential SWM It has become apparent that the selection
design criteria from MOECC are followed. • Provide areen reasonable degree of infrastructure andredunsusdancy in tainability designing goals SWM are andofESC inmeasures. creasing importance, and • Review the stormwater design intechthe achieving them requires context of different storm events; peak nical knowledge and training in varied flows from shorterofduration but fields. Integration soil andevents trees into SWM measures sized for the volume of urban areas substantially improves suslonger events (24-hour). tainability and helps alleviate some of our • Ensure design considerschallenges. construcmost pressing ecological tion over winter months and uses “bare These include air and water quality, rising soils” calculations to account for runoff temperatures, flooding and erosion from during construction. daily rainfall events. • Ensure geotechnical The Westsufficient Don Lands, in Toronto, data Onare available, including depth to groundtario, is a community that is people fowater and percolation cused, family friendly,rates. environmentally • Review designs with O&M staff for to sustainable and beautifully designed ensure the farms are accessible and operliving. It has a Stage 1 LEED ND GOLD ational. certification under the pilot program es• Provide by guidelines to contractor regardtablished the U.S. Green Building ing staging of works to be completed. Council. • Design temporary ESCcomponent, measures One notable sustainable that include quantity management and utilized in the design of the area’s streets, provide maintenance plans after operais a soil retaining system called Silva tion if it is not fully re-vegetated. Cells™. Typical urban trees in the city • Ensure design provides laydown zones core die after approximately seven years. (with fuel tanks/refuelling stations) in However, Silva Cells help extend their areas not prone to flooding. life spans, thus promoting the growth of mature street trees. PROJECT CONSTRUCTION Although the City of Toronto had pre• Develop spill Cells containment viously useda Silva as part ofand a response plan prior to start of stormwater management pilotconstruction. program in • Ensure placement of all temporary The Queensway, their use as part of site
of sites must place more significance on topography, existing site conditions, and constraints such as nearby watercourses and soil types.
SWM and ESC measures prior to construction; regularly maintain these measures during construction and until full re-vegetation. of Silva in Mill (during, Street. • Installation Ensure regular siteCells inspections or immediately after,Instorm development is new. fact, or therapid West thaw Don events) are completed by a civil Lands streets are the first in a engineerToronto ing consultant review with construction, subdivision to betodesigned this sysSWM and ESC measures. tem installed under parking lay-bys and • sidewalks. Ensure additional materials for ESC areMill on site, especially over winter months. Street was the first subdivision • street Ensure contractor implements staged in Toronto to be designed to include construction process. this soil retaining system. As the lead • engineering Minimize removal of vegetation (and consultant, R.V.Anderson topsoil) prior to construction. Associates coordinated all plans and spec• ifications Providewith sufficient detail on plans to the landscape architect. permit a contractor to construct the About Silva Cells farm. Silva Cells are a plastic/fiberglass • structure Minimize construction truck of columns and beams thattraffic, supespecially over bare soils. port paving above un-compacted planting
• Do not construct during inclement weather or during spring thaw (if possible). This article has been condensed. To read visit: soil. the Thefull-length structure article, has 92% void space www.esemag.com/stormwater-lessons and is a stable surface for the installation
of vehicle loaded-pavements. Jason Sharp, P.Eng., installed, Adam O’Connor, When properly they can P.Eng., and Mark Priddle, P.Geo., achieve an AASHTO H-20 load are rating. with McIntosh PerryBridge Consulting Canadian Highway Design Code Engineers Ltd. For information, loading can also bemore achieved through apemail: email@example.com, propriate design. This is the required load firstname.lastname@example.org, or rating for structures such as underground email@example.com vaults, covers and grates in areas of traffic including sidewalks and parking lots. The cell structure transfers the force to a base layer below the structure. Soil within the cells remains at low compaction rates, thereby creating ideal
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Disinfection byproducts are formed when disinfectants react with naturally occurring organic matter.
Water treatment systems need to control disinfection byproducts
isinfection byproducts are a family of chemicals formed when disinfectants react with naturally occurring organic matter and other substances in the source water. The levels of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) depend on the nature of the source water, the type of treatment to remove particles and organic matter, and the type and concentration of disinfection. DBPs include haloacetic acids (HAA) and trihalomethanes (THM). HAA5 is the sum of five HAAs: monochloroacetic, dichloroacetic, trichloroacetic, monobromo-acetic, and dibromoacetic acids. Total trihalomethanes (TTHM) is the sum of four chlorine and bromine-containing trihalomethanes: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.. There are many known DBPs, as well as possibly as yet unidentified DBPs in disinfected water. Since TTHM and HAA5 typically occur at higher levels than other known DBPs in drinking water, their presence may be an indicator for a range of these byproducts. The U.S. EPA has lowered the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule to regulate TTHM at a maximum allowable annual average level of 80 parts per billion (µg/L) from 100 ppb. Health Canada has proposed a maximum acceptable concentration of 80 16 | December 2017
µg/L for the total concentration of the HAA5 compounds. There are serious negative health effects with long-term exposure to THMs. The City of Vancouver is concerned enough to lower their THMs to 25 ppb. Bromodichloromethane (BDCM) is one of the more harmful compounds that can form and be distributed to residences. When BDCM is present in drinking water, humans may be exposed though ingestion, inhalation and absorption through skin. Epidemiology studies in humans have reported an increased risk for some cancers in people who are exposed to DBPs in water for many years. However, little is known about the internal BDCM doses a person receives from the various routes of exposure. To help determine these exposure risks, EPA researchers developed and applied a human physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model that can help predict how much exposure a person has had to BDCM from both drinking water and various water uses. This will allow a more complete evaluation of the potential risk of adverse health outcomes. Some UVs may even increase the problem of DBP formation by breaking organic material into smaller particles with more surface area that results in even higher DBPs. Responsible municipal water treat-
ment agencies regularly monitor the concentrations of DBPs leaving their water treatment facilities and actively take measures to ensure their concentrations in the drinking water they deliver are well below the acceptable limits. Pre-treatment and removal of organic material prior to disinfecting with chlorine is key to minimizing DBPs. Professional consulting engineers are duty bound to treat public health and safety as a paramount concern when proposing new water treatment system designs and this includes ensuring that the designs they propose address DBP prevention. Smaller municipalities and communities are at equal or greater risk of high DBP concentrations. They should ask their consulting engineers or water treatment system suppliers to ensure that the design and operation of their existing or proposed potable water systems take THM monitoring and reduction into account. More water disinfection research is urgently required to eliminate the problem of mixing chlorine and organics for the purpose of reducing pathogens. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Upgrading Millbrook’s WWTP to meet new discharge limits By James Des Cotes, Valera Saknenko, Vincent Nazareth, Wayne Hancock and Kyle Phillips
he Millbrook Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is located in the Village of Millbrook, Ontario, which is part of the Township of Cavan Monaghan. The plant was originally constructed in 1975 and had a rated capacity of 1,326 m3/day. As a result of growth outlined in the Official Plans, plant capacity needed to expand to 2,521 m3/day. The Township retained R.V. Anderson Associates Limited to complete a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment study (following the Schedule C process), provide detailed design services, and administer the construction contract for the expanded plant. This project was funded by both provincial and federal governments under the Building Canada Fund, which stipulated that any improvements made under it must be substantially performed by March 2016. Effluent from the Millbrook plant is
To expand the plant in such a limited area, a decision was made to build a completely new secondary and tertiary treatment facility on the available footprint.
discharged into Baxter Creek, which ultimately joins the Otonabee River that flows into the Bay of Quinte, located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. The Bay of Quinte is a designated Remedial Action Plan area. Recognizing that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) would seek to control
pollutant loads, a strategy was developed to provide a design that reduces pollutant loads even at higher future flows. This hastened the MOECC approval of discharge criteria, allowing the project to meet the funding deadline. Table 1 shows the effluent limits under continued overleaf…
Table 1. Former and updated effluent limits.
Former C of A Effluent Parameter
Limit (mg/L except E-Coli)
Waste Loading (kg/day)
Limit (mg/L except E-Coli)
Waste Loading (kg/day)
18 | December 2017
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Schematic of the ISAM TM sequencing batch reactor.
16.0 12.0 8.0 4.0 0.0 Oct-16
Concentration (mg/ L)
Figure 1. CBOD5 effluent data.
16.0 12.0 8.0 4.0 0.0 Aug-16
Concentration (mg/ L)
Total Suspended Solids
Figure 2. Total suspended solids effluent data.
20 | December 2017
the old Certificate of Approval (C of A) and the new limits and objectives under the updated Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA). Effluent limits for the plant were reduced by approximately 50%. To meet non-toxic effluent requirements, total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) was limited to 3 mg/L in the winter and 2 mg/L in the summer. Total phosphorus (TP) was reduced by the largest percent, with a limit of 0.15 mg/L and objective of 0.10 mg/L, reflecting reduced pollutant loading to Baxter Creek even at the higher design flows of 33%. This was a concession offered by the Township that expedited the setting of limits without the need for an extended assimilative capacity study. This would have delayed the process by 8 – 12 months. The expanded Millbrook WWTP was then designed to meet these stringent effluent discharge requirements. In addition to maintaining plant operation during construction, a significant design challenge was a very limited footprint available for the new facility. Available space was restricted by marshlands on two sides and by existing facilities on another side. To expand the plant in such a limited area, a decision was made to build a completely new secondary and tertiary treatment facility on the available footprint, and then retrofit the existing aeration tank and the secondary clarifier into equalization tanks. This approach had several benefits: • The Township received a completely new facility; • It allowed a two-stage commissioning; • The existing plant was kept in operation at all times; • Existing tankage was repurposed as equalization tanks; • The number of tertiary filters and the operational cost of the UV disinfection system were reduced with the use of the equalization tanks; • The Building Canada Fund deadline was met. To meet stringent effluent limits and to overcome project constraints, new treatment processes were required. A new process building was designed to incorporate a raw sewage lift station, screening and Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Find your grit removal, aeration equipment, chemical system, continuous backwash tertiary sand filtration, and UV disinfection. For this project, the ISAM Integrated Surge Anoxic Mix Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) system by Fluidyne Corp. was selected for the secondary process. This SBR system features three tanks in series. The first is the anaerobic chamber, which receives raw sewage and allows solids and waste activated sludge to be co-settled and stored. Sludge stored in this chamber undergoes digestion and is thickened over time, before being sent to the plant’s existing sludge storage system. The volume of this tank was designed for 180 days of sludge digestion/storage to complement the existing sludge storage tank on-site, for a total of 240 days of storage. The second basin is the Surge Anoxic Mix (SAM ) reactor, where flow is equalized and the nitrification/denitrification process begins. Since raw sewage continuously flows into this basin, the denitrification process is accelerated here. When the liquid level in the reactor reaches a pre-set level, pumps within convey the liquid to the SBR basin. Here, the process follows a series of stages: mixing without aeration, mixing with aeration, settling, and decanting. During the decant period, clarified secondary effluent flows out while the remaining sludge is used to seed the next batch. Through the SBR process and the following continuous backwash filter system with ferric sulfate dosing and final UV disinfection, the plant can produce effluent that meets the stringent MOECC ECA requirements. By constructing these facilities as a single structure, the overall footprint was minimized, eliminating the need to acquire more land. Construction of the Millbrook WWTP expansion commenced in August 2014. To ensure continuous operation of the plant and that the former C of A effluent discharge limits were met all the time, a decision was made to commission the plant in two stages: preliminary and secondary treatment first, and then tertiary treatment. Following a commissioning period
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0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 Oct-16
Concentration (mg/ L)
Figure 3. Total phosphorus effluent data.
8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 Aug-16
Concentration (mg/ L)
Total Ammonia Nitrogen
22 | December 2017
for the new secondary treatment process, this part of the project was substantially performed in December 2015. At this time, the new screening and degritting facilities, SBR, and UV disinfection were put into full operation, meeting the former C of A limits. Once this was achieved the old plant was taken out of service. In the following months, the existing aeration tank and secondary clarifier were converted to equalization tanks and the tertiary filtration system was put into operation. This remaining part of the project was considered substantially performed in March 2016, meeting the deadline stipulated by the Building Canada Fund. The upgraded process has been in continuous operation since the end of December 2015. In Figures 1 to 4, the effluent quality parameters are presented for a two-year period (from January 2015 through to December 2016). This covers one year before and one year after the new SBR system was put into operation. Figure 1 shows the CBOD5 concentration of the plant effluent. Even though the former plant was meeting the new CBOD5 limit, it was not able to continuously meet new effluent objectives for CBOD5. Since the new process started, the plant has been consistently meeting the more stringent effluent objectives, with a significant safety factor. As can be seen in Figure 2, total suspended solids (TSS) in the plant effluent used to be high, occasionally approaching the former limit of 15 mg/L. After the tertiary filters were put into operation, TSS numbers dropped to below the new effluent limit level and, in most cases, below the new effluent objective. Figure 3 shows that the former plant exceeded its TP limit of 0.43 mg/L on one occasion in 2015, but maintained an average TP concentration in a range between 0.2 to 0.35 mg/L. After the switch to the new treatment system, the plant has been consistently meeting the new TP effluent objective of 0.1 mg/L. With respect to the total ammonia nitrogen (TAN), historically, the plant rarely had a problem meeting this limit. Figure 4 shows this parameter is well below the effluent objective, both before and after the new plant was put into operation.
Figure 4. Total ammonia nitrogen effluent data.
CONCLUSION With the upgrades completed, the Millbrook Wastewater Treatment Plant has been continuously meeting the new stringent effluent limits, consistently surpassing the effluent objectives stipulated in its ECA. The plant now provides tertiary level treatment for sewage from the Township of Cavan Monaghan. Effluent from the plant is cleaner than ever before and total effluent load to the receiving body of water, even at higher flows, will be lower than before. This means that for the design life of the plant, despite increasing flows, Baxter Creek will assimilate less pollutant load, ultimately contributing to improved environmental
protection of the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario. Based on the success of this project, it was recognized by the Ontario Public Works Association with a Project of the Year Award for Small Municipalities in 2016. James Des Cotes, P.Eng., CCCA, Valera Saknenko, PhD, P.Eng., PMP, and Vincent Nazareth, P.Eng. are with R.V. Anderson Associates Limited. Wayne Hancock, P.Eng. and Kyle Phillips are with the Township of Cavan Monaghan. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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DILBERT © 1994 Scott Adams. Used By permission of ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION. All rights reserved.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY
Effective EHS governance: What auditors look for By Dr. Andrew Gillam
nvironmental, health and safety (EHS) risks affect all extractive and heavy industries, including oil and gas production, transport and processing. The Sydney Tar Ponds in Nova Scotia, the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, and the recent Samarco tailings dam failure in Brazil, for example, have all highlighted the need for organizations to be able to demonstrate effective due diligence in the management of EHS risks. All capital projects, whatever their nature or size, take place in an environment of uncertainty. One key tool in reducing uncertainty and lowering the likelihood of a catastrophic EHS event is to implement effective EHS management systems that meet recognized standards, including ISO 14001:2015 and the new Draft International Standard (DIS) ISO 45001, which is replacing OHSAS 18001:2007. COST OF WEAK EHS GOVERNANCE Data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) for 2016 indicate that 250 people die each hour of industrial accidents or diseases. This amounts to 2.3 million people a year and costs an estimated 4% of global GDP, or $4.3 trillion, according to the ILO. 24 | December 2017
ISO STANDARDS The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is standardizing the structure of their management system and other related standards, such as information security, business continuity management, and records management. Annex SL, which provides this common framework, replaces the former ISO Guide 83. Both In terms of environmental damage, a ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 have been refor2008 United Nations study found that the matted to match the new high level strucworld’s 3,000 largest publicly-listed corpo- ture for management system standards. rations created a third of the costs of global ISO/DIS 45001, the health and safety environmental damage. Major sources of management system standard, is also environmental damage included green- being created using this same framework. house gas emissions (70%), water abstraction (20%) and power generation, landfills ISO TRENDS and unsustainable resource use (10%), Use of the term “procedure” in ISO including forestry. This was equivalent to management system standards is being 11% of global GDP or $6.6 trillion. reduced and replaced with the term “process”. Older versions of the manageEHS MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ment system standards were a little A systematic approach to EHS manage- unclear on whether a procedure needed ment allows senior management the to be documented or not, and many users opportunity to create corporate success took to creating documented procedures and contribute to sustainable develop- or work instructions for many tasks. My ment and worker safety by: advice would be that if the standard • Implementing sound approaches to doesn’t say so and you don’t need it, don’t EHS management to reduce the costs of document it. doing business; Compliance requirements are also • Assessing and mitigating EHS risks being referenced more in these standards. and hazards and ensuring a strong For example, ISO 14001 has gone from compliance framework is present; seven references to “comply” or “compli• Strengthening the organization’s market ance” in the 2004 version, to 26 in the position and brand; 2015 version. In addition, “shall” require• Controlling or influencing how the ments have gone up sharply; for ISO organization’s products and services 14001 the increase has been from 61 to 80. are designed, manufactured, distributed, consumed and disposed using life cycle GOVERNANCE ELEMENTS thinking across the supply chain. The basis for the approach to ISO’s EHS management system standards is Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
founded on the well-known concept of the Plan-Do-Check-Act, or the PDCA cycle, developed initially by Shewhart in the 1920s, and popularized by Deming in the 1950s. In relation to governance, the ISO management system elements of context, leadership and worker participation (for ISO/DIS 45001), planning, and performance evaluation can be considered central to creating an effective corporate governance framework for EHS. CONTEXT In terms of the organizational context, the three main areas of interest to auditors are: 1. External and internal issues. 2. The needs and expectations of interested parties or stakeholders, including workers for ISO/DIS 45001. 3. The scope statement or boundaries for the management system. For external and internal issues affecting organizations, one of the best ways to keep auditors satisfied is to have a struc-
Auditors expect to see a high-level understanding of stakeholder needs, including both internal stakeholders, such as managers and workers, and external stakeholders.
tured process in place to identify relevant factors. These include political, environmental, social and technological factors (PEST) analysis, or, perhaps expanding this to include economic and legal factors (PESTLE), and analysis of economic factors (STEEP). Key EHS drivers and trends within the organization’s market sector should also form part of this analysis for ISO 14001 or ISO/DIS 45001. Auditors expect to see a high-level understanding of stakeholder needs, including both internal stakeholders, such as managers and workers, and external
stakeholders. An activity that often interests auditors is how the organization identifies mandatory (legal) requirements, voluntary commitments (industry association memberships, for example), and other requirements such as contractual wording. The boundaries and applicability of the management system need to be credible to an auditor. The scope must be documented and publicly available. continued overleaf…
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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY
Useful terms in EHS management ISO – International Organization for Standardization. ISO 9000 – Family of quality management systems standards. ISO 14000 – Family of environmental management system standards. All capital projects, whatever their nature or size, take place in an environment of uncertainty.
ISO 45001 – Standard relating to occupational health and safety. PDCA cycle – Plan-Do-Check-Act.
LEADERSHIP AND WORKER PARTICIPATION For leadership and worker participation, auditors look for evidence of: • Strong commitment to implementing and maintaining the EHS management system; • EHS policy statement; • Roles and responsibilities; and • Worker participation and consultation. For the first element, one of the main roles that senior management plays is ensuring that the EHS management system is fully integrated into the organization’s business process framework. Sufficient financial and physical resources must be made available for maintaining and improving the EHS management system, and its importance in supporting performance objectives must be communicated throughout the organization. For an integrated EHS management system, the basic commitments are: • Protect the environment and provide a safe and healthy workplace; • Fulfill compliance obligations; • Control OHS risks using the hierarchy of controls; • Continually improve EHS performance; and • Ensure participation of workers. The EHS policy needs to be documented and made available to third party stakeholders, including the public. Auditors also look for defined roles and responsibilities and, for ISO/DIS 45001 emphasis on worker participation and consultation. Senior management needs to ensure 26 | December 2017
PEST Analysis – Identify that roles and responsibilities are assigned Political, Environmental, Social and communicated to appropriate indiand Technological factors. viduals. Appointing an EHS management representative will also keep auditors PESTLE Analysis – Identify onside. Political, Environmental, Social, Technological, Economic One key item of EHS management and Legal factors. systems is documenting the right of workers to avoid unsafe work. Specifically, for SMART – Specific, Measurable, ISO/DIS 45001, you need several processes Achievable, Relevant and for participation and consultation with Time-bounded objectives. workers, including removal of barriers to STEEP Analysis – Identify worker participation and consultation on Social, Technological, Economic, many of the elements of the occupational Environmental and Political factors. health and safety management system. This includes the OHS policy, objectives, and organizational roles and responsibil- applicable and up-to-date legal and other ities. Being able to demonstrate there is an requirements, and that these requireeffective two-way communication frame- ments are documented. Action plans need to be in place to work in place is a must. identify actions to be taken to address PLANNING EHS risks and the legal and other For the planning element, auditors requirements that the organization must meet. Auditors often look for evidence look for evidence of: • Planning processes; that current best practices have been • Risk identification and assessment; considered during the planning process. • Legal requirements; Think SMART (Specific, Measurable, • Action planning; and Achievable, Relevant and Time-bounded) when developing objectives. They need • EHS objectives. Auditors want to see documented to be clearly linked to the major envievidence of EHS risks that must be ronmental risks and health and safety addressed, and the documented processes hazards identified. needed. This allows auditors to be confident that the planning activities in this PERFORMANCE EVALUATION The final governance element is perforelement are carried out as described. Safety hazard and environmental risk mance evaluation, including: identification needs to include emer- • Monitoring, measurement, analysis gency/process upset situations, and these and evaluation; need to be documented. Auditors want to • Evaluating compliance; know that an organization has access to • Internal audits; and Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
• Management review. One of the main areas of interest to auditors here is the use of calibrated or verified monitoring equipment, including traceability back to national or international standards, if applicable. It is important to evaluate EHS performance. Is it improving? If not, why not? The results of monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation activities must be documented. A process for compliance evaluations, not compliance audits, needs to be in place, including a schedule for performance of these evaluations. Also, there needs to be documented evidence of the results of these evaluations. Auditors will look for evidence of an internal EHS management system audit program, including regular internal audits at planned intervals, i.e., an audit schedule. These internal audits need to determine the degree of conformance with the ISO standards used to develop the management system, and with any
additional requirements described within the management system documentation. Documented evidence of the internal audit program and its results must be kept. Regular management reviews at planned intervals (a management review schedule) will also be something that auditors look for. ISO standards are very detailed in terms of what the inputs and outputs of a good management review should include. To pass an audit, these parts of the standards should be followed. Documented evidence that the management reviews have been completed is required.
zation’s knowledge, all located within the corporate organizational structure. Both ISO 14001 and ISO/DIS 45001 can be used to help develop effective Environmental Health and Safety governance structures. The management system elements of understanding the internal and external context of the organization, leadership, planning and performance evaluation can be used for this purpose. Although ISO has many document requirements, read the standards carefully to identify where you need to develop specific management system documents that auditors would request. Not every ISO process or activity needs to be docuCONCLUSIONS mented. If you are going to use these stanAt its core, governance is how an orga- dards, avoid falling into Dilbert's trap of nization is managed and directed, typically “big honkin’ ISO binders” sitting on your by three main stakeholders – the organiza- shelf! tion’s shareholders, the Board of Directors, and senior management. At a higher level Dr. Andrew Gillam, MBA, P.Geo., CMC, of granularity, governance is an interre- is a Risk & Stakeholder Manager with lated system including people, processes Wood plc. For more information, email: and technology that generate the organi- firstname.lastname@example.org
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or it would have to be put off for a full year until the water table was low enough again. TIMELY DELIVERY AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS
The enclosures had to contain all the critical equipment in a small area, while keeping the components environmentally safe and secure.
Vancouver WWTP gets larger, more efficient pumping system
etro Vancouver Regional District’s Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in Delta, British Columbia, presently serves about 1.3 million people living in 14 municipalities. The pumping facility at the Annacis Island plant uses three 1,200 horsepower influent pumps and four 684 horsepower trickling filter pumps. The influent pumps regulate the level of raw sewage in the wet well, conveying it into the treatment plant. Should these fail during high flow situations, there are overflow gates, but these bypass raw sewage into the Fraser River, which would lead to significant fines and penalties due to the environmental impact. The trickling filter pumps send partially treated wastewater over trickling filters for secondary treatment. When the time came to upgrade the facility, it was essential that replacing the pump drives, power distribution, and control equipment be done without taking the facility offline. It also required a complex pumping system with efficient performance that could meet the challenge of rising energy costs. 3 Phase Power Systems was retained to create a detailed project plan and bid 28 | December 2017
response that would consider the environmental and economical challenges. MAXIMIZING SPACE AND PROTECTING EQUIPMENT The available footprint restriction was challenging to the point that installing traditional power distribution and control equipment would be difficult. Selected enclosures had to contain all the critical equipment in a small area, while keeping the components environmentally safe and secure. The proposed layout for the project needed to be readily understandable and demonstrate how the specifications could be met within the available space. CRUCIAL TIMING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
The third challenge was being able to reliably ensure that the required materials would be available within the tight timeline. To accomplish this, the project partners had to have the infrastructure in place to seamlessly deliver the project. It required access to innovative solutions and methods for power systems and wiring. By working with Rittal and EPLAN, the 3 Phase Power project team was able to meet the required footprint and include the proposed panels in a 3D drawing, as a visual. At the time of the bid, they submitted 3D drawings, and bills of materials of the enclosure, ratings, and manuals. This level of detail served to help assure the low environmental risk of the project, as well as the competency of the company. Each part of the project had to be timed precisely because of the narrow window for installation. “They tracked and met critical dates and timelines,” said 3 Phase Power’s Dwayne Donaldson. However, the most critical part was the installation itself. Watching for the right conditions and maintaining a water level low enough to stop the pumps for installation were imperative, as issues could create critical wastewater scenarios. To fit the power distribution product into the space of the enclosure, Rittal’s busbar system was used instead of traditional cabling. Paired with 3 Phase Power’s Danfoss-VACON variable frequency drives (VFDs) for load sharing, the ampacities of the busbar provided the necessary power, along with the brackets and busbar support which bolted into the enclosures. As a result, the equipment not only fit into a much smaller space, but also provided the essential and documented CSA approvals. The Danfoss-VACON incorporates the latest in VFD technology and has actively developed benchmark applications tailormade for water and wastewater handling. These applications include pump control, hose filling, pump supervision, and multiple pump control applications.
Pump drive replacement had to occur during the summer months, when water levels were low due to lack of precipitation. Per Canada’s Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations, companies are required to monitor and record effluent quality. By failing to meet these regulations, Metro Vancouver would be at risk for fines and legal action. As such, this project For more information, visit www.rittal.ca had to be done within a tight timeframe, or email: email@example.com
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Concrete cloth used to create new stormwater ditch for Vancouver Island mine By Rebecca Spitzer
protective liner for a large stormwater diversion ditch at an underground zinc and copper mine on Central Vancouver Island, British Columbia, was supplied by Nuna Innovations Inc. The ditch, which conveys clean water from the hillside above to a lower creek, was originally lined with shotcrete. However, this material had degraded over time. Some 11,125 m2 of Concrete Cloth GCCM (CC) 8 mm was used. This is a flexible, cement-impregnated fabric that hardens when hydrated to form a thin, waterproof and fireproof, durable layer. CC has a low alkaline reserve and a low wash rate for a minimal ecological impact, making it an environmentally friendly alternative compared to regular concrete. The unique structure of CC material facilitates ease of installation. It can be hung vertically, laid in trenches, or cut and formed into shapes, making it suitable for a variety of applications. It is available in bulk or batched rolls with three thicknesses: 5 mm (CC5), 8 mm (CC8) and 13 mm (CC13). It had been recommended that the diversion ditch be enlarged and realigned to effectively handle the high water volume and velocities that can occur during rainy seasons. Alternative options, such as new shotcrete, were considered. However, CC8 was specified due to its ability to cope with high water velocities and accommodate the variance of profile, ease of repair if damage occurred due to falling trees or large boulders from the above hillside, and its low environmental impact. Since the water flow through the ditch would have to be diverted away from the ditch during the project, speed of installation was key. The diversion pipes wouldn’t be able to handle the high water volumes caused by heavy rainfalls that were expected to begin in early October 2016.
30 | December 2017
Concrete cloth has a working time of approximately two hours from hydration, meaning that work can continue even in very wet conditions.
Before excavating the new diversion ditch, the main contractor completely removed and disposed of all trees, brush and other vegetation growth in the area. All standing water was drained away from the exposed excavated areas to prevent pooling and infiltration. Prior to installation, a new ditch profile was created by the main contractor which was significantly wider than the original shotcrete lined ditch. The final ditch measures 735 m in length, 5 m to 8.5 m wide and has an average depth of 1.5 m with a 2:1 side slope. It was designed to handle water velocities up to 20 m/sec, with slopes as steep as 16% and 20% in some sections. The CC8 bulk rolls were delivered and positioned strategically along the ditch to save time during installation. For the
transverse layup, a spreader beam bar and excavator were used to unroll the bulk rolls of CC8 across the width of the ditch. Adjacent layers of CC8 were overlapped by 100 mm in the direction of water flow and secured using 1.5 m earth percussion anchors with 3 mm stainless steel cables every metre along the overlaps in conjunction with #8 stainless steel 25 mm screws at 150 mm intervals. The cloth was pinned into 300 mm deep anchor trenches on either side of the ditch, using the 1.5 m earth percussion anchors. Trenches were then backfilled with material to provide a neat termination and prevent water ingress underneath the cloth. When fixing the cloth to rock in some sections of the ditch, Hilti rock anchors and 600 mm rock bolts were used. The material was hydrated using a
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
water truck. Since CC has a very low wash out rate and a low alkaline reserve, treatment of the run off from installation was not required. CC has a working time of approximately two hours from hydration, meaning that work can continue even in very wet conditions. Installation took six weeks to complete with an average crew size of six. The client was very satisfied with the product and the minimal amount of special training or equipment required. In addition to this, the speed of installation meant the project was completed before the heavier precipitation arrived at the mine. Currently, Concrete Cloth GCCM is being used for other major stormwater management projects around Canada, including the Site C Dam in Northern British Columbia and various tank farms in Northern Alberta. Rebecca Spitzer is with Nuna Innovations Inc. Email: email@example.com
Installation of the 735 metre ditch took approximately six weeks.
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December 2017â&#x20AC;&#x201A; |â&#x20AC;&#x201A; 31
SPECIAL FOCUS: OPERATORS’ FORUM
Troubleshooting water and wastewater plant mixing equipment problems By Li Wang and Greg Jackson
ixing is one of the key factors impacting the performance of water and wastewater treatment plants. Improper mixing increases capital, operation and maintenance costs. Many plants experience unnecessary energy and chemical consumption, frequent equipment maintenance and overhauls, tankage cleanups, process upsets and shutdowns. These events are labour-intensive, pose safety concerns and have the potential to cause regulatory violations. Most of these events can be avoided and up to 80% of the costs can be saved by selecting the right mixing technology. Mixing is essential to achieve many process objectives, including: homogenization, prevention of settling, chemical/biological reactions, prevention of short-circuiting, chemical dissolution, etc. Typical mixing applications at water treatment plants include: coagulation, flocculation, chlorination, sludge holding, carbon makeup, and chemical makeup. For wastewater treatment plants, mixing is required for: FOG/scum breakup in lift stations, septage receiving, anaerobic/ anoxic tanks, sludge blending/storage, digesters, chemical makeup, etc. Mixing objectives of these facilities vary based on applications. For example, homogenization and avoiding short-circuit are the keys to satisfactory chlorine mixing in a water treatment plant. For anaerobic digester mixing, the primary objectives are increasing gas production and volatile solids reduction. Secondary objectives include: preventing solids buildup at the tank bottom, avoiding foam formation and reducing energy consumption. The difficulty with wastewater mixing is rooted in complicated physical attributes of the water, multiple process objectives, misunderstanding and limitations of mixing technology. 32 | December 2017
A high performance centrifugal dispersing impeller used for sludge mixing at the Banff WWTP.
EQUIPMENT ISSUES 1. Submersible mixer seal failures. It is not unusual for some wastewater treatment plants to experience moisture problems in submersible mixers. Mechanical seals are the most prone to failure of submersible fittings, often due to wear and tear. Water may pass through the seals into the mixers or through the cable entry system. Some of these incidents are caused by the mixer’s blades coming in contact with the whip-like cable. If there is fibrous material in the water, ragging of the mixers causes its propellers and shafts to become unbalanced. This in turn damages the seals and causes intrusion of water. Poor hydraulic conditions around the mixer may also cause an indirect short circuit, resulting in mechanical damage. For example, shallow submergence of
mixers will create a vortex and draw air down from the surface. This will cause vibration of the impeller and damage the seal. Vortexing is also the major cause of mixer impeller cavitation. Costs of a failure include direct mixer rebuild as well as process unit shutdown. The solutions are to improve the mixer working conditions, or to switch to a different mixer. Most wastewater treatment plants solve this problem by upgrading to new mixers that have been proven to have less seal failures. Other plants upgrade to top entry mixers with many other benefits, including easy and safe maintenance. 2. Ragging of mixers. Wastewater facilities such as lift stations, septage tanks, equalization tanks, sludge storage and digesters, often contain fibrous rag-like materials. Such materials tend to build up on mixer impellers and cause down time
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
and mechanical damage to the mixers if they are not cleaned. Some mixer manufacturers have developed products with anti-ragging impellers that resist the accumulation of rags. Most of the time, changing to an anti-ragging impeller will solve the problem. PROCESS ISSUES 1. FOG/scum buildup. Many municipalities have long battled the buildup of fats, oils and grease (FOG) in sewage lift stations and wetwells of wastewater treatment plants. The FOG can form a thick mat of solidified materials, including grease, paper and anything floating at the water surface. It interferes with the water level control devices, causing false pumping operations. Severe FOG buildup can result in odour issues caused by anoxic conditions below the FOG layer. The main reason for FOG buildup is that facilities were not designed, or not required to be designed, to remove them. Standard lift station design controls pump operation based on water level, turns on pumps at high water level and turns off at low water level. Some lift stations were designed to run pumps to keep constant water level in the wet well. With either type of control, all pumps, submersible or dry well installed, withdraw liquid from the bottom of the wetwell. All pumps have minimum submergence requirements. Therefore, the materials floating at the water surface will go up and down, but will not be removed and will ultimately cause problems. To solve FOG issues, some municipalities use additives or enzymes to dissolve the materials. For municipalities where chemicals and enzymes are not allowed, mechanical mixing is applied. Air mixing has been used for FOG breakup. Mechanical mixers creating a vertical flow pattern provide a simple way to solve FOG buildup. 2. Odour caused by sludge settlement. Odour is a common issue in many wastewater treatment plants. If they are located near residential areas, unpleasant odours can create political and legal problems. Most of these originate from anaerobic decomposition of materials having a high molecular weight, such as proteins. Septic conditions also trigger intense activities of odorous sulfate-reducing bacteria. It is often impossible or very difficult to prevent septicity in sewer lines, lift stations, inlet works and primary clarifiers. However, if not well mixed, septicity and odour can also come from stormwater storage, aerated secondary wastewater treatment processes, aerobic digesters, or aerated lagoons. Septicity can also occur in sludge storage tanks and carbon slurry tanks at water treatment plants because of settling. Mixing plays a key role in preventing solids settlement and odour formation in these facilities. Normally, the air/oxygen supply is sufficient to support the bioreaction. If there is no settling, the odour issue should be eliminated. The key is selecting the right mixing technology. The mixer should be able to effectively suspend solids in the wastewater. It also provides mixing to the whole tank volume without dead zones. 3. Sludge settlement and buildup. Solids suspension is still
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December 2017 | 33
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Figure 1. The high performance centrifugal dispersing impeller (HPCDI) suspends solids with a tornado like force.
Figure 2. Clean tank bottom using a HPDCI.
a hot topic for many researchers and scientists and the mixing industry. Solids suspension performance is limited to the development of mixer technology. Submersible propeller and top entry hydrofoil are two types of mixers that have been widely used in water and wastewater treatment. These traditional mixers push water forward or downward. Many water and wastewater treatment plants have experienced severe sludge settling in their facilities. If there is a considerable amount of grit and silt in the water, the problem can be worse. The theory that governs solids suspension is the Stokes’ law. To effectively suspend solids and prevent settlement, mixers should create flow patterns having upflow with sufficient upward velocity to overcome the gravity of the solids. When selecting a mixing system, the minimum upflow velocity (MUV) at the most difficult point should be calculated. For example, mixers with axial flow impellers push water downward to the tank bottom, where it spreads radially outwards, then goes up along the tank walls. These mixers suspend solids particles from the periphery of the vessel bottom. Solids are flushed up by the 34 | December 2017
upflow along the tank wall. To evaluate the capacity of solids suspension, the MUV at the periphery of the tank bottom should be calculated. If the MUV at these locations is not higher than the settling velocity required, solids will settle and build up. IMPROVING SOLIDS SUSPENSION AND SLUDGE SETTLEMENT Sludge settlement reduces reactor volume and increases the risk of process upset. Cleanup of settled sludge is costly and labour-intensive. Also, septic reactions of settled sludge produce corrosive gases that can damage the vessel structure, and create odorous gases. 1. Install baffles. Baffles are necessary for traditional top entry mixers. For circular tanks, traditional mixers create tangential motion to the liquid with little mixing effect. The whole water volume moves like a solid-body. Baffles are standard design configuration to such mixing systems to improve mixing performance. The primary purpose of installation of baffles is to convert the horizontal swirling motion into an axial flow pattern. The main drawback of installing baffles is increased power consumption, which
can be from 100% – 400%, depending on mixer types and the number of baffles installed. 2. Upgrade to larger capacity mixers. When a sludge settlement problem happens, it is natural to conclude that undersized mixers might be installed. To solve this problem, upgrading the mixers to larger ones is often considered. However, added capital costs include upgrading the power and control system, structures to support the new equipment and lifting systems. There are also other factors that need be taken into consideration. As an example, most anaerobic digesters have internal corrosion proof coatings. If the new mixer creates stronger jetting flow in the tank, the high-speed mixture of sand/ grit and water might cause abrasion to the tank coating or structure. Another concern is the high-speed jetting might cause foaming in anaerobic digesters. NEW MIXING TECHNOLOGIES FOR SOLIDS SUSPENSION A new mixing technology, High Performance Centrifugal Dispersing Impeller (HPCDI ) has been developed and applied to solids suspension with satisfac-
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
tory results. It employs a new mixing concept and a mechanism which is different from that of traditional mixers. The unique tornado- and fireworks-like flow patterns it creates provide improved solids suspension capacity. The flow pattern of the typical HPCDI appears completely opposite of that of traditional mixers. With the rotation of the impeller, liquid is pushed outwards from inner ends to distant ends of each vane. When liquid is discharged, it creates two low pressure fields: one above the impeller, the other under the impeller. Both fields are replaced by liquid immediately. Rotation of the impeller and the liquid displacement result in two tornado-like funnels formed above and under the impeller. The funnel below the plate extends downwards until it touches down to the bottom. The funnel above the plate extends upwards until it reaches the liquid surface. The HPCDI successfully solved a sludge settling problem in the sludge mixing tank at the Banff, Alberta, wastewater treatment plant. This tank receives primary and dissolved air flotation (DAF) sludge. It has a diameter of 8 m and side water height of 4.5 m. Previously, a 5 kW submersible mixer was installed. Because the primary sludge (from primary clarifiers) contains a considerable amount of sand/grit, there was a severe solids settlement in the tank (it was once observed at about 1.5~1.8 m sludge depth along the wall). The HPCDI was selected after comparison of available mixing technologies on the market. It provides sufficient mixing to the tank, with powerful solids suspension. No sludge buildup was observed in the one and a half years operation since installation. Measured power withdraw is about 1.0 kW. This translates to a greater than 80% energy savings compared to traditional mixers. INDUSTRY TRENDS As with many other industries, the trend with mixing in water and wastewater treatment is to apply new energy-efficient technologies with improved performance. Typically, larger diameter impellers consume less energy than small impeller mixers. Top entry mixers normally have less operation and maintenance issues. For solids suspension, top entry mixers have shown better performance than submersible mixers. Designing a reliable mixing system is not simply selecting a mixer. There is a long list of physical properties that need to be considered and fully understood, including: specific gravity of the particles, size distribution, shapes and liquid viscosity, geometry of the vessel and the design parameters of the mixing equipment. Detailed attention to these physical properties and attention to the impact on operations will provide a successful process.
NO MATTER THE APPLICATION, WE BUILD PUMPS THAT DELIVER SOLUTIONS. Thompson Pump’s new RECON2000T control panel utilizes smart technology to allow remote pump control and monitoring. WiFi, cellular and satellite networks, users now operate and supervise pumps from a smartphone, tablet, desktop computer or any other smart device. Now, accessing and recording data, speed control, and pump notifications are just a few of RECON2000T’s many remote capabilities as the smart device dashboard conveniently displays all the same pump and engine data just as it appears on the control panel on-site. Contact your Thompson Pump branch or distributor today to learn more about the numerous capabilities of RECON.
Li Wang is with Revolmix. Greg Jackson is with ACG-Envirocan. For more information, email: email@example.com
Call 844-250-3261 firstname.lastname@example.org ThompsonPump.com Experience Innovation
December 2017 | 35
SPECIAL FOCUS: OPERATORS’ FORUM
Selecting proper gaskets for water treatment facilities involves many considerations By Chett Norton
he importance of plant operators and operations in water treatment facilities selecting the right gaskets cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, they are often the last thing that anyone thinks about, and are in most cases considered a commodity item. However, most operators say that it is gaskets that can cause the most “pain” on a day-today basis. This means that selecting the right ones is important for process safety, environmental protection, service life, and maintenance and inventory costs. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) has created standards that are intended directly for drinking water and systems that treat and deliver it. NSF/ ANSI 61 standard is based on the health effects of drinking water components. Unfortunately, municipal facilities do not always use NSF 61 approved gasket material. Red rubber, styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), is continually used for potable water applications. But, it is not an ideal gasket material because it is a pure elastomer which naturally degrades over time, because of natural environ-
mental conditions. Red rubber also has a very low compressive strength, generally in the range of 800 psi – 1200 psi, which can result in the material crushing if these values are exceeded. In most flange pipe connections, the amount of torque applied to the bolting to achieve a minimum bolt stretch of 40% may exceed these values. Failing to stretch the flange bolts to this minimum yield can be problematic because the bolting material is not within its elastic region, and cannot create a “spring like” clamping effect on the flanges. This can result in a leak, or perhaps a blow-out failure. The chemical resistance of SBR is relatively low against common water treatment chemicals like sodium hypochlorite, caustics, chloramine and others. These chemicals can aggressively attack the red rubber, resulting in a rapidly degraded or deteriorated gasket. When the gasket is chemically attacked, it is susceptible to leaks, failures or perhaps even a gasket blow-out which can seriously harm plant personnel if they are sprayed with these chemicals. For general plant services that process
non-potable water, steam and various forms of waste products, compressed non-asbestos (CNA) gasket material is a good choice because of its good sealing characteristics, ease of cutting and relatively low cost. CNA gasket material has three main components: fibre (15% – 35%), binder (10% – 20%), filler (50% – 70%). Additionally, there is a small percentage of vulcanizing chemicals which are usually solvent based and used to cure the rubber based binders during manufacturing. Fibre is added to the CNA gasket material to provide increased mechanical properties like tensile and compression, and can include aramid, cellulose, ceramic and glass. The binder is usually composed of an elastomer, namely nitrile, styrene butadiene rubber, or even ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber, which keeps the sheet bound and gives the gasket material added flexibility. Fillers such as silica, mica, clay or even powdered graphite can be added to help control creep and reduce cold flow. Additionally, using fillers helps reduce the
COMPARISON OF GASKET MATERIALS.
Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR)
• Very low cost • Highly compressible under low gasket loads
• Low compressive strength • Low chemical resistance • Low pressure rating • Short overall life span
Compressed non-asbestos (CNA)
• Good sealing properties • Good deformation properties • Relatively low cost
• Low chemical resistance • Low temperature resistance • Limited shelf life • Low temperature hardening
Filled polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
• Excellent chemical resistance • High performance sealing properties at low gasket loads • Resilient, infinite shelf life
• Limited temperature resistance • Higher price than CNA • Material creep
36 | December 2017
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
overall cost of the sheet because it consists of 50% – 70% of the total material. When selecting a CNA gasket material for potable water, the user should make sure they use a NSF 61 verified material to ensure that they are not contaminating the water source. Because CNA gasket material contains a rubber component, the material still does have a shelf life. Over time, the rubber will start to break down and deteriorate, based on exposure to environmental conditions. Due to the rubber component of this type of gasket material, it is not recommended to seal applications that involve acids, or caustics which are used in pH control prior to the clarifying stages or even disinfection chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), 12% solution. Even polymer-based chemicals used in wastewater treatment, including flocculants, coagulants and defoamers, can cause deterioration in rubber-based gasket materials. Therefore, it is very important to
PTFE has an infinite shelf life; therefore, it does not break down during exposure to environmental conditions. This makes it a superior choice for applications that are not easily accessible or perhaps buried underground. PTFE is also inert to almost every chemical, making it a great choice for chemical applications. Pure virgin PTFE has high creep/relaxation characteristics, so it is not a good sealing material. To help prevent material creep, gasket manufacturers use engineered filler systems that can consist of glass, barium sulfate and/or carbon. Bolted joint flange assembly with gasket. Filled PTFE seals at a much lower gasket stress than compressed non-asbestest the chemical resistance of the gasket tos products. However, it can also withmaterial used with each chemical and to stand loads of up to 15,000 psi, which is more than 10 times the compressive measure the concentration. For critical service and chemical appli- strength of red rubber. 75 mm, 200 mm cations, filled polytetrafluoroethylene and 300 mm 150# ANSI flanges can (PTFE) gasket material is an excellent be problematic to seal due to the low choice because of its in-service longevity, cross-sectional “bolt area” to gasket “sealchemical resistance and high sealability. continued overleaf…
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December 2017 | 37
SPECIAL FOCUS: OPERATORS’ FORUM
ing area” ratio. Full face gaskets are also difficult to seal when compared to ring gaskets, due to having two to three times more sealing area. For these applications, filled PTFE is a preferred sealing material. Full face flanges are generally found on pumps and cast iron 125/250# piping. In many cases, you cannot generate enough gasket compression stress to create an effective seal without damaging the flanges. For these flat face flange applications, reducing the gasket area will help increase the gasket stress. When bolting up the gasket, a reduced contact area gasket made up of filled PTFE, will allow the full face skeleton design to support the entire flat face flange. It will also prevent any damage that may be caused by bending or flange rotation if a ring gasket were to be used. The application will influence the gasket selection; however, proper gasket installation is equally important. Based on 100 gaskets analyzed and material collected
Most operators say that it is gaskets that can cause the most “pain” on a day-to-day basis. This means that selecting the right ones is important for process safety, environmental protection, service life, and maintenance and inventory costs. from the members of the Fluid Sealing Association, up to 85% of gasket failures were due to faulty user installation. Sixtyeight percent of the gaskets failed due to under compression, while 14% failed due to over compression. It should be noted that both under and over compression of the gasket can be prevented if installers use a proper tightening method, recommended torque value and a calibrated torque wrench or
other tightening device. For proper gasket installation methods, users can reference the ASME PCC-1 post construction guideline for pressure boundary bolted flange joint assembly. Gasket manufacturers provide recommended torque values and installation procedures. Chett Norton is with Triangle Fluid Controls Ltd. Email: email@example.com
Pump Station Level Controller with Non-Contacting Sensor plus Redundant Sensor Input Ÿ 6 Programmable Control Relays Ÿ Works with ultrasonic sensor
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38 | December 2017
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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BC WWTP chooses new aerators for odour control and innovative new process
PEX’s new Hydraulic Odour Control approach to controlling odour and corrosion in wastewater systems is to use its Vortex Force aerators to oxidize hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and other compounds. Doug Borrill, senior utilities specialist with the District of Barriere, British Columbia, saw the potential for these aerators to solve a difficult problem at a wastewater intake tank. During low flow periods, the detention time in the tank would grow, and wastewater would become anaerobic, generating H2S and other odorous gasses. While chemical injection was initially considered, Borrill had read about Vortex technology and decided to try something new. A small Vortex Force aerator was installed in a recirculation loop. Wastewater was pulled from the tank, directed through the device and returned to the tank. Odour quickly decreased to virtually undetectable levels, and later testing revealed that the aerator was able to increase dissolved oxygen (DO) from virtually zero to over 5 mg/L in less than one hour. Under these aerobic conditions, virtually all existing H2S is destroyed and the high levels of DO prevent its re-formation. Based on the results achieved during the initial installation, Borrill decided to use additional Vortex Force units during the design and construction of an innovative new wastewater treatment plant for the District. The plant uses a new solar aquatics based system to treat the wastewater. The first step in the process is to elevate the DO content of the influent to prepare it for the advanced solar aquatics system. The initial design called for the system to use fine bubble aeration, but Borrill believed that Vortex Force might be a more efficient option. Wastewater is pumped from a lift station located at the southeast boundary to the new plant located near the business district in the www.esemag.com
The aerator was able to increase DO from virtually zero to over 5 mg/L in less than one hour. .
centre of Barriere. Influent is pumped to a large tank, where it is run through a Vortex Force unit that brings DO content up to about 4 mg/L. The tank feeds two separate streams in the aquaculture process, and the first step in each stream is a Vortex Force aerator. This second aerator increases DO from 4 mg/L coming from the tank, up to 8 mg/L, which is virtually full saturation point. Wastewater is then run through three successive tanks, which are each cultured with a specific mix of plants. There is an additional unit on the third tank to again boost DO content. By the end of the process, effluent has been treated to surface water quality levels. According to Borrill, one of the biggest benefits of using Vortex Force is the reduction in energy requirements. A fine bubble aeration system would have required a 15 horsepower compressor, while the Vortex Force units can run on a small two horsepower pump.
“As the largest operating expense for most treatment plants is power, the Vortex Force provided an immediate savings for the District,” said Borrill. Along with energy savings, Colleen Hannigan, the District’s chief administrative officer mentioned another important benefit. “The new treatment plant is located in a populated area, and a compressor generates a significant amount of noise,” said Hannigan. “Vortex Force units are very quiet, eliminating a potential concern for area residences and businesses.” For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 2017 | 39
SPECIAL FOCUS: OPERATORS’ FORUM
Automatic self-cleaning screen filters are well suited for applications where total suspended solids must be reduced and human intervention kept to a minimum.
maintenance of self-cleaning screen filters dependent on several parameters By Marcus N. Allhands
utomatic self-cleaning screen filters require minimum maintenance, but, like all mechanical systems, some attention is necessary. Maintenance schedules depend upon the parameters of the filtration system. Very high total suspended solids concentration in the influent water will increase the self-cleaning frequency, causing more wear on moving parts, and more frequent inspections. The shape and plasticity of solid particles may cause screens to gradually load with material, requiring periodical manual cleaning of the screens. Poor original design of the filtration system leading to high flux (flow rate per unit area of screen surface) will also influence maintenance schedules. Maintenance personnel should simply observe the filter at least monthly. A change in “sound” during normal operation may indicate an internal inspection is warranted. The sound of water flowing through the rinse valve(s) when 40 | December 2017
the system is not in a self-cleaning rinse cycle may indicate the need to schedule a re-building of the valve(s) or disassembly of the valve(s) to remove foreign objects. Look for external leaks that can be quickly fixed by tightening fasteners or replacing control tubing. If the filter has a hydraulic cylinder as part of the self-cleaning mechanism, a small amount of leakage from the cylinder is normal and does not indicate immediate service is necessary. After noticing a difference in pressure between the inlet and outlet, manually initiate a self-cleaning rinse cycle as directed by the manufacturer’s operations and maintenance manual. Make sure each rinse valve is opening and closing properly. A screaming sound may be heard as water rushes through each valve at high speed. A scraping sound coming from the interior body of the filter may indicate nozzles on the cleaning mechanism are rubbing the screen surface. This may indicate improper clearance between the nozzles
and the screen surface or a bulge in a damaged screen. A scraping sound indicates the need for an internal examination. At the end of the manual rinse cycle, water hammer may occur as the rinse valve(s) quickly close. Water hammer is normal in many installations. If the hammer is perceived to be too violent, a change in the rinse line piping arrangement may be necessary or the hydraulic rinse valve(s) may need to be replaced by electrically actuated valves to slow their closing. After the cleaning cycle, the pressure difference between the inlet and outlet should be less than before the cycle and well below 7 psi. In addition to these monthly non-invasive inspections, the filter needs to be opened and given an internal inspection every 6 to 12 months. Start by completing a manual rinse cycle to clean the screen element. Isolate the filter by closing isolation valves on the inlet and outlet of the filter and relieve any pressure inside the filter. Remove the cover plate and slowly slide out the coarse screen. Scrape off any captured debris from the outside of this screen and remove any debris from the filter body chamber. Now carefully remove the fine screen using the manufacturer’s fine screen extractor. Inspect the screen carefully for damage such as bulges, rips or holes. If the inside of the screen is covered in a thick layer of slime, then one of two conditions is occurring. Either the rinse valve(s) is not opening during the self-cleaning rinse cycle or the pressure downstream of the rinse valve(s) is not atmospheric (zero gauge pressure). In either case, the situation will have to be rectified. Check to see if the inside of the fine screen has obvious colour or texture patterns. Circular bands of clean screen about 25 mm wide with a dirty screen segment between bands indicates that the hydraulic cylinder is not moving properly and is probably stuck on a fixed position. The cylinder will have to be replaced or re-built. Re-building kits are generally available from the filter manufacturer. Wide bands of clean screen separated by wide bands of dirty screen indicate the hydraulic cylinder is moving too slowly or the rinse duration needs to
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
be lengthened in the control panel. Long narrow spiral bands of clean screen separated by spiral bands of dirty screen indicate the hydraulic cylinder is moving too quickly and a needle valve may need to be installed in the control tubing leading to the end of the cylinder. Removing the hydraulic cylinder allows inspection of the bearing on the end of the cylinder shaft. A careful inspection of the dirt collector is next. Remove the cover to the access port to the rinse chamber and remove the brass nut on the end of the dirt collector. This nut is a combination fastener and end bearing. This will allow the hydraulic motor to be slipped out of the dirt collector and out of the access port. The dirt collector is now free to be removed from the filter body through the open end of the filter body. Be careful not to hit the dirt collector nozzles on structural members inside the filter body, as this might break the nozzles. If the rinse valve(s) is failing to close and allows the dirt collector to rotate continuously in a fixed position, the brass nut/end bearing addressed above will be excessively worn. This will eventually cause a groove to wear in the dirt collector. In this case, the brass nut/end bearing and the dirt collector will have to be replaced, and the rinse valve problem will have to be corrected. Worn nozzle ends are a more likely observation when inspecting the dirt collector. As nozzle ends wear, due to abrasive debris entering the nozzle at high velocity during cleaning cycles, the distance between the nozzle and the screen surface increases. As this distance increases, the screen cleaning efficiency decreases. The filter can now be re-assembled once any necessary parts are replaced. Be sure to use good silicone grease on all O-rings and seals to prevent pinching and scuffing of seal surfaces and to facilitate disassembly in the future. Any mechanical equipment with numerous pieces of control tubing and a control panel cries out for passersby to “adjust, tweak or rearrange” the tubing and control settings. Periodically, confirm control settings are propwww.esemag.com
Above: A dirty screen element. Right, top: Worn cylinder end bearing. Right, bottom: Worn dirt collector.
erly set and no tampering has occurred with the hydraulic control tubes. Maintenance procedures may sound daunting at first, but an automatic self-cleaning screen filter can be torn down, necessary parts adjusted or replaced and re-assembled in less than an hour. Such filters may not be the best choice of technology for all filtering sit-
uations, but have many advantages for most applications where total suspended solids must be reduced and human intervention kept to a minimum. Marcus N. Allhands, PhD, PE, is a special project consultant for Orival, Inc. Email: email@example.com
Visit our website to view our training schedule and to learn about our pilot testing and helpline services. firstname.lastname@example.org www.wcwc.ca 1-866-515-0550
December 2017 | 41
SPECIAL FOCUS: OPERATORS’ FORUM
nitrification by turning on or turning up aerators, or address denitrification by adding chemicals to anoxic zones. Whatever adjustments need to be made, there is money spent on energy or chemicals, and it can add up significantly over the course of a year. Using ISEs as part of an online solution provides reliable real-time data, and can lead to substantial savings by fine-tuning and controlling the process. Reliable data can also help a wastewater plant stay in compliance, avoiding steep fines from regulating authorities. RELIABLE DATA VERSUS ACCURATE DATA
Cleaning the ion selective electrode should be done with a soft bristle brush.
Proper sensor installation and maintenance ensures reliable data from online electrodes By Rob Smith
astewater treatment plants rely on instrumentation to keep their facilities in compliance and running at optimum levels. Processes that have historically been labour-intensive and time-consuming, have in recent years become increasingly automated. One such advancement is the use of ion selective electrodes (ISE) as part of an online monitoring and control system. ISEs are electrochemical sensors, incorporated into probes that can be placed directly in the process. This makes them ideal for continuous online operation. A pH probe is one type of ISE that has been used as part of online process monitoring systems for decades, to provide a general indication of the progress of wastewater treatment. But, capturing data for other parameters, such as ammonium and nitrate, has 42 | December 2017
been relegated to laborious and offline methods of analysis, such as colorimetry used with grab samples. It is only within the past 10 years or so that ISEs for measuring other more specific parameters have become available for incorporation into an online process. The primary advantage of using ISEs online is to obtain meaningful data about individual parameters, using an economical technology that does not require replenishment of reagents.
Years ago, accurate measurement of ammonia and nitrate in the wastewater lab provided useful data for the facility. Continuous measurement of ammonium and nitrate concentrations with online ISEs is an important transition for facilities to make, as it creates process control opportunities. It is important to note that with process sensors, repeatability is the objective, not necessarily accuracy. Published accuracy specs for process sensors are not relevant once the sensor is out of the box. Accuracy is very dependent on the sample matrix, which varies with the application. Therefore, users should focus on obtaining reliable data with repeatable results. ACHIEVING RELIABLE MEASUREMENTS
To ensure reliable measurements with online process ISEs, it is important to take the necessary steps to set up and install the sensor correctly, and to provide proper and routine maintenance over the life of the instrument. This typically includes routine verification measurements which can be determined with a second method, e.g., colorimetry in the lab. COST SAVINGS If the difference between the sensor Having real-time and reliable data and the lab measurement is greater than on monitoring specific substances, like an acceptable tolerance, e.g., +/– 10% or ammonia and nitrate, is critical for plant +/– 0.2 mg N/L, depending on the applioperators. Using an online system that cation, a matrix adjustment is required. ties the data directly into the facility The matrix adjustment is a typical SCADA to help control the process can procedure for correcting the ISE sensor be a real asset. As an example, wastewa- calibration, and is required as part of ter treatment plants typically address commissioning the measuring system Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
and as necessary thereafter. Matrix adjustment execution varies with the manufacturer, but the basic procedure consists of matching the online sensor measurement with a reference laboratory measurement on a grab sample as follows: 1. Clean the electrodes. Electrodes in wastewater are especially prone to biological fouling. Routine manual cleaning is essential even with supplemental automatic air cleaning devices installed. The best cleaning agent is process water. Soaps, detergents, and even deionized water can damage the membrane and shorten electrode life. Scrub the electrode surface with a soft bristle brush (a toothbrush is perfect). The probe body can be cleaned with warm water and a brush. 2. Take notes. Record the sensor values just prior to sampling for comparison to reference measurements. Recorded data should include both concentration in mg/L and the raw signal in mV. Some monitoring systems will store the value of the raw signal for each electrode and automatically match them to new reference concentrations determined in the lab. These values are entered manually, or uploaded into the monitoring system. 3. Sampling. Using a sample dipper, collect a sample as near to the position of the electrodes as possible. Rinse the dipper a couple of times before sampling to remove contamination from previous sampling events. Immediately filter the sample through a 0.45-micron filter into a clean, disposable sample vial to remove bacteria, which will quickly alter sample composition. A delay of even 10 minutes can alter the composition of the sample and invalidate reference measurements, especially in warm water. Ammonia and nitrate are dissolved and will pass through the filter. Collect a filtered volume sufficient to allow measurement of each parameter with a suitable laboratory method. Generally, this will be less than 30 mL. 4. Measurement and evaluation. Analyze filtered samples in the lab for ammonia and potassium (for compensation) and nitrate and chloride (for compensation) as necessary, using appropriate methods, e.g., colorimetry. It is tempting to skip verifying the compensation parameters. However, these measurements are critical for monitoring system performance. Evaluate duplicate or triplicate measurements as necessary to determine the most likely concentration. 5. Update and check. Enter the new reference values and matching sensor values into the monitoring system. Compare the concentrations and values of raw signals from previous calibrations to evaluate the matrix adjustment and gain insight into the status of the electrodes. The concentration should vary proportionately with the signal. Changes in the wastewater matrix, errors in sampling and analysis, and aging and contamination of the electrode can cause the raw signal (mV) to drift independently from changes in the measured concentration. Some monitoring systems do the math automatically and record the information as part of the calibration history. Frequency of matrix adjustments depends on the application, the design of the sensor, the age and history of the sensor, www.esemag.com
Grab samples should be collected as near to the position of the electrodes as possible.
and the veracity of reference measurements. Typical intervals vary from weekly to every three months or longer. Rob Smith, PE, BCEE, PhD, is with YSI, a Xylem brand. Email: email@example.com
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December 2017 | 43
SPECIAL FOCUS: CONSULTANTS’ FORUM
An effective strategy to develop and retain young engineering professionals is important
By Christine Hill and Jessica Marra, Cole Engineering
he backbone of all consulting engineering firms is a strong technical and design staff that has the expertise and experience necessary to problem solve. It wasn’t long ago that firms hired talented young staff and developed their skills and expertise over many years. But, changes in our industry have resulted in a loss of talented younger staff to the public and other sectors. Some have left for work/life balance, while others have sought different opportunities. In addition, regular career and employment changes or job-hopping are now the norm with many workers, both young and older. Recent surveys (Globe 44 | December 2017
and Mail, 2014) have identified that 51% of workers in Canada now stay in a role for less than two years, and that only 30% of workers in Canada stay in the same job for four years or more. The result is increased pressure on consulting firms to develop and maintain their key work forces, by providing career development opportunities, training and mentoring. Multi-faceted programs that combine mentoring, formal training and exposure to a variety of business and practice areas can engage and encourage young graduates to continue as consulting engineers. These can include: • Exposure to different practice areas, enabling new graduates to find their passion within our industry; • Internal and external mentoring programs to provide technical, business and career advice; • Formal internal and external training programs that are individualized and build on the skills and attributes of the individual. These programs can also be tailored to meet the needs of individual engineers, identified through Professional Engineers Ontario’s PEAK program which requires
ongoing training to maintain a level of knowledge and skill commensurate with safeguarding public interest. Like many other companies within the industry, Cole Engineering (COLE) is facing challenges related to demographic changes. Knowledge transfer from retiring employees to younger project team members, as well as meeting the life/work balance that so many of our younger employees are looking for, are two of the most pressing challenges. We have recognized the importance of developing younger engineers and have implemented comprehensive actions to support this. Following significant changes in our executive team and the development of a new Strategic Plan, COLE leadership engaged younger engineers. A new Young Professionals Group (YPG) was formed and broad consultation with younger employees was completed during the Strategic Plan development. To gain input from younger employees, an anonymous survey was completed by 60% of the YPG. The survey asked YPG members to identify the most important issues in the workplace. The four most popular issues were opportunities for advancement, competitive compensation and benefits, promotion of life/work balance, and a strong office community and culture. YPs also ranked their level of workplace satisfaction as part of the survey. Figure 1 shows the ranked issues of importance and also shows the percentage of staff dissatisfied with these issues. On a more specific level, YPs also provided information on what gave them job satisfaction on a day-to-day basis. It was found that camaraderie with coworkers, followed by working on well-managed projects, were ranked as the most important factors. Based on level of dissatisfaction rankings, working on well-managed projects was identified as being a priority for areas of improvement. (See Figure 2) Finally, YPs were asked to select three aspects of a manager/supervisor they saw as most important. Overwhelmingly, these were capabilities for mentoring, empowering workers and providing clear direction. COLE executives carefully reviewed the results and decided
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to implement the recommendations throughout the company. As a result, the Strategic Plan addresses four key areas associated with the retention and development of its young professionals, including robust recruitment of new graduates, providing opportunities for social and team building, and professional development and training. Since the implementation of the Strategic Plan, achievements have been immediate and dramatic. GRADUATE RECRUITMENT The new graduate recruitment process was broadened and now includes young professionals. Together with Human Resources, our young engineers now attend career fairs, local association events and participate in student design competitions for universities and associations. COLE’s YPs judged final year design projects at the University of Guelph. COLE has been recognized for its efforts and won the University of Guelph’s Co-op Employer of the Year award. We have recognized that not all new graduates have a clear idea of the type of work they would like to be doing in our industry. As a result, we launched a rotation program where new graduates rotate between four different technical groups during the first year of their employment. With the knowledge gained over their first year, these employees are better equipped to select the career direction and technical area they are best suited for. SOCIAL AND TEAM BUILDING The importance of team building has been expanded with more technical, professional and social events geared to all employees, including YPs. Weekly events, held during and after work hours encourage team building amongst employees. Some of our more popular social events have included snack and chat events, social hours and barbecue events. COLE is also a strong supporter of Water for People and has held well-attended Water for People charity events. In 2017, we held our first company-wide conference and encouraged YPGs to present interesting technical projects to the company. “Collaboration” was about sharwww.esemag.com
Figure 1 (top): Issues of importance and dissatisfaction levels. Figure 2: Job satisfaction rankings.
ing ideas and experience amongst all staff and recognizing their accomplishments through a variety of awards. As part of the conference, outside speakers representing our clients, suppliers and contractors, were engaged to provide their knowledge and experience to the company.
field trips have also been held to expose YPs to other business areas and demonstrate key aspects of projects, from planning and design through implementation.
SUMMARY Consulting firms depend on the knowledge and skills of our staff to meet our cliPROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ent commitments and to grow our busiAND TRAINING nesses. We must meet the challenge of an COLE is investing in its younger work- increasingly mobile workforce by trainers by providing training for key skills, ing, developing and retaining our staffs encouraging involvement in industry through robust multi-faceted programs associations, and providing comprehen- that combine mentoring, formal training sive on-the-job training in a wide vari- and exposure to a variety of business areas. ety of technical areas. Regular training sessions on key business skills, such as Christine Hill, P.Eng., is Business business development, communications, Development Leader and Jessica presentation skills, proposal writing and Marra, EIT, is Co-Chair of the Young Professionals Group, Cole Engineering. networking, have been held. In addition, YPs are encouraged to give For more information, email: presentations at conferences. Organized email@example.com December 2017 | 45
SPECIAL FOCUS: CONSULTANTS’ FORUM
Understanding the value of external input on project design that these individuals are not close enough to the project to comment on the design, others may argue that they are far enough away to see the whole picture from a different perspective. By Patrick Peer review, value engineering and Coleman, sometimes risk analysis studies are established means of drawing in external input. Black & Veatch Each method requires that the external he primary objectives of a design participants not be influenced by the review are to identify and correct design team and that most of the particerrors, uncover and mitigate risks, ipants not be employed by the design and solicit and incorporate exper- team’s employer. tise from those outside of the design team. Each of these review objectives involves PEER REVIEW A peer reviewer can assess the design external input to some degree and it is to be expected that a design team may feel or the design team. Given the sensitive threatened by this. However, limiting or nature of a peer review, professional engiinhibiting external input is shortsighted neering associations provide guidance to their members on how to conduct this and unprofessional. Reviewers outside the design team type of review. The review should not include peers, competitors, operators, con- proceed until the following items are structors, community advocates, environ- agreed upon with the requesting party mentalists and regulators. All of these will and understood by the design team: view the design through different lenses, • Reason for the review; either because they are not engineers or • Subject matter to be reviewed; they have not been immersed in the design • How the party requesting the review process. While the design team may argue intends to use the reviewer’s report;
• Procedures to be followed in performing the review; and • Responsibilities of the design team and reviewers. A peer reviewer only comments on what was done and not on what can be done. VALUE ENGINEERING Value engineering also solicits input from professionals outside of the design team. This technique was developed to address shortages of skilled labour, raw materials and component parts during World War II. Value is defined as the ratio of function to cost. The objective of this review is to increase this ratio by either increasing function or reducing cost. Some clients have not gained the full benefit of a value engineering review because of the following reasons: • The design team was afraid of being scrutinized and did not engage in the process; • Review was done too late in the design; • Scope of the review was restricted; • The value engineering team did not possess the relevant experience needed to scrutinize the design. A value engineering team must be motivated to engage in the process and capable of challenging the design if the study is to be effective. A value engineering study focuses on what can be done rather than on what was done.
Knowledge. Expertise. Resources. Engineering the future.
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RISK ANALYSIS Risk analysis techniques such as SWIFT (structured what-if technique), HAZOP (hazard and operability) and FMEA (failure modes and effects analysis) also involve reviewers outside the design team. These techniques not only attempt to identify risks the design team missed, but also uncover instances when the design team has fallen into the trap of overly complex design, groupthink, practical drift, or being unable to assess ambiguous threats properly. The amount of time that can pass between the start of a design and when a facility is commissioned can be long. Therefore, practical drift is a risk a design team needs to be cognizant of, because a solution can be designed a number of times before it is built and commissioned. In other words, “we did this before … therefore it works, but … it hasn’t been built yet.” A recent industry innovation is the inte-
grative design process which addresses the need to include external input throughout the design process. Metro Vancouver used this approach when developing the design concept for the new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant. It was developed as a response to important energy savings and sustainability opportunities consistently being missed by design teams. Proponents of the integrative design process blamed the traditional design process rather than the design team for these shortcomings. They argued that the traditional design process pushed designers into silos and froze out stakeholders as the design progressed. The integrative design process relies heavily on the participation in design decisions of those outside the design team. Throughout the design process, the design team collaborates with a larger team that includes representatives from relevant disciplines and stakeholders. Although each of the three types of
design review approaches could involve operators, none is solely focused on the ability of staff to operate and maintain a design after it is built. A technique is required that includes those who will operate the design when it is built and that focuses solely on operation and maintenance. U.K. water companies, particularly Thames Water, developed the OPMAN (operation and maintenance) study for this purpose. It follows the piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) in a manner similar to a HAZOP study and draws from design reports and, now, the 3D CADD model. The study normally occurs at about the 30% design point when the layout drawings and P&IDs are mature. The OPMAN study can be easily added onto a 3D CADD model walk-through. (See Table 1) The OPMAN study steps through each element of the design (e.g., valve, process) continued overleaf…
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December 2017 | 47
SPECIAL FOCUS: CONSULTANTS’ FORUM
Table 1. The OPMAN study focuses on the ability of staff to operate and maintain a design after it is built. INDEX Description / Benefit
ACCEPTABLE but could be improved
UNACCEPTABLE requires some design modifications
UNACCEPTABLE requires significant redesign
INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION needs further investigation
Access for Operation
Acceptable and appropriate access for operators.
Access possible but could be improved.
Access for operation very difficult. Some minor modifications required.
No access for operation of plant.
Access for Maintenance
Acceptable and appropriate access provided for plant maintenance, including lifting facilities.
Access possible but could be improved.
Access for maintenance unacceptable. Impossible to remove/replace plant.
Access for maintenance unacceptable. No facilities to remove/replace plant.
Mechanical Isolation of Individual Components
Acceptable provision has been made for mechanical isolation. Standby/ duplicate system installed.
Mechanical isolation possible but causes disruption to process.
Mechanical isolation not possible. Design modification required.
Mechanical isolation not possible. Significant redesign required.
Electrical isolator provided that is suitable for application.
Electrical isolator provided but inconveniently located. Acceptable disruption to process.
Electrical isolator provided but common to other plant or poorly labelled. Design modification required.
Electrical isolator provided but completely unsuitable for application.
Acceptable and appropriate removal.
Acceptable removal but could be improved.
Difficult removal. Minor design changes required.
Removal not feasible.
Process unaffected by isolation.
Process can continue to operate but at reduced capacity or difficult reconfiguration required.
Isolation causes unacceptable disruption to process. Design modification required.
Isolation causes significant disruption to process. Possible safety implications.
and assesses it according to six criteria on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the worst and 1 being the best. The scoring is based on the OPMAN matrix. At the end of the study, the design team investigates whether it can improve any item with a “2” (acceptable but could be improved) score. The design team addresses items scored a “3” or “4” (unacceptable) and submits a design change to the client for review. Items scored a “5” (insufficient information) must be resubmitted with the infor48 | December 2017
mation that was lacking so that they can be assessed. The OPMAN study has been in use in the U.K. for more than 20 years. It has been successfully applied on a project with the City of Toronto and will be the subject of a paper at the Water Environment Association of Ontario 2018 Annual Conference. Engineering design is a group activity and those that use or are affected by the design need to be listened to. It is natu-
ral that a design team under the stress of deadlines and budgets may not want to hear this input. The big bad wolf they need to be afraid of, however, is not criticism but failure of a design to perform or, even worse, placing those who operate or live near it at risk. Patrick Coleman, PhD, P.Eng., is with Black & Veatch. Email: colemanpf@BV.com
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SPECIAL FOCUS: CONSULTANTS’ FORUM
Understanding the relationship between municipalities, consultants, contractors and equipment suppliers By Bill De Angelis,
City of Toronto
rior to the 1950s, the City of Toronto’s water and wastewater infrastructure was made up of a large number of small water and wastewater plants. Following the formation of Metropolitan Toronto in 1953, a program of consolidation of small plants commenced in order to service a then quickly growing population. A flurry of activity put together what is still the framework of our treatment systems today. Interestingly, the Canadian consultant of record at each new plant was required to team with an American consulting company, presumably because we didn’t have the expertise up here to deliver large, complex projects, but more likely because our firms hadn’t previously delivered projects of this scale. In terms of construction capability, there was a group of local contracting firms that built our facilities. There was no prequalification of firms. Contracts were not nearly as prescriptive as today. Handshakes often guaranteed the contractor’s commitment towards delivering the project. Projects were managed internally by a group of professional engineers in what evolved into the Technical Services Division. Facility staff assisted in scoping out programs and individual projects, then handed them over to Technical Services to deliver. Plant staff were invited to monthly project review meetings to provide input, and to assist with shutdown and commis50 | December 2017
sioning information. Once the construction on a project began in earnest, direct input into the design from operations staff essentially ceased. Enhancements and scope changes were usually deferred to succeeding projects and capital assignments, through the Technical Services project manager. GROWTH OF THE CAPITAL PROGRAM Capital work continued through subsequent years to provide enhancements to original installations, once the main facilities had been completed. As we moved into the 1970s and 1980s, population increases and need for asset upgrades began to drive a new wave of capital works. The same group of consultants and contractors again participated in those programs, which began to see some major upgrades in terms of complexity and cost. Over time, and in the face of those expanding capital programs, the consulting industry began to raise concerns around the favoring of the incumbent firms to the exclusion of others. In the early 1990s, a process was initiated to conclude the consultant of record practice, (essentially sole source assignments), to allow other firms to bid on our water and wastewater plant work. This process had impacts on both those incumbent firms and the new entrants who had little knowledge of the complexities of working with the City. Those of us at the facilities struggled with the new protocol, because we often had new players with little knowledge of our plants coming in to help us. The reality was that we often helped them to gain a baseline understanding of our facilities, so they could more readily deliver upon their design mandates. The change benefitted the consulting sector by providing more firms with an opportunity to secure work with the
City, which saw price-based competition drive down consulting fees as a percentage of project capital cost. At the same time, the number of contractors continued to grow. More of the larger players from across the country began to look at the size of our capital projects and programs, and more bids started to come in. The pool was essentially well established “name” firms, but some new smaller players began to be seen, often started as spinoffs of seasoned staff from the larger firms. Concurrently, the size of our project delivery team began to increase in order to deliver those projects required to meet facility needs. Along the way, we also started to see more complexity in our contract documents, wherein the Contracts and Agreements began to have increasingly larger insurance and indemnity clauses, to protect our interests as the owner. The facility project delivery model up to the 1990s had been through a traditional Design Bid Build (DBB) approach. In the 1990s however, the City experimented with a Design Build (DB) model for several wastewater projects. At the end of the day, this was not seen as a desired approach for the City in spite of some project success. At that time, the City was attracted by the potential benefits offered by the DB approach, including shorter schedule and lower cost. What it struggled with was the notion that to obtain those benefits you had to relinquish control of some aspects of the project. Until recently, there has been little appetite to return to this and other procurement and delivery models for water and wastewater capital projects, but several other approaches have been used. A program that saw “bundling” of capital projects was initiated in the 2000s,
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whereby several small projects were combined into single assignments, with the notion that there were economies to be gained by managing one large project versus several small projects. This approach is still practiced on selected assignments. Similarly, the Program Management approach to capital work was implemented, delivering some linear projects and piloted in the delivery of wastewater treatment plant work. The notion was that the owner would hire a consultant to manage a capital program at a facility, doing the design work, tendering the contracts and managing construction. This approach will be selectively considered for future projects. Something that is being seen in several jurisdictions in Canada is the negotiated fee model for consultant selection. That approach is of interest to us. However, with any new approach comes risk, and as such will require internal discussions around how risk is allocated between the
effort on training and development, both to deliver project work and more critically, to retain staff for succession MARKET CHANGES within the firms. On the municipal side, we find In the 2000s, we began to see activity on the engineering firm acquisition front ourselves spending increasingly more that has reduced significantly the "pool" time on project quality reviews, when we should be focusing on project manageof consulting firms bidding on work. A downside of mergers and acquisi- ment and delivery. We have also seen the influx of U.S. tions has been seen in the large numbers of design engineers released during based consultants and contractors into workforce rationalization activities, with our market in a big way. With the advent some of them moving to the public of CETA (Canada – European Union sector and others out of the industry Comprehensive Economic and Trade altogether. The outcome of this is seen Agreement) in 2017 we may expect to in a reduction in the available consultant see more competition for City work from talent "pool" and altering of the engi- outside North America. The number of contractors in this neering workforce demographic. An impact from the movement of industry is continuing to increase, and consulting staff into City roles is being they are having the same issues as consulseen in the reduction in depth of senior tants in their ability to attract senior staff and intermediate consulting talent to to key roles. Again, staffing and experideliver our projects. This has resulted in ence issues appear to be contributing to the need for consultants to expend extra continued overleaf… owner, consultant and contractor in the quest to provide best value for the public.
Ainley & Associates Limited Joe Mullan, P.Eng., President & CEO is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Chris Ewen, P.Eng., PMP to the position of Vice-President – Water & Wastewater, to be based in the firm’s Brampton Office. Chris has a B.Eng. degree in Civil Engineering, is a Professional Engineer in Ontario and has his Project Management Chris Ewen Professional (PMP) certification. He P.Eng., PMP brings 23 years of experience in all aspects of Water & Wastewater engineering, both in the government and consulting engineering sectors. As Vice-President – Water & Wastewater, Chris will utilize his extensive experience to manage, develop and expand Ainley’s water & wastewater engineering services. Chris has a proven record of leadership and exemplary client service and the firm is excited to have him join the senior management team. The Ainley Group with offices located in Barrie, Belleville, Brampton, Collingwood, Kingston and Ottawa offers multidisciplinary consulting engineering and planning services to public and private sector clients throughout Ontario.
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December 2017 | 51
SPECIAL FOCUS: CONSULTANTS’ FORUM
the fact that more and more projects are being delivered late. As with consultants, new trade legislation and regulatory change will undoubtedly have an effect on the construction sector as well. Although not explicitly discussed herein, equipment suppliers to our industry have been impacted as well by changes in the contracting and consulting sectors. They are more and more being called upon during design and tendering periods to provide technical information. But, changes to owner purchasing policies often preclude “naming” a single supplier for a particular piece of equipment in contract documents. This may encourage competition, but the outcome often sees the supplier that provided solid input (at its own cost) into a project not securing the sale for its equipment. We are not immune to market changes either. The requirement for documentation around management and delivery of projects by owner staff is ever increasing. Contract language has continued to become more complex. Staff project performance is regularly reviewed by an internal audit group. Purchasing and procurement personnel and fairness monitors now often oversee consultant and contractor selection deliberations. Recent scandals in the industry at large have put staff and our project management processes under increased scrutiny
and increased the level of involvement from financial staff and auditors in projects. Maintaining public sector staff credibility is a big issue, and in our case, transparency is extremely important. We have contributed to the creation of delays in delivery of projects as well. Our yearly programs are under increased internal scrutiny, and there has been an ever-increasing aversion to risk that can impact decision-making timelines. One of the outcomes of this increased scrutiny is the long timelines in our procurement processes, which we are trying to address.
lishments in the next three to five years. That, coupled with the number of people who want to leave our sector altogether, whether to go back to school or seek a position elsewhere, could generate an overall turnover rate in excess of 30%.
CONSULTANTS There has been a general decline in project performance across the spectrum of consultants, contractors and owners. As I look at the consulting sector I see that: • Consolidation and acquisition activities within the consulting sector are changing the face of the industry. Past company SO WHAT HAPPENED? stability in terms of size and long-term From my time in the public sector to tenure of employees is not guaranteed; the consulting field and back again, I can • Company names we grew up with years make some general overall observations: ago often do not reflect the companies the client often has the expectation of of the same name we deal with today, in the perfect job; talent in our industry terms of expertise and depth of personnel; is not as deep as it was and is not being • Computers and computer aided design replaced at the same pace as it is being tools that drive efficiency in project lost, and that loss of experience is often delivery cannot replace experience and reflected in the quality of deliverables; common sense; and, margins are dropping for contrac- • Customer service is an area in decline. tors and consultants as they vie for work. In some cases, it is taking a back seat to revenue generation, particularly with jobs STAFFING where firms put in low bids to win the The loss of experienced staff is not work. confined to just consultants and contractors. Within the City, we expect that, with CONTRACTORS current retirement projections, we could How our contractors deliver work has sustain a significant “hit” to our estab- changed as well. My observations around
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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
contractors and suppliers; • Design accuracy impacting construction cost/timelines; • More provisional dollars carried for uncertainty; • Talent in our industry is being lost faster than it can be replaced. • Project scopes that are unclear or incomplete can lead to change orders, delays and cost overruns; CLIENT PERSPECTIVES • Capital cost estimates that are done Clients have a significant responsibil- early on can differ significantly from ity in this discussion, as consultants and final cost numbers; contractors, for the most part, respond • Financial folks expect perfect predicto client instructions around project tions of project cost years in advance of tender and award; scoping and delivery. Some public sector perspectives and • Political decisions can impact project scope, cost and timelines; performance I am observing include: • Client expectations are rising, espe- • Public input and pressure can impact cially from those transplanted consul- project scope, cost and timelines; tants who now work in the public sector; • Industry scandals have definitely • Some clients still think that low price affected perceptions of public sector staff and driven increased scrutiny and overis best value; • Design element downloading to sight of decision-making processes interthe construction sector indicate that: • Delays in project schedules are becoming the norm rather than the exception; • The amount of self-performed work is dropping. Contractors are evolving into brokers; • Contractors struggle as much as consultants and owners to attract, train and retain staff.
nally, and can result in extended timelines and cost. While owners like to seek out innovative ways to improve project delivery, the challenge is to do it within the constraints imposed by many of the above factors. ‘THE BLAME GAME’ Can the decline in performance be blamed on one party, or is it a combination of contractor, consultant and owner? It’s easy for one party or the other to assess blame for the current predicament we face, but to me it is clear to see that the responsibility is a shared one. This has been confirmed by nearly every consultant and contractor I speak with. Whenever I meet with consultants and contractors, I give them a little challenge. I draw three circles on a piece of paper and label them “Consultant”, “Contractor” and “City”. Then I ask them to assess, in general terms, from their own perspeccontinued overleaf…
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SPECIAL FOCUS: CONSULTANTS’ FORUM
tives, the distribution of responsibility for a failure in the delivery of a project. Contractors in general responded with a split of 40/40/20 (40% Consultant /40% Contractor/20% City). Consultants were more or less in the same range. Some public sector project managers subscribe to a 45/45/10 split, pushing the majority of responsibility onto the contractor and consultant. A colleague, whom I respect a lot, gave it as 10/10/80 (10% Contractor/10% Consultant/80% City), with the explanation that the Contractors and Consultants will do what we (the Owner) “allow” them to do. In other words, his take was that we control our destiny in terms of project delivery.
We need to deliver a multi-billion dollar capital program in the next 10 years to meet state of good repair, upgrade and expansion requirements in our water and wastewater facilities and systems.
• Creating forums for open and honest dialogue between contractors, consultants and owners around issues each of us face around project delivery; • Applying more rigour to project scoping to more clearly define tasks and deliverables, to allow consultants to more accurately price proposals, and ultimately IMPROVING INTERNAL to see the delivery at the end of construcPROJECT PERFORMANCE tion of a project that meets our requireWe can look at our consultants and ments and expectations; contractors and ask them what they are • Introducing different project delivery doing to improve the situation. But, we models that can allow us to better realin the public sector need to ask ourselves ize economies in project capital cost and what we are doing to affect positive change. delivery while maintaining quality and As with our consultants and contractors, if utility; we continue to do things the way we have • We can couple this with a discussion always done them, then we can expect the around the availability of external revenue streams that could be drivers to the same result as we are seeing. Our reality at the City of Toronto is that initiation of new delivery models, and we need to deliver a multi-billion dollar include an investigation into negotiated capital program in the next 10 years to fee models for consulting services; meet state of good repair, upgrade and • Continuing to prequalify consultants expansion requirements in our water and contractors for critical projects; and wastewater facilities and systems. We • Conduct formal consultant/contrachave no option – it has to happen and it tor performance evaluations; will. That’s the good news, especially for • Continuing to refine our internal project management models to provide our consultants and contractors. There are some of us on each side of consistent frameworks for delivery, docuthe owner/consultant/contractor trian- ment management and auditability. gle who see this as an exciting opportunity to drive positive changes in how VIEW FROM THE PUBLIC SIDE Change takes time, but I am seeing we procure and deliver our programs to meet the needs of our political masters within the City and with my public-sector colleagues a commitment to making and the public at large. positive changes. POSITIVE ACTIONS There is a great deal of communicaSome of the things we could look at tion between fellow municipalities taking from the public side to improve the situ- place. At the City we share ideas, templates, successful practices and approaches, ation might include: • Better educating our councils, purchas- directly with our public sector couning agents and auditors about the complex- terparts and externally through the ity of our projects and the need for best Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario and industry liaison groups value selection over price; 54 | December 2017
such as the Broader Construction Association Consultation Group, hosted by the City, Water Environment Association of Ontario, Ontario Water Works Association, Ontario Public Works Association, Consulting Engineers Ontario, and others. Over the past 20 years, I have seen a definite move in the public towards using a more business based public utility approach to delivery, by adopting tools and decision-making techniques from the private sector. There is a definite commitment to this approach at the political level. There is also an opportunity to make the case for moving from prescriptive scoping of projects to performance-based approaches that encourage innovation and risk-sharing, while still protecting the owner’s interests. However, what I think is sometimes missing on the public front is understanding of the connection between innovation and risk and the impact on overall project cost that the private sector knows well. If we pass on all project risk, our costs go up. If we take on part of the risk, the cost comes down. We need to initiate a discussion around the application of judicious risk-sharing where it makes sense. The significant capital-intensive infrastructure renewal activities currently ongoing in and around the City of Toronto, coupled with the challenges being faced to secure funding for them may be the drivers that initiate future discussions around a balanced assumption of risk and cost. Bill De Angelis, P.Eng., MBA, is Director of Design & Construction, Major Infrastructure, Engineering & Construction Services, City of Toronto. Email: email@example.com
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
SPECIAL FOCUS: CONSULTANTS’ FORUM
What is the role of a professional engineer’s sign-off for new sanitary and storm sewers? Test Required as per OPSS
By Barbara Robinson, Norton Engineering and David Lapp, Engineers Canada
he issue of unacceptable Inflow and Infiltration (I/I) in new subdivisions in Ontario has been subjected to detailed analysis over the past several years. Norton Engineering, working under the direction of municipal funding partners with collaboration from many in the industry, has undertaken detailed analyses of this issue and its causes. Surveys, undertaken of Ontario municipalities between 2015 and 2017, revealed that many new subdivisions that had been flow monitored were exhibiting excessive I/I. Based on 35 data sets received, 95% were found to be leaking, as self-reported by the municipality. The negative impacts of permitting unacceptable I/I to discharge into new subdivision sanitary sewers (and other new infrastructure) include: the costs of treatment (and the operational difficulties associated with high wet weather peaking, including secondary bypass); loss of capacity in trunk systems; shorter lifespan of leaking infrastructure; loss of development-related revenue for municipalities where development freezes exist; and reduced infrastructure lifespan. Excessive I/I increases the risk of urban flooding, including risk of sewer backup, not only in the new subdivision but also downstream. Insured and uninsured losses should also be considered, as should the emotional impact and potential income losses associated
Municipalities (N=35) Requiring the Test
Air or water tests of sewers per OPSS 410
MH in/exfiltration tests per OPSS 1351
Mandrel tests for PVC Sewers per OPSS 410
CCTV of laterals to property line per OPSS 410
Feeler gage test of each pipe joint to ensure proper seating of gasket
Table 1. Inspection and testing on public side sewer infrastructure.
with flood cleanup. Storm and sanitary sewers full of I/I have less capacity to convey the anticipated increased flows associated with climate change. One of the tasks for 2017/2018 is to dig deeper into the specific conditions contributing to this issue. This article examines the role of the developer’s engineer who ultimately signs off on the completed underground infrastructure. Table 1 summarizes findings to date related to actual practices around inspection and testing on the public side sewer infrastructure, as determined by the surveys performed earlier in this project. As shown, most municipalities are not requiring their own tests, which are almost invariably Ontario Provincial Standard Specifications (OPSS).
• Draft plan pre-consultation. • Draft plan of subdivisions approval. • Design pre-consultation meeting. • Technical pre-submission meeting. • First design submission. • First submission comment review meeting. • Second submission to engineering. • Pre-servicing agreement. • Model home agreement. • Subdivision agreement. • Construction of the public side infrastructure. • Preliminary approval of underground services, followed by issuance of building permits. • Construction of homes. • Preliminary certificate of approval issued for infrastructure and maintenance period begins. THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS Let’s focus on the portions of the work Generally speaking, in order to undertaken by the consulting engineer, in construct a new subdivision a devel- order to attain the preliminary approval oper or investor buys a property suitable of the underground services. The focus is for development in a municipality, and on the sanitary sewer, although most of engages a planner and consulting engi- the commentary relates to storm sewers neer to work through the development as well. The findings are likely true for from conception to buildout. While the infill and capital reconstruction projects. process for developing a subdivision Typically, in order to obtain prelimito completion varies somewhat across nary approval of underground services Ontario, it generally follows a process (or whatever approval precedes the issucontinued overleaf… including the following steps: December 2017 | 55
SPECIAL FOCUS: CONSULTANTS’ FORUM
ance of building permits) the consulting engineer signs off on the construction of underground infrastructure, certifying that it is built per the municipality’s design and specification manuals. Sample language obtained from municipalities across Ontario includes:
MUNICIPALITY “B”: PRELIMINARY CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL OF UNDERGROUND SERVICES
The sanitary sewer infrastructure must be fully installed as per approved plans such as to perform their basic function. All testing of the underground works must be completed with satisfactory testing of MUNICIPALITY “A”: the sanitary system being confirmed by MAINTENANCE PACKAGE the consulting engineer on the Certificate Following visual (i.e., above ground) Application. All leakage testing satisfactoinspection and approval by consultant rily completed. “…all sanitary sewer mains shall be and City staff from various departments, the consultant shall submit a Mainte- designed and installed in accordance with nance Package confirming that inspected accepted good engineering practices and items have been accepted by City staff. It with MOE guidelines for sanitary sewage should be sent along with a covering letter collection. They shall be constructed in that “certifies that all the works within the accordance with OPSS and OPSD.” Application for Preliminary Certifiparticular phase have been completed to cate of Approval of the Works: City Standards.” “I hereby certify that the construction of all public works was inspected in accordance with City specifications by an approved inspector under the direct super-
vision of a professional engineer and that sound and accepted engineering practices were observed throughout the construction. Signed and sealed by a professional engineer.” MUNICIPALITY “C”: PRELIMINARY ACCEPTANCE A letter is received from the developer’s engineer stating that “the works have been installed as per the approved plans and all tests have been completed.” A list of all tests performed is provided, and the engineer recommends the start of the maintenance period (performance acceptance). MUNICIPALITY “D”: FINAL ACCEPTANCE All work for the above-noted subdivisions “has been completed in accordance with Subdivision Agreement and final inspections have been carried out satisfactorily” for same. A sample letter from one consultant included the Professional Engi-
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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
ance on the proper use of the professional engineer’s seal. The seal is the distinguishing mark of the profession and an indication to recipients and users of engineering documents that the content of the documents was prepared by or under the personal supervision of a professional engineer. The engineer, by affixing the seal, assumes responsibility and is answerable for the quality of the work presented therein.” “Affixing the seal to a document is a statement by a professional engineer to others that they can, with a high degree of confidence, depend upon the contents of the document for the furtherance of their project. Since the outcome of a project depends OBLIGATIONS OF THE on factors beyond the control of an engiPROFESSIONAL ENGINEER neer, however, a successful outcome cannot Referring to the PEO’s Use of the be guaranteed by an engineer. The seal is Professional Engineer’s Seal (2008) docu- not, and should not be considered, a certiment, several passages appear relevant to fication mark or warranty of correctness. According to the Supreme Court, the ‘seal this situation: “The purpose of this Guideline is to attests that a qualified engineer prepared provide professional engineers with guidcontinued overleaf… ical pressure (perceived or actual) may accompany the desire to allow construction to proceed quickly. Since the municipality has essentially transferred the risk of poor construction to the consulting engineer, municipal staff are also disinclined to involve themselves too closely in the process, due to the same pressures. When an engineer signs off that they have completed all inspection and testing procedures called for in the municipality’s own specifications (almost invariably OPSS), what exactly are they signing off on?
neers Ontario (PEO) logo at the bottom. There is significant pressure on consultants to provide services to developers (and municipalities) at the lowest cost. This requires them to bid site inspection services at the lowest price possible, since they account for many hours on a typical construction project. Carrying a more senior inspector can easily price a consultant out of the project. However, using a very low-priced inspector (e.g., a student) has to result in poorer inspection. There are many things to look for on a linear project which a junior inspector cannot possibly be aware of. In addition, as reported in I/I in New Subdivisions: Phase 1 (2015 to 2017) (Robinson et al, 2017), there is significant pressure on the inspector to approve construction and to not halt construction when issues are observed. The consulting engineer works for the developer, not the municipality, so necessarily wishes to keep his client satisfied. In addition, polit-
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SPECIAL FOCUS: CONSULTANTS’ FORUM
the document. It is not a guarantee of accuracy’. Instead, it should be considered a ‘mark of reliance’, an indication that others can rely on the fact that the opinions, judgments, or designs in the sealed documents were provided by a professional engineer held to high standards of knowledge, skill and ethical conduct.” “A request by an employer, client or regulatory official for a professional engineer to affix his or her seal to a document is not a sufficient reason for doing so. For example, an employer may ask an engineer to seal a notice that contractors have been paid. Since this is not an engineering document, the engineer should not affix his or her seal, even if the engineer prepared the notice.” Full time inspection by a construction inspector working under the direction of a professional engineer is technically observation. The inspector cannot be directly responsible for the quality of the work being performed, as it is performed by a third party (the contractor). The PEO document is very specific regarding this: “Engineers should assume only risks that are within their ability to control and never those where the performance of a third party, such as a contractor or supplier, might have an effect on the outcome.” However, it would seem that a professional engineer sealing a letter saying that the work has been performed according to all specifications and testing requirements, suggests to the municipality that the work has been performed to the highest professional standards. Municipal staff are not necessarily familiar with the nuances of the professional engineer’s seal. Also from the PEO document: “Sealing of drawings with record information might imply to some parties that the engineer is providing some type of warranty or certification of the construction. This is never the case, since the contractor is always responsible for construction.”
Installation of a 250mm new pipe replacement utilizing an existing chamber.
company. It is “signed off on” by a professional engineer (whether in strict accordance with PEO requirements around the use of the seal or not). The use of the seal is the responsibility of the practitioner. Practitioners should review their use of the seal/wording in letters to ensure that they are using it appropriately in these circumstances. At the very least, it would be a simple exercise for the engineering consultant to open each manhole in the subdivision to confirm that there is “no flow” in the sewers following completion of the public side infrastructure. This is a low cost, low-tech method of ensuring infrastructure is leak free (at least at that point in time). Ideally, a flow monitor is installed at the downstream end of each new subdivision to get a picture of I/I over time. SUMMARY What role has the professional engiOur new public side sewers are neer played in the poor construction, discharging unacceptable I/I into our and can we consider changes to the sewer systems, resulting in enormous development process to ensure higher societal costs. This public side infrastruc- quality new construction? If new public ture is subject to full time inspection side infrastructure is found to be leaking and testing by a consulting engineering badly, should the consulting engineering
58 | December 2017
company be held accountable, to some extent? Not necessarily at the level of PEO, but at the municipal level? One solution is for municipalities to track the performance of consultants working for them, in terms of water tightness of sanitary and storm systems (this could apply to both development and reconstruction/new construction projects). In development, consultants with top performance (perhaps ranked as A, B or C) would have the privilege of having new developments they design reviewed ahead of poor performers. Long delays in development approvals represent a significant cost and frustration to the development community, so projects could similarly be rated. These ratings could be used to select preferred consultants for future projects. Another solution is to have specific requirements around acceptable site inspectors (e.g., a P.Eng. with a minimum of five years’ experience in inspection). A few municipalities in Ontario have already taken this approach. By accepting sub-standard infrastructure, municipalities are incurring enormous costs at the expense of the taxpayer. The cost to treat 1L/s of I/I (approximately the flow in a garden hose), is $90,000 per year (at $2.75/m3). And, the risk of flooding is also increased. This is unacceptable. Feedback from the industry as to how to improve the outcome of new sanitary and storm sewer construction is welcomed. As a society, we cannot afford to continue to allow sub-standard infrastructure to be installed and accepted by municipalities. This project is funded by the Regions of Peel, York, Halton and Waterloo, the Cities of London, Windsor, Orangeville and Cambridge, and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction . Barbara Robinson, P.Eng., is with Norton Engineering Inc. David Lapp, P.Eng., is with Engineers Canada. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
PRODUCT & SERVICE SHOWCASE High Performance Mixer State-of-the-art mixer HPCDITM, a cost-effective solution to sludge build-up, creates a unique tornado + fireworks-like flow pattern. It suspends heavy solids with the force of tornado, consuming 10~27% of energy of conventional mixers. The fireworks-like dispersion eliminates dead zones and short-circuiting. It is ragging-free, providing a mixing system with minimal maintenance. T: 587-352-9652 E: email@example.com W: www.revolmixing.com
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AquaNereda Aerobic Granular Sludge Technology is now available in Canada and the U.S., exclusively from Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc. This advanced biological treatment technology replicates the same effluent quality as a well-designed enhanced BNR facility but without the use of chemicals. The reduced footprint and low energy requirement of the AquaNereda® process provide a competitive alternative for high performance plants. T: 815-654-2501 W: www.aqua-aerobic.com
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Compact quarter turn actuators Festo’s new DFPD quarter-turn actuators can be used as a standalone or in a complete automated process valve system. The compact DFPD comes in single- and double-acting versions to pair with ball, butterfly, and shutoff valves. It features a torque range from 10-480 Nm, rotation angle up to 180°, and is suitable for operating in temperatures – 20°C to +80°C. Variants include low and high temperature and corrosion-resistant versions. T: 877-463-3786 E: email@example.com W: www.festo.ca
New waterproof chlorine colorimeter LaMotte Company’s new DC1500 waterproof chlorine colorimeter now includes a rechargeable battery and is packaged with DPD tablets for 100 tests of Free and Total Chlorine or liquid DPD reagents for 140 tests. Also included in the sturdy carrying case are six glass sample vials, a USB cable and wall adapter. A car charger is optional. The unit meets IP67 waterproof criteria, so users in high-moisture environments can take the DC1500 anywhere. W: www.geneq.com
Chlorine Emergency Shutoff
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December 2017 | 59
PRODUCT & SERVICE SHOWCASE Submersible + Field Instruments Sequoia Instruments’ submersible + field instruments for measuring particles and their properties use Laser In-Situ Scattering and Transmissometry (LISST) technology. The LISST-200X is a submersible particle size distribution + concentration analyzer; LISST-ABS measures suspended sediment concentration; and the LISST-Holo2 is used for holographic particle imaging + size distribution. E: firstname.lastname@example.org, Burlington, ON E: email@example.com, Burnaby, BC E: firstname.lastname@example.org, Montreal, QC W: www.hoskin.ca
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Wireless Communication The all-new YSI EXO GO Wireless Communication Device opens a Bluetooth® portal between any Windows OS device and a submerged EXO Sonde. On-thespot GPS coordinates and barometric pressure are viewed through the newest KorEXO software running on both laptops and tablets. The device is IP-67 rated and rugged enough to withstand any drops, drips, or dunks! E: firstname.lastname@example.org, Burlington, ON 60 | December 2017
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Confined Space Vertical Screen Oostburg’s Black River Falls facility is a lean operation, with limitations in space for screening technology and in the staff resources available to manage, maintain and report on the Village’s processes. Even though space was limited, Oostburg knew that putting a headworks screening solution in place would improve their operational efficiency. Oostburg found the perfect solution using the Huber Technology RoK4 confined space vertical screen. T: 704-949-1010 E: email@example.com W: www.huber-technology.com
Oil-Grit Separator The new Stormceptor EF (enhanced flow) is an oil-grit separator (OGS) that effectively targets sediment, free oils, gross pollutants, and other pollutants that attach to particles, such as nutrients and metals, at much higher flow rates than other OGS devices. Stormceptor EF’s independently tested, patent-pending treatment and scour prevention platform ensures pollutants are captured and contained during all rainfall events. T: 416-960-9900 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.imbriumsystems.com
The Jellyfish Filter is a stormwater quality treatment technology featuring high flow pretreatment and membrane filtration in a compact stand-alone system. It removes floatables, trash,
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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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PICA (Pipeline Inspection and Condition Analysis Corp), is currently performing an inspection of 6.5 km of 1,650 mm cement and steel cylinder lined, PCCP pipe. To test the resolution of PICA’s new in-line inspection tool, the customer embedded some small button magnets in the cement lining, and cemented over them so that PICA didn’t know they were there. The photo shows the pattern made by the magnets, and the resolution of the tool. It also shows that this customer has a great sense of humour. www.picacorp.com
SUEZ FINALIZES ACQUISITION OF GE WATER
In September, SUEZ, together with Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, completed the acquisition of GE Water & Process Technologies (GE Water) for $4.72 billion. Heiner Markhoff, former President and CEO of GE Water, will lead the new “Water Technologies & Solutions” business unit created in connection with the acquisition. This unit combines the former GE Water business with SUEZ's industrial service activities. www.suez.com
DESCHENES GROUP TO ACQUIRE CORIX WATER PRODUCTS
Deschenes Group Inc. (DGI) recently announced that it has entered into an
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
ES&E NEWS ES&E NEWS agreement to acquire Corix Water Products (CWP). The transaction, subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, is expected to be completed January 2018. CWP distributes products for waterworks, sewer and irrigation systems, with 36 locations across Canada and 12 locations in the U.S. Under the name of Corix Control Solutions, the company also provides measurement and control equipment to the oil, gas, municipal and industrial market sectors in Western Canada. DGI said the acquisition will add 51 locations to its network and 650 people to its team.
HEMMERA ENVIROCHEM ACQUIRED BY AUSENCO ENGINEERING
Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc. is acquiring Hemmera Envirochem (Hemmera), a Canadian environmental consultancy. Hemmera provides customized environmental and social sciences solutions to industry, First Nations, and government clients across Canada. They are recognized for expertise in site assessment and remediation, environmental planning and ecology, and community engagement and social sciences. Ausenco is a global diversified company providing consulting, project delivery and asset management solutions to the minerals and metals, oil & gas and industrial sectors. The company began in Brisbane, Australia in 1991, and now has 21 offices in 14 countries.
With the Promass Q, Endress+Hauser has forged a new approach for precisely measuring gaseous media. The innovative multi-frequency technology (MFT) for Coriolis flow measurements makes it possible to actively compensate for measurement errors caused by entrained gas trapped in the medium, all in real-time. Integrated diagnostics and Heartbeat technology allow verification of the sensors, measurement tubes and measurement electronics while the process is running. This guarantees maximum product and process safety.
Engineers Canada is the national organization of the provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and license the country's 290,000 members of the engineering profession. www.engineerscanada.ca
WE&RF AND ONTARIO WATERTAP ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP
The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) announced www.ca.endress.com a new partnership with the Ontario Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP) at the World Water-Tech ENGINEERS CANADA North America Summit in Toronto on November 3, 2017. The partnership is ISSUES CALL FOR AWARDS through the Leaders Innovation Forum NOMINATIONS Engineers Canada is looking for for Technology (LIFT) program. nominees for its annual Engineers CanThe goal is to formally acknowledge ada Awards. The organization is hoping the natural synergies between the two to attract a diverse pool of candidates for organizations, strengthen their relaeach category, reflecting the breadth of tionship, and promises that they will experience that people bring to the pro- work together to leverage resources to fession. The deadline for nominations is advance water innovation, including January 18, 2018. continued overleaf…
ENDRESS+HAUSER RECEIVES AWARD FOR PROMASS Q FLOW METER
Endress+Hauser has won the Swiss Technology Award in the Innovation Leaders category for its Promass Q flow meter. The Coriolis-based flow meter, developed especially for applications in the oil & gas and food & beverage industries, was cited for its outstanding measurement accuracy, even in difficult operating conditions. www.esemag.com
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CCPPA RELEASES ITS ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATION
The Canadian Concrete Pipe & Precast Association (CCPPA) has developed an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) that reveals the potential environmental impact of concrete-based infrastructure products. “Transparency is key,” states Andy Dutfield, current chair of CCPPA. “It really is a type of nutrition label for our customers and the general public who need to know the environmental impact of concrete pipe and related products made and available in Canada. It’s our goal as an association to further develop environmentally compatible and sustainable construction products for now and for future generations.” The declaration shows indicators including: global warming potential, eutrophication potential, total primary energy used, fresh water used, and more, associated with the production of concrete pipe, concrete box structures, and manholes/catch basins. For example, one metric tonne of concrete pipe consumes a weighted total average of 1,786 litres of fresh water. www.ccppa.ca
NEW STORMCEPTOR PRODUCTS ACHIEVE ETV
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64 | December 2017
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ES&E NEWS ES&E NEWS separator designed to protect waterways from stormwater and snowmelt pollution. It targets sediment (TSS), gross pollutants and other pollutants that attach to particles, such as nutrients and metals. Stormceptor EF’s independently tested, patent-pending treatment and scour prevention platform ensures pollutants are captured and contained during all rainfall events. www.imbriumsystems.com
To limit odour emissions, Orgaworld said the plant is kept under negative air pressure. The odour control system uses dual ammonia scrubbers, an air cooling heat exchanger system, a bio-scrubber and bio-filters. Air emissions from the facility are discharged into the natural environment via a stack that extends 60 metres above grade. According to the MOECC, there was a discharge of a foul odour from the facility on several occasions, from July 2014 until October 10, 2017, which adversely affected nearby residents. The MOECC said the incidents were referred to its Investigations and Enforcement branch, resulting in charges and nine convictions. The ministry also said it is taking strong actions aimed at reducing Orgaworld's odour emissions, including issuing an order that is currently requiring the company to operate at only 30% of its capacity. www.news.ontario.ca
NOVA SCOTIA CONTINUES ITS MERCURY DIVERSION PROGRAM
Since 2015, Efficiency One – an electricity demand side management LOVIBOND PROCESS supplier – has run a mercury diverTURBIDIMETERS NOW sion program on behalf of Nova Scotia AVAILABLE IN CANADA Power. Under this program, individuals ClearTech is the Canadian factory and companies can drop off products authorized service centre and stocking that contain mercury, such as compact distributor for Lovibond’s PVT Series fluorescent light bulbs, thermostats and of process turbidimeters, which are other items, for recycling or proper disdesigned to monitor the low levels of posal. According to Nova Scotia's enviturbidity found in drinking water. ronment department, nearly 20 kiloThe system is configurable to offer grams of mercury were diverted in 2016. operators a variety of options, including Under air quality regulations, this integrated flow indication and bi-di- program allows Nova Scotia Power to rectional Bluetooth communication earn credits for kilograms of mercury between the sensor and a mobile device. diverted. These help make up for past www.cleartech.ca emissions that were over the province’s
legislated 65-kilogram cap, which Nova Scotia Power had to make up for by the end of 2020. The arrangement has also helped prevent higher electricity rates. Nova Scotia Power no longer needs the program to make up for its emissions over the cap. Rather than see the program end entirely, the province will now allow Nova Scotia Power to bank credits from the mercury diversion program to apply against any future over-emissions until the end of 2024. Credits must be used by the end of 2029. The province's environment department said mercury emissions will continue to decrease in Nova Scotia. The limit will be lowered to 35 kilograms in 2020 and to 30 kilograms in 2030. www.novascotia.ca
MANITOBA ANNOUNCES EXPANDED FLOOD-RISK MAPPING PROJECT
Manitoba will be adding vital flood information to its flood mapping inventory for three of its priority watersheds in the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba basins. “Identifying the height and extent of a potential flood event is critical to support informed decisions and investments to reduce the impacts of flooding on communities,” said Manitoba's Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) remote sensing technology will be used to produce these new flood-risk maps. LiDAR uses laser technology to collect accurate, continuous elevation data, known as topographic data, over relatively large areas. The province has approximately 40,500 square kilometres of high altitude aerial LiDAR within its elevation library. continued overleaf…
COMPOSTING FACILITY FINED FOR DISCHARGING ODOUR
Orgaworld Canada Ltd. has been convicted of nine offences under the Environmental Protection Act and fined $900,000, plus a victim fine surcharge of $225,000. Orgaworld owns and operates a composting facility located in London, Ontario. www.esemag.com
December 2017 | 65
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COMPANY PAGE ACG Technology........................................67 Aerzen Canada..........................................31 Ainley Group.............................................51 Associated Engineering...........................52 Black & Veatch..........................................51 Blue-White.................................................11 Cancoppas.................................................29 Crane Pumps.............................................56 Denso ........................................................14 Endress + Hauser........................................5 Engineered Pump.....................................10 Envirocan .................................................67 Geneq........................................................27 Greyline Instruments...............................38 Halogen Valve Systems............................21 Hoskin Scientific.......................................17 Huber Technology....................................33 Hydro International.................................68 Imbrium Systems.......................................2 Markland Specialty Engineering.............21 Master Meter ..............................................3 McIntosh Perry .........................................53 MSU Mississauga........................................7 Parsons......................................................46 PICA...........................................................23 Pro Aqua......................................................9 Rittal Systems...........................................43 Smith & Loveless......................................19 Stantec......................................................53 Strata Drilling Group................................27 Thompson Pump......................................35 TRIECA.......................................................57 USF Fabrication........................................10 Vissers Sales..............................................15 Walkerton Clean Water Centre................41 Waterra.....................................13, 25, 37, 47
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An additional 29,185 square kilometres is being collected and will be added to the elevation library in 2018. This collectively represents 67% of southern Manitoba.
lated persons, as are the owners of rail and highway transporters in possession of 10,000 litres or more. To demonstrate preparedness, regulated persons are required to develop and test provincial www.news.gov.mb.ca spill contingency plans. A responsible person is someone who has possession, charge or control of a STEPHENFIELD WATER substance or thing when a spill of the substance or thing occurs or is at immiTREATMENT PLANT COMPLETED nent risk of occurring. Responsible perAHEAD OF SCHEDULE Completion of the Stephenfield sons will be required to meet enhanced Regional Water Treatment Plant expan- spill reporting requirements, carry out sion project, in southern Manitoba, was all the response actions specified in announced in October, approximately the Act as well as any additional steps two months ahead of schedule. required by a director, and, if directed to According to Infrastructure Canada, do so, develop and implement a recovery the expansion project involved building plan that addresses any damage done to a new water treatment facility complete the environment. The Ministry said that, to address sitwith a larger reservoir and membrane uations like the Nathan E. Stewart spill filtration equipment, which doubled the (off Bella Bella), where a product spilled plant's treatment capacity. from a marine vessel impacting seabeds The Stephenfield Regional Water and shoreline under provincial jurisdicTreatment Plant is run by the Pembina tion, B.C. is considering future regulaValley Water Co-Op, which is owned tions that could require full compensaby 14 municipal governments in Southtion for First Nation, community and ern Manitoba and operates three water treatment facilities supplying water to a provincial response and recovery efforts. population base of approximately 50,000 www2.gov.bc.ca people over 9,000 square kilometres. The governments of Canada and Manitoba each contributed up to $1 mil- WE&RF AND WRF TO MERGE lion to this project, while the Pembina The Water Environment & Reuse Valley Water Co-op provided the bal- Foundation (WE&RF) and Water ance of the $6.3 million total project cost. Research Foundation (WRF) have www.news.gov.mb.ca announced that their respective boards voted unanimously to integrate the two organizations into one research foundaBC ANNOUNCES NEW SPILL tion. As of January 1, 2018, the new organiRESPONSE REGULATIONS British Columbia has unveiled new zation will be called the Water Research regulations that require transporters Foundation and will be led by a single of liquid petroleum products to have board of directors. It will have approxiprovincial plans in place to manage a mately 1,200 subscribers, 2,300 research spill. They apply to pipelines, as well as studies, and a $700M portfolio. Accordrail and trucking operations transport- ing to the WRF, the main benefits of ing over 10,000 litres. Enhancements integration are to provide the water to the Environmental Management Act community with access to an expanded and these new regulations include new collection of water research, leverpreparedness, response and recovery age funding more successfully, share a requirements. greater knowledge base, and more effecRegulated persons have been identi- tively communications. fied as transporters of liquid petroleum www.werf.org, www.waterrf.org products. The owners of ministry regulated pipelines transporting any amount of liquid petroleum products are reguEnvironmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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