Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine (ESEMAG) | December 2018

Page 1





Designing resilient water supply infrastructure for the north


Surfactants help remediate a contaminated grain elevator site


Protecting concrete wastewater systems against corrosion


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December 2018 • Vol. 31 No. 6 • ISSN-0835-605X

COMING IN OUR FEBRUARY 2019 ISSUE This issue will offer our 40,000 readers across Canada a strong and diverse range of articles:




Annual Directory & Equipment Specifiers’ Guide – Consultants, Suppliers, Products & Services

FEATURES 6 10 17 18 20 22 24 26 27 28 32 66

Guest Comment by Gord Miller Assessing and designing resilient water supply infrastructure in the North EPCOR optimizing lead management fixes ahead of new drinking water guidelines Inspecting a critical 8.75 km long large-diameter wastewater forcemain on Vancouver Island Risk assessment projects of PFAS substances provide valuable insight Thermal regulation of stormwater ponds using HDPE balls Remote cellular pressure monitoring gives utility greater confidence in its water system Ontario’s upcoming standards will change the way stormwater is dealt with Hull continues upgrades to its water treatment plant Surfactant technology enhances remediation at contaminated grain elevator site Protecting concrete wastewater systems against microbial induced corrosion CEOs talk about growth opportunities for water reuse

EDITORIAL FOCUS Water and Wastewater Treatment in Cold Climates and Remote Communities

BONUS CONVENTION CIRCULATION AT: • Central Ontario Water Works Association • Americana 2019 • Alberta Water & Wastewater Operators Association • Manitoba Water & Wastewater Association • TRIECA Stormwater Conference

SPECIAL SECTIONS 35 36 39 41 42 44

CONSULTANTS’ FORUM How can consultants and municipalities work better on innovative solutions Why are consultants slow to embrace the future? How can consultants best share ideas to solve long-standing problems? Are we doing enough to mentor the next generation of engineers? How to implement a successful succession plan for small engineering firms Misconceptions environmental engineers have about the SR&ED tax-incentive program

47 48 51 52 55 56

OPERATORS’ FORUM New wastewater grinder unveiled at WEFTEC ’18 Biosolids centrifuge system saves plant more than $200k annually Positive displacement pump installed to solve biosolids transfer problems in St. Marys Biogas power system relies on thermal mass flow meters for optimal performance New technology provides full nitrogen removal in less than two hours Simultaneous removal of multiple chemical contaminants using biofiltration

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Letters to the Editor Environmental News Product Showcase

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Axing Environmental Commissioner’s office demonstrates subjugation of independent officers of the legislature


ike many jurisdictions with parliamenShould you be so naive as to believe that such tary traditions, the Legislature of Ontario interference or retribution would be neither appoints Legislative Officers (sometimes allowed or tolerated in Ontario, look no further called Parliamentary officers) to oversee than the current Environmental Commissionand review activities of government that warrant er’s September 25, 2018 Greenhouse Gas Progspecial concern. Their duties include regularly ress report (where she defended the merits of issuing public reports that critically evaluate cap-and-trade). government performance in specific areas. I also invite you to read the response letter The Officers are chosen by an all-party Comsent by the Minister of Environment Conservamittee and report directly to the Legislature tion and Parks. The Minister responded, in part, through the Speaker, not to the Premier and his/ “I want to respectfully advise that any suggestion her government. we should pursue policies that betray commitTradition and current legislation says they ments we made to the people is not well taken.” are appointed for specific terms and canThe veiled threat made two months ago, was not be removed during that time (unless they cloaked in the language of respect because of the can no longer do their job or have committed a protection of the independence that the Comwrong-doing serious enough to give the Legislamissioner enjoyed at the time. ture “cause.”) This inherent security of their posiMove ahead in time and read the sentence tions is necessary to protect the Officers from again, through the eyes of a Legislative Officer undue influence by the government they review, who can be summarily suspended because of the or from reprisal for revealing embarrassing opinion of the governing party, and the threat information in their reports. emerges with great clarity. Ontario has nine Legislative Officers and is Bill 57 masquerades as an economic efficiency intent on cutting that to six, by elimination of the initiative, while it is a vehicle to dismantle an Child Advocate, the French Language Services important parliamentary mechanism of governCommissioner and the Environmental Commis- ment accountability. It is a shiny new tool for sioner, through recently introduced Bill 57. the governing party to stifle the criticism of parBut Bill 57 goes much further. It fundamenliamentary watchdogs using intimidation and tally undermines the independence of Legislathreats. Is the Ontario public well-served by this tive Officers by allowing a party with a majority development – I think not. to suspend any Legislative Officer based merely on “the opinion the suspension is warranted.” Of Editor’s note: The 2017-2018 Environmental course, there is no precedent, no test or limitaCommissioner of Ontario’s office budget was less than $4 million, representing an extremely small tion to guide that opinion. percentage of the $141 billion Ontario provincial This power to arbitrarily suspend Officers means the end of the era of independent Officers budget for 2017. of the Legislature. Officers will now be “sitting ducks” to threats of retaliation by the governing party demanding a say in what the Officers reveal in their public reports to the Legislature. By failing to bend to the governing party’s wishes, Officers will risk their jobs, even though their jobs are explicitly to shine light on things gone wrong. And just to make sure the threat is clear, Bill 57 also removes the ability of eliminated Officers to seek compensation for their loss of income in the courts. 6  |  December 2018

Gord Miller served as Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner for three terms and four different premiers. He currently resides in North Bay, Ontario. Email: ecoguy@gmail.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine



TECHNICAL ADVISORY BOARD Archis Ambulkar, Jones and Henry Engineers, Ltd. Gary Burrows, City of London Patrick Coleman, Black & Veatch Bill De Angelis, P.Eng., MBA 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 steve@esemag.com. 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 A Supporting Publication of

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Microplastics Study Thank you for sharing the source of information for the article “Study Finds Greater Ratio of Microplastics Downstream of WWTPs” (ES&E October 2018). Municipal water works in Ontario are constantly watching for headlines such as these, which can raise not only awareness but also public concern. Too bad we couldn’t see headlines more like “there are no standard procedures for measuring microplastics, yet study finds greater ratio downstream of WWTPs”. They might not garner as much interest, but certainly would raise awareness of a more important issue, that being our inability to measure. The article sums up information in the research paper rather well, and with exception of the unsubstantiated link to land application of biosolids (“may include sewage sludge applied to agricultural land”) and possibly reference to possible sources, the study was interesting. While the report references the population equivalent, providing a better description of the industrial/ commercial/institutional/residential mix might shed some light on where utilities might better focus attention with pretreatment requirements. This may be more relevant in Canada, as the use of microbeads in cosmetics and household products was banned a number of years ago. Allen K. Lucas, P.Eng., FEC, CRM, Manager, Research & Projects, Utilities Kingston

able, due to its ability to achieve high removals of particles down to 150 µm”. While this statement is true, it is perhaps conservative. There is reliable evidence that stacked tray systems (such as the HeadCell®) can achieve high removal rates of particles as small as 75 µm. Most systems are designed to remove down to 106 µm. Secondly, they stated that multitray vortex systems require “up to 1 m of hydraulic head”. I appreciate that the authors may be considering a range of additional or contributory factors in their calculations, but in my experience these kinds of systems typically require no more than around 30 cm (1 ft) of hydraulic head at peak flow rates. Multi-tray vortex systems are a uniquely effective way of removing even very fine wastewater grit, so I hope that this additional information provides your readers with a more complete picture of their real-world performance. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to this article, and hope that my comments provide helpful additional context to what is a valuable and interesting piece. I look forward to reading further work from these authors. Elisebeth Haluch, Regional Sales Manager, Hydro International Letters and comments are welcome. Send them to: editor@esemag.com

Grit Removal My colleagues and I were impressed by the article “Implementing vortex grit removal the right way” (ES&E August 2018), and I commend the authors on writing such a comprehensive and insightful piece. Improving the ways in which we remove and deal with wastewater grit is an important issue, and shining a light on removal methods in the way that the authors have is extremely welcome. However, the authors made a couple of points that I feel would benefit from some additional context. Firstly, they stated that “a multitray vortex system would be preferEnvironmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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How to assess and improve critical water infrastructure in Canada’s North

Supplying drinking and wastewater treatment in remote communities such as Griese Fiord, Nunavut is particularly challenging.

By George W. Thorpe and Ken Johnson


nfrastructure and system health after severe disturbances was initially calculated by estimating and managing the risk. Design of infrastructure was limited by the risk focus. Several years ago, this evolved to “Design for Sustainability” and has now advanced into a more comprehensive “Design for Resilience”. Critical infrastructure (CI) includes processes, systems and services that could cause death, discomfort or destruction if even momentarily disrupted. If it is networked or interconnected, the impact on CI could be magnified. It is becoming increasingly important in Canada’s northern areas to assess and improve critical infrastructure resilience by developing a methodology for utilizing an advanced engineering design framework, as many factors there are different than in urban areas further south. It is not easy to identify infrastructure resilience until after a severe disturbance, when the full recovery time is recorded. Each system has a specific quantifiable value and quantifying these is key. 10  |  December 2018

A leader in resilience science, Dr. Slobodan P. Simonovic, has researched and advanced many facets of this complex subject. He recommends the move from focusing on disaster risk reduction strategies to focusing on building disaster resilience through effective adaptation actions. He and his colleagues have worked on the development of a systems approach to quantification of resilience that allows: • Capturing temporal and spatial dynamics of water management. • Better understanding of factors contributing to resilience. • More systematic assessment of various measures to increase resilience. Dr. Simonovic has also developed quantitative dynamic resilience measures, which have two main qualities: inherent (functions well during non-disaster periods) and adaptive (flexibility in response during disastrous events). Systems resilience, by definition, is the ability of an engineered system to provide required capability in the face of adversity. Resilience in the realm of systems engineering involves identifying the capabilities that are required of the system, adverse conditions under which the system is required to deliver those

capabilities, and the engineering design to ensure that the system can provide the required capabilities. NEED FOR RESILIENT DESIGN By employing a “Design for Resilience” methodology, infrastructure and systems can quickly return to near normal functionality in the event of severe disturbances. A wide range of shocks and stresses can impact CI. These events might include: damage; loss of power, water, human access, control of infrastructure due to severe rain, flooding, high winds, lightning, earthquakes, other natural disasters; or even cyber attacks. In the Arctic, there are additional issues with permafrost thaw, ground slumping, water shortages, distance between communities and communication challenges. For North of 60 degrees latitude, we must also design for longer term climatic influences, including sea level rise, floods, higher temperatures, severe storms, less permafrost, lower river levels, and lower stored water levels due to drought from a warming planet. “Design for Resilience” combines stakeholder interaction with various engineercontinued overleaf…

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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INFRASTRUCTURE ing skills, as well as disaster experience, risk management, systems design and strategic planning. A major factor is covering the extra capital cost for these sustainable improvements. Some are skeptical about the value of resilience. Can the infrastructure life cycle be extended when integrating higher cost factors such as artificial intelligence, increased design safety factors and system redundancies? “An Emergency Management Framework for Canada”, by Public Safety Canada, is a cohesive approach to emergency management across Canada. The document contains an excellent glossary and provides a common understanding of terminology. It also introduces the term “Hazardscape”, which is the cumulative emergency management environment, composed of all hazards, risks, vulnerabilities and capacities present in a given area. As reported by Ken Johnson in 2017: “In spite of this abundant resource, water can be a scarce commodity, particularly in Northern communities that require a clean source of water year-round. Winter can last eight to ten months of the year, and in winter, most of the surface water is frozen, with ice up to two metres thick covering it. The North is also a desert, with most regions receiving less than 250 millimetres of annual precipitation, most of it as snow. “Given these fundamental challenges, supply of community drinking water and wastewater treatment in Nunavut is particularly challenging, due to geographic isolation, an extremely cold climate, permafrost geology, extreme costs, limited level of services, and other unique northern community attributes.” Additional stressors are moving natural and human systems toward their tipping point and that may trigger extremely large responses. Polar amplification is the phenomenon that any change in the net radiation balance (for example, greenhouse intensification) tends to produce a larger change in temperature near the poles than the planetary average. Arctic warming is outpacing the rest of the world due to this. In 2016, for instance, worldwide temperatures were about 1.78oF above normal. Arctic temperatures were more than 3.5 oF above normal. One example of a tipping point in 12  |  December 2018

the North is the rising sea level due to polar ice and glacier melt. It is now at the point where salt water is reaching CI and water intakes during high tide. The high seawater level is also causing erosion of soil under waterfront buildings.

inevitable prospect of less snowfall. This snow is required to fill drinking water reservoirs each year when the summer melt occurs. Low water levels have been encountered in several storage reservoirs in recent years. Some reservoir catchment areas may PERMAFROST need to be expanded. It is clear that Another critical issue is permanent wastewater recycling would be a posimelting of the permafrost. The active tive step to reduce per capita water use. layer thickness is determined by prob- Another solution is the ancient method ing down with rods and the indication of harvesting ice from a frozen lake or is that it is steadily increasing. Soil which river and melting it in the water resersurrounds piles that support buildings voir during the summer. will lose its gripping effect as the melt goes deeper. With less frozen perma- OTHER FACTORS frost around the piles, building support is Earthquake activity is increasing in reduced and the structure settles. In the some parts of the world. The 1964 Great past, pilings were only sunk to a depth of Alaska Earthquake near Prince William 7 m or less and will soon be vulnerable. Sound was magnitude 9.2, which is the Modern pilings are now drilled down to second largest ever recorded. A 9.0 earth13 m or more, depending on the struc- quake hit the East Coast of the Kamchatka ture of the underlying permafrost. Peninsula, Russia in 1952. Several others The resilient design future may see over 8.0 have hit Alaska in recent years. deeper piles and could also have more The Yukon recorded a 6.0 earthquake in passive refrigerated piles to keep adja- 2014 and Nunavut had one in 2017. cent permafrost frozen year round. Another possibility is damage from Significant methane and some diseases a solar storm. These occur when the could be unlocked with mass permafrost sun emits huge bursts of energy in the melt. Wildfires can hasten the permafrost form of solar flares and what are known melting if the cover brush is burnt, which as “coronal mass ejections” – streams of exposes topsoil to the summer sun. charged plasma that travel at millions of kilometres an hour. These send a stream WATER AVAILABILITY of electrical charges and magnetic fields Along with the warmer climate is the continued overleaf… Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine



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INFRASTRUCTURE towards the Earth that can damage electronic systems and disrupt communications. Earth’s surrounding magnetosphere can only protect electrical and electronic systems to a minimal level. DEVELOPING THE DESIGN FOR RESILIENCE FRAMEWORK The most cost-effective manner to achieve infrastructure resilience is through an integrated set of engineering design guidelines based on collaborative stakeholder and engineering knowledge mobilization, available across many areas of expertise. The input of local stakeholders is an important part of the process. Four attributes that can provide a resilient system are: robustness, adaptability, integrity and tolerance. Adaptation is about planning and shifting our built environment and practices to account for current and anticipated effects. This is an extremely important aspect of resilience. Resilient infrastructure and systems will have reduced failure probabilities, consequences from failures, in terms of

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Figure 1. Dynamic framework for planning and implementing resilient infrastructure.©

lives lost, damage, and negative economic and social consequences, and reduced time to recovery (restoration of a specific system or set of systems to their “normal” level of functional performance). Resilience for both physical and social systems can be further defined as consisting of the following properties: • Robustness: strength, or the ability of elements, systems, and other measures

of analysis to withstand a given level of stress or demand without suffering degradation or loss of function. • Redundancy: the extent to which elements, systems, or other measures of analysis exist that are substitutable, i.e., capable of satisfying functional requirements in the event of disruption, degradation, or loss of functionality. • Resourcefulness: the capacity to iden-

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

tify problems, establish priorities, and mobilize resources when conditions exist that threaten to disrupt some element, system, or other measures of analysis. Resourcefulness can be further conceptualized as consisting of the ability to apply material (i.e., monetary, physical, technological and informational) and human resources in the process of recovery to meet established priorities and achieve goals. • Rapidity: the capacity to meet priorities and achieve goals in a timely manner in order to contain losses, recover functionality and avoid future disruption. Climate change risk assessment can be viewed as a valuable aspect of adapting and building resilience. This includes the following aspects: • Risk = (Vulnerability Rating) x (Hazard Rating) x (Exposure Rating) • Resilience = (Intrinsic Resilience) x (Hazard Rating) x (Exposure Rating) • Dynamic Resilience is the ability to resist the initial impact to a high degree and recover in the desired time. (Bruneau,

Michel et al.) • The Hyogo Framework Assessment (HFA) ranked risk of participating countries from five continents. This was replaced by the UN Sendai Framework Assessment (SFA) of resilience. • The Dependence Tree Analysis (DTA) method identifies the weight of relationships between several events. This is more accurate than the equally weighted indicators in the HFA method. • The Intrinsic Resilience Index (IR) uses the SFA score and modifies it using the DTA method. • The Bounce-Back Index (BBI) is the system’s capacity to adapt to its initial functional state. BBI is the combination of Resilience, Vulnerability and Exposure. Resilient infrastructure and systems will perform well under severe stress. There may be a short period of loss of some percentage of function, but this amount is acceptable because normal service will still continue. The performance curve then bottoms out and starts to recover in an orderly manner. Recov-

ery time to total restoration is also a calculation that is predetermined and must be reasonable. With resilient infrastructure and systems there is a response capacity which is the ability to resist stress, diagnose the status with smart predictive software, and repair or switch to redundant components. In contrast, when resilience is not designed and built in, performance most often goes close to zero percent after a severe stress and will take a significant amount of time to recover. People would then be without drinking water or electricity, for example, thus forced to fall back on traditional ways of supplying their own water and power. What is the best methodology for planning for resilience and then building resilience? Figure 1 shows a framework which starts with planning, i.e., determining current threats and hazards, characterizing and analyzing risk, until the resilience options are developed. The plan then needs to have the resilience actions priorcontinued overleaf…


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December 2018  |  15

Sustainable Ecosystems


Soil retaining system helps urban trees reach maturity

itized and implemented. Moving into the building phase, key is funding of these By Ericinvestment Keshavarzi activities, which is a proactive for harm reduction by tax payers. Detailed reen design for resilience infrastructure and then sustakes place, tainability followed bygoals construction are of and inmonitoringcreasing of these importance, improvementsand to learn from disruptive events. The infinite achieving them requires techloop of plan for resilience andinbuild for nical knowledge and training varied resilience can continue with new knowfields. Integration of soil and trees into ledge and improved methodology. urban areas substantially improves susA new National Standard of Canada tainability and helps alleviate some of our has been developed to assist northern most pressing ecological challenges. infrastructure with detailed specifications These include air and water quality, rising for design to withstand a changing climate. temperatures, flooding and erosion from The fiveevents. Northern Infrastructure daily first rainfall Standardization (NISI) OnstanThe West Don Initiative Lands, in Toronto, dards deal with drainage, permafrost tario, is a community that is people and fosnow load. Under development are sevcused, family friendly, environmentally eral more standards covering operations, sustainable and beautifully designed for maintenance, fire, high winds and living. It has a Stage 1 LEED ND erosion. GOLD These standards willthe start to prepare Canacertification under pilot program esdian infrastructure for an uncertain future. tablished by the U.S. Green Building Engineers Canada has developed, Council. under direction of the Public InfraOnethe notable sustainable component, structure Engineering Vulnerability Comutilized in the design of the area’s streets, mittee, theretaining Engineering Protocol forSilva Infrais a soil system called structure Vulnerability Assessment and Cells™. Typical urban trees in the city Adaptation to a Changing Climate. This core die after approximately seven years. protocol isSilva a step-by-step However, Cells help methodology extend their of risk assessment and optional engineerlife spans, thus promoting the growth of ing analysis for evaluating the impact of mature street trees. changing climate on infrastructure. Although the City of Toronto had previously used Silva Cells as part of a CONCLUSION stormwater management pilot program in AsQueensway, the impactstheir of climate change on The use as part of site


With less frozen permafrost around the piles, building support is reduced and the structure settles. In the past, pilings were Cells only sunk to a depth of 7 m or less and will soon be vulnerable. Installation of Silva in Mill Street.

development is new. In fact, the West Don the North areare increasing Lands streets the first in in afrequency Toronto and severity, we must confront the sysnew subdivision to be designed with this climate reality with maximum speed tem installed under parking lay-bys and and collaboration. We need to accelsidewalks. erate andthe promote resilience. Millprogress Street was first subdivision The design for resilience methodology street in Toronto to be designed to include is enoughsystem. to allow theoretthisadvanced soil retaining As athe lead ical foundation for understanding best engineering consultant, R.V.Anderson practice. It will continue to evolve as Associates coordinated all plans and spec-it is refined with by adapting and applying new ifications the landscape architect. scientific practices and knowledge. About Silva Cells To achieve critical infraSilva Cells northern are a plastic/fiberglass structure resilience goals, experimentastructure of columns and beams that suption, iterative learning and discovery by port paving above un-compacted planting

soil. The structure has 92% void space stakeholders required. of and is a stableissurface forDevelopment the installation “Implementation Roadmaps” will assist of vehicle loaded-pavements. design teams in their work. Promoting, When properly installed, they can teaching and implementing the “Design achieve an AASHTO H-20 load rating. for Resilience” framework become Canadian Highway Bridgeshould Design Code part of can common education loading also beengineering achieved through apand practices. propriate design. This is the required load rating for structures such as underground George W. Thorpe, P.Eng.,inisareas with of trafvaults, covers and grates Bi Pure Water (Canada) Inc. Email: lots. fic including sidewalks and parking georget@bipurewater.com. Ken Johnson, The cell structure transfers the force to a P.Eng., is with AECOM. Email: base layer below the structure. ken.johnson1@aecom.com Soil within the cells remains at low (References available request.)ideal compactionare rates, therebyoncreating



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EPCOR optimizing lead management fixes ahead of new drinking water guidelines


s Health Canada’s new guidelines come into effect next year for lead in drinking water, Edmonton-based water utility EPCOR is eyeing fixes to assist older homes with lead service lines, while it optimizes its own lead management program. Right now, the allowable amount of lead per litre of water is 10 micrograms (0.01 mg/L). The 2019 guidelines will cap that at five micrograms or 0.005 mg/L. Additionally, the new guidelines will insist samples be taken at the tap. One of the ideas EPCOR is currently testing is whether adding a corrosion inhibitor will actively stop lead leaching from pipes or fixtures. Corrosion can be caused by several factors, including type of materials used, age of the piping and fittings, stagnation time of the water in pipes, and water quality. Overall, EPCOR officials have stated in media interviews that some 13% of the city’s homes may not meet the new federal lead guidelines for drinking water. More specifically, there are a small number of Edmonton homes (about 4,000) that have lead water service lines on the utility side. The majority of these were built before the early 1950s, when lead was one of the options homebuilders had when choosing a material for service lines. Today, the preferred materials are copper and plastic. Lead is a naturally occurring metal, and was previously used in many applications, but is now a known health risk, particularly for children under the age of six and pregnant women. According to Health Canada’s research, residential water is free of lead coming out of treatment plants. However, it is “usually found in drinking water as a result of leaching from distribution and plumbing system components. Historically, lead has been used extensively in service lines, solders and fittings, making its presence in drinking water more likely in older homes and neighbourhoods.” According to EPCOR, its recent testwww.esemag.com @ESEMAG

According to Health Canada, simple actions to reduce exposure to lead from drinking water include running the tap until it’s cold before drinking or cooking, and inspecting and cleaning aerators or screens at the tap. Photo credit: jivko, AdobeStock

ing has shown that even newer homes have the potential to exceed the new proposed guideline as in-house plumbing, such as old solder, brass plumbing fixtures and lead deposits in the plumbing system may also be a source of lead. EPCOR officials also suggested running water through the tap before drinking it if it’s been stagnant, such as after a vacation or even in the morning, in older homes. Two to three minutes should clear any lead that may have leached. EPCOR has posted detailed information on its website for homeowners to address lead. To proactively tackle the issue, the utility also sends annual letters to homes, where the utility’s portion of the service line is lead; offers complimentary water sampling to test lead levels at the tap; offers free one-time, pointof-use filters certified to remove lead; educates customers and provides advice on maintaining good water quality; and replaces the utility’s portion of lead service lines. EPCOR suggests homeowners have

their water tested for lead and recommends the following procedures. 1. Do not use water from hot taps for drinking, eating, cooking or baking. Only consume water from cold taps, then heat it up if needed. 2. Run cold water taps for at least three minutes any time they haven't used the water for six or more hours, if drinking or cooking with it. 3. Consider using a water filter that is NSF-53 Certified for lead reduction. Home improvement stores sell these filters, and they can be tap-mounted units, under-the-counter units, fridge water dispenser units or a filtered water pitcher. For more information, visit


December 2018  |  17


High tides among the obstacles faced during Vancouver Island force main inspection By Mark Fodchuk and Justin Hebner


ometimes the catalyst for a pipeline inspection can come from an unexpected source. In this instance, the story began when it was noticed that a sewer pipe was exposed because of erosion during low tide along the beach. That observation set the wheels in motion for an eventual inspection of a critical force main that services approximately 41,000 residents in both the Town of Comox and the City of Courtenay on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The pipeline was installed in the early 1980s and consists of an 8.75 km large-diameter force main that connects Courtenay, Comox and K’ómoks First Nation Community to the Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre. This includes a 5-km portion buried in an “intertidal” foreshore section (area between high and low tide). Over time, a section of beach eroded and exposed the line to coastal wave action (high tide hides the pipe). The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) took steps to restore the beach section where pipeline had been exposed, and began developing plans to relocate the exposed force main off the foreshore. A new concept was developed that would utilize a portion of the existing force main within the foreshore, but remove from service the exposed portion. Due to its sensitive location and the environmental consequences of a potential failure, the CVRD elected to complete a highly specialized pipe condition assessment on the entire length of the line, to better understand remaining service life and overall condition. The project timeline was tight as CVRD needed quick results to proceed with corrective action immediately should it be required. The inspected portion of the pipeline was built of two different materials, prestressed concrete cylinder pipe and barwrapped pipe, and three different pipe 18  |  December 2018

(Top) Inspection crews had to work quickly and deal with the rising tide. (Left) Retrieving the PipeDiver inspection system. (Above) Analyzing data gathered by the SmartBall.

diameters: 450 mm, 750 mm and 820 mm. As well, the critical line could not be taken out of service. Associated Engineering, CVRD’s consultant, assisted in developing the request for proposal process. Pure Technologies, part of Xylem Inc., was selected to conduct the condition assessment. This included an electromagnetic inspection, structural curves, leak and gas pocket detection, and transient pressure monitoring. Pure Technologies proposed using its acoustic-based SmartBall tool for the leak and gas pocket detection, and its free-swimming PipeDiver inspection

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platform for the electromagnetic inspection of the line. Transient pressure monitors were installed at the Courtney Pump Station. For more than four weeks, recorded pressure data was used to understand the operational and surge pressures within the force main and their impact on structural integrity. While transient pressure data was being collected, Pure Technologies deployed SmartBall, a multi-sensor tool used to detect and locate the acoustic signature related to leaks and gas pockets in pressurized pipelines. The tool has the abil-

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ity to inspect long distances in a single run, and, while it is deployed, the pipeline remains in service, limiting disruption to customers. Pure Technologies also deployed the PipeDiver platform, a free-swimming condition assessment tool that collects electromagnetic data about the pipe wall. It also operates while the pipeline remains in service. The tool travels with the flow and utilizes flexible petals to navigate plug valves, tees and bends in the pipeline. TIGHT TIME FRAME FOR TOOL INSERTION Due to the critical nature of the line, and a small capacity wet well at the Courtney Pump Station, inspection teams had only 20 minutes to insert the inspection tools. The small capacity wet well also meant that boosting flows was limited. If pumped too hard, the wet well would draw down and empty, and, if pumped too slow, the PipeDiver tool could get lodged at the inline plug valves. The solution was to first use the SmartBall inspection tool to test flows in order to optimize the inspection approach for the PipeDiver run. While the low flow rate slowed the SmartBall inspection, a forecast of rain moved up the PipeDiver run a day ahead in order to take advantage of the extra flows expected. The tool also had to navigate a series of 90-degree bends and a plug valve with a small port width in the pump station pipe. Tracking the tools along the beach was fraught with potential problems. Inspection crews needed to monitor tidal forecasts in order to access the tracking sensors during the tide ebb, which meant a short window to retrieve sensor data. In spite of the challenges and risk, the four-day inspection proved successful and went off without a hitch.

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INSPECTION RESULTS Based on the inspection data, Pure Technologies’ analysts identified zero leaks, one acoustic anomaly associated with trapped gas, five acoustic anomalies characteristic of transient gas, and two acoustic anomalies associated with entrained gas. Gas pockets are of significant concern in force mains, as concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas within wastewater may be subsequently converted to sulfuric acid by bacteria in the slime layer on the pipe wall. This may cause corrosion and eventual breakdown of the pipe’s exposed surface. The results also showed no indication of electromagnetic distress on the inspected pipes, which was good news in spite of the corrosive salt water environment. “This project had a lot of challenges, especially since the asset was so critical to the region. However, Pure Technologies was able to help us understand the true condition of the line without requiring a shutdown of the critical force main, and has given us defensible information to make informed decisions in the future,” says Kris La Rose, Senior Manager Water/ Wastewater Services, Comox Valley Regional District. Mark Fodchuk and Justin Hebner are with Pure Technologies, a Xylem brand. For more information, email: mark.fodchuk@puretechltd.com

www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

December 2018  |  19

REMEDIATION ronment and Climate Change Canada. Risk assessments for humans and the environment completed according to these guidance documents share several common elements, including a formulation of the problem, assessments of exposure and of toxicity, and a characterization of risk. A public communication strategy, forming part of risk management planning, is also developed in tandem with these other steps. PFAS risk assessment projects in Australia by GHD, which was founded in 1928, provide valuable insight into common risk assessment elements to consider when planning such projects in Canada.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a component of many firefighting foams used by the military, airport authorities, and local fire and rescue agencies. Photo credit: wellphoto, AdobeStock

Lessons fROM PFAS Risk Assessment Projects By the GHD PFAS Working Group


er- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) encompass a family of thousands of man-made chemicals that contain a fluorinated carbon backbone. PFAS came into common use in the 1950s and '60s and have been used in hundreds of industrial processes and consumer products. They are considered useful because they are resistant to heat, water and oil. PFAS have been used in non-stick cookware, grease-resistant paper, fast food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, water-resistant clothing, cleaning products and personal care products. PFAS are also used in industrial processes and are a component of many of the firefighting foams used by the military, airport authorities, and local fire and rescue agencies. To date, use of these foams has most often been implicated when PFAS is found in groundwater, or the environment. At the 2018 Real Property Institute of Canada (RPIC) Federal Contaminated 20  |  December 2018

Sites National Workshop (FCSNW) conference in Toronto, Ontario, GHD risk assessor Ian Collins presented a paper on the topic, Risk Assessment and Management of PFAS: Australian Lessons for Canadian Projects. WHAT IS RISK ASSESSMENT? Human health and ecological risk assessment evaluates whether a chemical in the environment may pose potential health risks to people and the environment, respectively. In this context, a potential health risk is identified when exposure to a chemical is high enough relative to the negative effects of the chemical that health consequences may occur. In Canada, human health and ecological risk assessment for federal contaminated lands is conducted under the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP). Under this, guidance on human health risk assessment is provided by Health Canada, and guidance on ecological risk assessment is provided by Envi-

SCIENCE WILL ADVANCE WHEN FORMULATING THE PROBLEM At the problem formulation stage of a risk assessment, risk assessors will identify the chemicals to be investigated (sources), who might be exposed to them (receptors), and how those exposures might occur (pathways). During this process, risk assessors compare the amounts of the chemicals on a contaminated site to levels that government agencies indicate are acceptable (Tier 1 values). Those chemicals under investigation that are of greatest concern, i.e., those that exceed the Tier 1 criteria, are subjected to a quantitative site-specific risk assessment. Australian entities have been proactive in their approach to investigate sites potentially impacted by PFAS, and these investigations have been undertaken around the country since at least 2013. Globally, and in Australia specifically, the acceptable levels for PFAS have changed very quickly over the past two years as new scientific research about the toxicity of PFAS has become available. Results of Tier 1 screening in 2017 may have indicated that a contaminated site in Australia was not a location of potential concern. However, when compared against the most recent criteria released in 2018, a site-specific risk assessment may be warranted, given the increased conservatism of the new screening levels. Risk assessments that use these levels for decision making may, therefore, need to be re-evaluated as the ever-advancing pace of research provides new toxicity information on PFAS. In a similar way, as the measure-

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ment technologies used by laboratories continue to improve, PFAS are being detected in environmental samples at lower and lower concentrations. A risk assessor who concludes that PFAS are not a concern because they were not detected in an environmental sample may not adequately characterize risk due to the reduced limits of reporting (LOR) and reduced Tier 1 screening criteria currently available. Being prepared for these eventualities is essential when conducting risk assessments for PFAS. Acknowledging the pace of change in available toxicity information and discussing this issue as an uncertainty are musts for completing risk assessment reports. GHD has learned that changes in toxicity information, lab measurement technologies and acceptable levels can understandably promote mistrust, anger and anxiety in the affected community. Being open about these issues when talking with the public, is also essential.

investigating how potential sample contamination may occur by using several types of blank samples in the QA/QC program. Once amounts of the chemicals of concern have been measured in the environment, risk assessors may use mathematical models to determine how the chemicals might move through that environment. For example, such a model might provide an estimate of how much of a chemical would be found in a fish that swims in contaminated water, or how much would be found in a bird that eats that fish. Currently, though, there is a lack of understanding of how PFAS behave in a food chain, although scientists have measured PFAS in birds, mammals and fish. The existing models are thus not reliable, and for risk assessment purposes, it is recommended to measure PFAS in living tissues, rather than trying to use an uncertain and unreliable model.

CONCLUSION “Ultimately, the rapid pace of change in science, technology and government regulations, along with transparency about the challenges at hand, is what makes the risk assessment and management of PFAS an evolving challenge. GHD’s continued approach is to work diligently with the community, government agencies and industry to communicate the challenges of PFAS and to provide risk assessments that can be reliably used to make decisions moving forward,” concluded Collins. For more information, email: ian.collins@ghd.com.

MEASURE ACCURATELY AND DON’T MODEL WHEN ASSESSING EXPOSURE At this stage of a risk assessment project, a risk assessor estimates the magnitude of each exposure to the chemicals. Human exposures and ecological exposures are estimated in the same way, accounting for time spent in the contaminated area, eating crops or garden produce from the area, drinking water, contact with soil, inhaling air, etc. In order to make good estimates of exposure, accurate and precise measurements of the amounts of the chemicals in the environment are needed. Because PFAS are present in many consumer goods, from clothes to food wrappers, as well as some types of sampling equipment, PFAS cross-contamination during sampling or laboratory analyses can be an issue. A robust Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) program is an important part of the risk assessment process so the results are reliable and repeatable. For example, GHD has adopted sampling guidelines from Australian governments, such as making sure to wash new clothes at least six times before wearing them to sample PFAS at a job site. In addition, GHD recommends thoroughly www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

December 2018  |  21


Thermal regulation of stormwater ponds using HDPE balls By Rohit Sati and Amy Woods


common challenge with municipal stormwater management ponds relates to the effect of solar heating of the receiving watercourse. Some species of aquatic life are very sensitive to temperature changes, and even a shift in water temperature by a few degrees can impact their health and survival. Conventional approaches to thermal mitigation that include deeper ponds or bottom draw outlets have been used with some success. However, the City of Brampton and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) wanted to develop alternatives where traditional approaches are not desirable or feasible. The alternative needed to achieve the desired thermal mitigation benefit, while also being reasonably inexpensive to install and maintain over the life of the pond. In recent years, parts of eastern Canada have experienced prolonged and intense heat waves. One meteorologist commented that “the summer of 2018 had the hottest stretch of weather in more than a decade, and record-high temperatures have been shattered.” The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry currently requests that temperatures from stormwater management facilities not exceed 24oC for the protection of endangered and sensitive aquatic species. With increasingly warmer summers, water within stormwater facilities will see a further rise in temperature. Measures will be required to mitigate this. Brampton and the TRCA, the project partners, were interested in a low impact economical solution for thermal mitigation. They were also interested in a system that was fast and easy to install, and would not require frequent and costly maintenance. After some research and discussions with Layfield Group Ltd. and others, they opted to use shade balls (otherwise known as bird balls) as cover. Shade balls are fairly easy to install, can be left in over the winter and require 22  |  December 2018

A total of approximately 200,000 200 mm white HDPE shade balls were deployed.

no maintenance. During a storm event, the balls automatically adjust to fluctuating water levels and allow maintenance equipment through the water during pond cleanup. Shade balls have been used to reduce evaporation and slow light-driven chemical reactions in reservoirs, but are more commonly used in applications where a pond is suspected to contain toxic water not ideal for bird habitat. These balls also act as a deterrent to birds landing on the pond surface. A total of approximately 200,000 200 mm white HDPE shade balls were deployed on the surface of a stormwater pond chosen for a pilot study. In order to keep them away from the shore where residents could access them, the balls were installed away from the shore and outlet location, which can be accessed from the shore during dry weather. The containment section outline has a floating turbidity curtain anchored

to the bottom of the pond. A boat was used to deploy the turbidity curtains and anchors to hold the curtain in place. After the curtain was deployed and anchored, balls were poured into the containment section where they kept spreading until they covered approximately 75% of the pond surface area. The white balls reduce solar heating of the pond by reflecting most of the light back into the environment, while allowing the pond to "breathe" through the spaces between the balls. Results of this pilot study will be monitored for the next couple of years in relation to a control pond of similar size and configuration without balls. Rohit Sati and Amy Woods are with Layfield Group. Email: amy.woods@layfieldgroup.com

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Remote cellular pressure monitoring system gives utility greater confidence By Chris Polk


ost water utilities monitor their physical plants – tanks, pump stations, treatment plants, etc. – but there is much more data that can be captured in a distribution system. Unless they use remote cellular pressure sensors, water personnel have to travel to sites to manually gather pressure information with gauges or other short time span recording devices. This methodology not only takes valuable time, but only provides a snapshot of what is occurring in the system. Initially, one water utility, with close to 800 km of water mains, 26,000 metered connections and 26 full-time employees, wanted to record water pressures without having to visit locations routinely to check these using static water pressure gauges on hydrants and faucets. “Our plan was to install two Mueller Hydro-Guard® remote pressure monitoring sensors as a trial. One sensor was strategically placed to monitor a specific area’s pressure; the second was placed in one of our pressure zones to see what data it would actually provide us,” said

The Mueller IWT interface allows operators to see data uploaded from the sensors.

Jeff Elrod, water distribution manager. One advantage of the sensors is that they can be installed anywhere. The first sensor was installed directly into the water main, using a corporation stop fitting in an area where they did not have a vacant meter setter. The second sen-

sor was installed in a high priority area that conveniently had a vacant customer connection available. Flow tests were then performed in areas monitored by the sensors to simulate different levels of water loss due to a variety of water main break scenarios.

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The recordings during these simulations were studied to determine when a text alert from the sensors was sent to management. Then, the severity of the issue could be determined based on the pressure drop. Weekly analysis was performed to study the regular pressure fluctuations during the 24-hour daily use pattern to determine normal and abnormal fluctuations. After testing and review of the normal pressures in the selected distribution areas, high and low alert points were set to allow the sensors to alert water distribution operators to system anomalies that needed to be reviewed. The utility’s new sensors have provided alerts, notifying personnel of water pressure drops in the system that should not occur if the system is operating as planned. These pressure drops coincide with major water usage and/or loss. “Several times, alerts received by the sensors have allowed us to put employees in the field to find leaks and turn off water, prior to customers notifying us,” said Elrod. This advance notice can save large volumes of treated water by getting staff on the scene to stop a water main break as soon as it is detected, and potentially saving further property damage in cases where the leak is in the pavement. There is always the possibility of catastrophic water loss such as a large water main break at night that would go unnoticed by the public, or a SCADA low water tank level alarm failure that is supposed to notify the utility in ample time. In these scenarios, thousands of litres of water have already been lost. A pressure sensor alarm alerting personnel of a significant pressure drop allows emergency crews to address the problem. “I was pleasantly surprised with all the analytics that were captured, even within the first month of monitoring. We used this information to plan for system maintenance for an issue we could see developing. Without this data we would have waited for a system event for the issue to be dealt with.” said Elrod. The sensors can be scheduled to upload data to a website multiple times a day and will automatically upload data when an issue is detected. They are a great way to monitor system components such www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

tunate to have better capabilities, often have areas where a SCADA sensor is not feasible due to a lack of power, communication lines, or terrain obstacles. Cellular technology bridges the gap to monitor water pressures in areas where SCADA monitoring is not possible. “Having the confidence that we will be aware of major system issues quicker is the most significant benefit. The analytics that are continuously provided are A typical watermain access point. also extremely valuable for planning and maintenance purposes. A proactive as pressure reducing valves that regulate water management style is needed for pressure zones or district metered areas. the aging distribution systems of today’s “In systems where pressures are greatly infrastructure, and these types of sensors influenced by mechanisms such as pres- provide the ability to be more proactive sure reducing valves, I see a critical need and less reactive,” explained Elrod. for a remote method to monitor downstream water pressures better than what Chris Polk is with Mueller Water Products. For more information, visit we have,” said Elrod. There are other sensor technologies www.muellercompany.com/en-ca found in traditional SCADA systems that also have these capabilities, but some small utilities still have limited SCADA implementations. Even those utilities for-

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December 2018  |  25

STORMWATER front of their house. The City of Ottawa has an abundance of information on its website to help individuals with many types of issues, from enquiries to service requests and even complaints. Also in place are response teams and professionals to quickly deal with on-site issues. The Province and municipalities will have to educate the public to the LID development concept in the years ahead.

A low impact development stormwater structure at Wateridge Village, a subdivision in Ottawa.

Ontario’s upcoming standards will change the way stormwater is dealt with By William Curry


ld school engineering design was to get rid of stormwater as soon as possible by conveying it to a receiving water course. Low-impact development (LID) is a term used in referring to a way of managing stormwater runoff via planning and engineering as part of green infrastructure. The LID approach implements engineered hydrologic controls in watersheds via storing, infiltrating, filtering, evaporating, and attenuating or detaining runoff close to its source. Some refer to this approach as Green Infrastructure. The Province of Ontario is working towards providing minimum LID standards that will change the way stormwater is dealt with in the future. Imagine a newly developed subdivision that uses every type of green infrastructure available. These include bioswales, subsurface infiltration systems, rain gardens, rain barrels, permeable pavement and green roofs, to name a few. The immediate benefit is environmental protection, with secondary benefits including smaller storm pipes and smaller stormwater ponds. LID can also 26  |  December 2018

improve groundwater quality and quantity. We are seeing an increased intensity and frequency of larger rainstorm events within a single year. These events can be isolated and localized within a municipality, but they seem to be occurring with increased frequency. With changing design concepts such as LID within municipalities, new problems arise. How do we maintain green infrastructure and educate municipal staff and the public about it? Residents may not see the increase in these storms, but may only see that their properties or their street are not draining as well as they remember. They may think that the catch basins in the roadway must be blocked, as they are also not draining as quickly as they used to. So, the perception is that the stormwater infrastructure is not working. However, the reality is that it has reached capacity and the road network is now conveying the excess water. Some residents have asked why we don’t build larger storm sewers to drain water away immediately on the street in

ARE MUNICIPALITIES PREPARED TO MAINTAIN LID AS AN OWNER? Municipalities will have to adapt to the new LID standards by becoming proactive rather than reactive. Appropriate resources will need to be in place to provide the required maintenance for LID assets. Permeable concrete pavers as sidewalks along an entire street may only require mechanical sweeping and pressure washing annually. Sub-surface infiltration pipes may require regular cleaning as needed. Bioswales within a municipal right-of-way will need regular maintenance. It may mean regular staff inspection, removing road and bioswale debris that previously would have been captured in city catch basins and removal of degraded plants and vegetation that is generating foul smells and impacting residents. Time will tell what requirements will be needed. LID components should be treated as an asset. Municipalities in general will have to adapt to the maintenance needs of each specific type of asset as an owner. If a city-owned bioswale is filled with leaves or decaying vegetation and street debris, it is likely not functioning as designed and more importantly may be a public eyesore. Municipal staff will have to become familiar with the types of ongoing issues and expected resident complaints. Municipalities may have hurdles to overcome at first with emerging low impact development green infrastructure, whether it is public concern or staffing requirements. William Curry, C.E.T., is with Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development, City of Ottawa. Email: william.curry@ottawa.ca

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Modernization continues at the Hull water treatment plant


he Hull Water Treatment Plant, which was built in 1976, is one of four in Quebec's Gatineau region, and has been undergoing a $68-million modernization for more than a year now. Continuing upgrades to the facility meant a boil water advisory for about 70,000 residents, this past October. This was a precautionary measure, while a new watermain was connected to the Hull drinking water plant. City officials indicate that the watermain installation will accommodate a new high-pressure pumping well to ensure a redundant pumping well for the future. While the work was underway, drinking water was supplied through a bypass line and the

Montagne reservoir was filled on day two of the project. As soon as the test results showed that the water was safe to consume, Gatineau notified the public. Residents were able to sign up for a text message or email notification. The advisory, asked residents to boil water for one minute before consumption. It impacted the entire Hull area, with the exception of the Plateau district, which receives water from the Aylmer plant. City officials asked affected residents to reduce water use while the work was underway. They noted that some residents might find yellowish or brownish discoloration in their water. Once the preventative boil water advisory was lifted, city officials asked that cold water taps be left to run for one minute, or until the water gets cold, before it was used. The remainder of the upgrades for the Hull water treatment plant should be completed by next summer. The project aims to expand and modernize the Hull drinking water plant by upgrading filtration, decantation and pumping systems to redundancy criteria. The plant’s daily filtration capacity will increase from 73,000 m3 to 113,000 m3. Crews will also work to upgrade the building to current fire safety and occupational safety standards, while introducing some new water treatment technology and a second disinfection barrier to improve water quality.

The Hull Water Treatment Plant, which was built in 1976, is one of four in the Gatineau region, and has been undergoing a $68-million modernization for more than a year now.  Photo credit: City of Gatineau

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December 2018  |  27


Constituents of concern (COC) concentrations in groundwater plume before and after Ivey-sol application.

Surfactant technology enhances remediation at contaminated grain elevator site By Eric Dulle and George ‘Bud’ Ivey


rain elevators are an enduring symbol of agricultural tradition. Unfortunately, they present environmental problems, due to a legacy of the agricultural industry’s use of synthetic chemicals to help grow, store, and transport food. Since the 1970s, for example, grain producers have used fumigants containing chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride (CT) to protect stored grains from fungus and rot. Fumigants were typically stored in above-ground storage tanks at grain elevator sites, ready for use as needed. As professionals in the remediation industry well know, where there are storage tanks, there are leaks, and where there are leaks, there is the potential for soil and groundwater contamination. Such contamination is the reality at most, if not all, grain elevator sites. During the 1970s and 1980s, the owner/operator of a still-active grain elevator facility had regularly applied 80/20 grain fumigant (i.e., 80% CT and 20% carbon disulfide), as was common during that era. The fumigant compound was stored in an above-ground storage tank on the property before its removal in the 1990s. The site entered into a voluntary cleanup and property redevelopment program in 2000, following soil and groundwater detection of fumigant constituents 28  |  December 2018

of concern (COCs). These were primarily CT, but also carbon disulfide, chloroform, and methylene chloride. Groundwater impacts extended about 122 m down gradient from the site (the “source area”). To remediate the site, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, the consulting engineer for the project, recommended the installation of a dualphase extraction (DPE) system. It has been operating since 2007. Remediation options at the site were significantly limited due to access constraints associated with ongoing facility operations, a steep grade change from the access point to the source area, active mainline railroad tracks, and other utilities and structures throughout the impacted area. Nonetheless, the remediation team was able to successfully and safely install the DPE system, including eight extraction wells, within the source area. Over the period from 2007 to 2014, the system achieved significant contaminant mass reduction, removing over 4,130 kg of COCs in the vapour and dissolved phases. About 28.5 million litres of groundwater were recovered and treated during this time period. Evaluations of DPE performance in 2014 found that, while the system had succeeded in removing a very large amount of mass and significantly

reducing the lateral extent of the source area, a subset of source-area extraction wells continued to exhibit elevated (i.e., source-level) COC concentrations in groundwater. The system had dramatically reduced source mass and prevented migration of the plume as intended, but a remnant, highly concentrated source still required remediation. As a result, an additional investigation was conducted using high-resolution site characterization techniques to assess the nature and extent of residual COC mass in the source area. The investigation results indicated significant sorbed-phase COC mass, generally limited to the shallow, sandy interval of an area bound by the DPE wells exhibiting elevated COC concentrations. Historical light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL), heavily impacted with the site COCs, was also identified. Burns & McDonnell used the data generated by the investigation to evaluate alternatives for expediting the source-area remediation and maximizing the effectiveness of the DPE system. During the course of evaluating alternatives, a presentation at a remediation industry conference, describing a project with similar site conditions, led Burns & McDonnell to believe that surfactant-enhanced extraction (SEE) would be a viable option. The company

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also had a previous relationship with surfactant technology developer Ivey International Inc. (Ivey) in a separate petroleum remediation project. Based on these factors, Burns & McDonnell decided to conduct a SEE pilot study in 2015 using the Ivey-sol 106 (Cl) surfactant formulation, which was specially designed to treat chlorinated solvents at the site. If the pilot study yielded positive results, a fullscale project would follow. Ivey-sol SEE surfactant products consist of several patented and/or proprietary non-ionic formulations that can selectively desorb sorbed COCs and render NAPLs miscible in the aqueous phase. Surfactants have a structure with a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail; the hydrophobic tail attracts and attaches to the organic portion of CT and similar molecules, while the hydrophilic head attracts to groundwater, thereby making the CT molecules miscible. Ivey-sol can do this without emulsifying the COCs, thereby increasing their



Ivey-sol desorption mechanism operating on soil surfaces or LNAPL layers, making COCs more available for remediation.

availability for remediation, while not impacting the performance of wastewater treatment systems. Ivey’s products accomplish three goals. Firstly, surfactants overcome the “limitation” challenges associated with contaminant sorption and solubility. Secondly,

they lower the relative surface tension of water, thereby improving its wetting and associated hydraulic conductivity properties. Thirdly, through their selective dissolving of COCs below the critical micelle concentration, the surfaccontinued overleaf…

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REMEDIATION tants broaden the range of contaminants that can be treated and enhance physical, biological, and chemical remediation, in situ and ex situ. According to Ivey, their surfactant products are non-toxic and biodegradable, so they do not persist in the environment after application, which can be verified with Ivey-sol field test kits and by three USEPA laboratory test methods. Indeed, because they are non-toxic to bacteria, they can also give a boost to natural attenuation. They have some disadvantages that careful application can overcome. For example, their effectiveness may be diminished if the mixtures freeze during storage, and their deployment may suppress volatile organic compounds, making them less detectable by standard, handheld vapour meters. For the pilot study at the grain elevator site, which was conducted in April and May of 2015, Ivey-sol surfactant technology was deployed in single-well “push-pull” tests and multiwell “point-to-point” tests at two DPE system locations and two groundwater monitoring wells. Burns & McDonnell was able to use the existing DPE and well infrastructure to implement the surfactant injection and product recovery, thus minimizing intrusive activities and cost. Groundwater was encountered at approximately 2.1 m – 2.4 m below ground surface. The lithology within the targeted source zone generally consisted of well-sorted, loose, silty sand to depths ranging from 4 m – 5.2 m below ground


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surface, underlain by a silty clay. Ivey have found that their surfactant products are effective in site conditions with more varied and complex structure, including course-grained, finegrained, and higher silt and clay-content soils. For this pilot, Ivey-sol surfactant was mixed with water in a 1% – 2% solution, which was gravity-fed into two monitoring wells and two DPE wells to achieve a targeted injection diffusion radius and then allowed to remain in the formation for a prescribed residence time. Overall, concentrations of ground- water and soil vapour recovered by the DPE system, immediately following surfactant flushing, demonstrated increases of up to four times (>400%) more than the average concentrations observed under normal DPE operational conditions. Based on these positive results, Burns & McDonnell elected to conduct a full-scale Ivey-sol SEE test from August through November of 2016 to address remaining COC mass within the source zone. For the full-scale test, 1,045 litres of Ivey-sol 106 surfactant were mixed with potable water and a conservative tracer for observation of the solution’s distribution. Three additional monitoring wells were installed to facilitate surfactant delivery to the northern portion of the source area. Five Ivey-sol SEE phases were conducted to target the portion of the area with the highest COC concentrations, applying point-to-point surfactant delivery to the core source area within the shallow saturated zone, followed by groundwater extraction from the wells that were initially used for surfactant injection. Burns & McDonnell monitored recovery progress via real-time tracer testing and field surfactant test procedures developed by Ivey. A key result of the full-scale activities was a dramatic increase in COC mass recovery rates. During the short SEE implementation and 12 month monitoring period, the surfactant-enhanced DPE system recovered more than 25% of the total mass that the DPE system had recovered over the previous 10 years. In addition, recovered groundwater concentrations up to 30,000 micrograms per liter (µg/L), more than five times (>500%) the highest concentrations ever observed during DPE operation, were observed during the SEE monitoring period. Overall, the full-scale SEE test achieved 98% CT reduction in the source area’s shallow monitoring wells and 92% reduction in source area DPE wells. Moreover, although not the primary objective of remediation activities, significant reductions in LNAPL thicknesses were observed. The DPE remediation system, enhanced with Ivey-sol 106 (Cl) formulation, successfully recovered the LNAPL product as a serendipitous benefit. The remediation team estimates that the full-scale SEE system saved about a decade in active remediation time. With the cost of operating and maintaining the DPE system totaling up to $100,000 annually, the potential cost and time savings involved in deploying surfactant technology to complement DPE technology and recover more highly concentrated COC mass are readily apparent.

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Eric Dulle is with Burns & McDonnell. Email: edulle@burnsmcd.com George “Bud” Ivey is with Ivey International. Email: budivey@iveyinternational.com 30  |  December 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


May 7 – 9, 2019 | Vaughan, Ontario



For more information visit: www.canect.net Stay up to date with new regulations and best practices and connect with Canada’s leading environmental professionals.

Preliminary CANECT Courses • Brownfields – Regulation & Compliance • Dealing with Industrial Air Emissions • Environmental Due Diligence for Supervisors and Managers

• Environmental Management Systems: Practical Synergies to Maximize Efficiencies

• Impact Assessments, Approvals and Permitting: Navigating the New Rules

• Environmental Regulation & Compliance Essentials

• Spills and Environmental Emergencies • Water & Wastewater: Regulation and Compliance

CANECT Chairs Jill Baker

Brad Bergeron

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any wastewater collection and treatment structures are in need of repair or replacement because they have lost structural integrity due to microbial induced corrosion (MIC) and other forms of physical and chemical attack. The breakdown of wastewater infrastructure allows increased infiltration of runoff and groundwater and allows the leakage of wastewater into the environment along deteriorated conveyance systems and via overflows at treatment facilities. Microbial induced corrosion is a complex bacterial process involving sulfate-reducing bacteria that generate hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) gas in the waste flow of sewer systems. This gas is released from the wastewater flow in areas of increased turbulence such as manholes, lift stations and head works. It then dissolves in the moisture and slime layer coating the concrete walls of these structures and is metabolized by Thiobacillus bacteria into sulfuric acid. Different species of Thiobacillus produce progressively stronger sulfuric acid that eventually can destroy unprotected concrete.

Xypex Megamix II with Bio-San repair mortar combines crystalline waterproofing with bioactive mineral solids.

resistance of concrete to acids and other forms of chemical attack. Diffusion or penetration of aggressive substances into concrete through interconnected capillary pores and cracks can lead to degradation and deterioration of the structure. Depending on the nature of the diffusive substances, they can attack concrete or its steel reinforcement. By blocking the pores and healing cracks, the mass-transfer rate into the concrete can be decreased, thereby enhancing the concrete’s durability and the longevity of the structure’s service life. Traditional means for improving the durability of concrete are through reduction of the water/cement ratio and by increasing the moist curing time. Another way to increase concrete durability is through the partial replacement of Portland cement with supplementary cementitious materials such as fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag and silica fume.

CONCRETE PROTECTION METHODS With so much replacement and repair work on the books, owners and specifiers are challenged to find ways to prevent deterioration from reoccurring, and to protect against MIC using modern construction methods. While there are many approaches to providing MIC protection, there are limitations for each that need to be considered. Solutions for the repair or prevention of MIC damage include repair mortars, corrosion-resistant coatings and inserts, cured-in-place pipe relining, antimicrobial concrete additives and waste stream chemical treatments. CRYSTALLINE WATERPROOFING Another time proven method of increasENHANCING CONCRETE DURABILITY ing the durability of concrete structures is There are various ways to increase the through the use of crystalline waterproof32  |  December 2018

ing technology. This technology can be used as an admixture to protect new concrete, as a cementitious coating for repairs, or as a protective preemptive treatment. Crystalline waterproofing technology reduces permeability and increases durability of concrete by filling and plugging pores, capillaries and micro-cracks with a non-soluble, resistant crystalline formation. This form of waterproofing technology reacts with the byproducts of cement hydration to plug the pores, capillary tracts and micro-cracks with a crystalline formation. Infiltration and diffusion of liquids is significantly reduced, which protects concrete from the effects of acid, sulfate and chloride attack. PROTECTING CAST-IN-PLACE CONCRETE One private ski club is expanding its facilities with the construction of 13 new, larger cabins as well as a 43-unit employee village. Wastewater treatment for the expansion project will be provided by a municipal wastewater plant by means of a gravity sewer extension to the facility. It includes a 200 mm PVC collection line that will gravity feed to a 4.2 m

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Crystalline formation completely fills concrete pores (left). Hydrostatic testing of the lift station was successful on first attempt (right).

high lift station buried below grade. The design for the new sewer lift station includes protection from MIC via crystalline waterproofing technology from Xypex Chemical Corp. “When you are designing a lift station for sewage the key question is how can we do this so that it will hopefully last forever, particu-

larly knowing that it will be cast-in-place concrete that will be subject to a hostile H₂S environment and varying pH levels,” notes design engineer Paul Rutledge, of Sopris Engineering LLC. The cast-in-place lift station required approximately 32 m3 of ready-mix concrete. The concrete was treated with

Xypex Bio-San C500 admixture, a powdered product that combines crystalline waterproofing with a mineral-based antimicrobial that kills the Thiobacillus group of bacteria species responsible for MIC. The antimicrobial component in Bio-San works indefinitely to destroy harmful baccontinued overleaf…



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WASTEWATER lift station to the extent that up to 50 mm of concrete could be easily scraped off, particularly in the wet well. According to project manager Adam Teunissen, of JVA, Inc., “the original structure is less than 10 years old, yet it is experiencing a very rapid corrosion rate. We have recommended that the surface damage within the lift station be repaired with Xypex Megamix II with Bio-San. It is a new repair mortar designed specifically for situations where MIC is involved. We also plan to LONG-LASTING REPAIRS POSSIBLE One city, with a population of about reduce levels of H₂S gas in the system by 8,000 residents, has a wastewater system introducing biocide at different points composed of 90 km of collection lines in the wastewater stream.” Part of the post-repair monitoring ranging in size from 150 mm to 600 mm, three lift stations, one main pumping program will be to mount treated and untreated concrete cylinders inside the station and treatment lagoons. The city completed a new main lift wet well area and check them periodstation in early 2011 to replace a preex- ically to measure the effectiveness of isting lift station that had reached the Megamix II with Bio-San. Xypex Megamix II with Bio-San repair end of its useful life. Unfortunately, the new lift station has experienced acceler- mortar combines crystalline waterproofated corrosion due to high levels of H₂S ing with bioactive mineral solids. The gas. MIC has eroded the interior of the product can be used to resurface and

teria at the cellular level. “Before we knew about concrete admixtures like Xypex,” Rutledge continues, “we would have specified an epoxy or some other coating for a lift station or manhole where we needed extra protection. With Xypex waterproofing with antimicrobial, the protection becomes an inherent part of the structure. It not only heals cracks and stops leakage, it inhibits slime growth.”

waterproof deteriorated concrete, providing resistance to acids, sulfates and chlorides, as well as limit MIC development. This will not be the first time that the product was evaluated in such a “hot” H₂S environment. In an independent study of the antimicrobial effect of Xypex Bio-San C500, the active ingredient was added at 1% by weight of Portland cement mortar and compared to untreated control samples. Sample cylinders were suspended in a wastewater facility that was chosen due to elevated levels of H₂S (about 50 ppm) over a period of 10 years. Exposure trials showed that treated samples had nine times less concrete mass loss compared to the untreated control samples. Bacterial concentration on the treated samples was minimal, even after 10 years of exposure. Dave Ross is with Xypex Chemical Corp. For more information, visit www.xypex.com


34  |  December 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Improving the consultant’s role in water sector innovation

tions to address water sector challenges. This “win at home” strategy works to accelerate the growth of Ontario’s water sector companies, while providing value to local municipal end-users. Ultimately, the goal is to support Ontario’s water sector in becoming a global showcase. In creatively solving its own challenges, Ontario positions itself to be a vibrant and competitive market leader.

senior staff at medium and large Ontario municipalities and consulting engineering firms to better understand what prevents them from implementing innovative solutions, and to discuss their ideas to address these barriers. These interviews have started the conversation around change. Interviewees comprise the newly formed Ontario Large Municipal Water Sector Change Leaders Group. Going forward, WaterTAP’s Lab will HOW THE LAB WORKS work with this group to identify key The Lab uses an “innovation lab” model barriers in Ontario, and, most imporBy Lynne Maclennan, to identify and test potential solutions to tantly, use the innovation lab approach WaterTAP Ontario address or eliminate barriers to the adop- to identify, develop and test solutions to tion of innovation. It encourages major address or eliminate them. ore and more, Canadian munic- transitional change, and the “lab” aspect Together, the municipal and consultipalities are seeking innovative refers to the experimental nature of the ing engineer change leaders will scope and conduct pilot studies, and form a solutions to address infrastruc- approach. Since the Lab is introducing new ways plan to scale the successful pilots with ture needs gaps and create affordable, future-ready water, wastewater and of knowing and doing, this approach a view to encouraging province-wide allows change leaders (i.e., experienced change that results in a more efficient stormwater systems. Of critical importance to achieving stakeholders from the community) to and effective sector. By working with this consolidated, best-fit solutions is the complex rela- develop, test and scale practical system tionship between municipalities and changes. Before trying to implement professional group, WaterTAP aims to the consulting engineering firms they changes, the Lab team ensures that it has encourage the adoption of homegrown hire. To explore and address how these the best system insight possible, stake- water, wastewater and stormwater techgroups think about incorporating inno- holder participation and buy-in, and has nologies in Ontario, which will help vation and innovative solutions, Water- identified the leverage points, or oppor- these companies grow and export their TAP’s Change Leaders Lab is inviting tunities, for these changes to occur. expertise. them to work together. The goal of the Lab is to foster an BRINGING TOGETHER THE Lynne Maclennan is Change Leaders Lab Practice Lead innovation-friendly Ontario water sec- CHANGE LEADERS tor that more readily creates, tests and Over the summer and fall, the Lab at WaterTAP Ontario. Email: fully implements the best available solu- conducted interviews with experienced, lynne.maclennan@watertapontario.com


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December 2018  |  35


Why are consultants slow to embrace the future? By Patrick Coleman, Black & Veatch Canada


illiam Gibson, an American-Canadian speculative fiction writer, said: “The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed.” This axiom is true for environmental problems and their solutions. We know that problems have roots in past decisions, may already be evident elsewhere in the world, or be emerging unnoticed to disrupt our lives. We also know that the solution to these problems may also be in the past, elsewhere, or still emerging. The risk is that we are unaware of our problems, so we do not seek their solution. We need to wake up and create our future on our terms before events impose a future on us we do not want. In the 1970s, professors Botho Bonke and Bernd Diering promoted a two-stage activated sludge process – The Adsorption-Bio-Oxidation-Treatment (AB-Process). Engineers built A-B plants, including the Strass wastewater treatment plant in Austria. The first stage is a high rate activated sludge process, which replaces primary treatment, and captures organic matter by bio-flocculation and adsorption. The process fell out of favour when these plants had to denitrify, as well as nitrify. The A-B plants dosed methanol to drive denitrification, because the first stage removed too much carbon. Engineers switched to single stage processes that used carbon in the raw sewage to drive denitrification. The mention of the A-B process disappeared from most textbooks, until the Strass plant achieved energy neutrality. Innovations, such as Anammox-based processes, improved energy recovery, and return activated sludge fermentation disrupted our views on two-stage plants. Newer technologies such as the Veolia Bioactiflo, the Evoqua Captivator, and Dr. Bernhard Wett’s Triple-A settler, use some of the same concepts used in the A-B process. I met a wastewater innovator in the United Kingdom, who regularly read old wastewater journals. He told me they contained ideas that failed because they were ahead of their time, but whose time has now come. We can easily forget that the seeds of the future are often in the past. We can become biased against technology by a bad experience with an earlier manifestation. The industry learns from its mistakes if we let it. The current trajectory is set by past decisions. We cannot alter this trajectory, unless we understand the past. When 36  |  December 2018

it comes to past solutions that failed but have been re-engineered, we need to give them a second chance. IS THE FUTURE SOMEWHERE ELSE? In 1995, Odd Egil Solheim, an operator in Norway, decided to pressure cook his sludge before feeding it to anaerobic digesters. The Norwegian regulatory environment allowed him to do this without zapping his zeal with regulatory red tape. Thus, the Cambi Thermal Hydrolysis process was born. In 2000, my company was bidding on the Dublin Bay project that would serve 1.6 million people. We had planned for eight large anaerobic digesters, but Cambi told us we only needed three. We took the risk, and I slept very badly for months. However, once commissioned and with a few more innovations made, the process performed as promised. By 2011, there were over 20 Cambi plants built, but not one in North America. Today, Cambi has 91 plants, of which only nine are in the Americas. Other technologies follow a similar pattern, such as the 54 Nereda granular activated sludge plants in the world, of which one is in the United States. The delay entering the North American market may be due to the way projects are developed and approved. Innovators seek out markets that entertain new ideas, are not hindered by regulators, share risks, and are not litigious. If the future is elsewhere, why is it not here? Is it because we do not know about it, we do not need it, or we do not want the hassle of doing something new? The path of least resistance is often the path of least design cost and regulatory delay. We cannot afford to lock ourselves in a mindset that something is not possible, even though there were operating facilities elsewhere in the world or even, western Canada. If the future is here, why is it not in Canada? THE FUTURE IS EMERGING AND MAY BE DISRUPTIVE The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty adopted in 1992 by 192 nations. The purpose of the treaty is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human interference with the earth’s climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a United Nations body that provides the world with an objective, scientific view of climate change and its political and economic impacts. They do not make policy. The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The IPCC (the Scientists) produce reports that support the UNFCCC’s (the Policymakers) work. Thousands of scientists and other experts contribute on a voluntary basis to writing and reviewing reports, which are then reviewed by governments. IPCC reports to the UNFCCC include a Summary for Policymakers, which is subject to line-by-line approval by the Policymakers. The UNFCCC (the Policymakers) asked the IPCC (the Scientists) in 2016 to prepare a report that would estimate what continued overleaf…

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


the impact would be if the global temperature increased to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The global temperature rise passed 1.0°C in 2017. The IPCC submitted their report, and the member countries including Canada and the United States edited (and in some cases toned down) the Summary for Policymakers. When I read the toned-down report and finally understood what it was saying, I felt the ice cracking beneath me. The back story to this report is that the 1.5°C target is not achievable without some form of industrial-scale carbon dioxide removal and a disruptive change in the world’s economy. Failure to meet this target means our grandchildren will be toppling our statues in our parks because we left them with a legacy of suffering and division. In one part of the report is a statement that we have 12 years to move emerging carbon capture technology to full-scale operation. For comparison, the estimated timeline for the Upper York Sewage Solutions project from inception to completion is now 22 years. The future is emerging, perhaps faster than we can cope with it.

design guidelines is wise. However, public infrastructure debt is rising, and there is a need to do things differently. Just because it is cheaper for us to design what we designed before, does not mean it is the best solution for our clients. We need to be able to move fast to mitigate climate change, prevent Great Lakes ecology deterioration, and address public needs. Our methods for approving projects are robust, but it takes two to three times longer than in other parts of the world. We live with the danger that the approved technological solution is past its “best by date” by the time the project is built. Placing our two notebooks side by side, we need to ask five questions: 1. Are we able to seize an opportunity before it disappears? These opportunities may be funding sources, cross-department partnerships or testing of new technology. Is it that we cannot change direction or is it that we have too many bureaucratic barriers to overcome? 2. Have we erred too much on the side of penalizing failure that we cannot reward innovation? 3. Does the style of our project delivery discourage cooperation and innovation? CHARLES DARWIN AND HIS TWO NOTEBOOKS 4. How difficult is it for us to do something different within Charles Darwin kept two notebooks. In one, he recorded all the plant fence line? Has our “inside the fence line” regulahis observations that supported his theory of evolution. In the tory approach outlived its usefulness? Alternatively, has this second, he recorded any observation that did not support his approach protected the public health more effectively than theory. He did this because he was afraid that, if he came up approaches taken in other provinces? with the theory, he would naturally gravitate towards observa- 5. Can we make decisions? Can we make urgent decisions? tions that confirmed his hypothesis and ignore those that did The disruption that climate change may place us under requires not. That, he argued, would be bad science. Let us do the same. fast decision making and a larger appetite for taking on risk. We can argue that not using failed or out of favour technoloLike Darwin, we need to keep two notebooks and keep chalgies from the past is prudent. Engineers serve their clients best lenging the way we do business and protect our earth. The when they take the time to understand why a technology fell out future is here; we do not want to watch it pass us by. of favour and to listen why it should be given a second chance. We can also argue that not being on the “bleeding edge” is Patrick Coleman, PhD, P.Eng., is with Black & Veatch Canada. responsible engineering and that sticking to what is in the Email: colemanpf@bv.com

Knowledge. Expertise. Resources. Engineering the future.


38  |  December 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


How can consultants better share ideas with clients?

ufacturing as an engineer and joined Pinchin as an environmental consultant. Up until then, my view of manufacturing was based on what I knew – relatively large plants suited for industrial gases, pulp and paper, and specialty chemicals. The plants I knew best were part of large North American or global businesses, that were well equipped with the infrastructure required to navigate regulations, ensure compliance and justify upgrades to technology. They housed an abundance of talent, available to netBy Linda Drisdelle, work and collaborate in order to solve Pinchin Ltd. problems and generate ideas. At the time, it did not occur to me onsultants are in a unique position that over 80% of Ontario’s manufacturto connect with all sectors of the ing base and a large portion of Canaeconomy. Being vigilant in notic- da’s manufacturing base were small to ing trends and differences among medium sized businesses that did not the sectors can provide great value to have the luxury of such rich supporting our clients and provide insights they structures and networks. Since joining may need to solve large or persistent Pinchin, I have learned a lot about these problems in the sectors they know best. manufacturers and have come to underJust over four years ago, I left man- stand the challenges they face by not


having the same level of support available to larger counterparts. I have come to learn how my staff play a valuable role as consultants in bridging those gaps and providing the advice they need. Association conferences are an important part of industry, as they provide the opportunity for participants to come together and solve problems at a sector level. They are usually very well attended and the subject matter interesting. For those of us with an interest in networking, they provide a great way to learn what is on the minds of our clients and to understand emerging trends. Industrial participants rarely navigate away from forums of small, medium and large manufacturers. As a result, their list of problems, solutions and view of the world tends to solidify over the same range of participants, conversations and ideas. They are great at identifying stateof-the-art trends, technologies and policies relating to any one industry or seccontinued overleaf…

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December 2018  |  39


tor. However, the world is much larger than that and there are ideas being generated in far wider circles which are worthy of thought and consideration. In Canada, industry is known for under-investing in talent, strategy and technology relative to their peers in other countries. It is one of the reasons Canadian entrepreneurs fail to grow large companies and instead get bought out and merge with larger or existing companies, which are very often from other countries. Imagine Canada’s small to medium sized business leaders networking at business conferences learning the advantages of business plans sized for global markets. They learn where the talent to generate and execute those plans can be found. Imagine leaders of small to medium sized businesses becoming determined to integrate Canada’s artificial intelligence and other technologies into their industry. Imagine thinking outside the box and identifying how even one of these ideas could be a game changer for the man-

ufacturing processes they represent. Imagine going to a conference hosted by the post-secondary sector or health care sector and learning how sectors outside industry are embracing a future low carbon economy. Is industry thinking about a low carbon economy and how it would unfold for them? And, if not, why not? What would it look like? This is where consultants can provide assistance. We have the opportunity to transcend sectors and participate in all these conferences and discussions. Consultants can network and meet all sorts of people. Canada is rich with talent and change is everywhere. Recently, I have learned a lot more about new financing trends. Experts in this field are active more than ever with innovations for business in relation to green bonds, which are financial instruments of interest to investors looking to support projects that improve the environment. They have the expertise to justify projects with longer pay back peri-

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ods than are of typical interest to industry managers. However, they often lack the ability to know where the projects are. Similarly, industry has a backlog of ideas and projects that could save energy and carbon emissions, but either lack the capital to do them all, or are unable to generate the returns required by their management team. Canada is known, in part, for its cleantech abilities and the rate its entrepreneurs generate technological advancements. Consultants know the environmental problems that need fixing and cleantech innovators need to see industry and these environmental problems they face as their clients. Their technologies will be better engineered and more easily accepted with this approach. Besides, engaging government as a client for the purposes of showcasing or demonstrating the viability of technological advancements is much less satisfying than solving an industrial-wide problem. In Ontario, industry is paying heavily for electricity, in part due to its oversupply of clean electricity relative to its demand, which causes instability of the electric grid. The hydrogen industry, for example, can solve this by utilizing the surplus electricity and generating clean fuel for automobiles. Consultants can help connect the dots and help clients navigate the connections they need to solve problems. They can advise clients of trends, conferences and thought-leaders in opposing sectors to shake things up and apply solutions from one sector in a whole new way to another. They can challenge thought-leaders and have them understand their real clients and help improve and expedite the adoption of new ideas and technologies. Linda Drisdelle, P.Eng., M.Eng., MBA, FEC, is with Pinchin Ltd. Email: ldrisdelle@pinchin.com

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40  |  December 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Mentoring the next generation – are government agencies and municipalities doing enough? By Tom Williams, XCG Consulting Ltd.


ne of the last rooms in our house that truly needed an upgrade was the "kids’" bathroom. At the beginning of the family DIY project I enlisted the assistance of my fifteen-year old son to help. I assumed the role of supervisor and delegated the responsibility for most of the plumbing and general labour to him. We worked well together and in the final stage of the project, I asked him to ensure that the toilet seal was properly positioned. For anyone who has replaced a toilet before, you only get one shot at this, or the seal is compromised and you have to start again. The responsibility to connect all the plumbing and secure the toilet in place was entirely his. He knew that if he didn’t get it right, he’d be expected to do it all over again. The ceremonial first flush worked perfectly and there were no leaks. The bathroom was complete and he could take credit for a job well done. The look of pride and accomplishment on his face was a moment I will never forget. This made me reflect on what I enjoy the most about my role as president of XCG, and that is mentoring the smart young engineering and science professionals that we employ. But I don’t see that happening in government regulatory agencies or municipalities. A 2015 Engineers Canada report looked

“What I enjoy the most about my role as president of XCG is mentoring the smart young engineering and science professionals that we employ.” says Williams (left).

at the current supply and demand needs for engineers and projects through to the year 2025. It predicts there will be more than 100,000 engineering job openings in Canada between 2015 and 2025, as older engineers retire and the economy continues to grow. The report concluded that Canada is facing a serious skills gap, as senior engineers leave the workforce and their experience is lost because of a shortage of graduating and early career engineering professionals. Because of this gap, many young professionals could be filling positions that have greater responsibility, despite not necessarily having the experience or knowledge they need to manage these effectively. I routinely meet colleagues from other

It’s our duty as senior engineers, in both the private and public sectors, to help the next generation succeed. www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

consulting and engineering firms across Canada who bring their young engineers to technical conferences and seminars and show them the ropes. But I rarely, if ever, see government regulatory agencies or municipalities bring their junior staff to these events and learning opportunities. Yes, there are budget constraints and in some cases expenditure freezes on many of these agencies and municipalities. But, in order to fill the skills gap in Canada, we need to mentor the young professionals in those organizations as well. It’s our duty as senior engineers, in both the private and public sectors, to help the next generation succeed. All employers are obliged to provide the proper training and mentoring for more senior and technical roles as these young professionals progress in their careers. So why does it seem that private sector companies are the only ones doing it? Tom Williams, P.Eng., is President of XCG Consulting Ltd. Email: tom.williams@xcg.com December 2018  |  41


How to implement a successful succession plan for small firms

By Alexander R. Keen, the Altech Group, and Brian Bobbie, Char Technologies Ltd.


he Canadian environmental consulting market is alive with large engineering firms with over 5,000 staff that seem to keep getting larger (i.e., GHD, Stantec, Wood, Golder, etc.) and numerous smaller engineering and science firms, both new and established. By nature, the consulting engineering and science business has few barriers to entry. New firms often start up when highly experienced senior staff leave larger firms, then incorporate and grow organically themselves. Often, their firm too is acquired by a larger one. The cycle repeats itself constantly. For small engineering business owners, planning for corporate succession is a vital but often overlooked process. This is because we get busy taking on challenging projects and are constantly adding value for clients as we grow our consulting practices, add staff, add services lines, and even expand geographically. Every business owner knows at some point he/she will need an exit strategy, and that folding up tent on one’s successful life’s work is never the preferred option. The recent acquisition of a small firm, the Altech Group, by a dynamic publicly-traded corporation, Char Technologies Ltd., may provide some insight for other business owners planning to embark on a similar path of business succession. SUCCESSION OPTIONS There are a myriad of succession options for small firms. These include handing down to a family member or a 42  |  December 2018

fellow senior consultant, assisting with an employee-led buyout, retiring and holding ownership, or merging with a similar or complementary firm. When owners start firms, they obviously don’t plan for the exit. But it’s amazing how quickly time passes, so starting early at looking at your options is better than later. Only once you identify a preferred option, can you position your firm effectively for that option. FINDING A SUITOR Altech has been in business since 1986, and is a trusted provider of environmental compliance and technology applications engineering for industry. Founders, Alex and Nonie Keen, knew that this specific market was underserved, and that staff was valued by them and clients. So, business continuance was the obvious choice. In the absence of an employee buyout, they set about positioning the company optimally for a merge by finding a like-minded firm. There are plenty of sage mergers and acquisition (M&A) books with advice on financial positioning of your firm. They work. How we operate our small businesses financially long-term may not match what suitors are looking for in the immediate term. One of the keys is knowing your own strengths and weaknesses – not any easy task for owners and senior managers looking from within. Altech worked on strengthening its strengths and weakening its weaknesses, and honing its key performance indicators over the course of a few years. These included balance sheets, earnings, amounts due to owners, credit rating, repeat client base, etc. During this time, clients continued to be well served and staff and their families were happy as well. Finding an M&A partner is actually not a difficult task. Finding the right one, though, is the challenge. In Altech’s case, cultural fit for staff and the preservation of the business model were two key fac-

tors identified. Price came a distant third. CHAR COMES TO THE TABLE One’s network of contacts is extensive when in business for over 30 years. Mining your contacts within venture capital firms, with industry associations, and even with acquaintances, are all good starting places. Some larger engineering firms are known to be looking for acquisitions and are often receptive to answering the phone. Note that the “who-called-whom-first” chronology can often impact discussions going forward. Altech had several M&A discussions with other firms over the years, with activity increasing recently as the firm became more active in finding a fit. Depending on the level of advancement of discussions, you should be prepared to invest significant time for those discussions and the needed data sharing. Financials should only be shared, of course, with a good non-disclosure agreement in place. The publicly-traded Char Technologies came to Altech because of the strong technology inclination of its custom solutions division (Altech Technology Systems Inc., “ATS”), coupled with the solid earnings and capabilities of the affiliated engineering consulting firm (Altech Environmental Consulting Ltd.). Char is rapidly expanding its speciality technology and product offerings and was outsourcing the needed engineering capability. The M&A fit offered by the experience and patents within ATS, together with obtaining the in-house environmental engineering capability of Altech Consulting, made perfect sense. Few acquisition targets had the same valuable mix and were ready for succession. CLIENT AND STAFF TRANSITIONS A cultural fit for the staff was one of the key criteria for Altech of finding the right corporate buyer. The intellectual property and success of any small engineering firm rests in its people. Many

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

small firms have been acquired by large ones, where staff members become cogs of a larger wheel. In fact, many of Altech’s valued staff come from larger firms, but prefer the feeling of family and of having input into their direction and their workplace. CHAR’s entrepreneurial culture is a strong fit for Altech’s staff members, and vice versa. From CHAR’s perspective, continuance of the business as a going concern and of maintaining the relationships forged with clients, were key success factors for the merge. There is often a concern that retiring principals will cause the business value to deflate. On the other hand, if a small firm can demonstrate the “flywheel” effect – that all staff members are the main source of those trusted client relationships and ongoing sales – then shareholder confidence and long-term corporate value remains high. CHAR noted the flywheel at Altech and assisted management in providing a retention incentive to staff, to

help ensure that transitional confidence. CLOSING THE DEAL After sharing a non-disclosure agreement and assessing financial, client and services information, CHAR provided its letter of interest to Altech for an M&A. Then, after the deeper, bilateral due diligence process confirmed the cultural, market, services and financial fits, a purchase and sale agreement was reviewed and executed. The entire process happened between July and December of 2017, with the closing date of January 1, 2018 – a typical timeframe for an acquisition of this type.

The CHAR group of companies (www. chartechnologies.com) is now expanding its operations in London and Hamilton, Ontario, and in Latin America. A new carbon product, SulfaChar – used for desulphurization and odour removal and re-use as a fertilizer – is now in production using proprietary technology The horizons for CHAR and Altech are now wide and bright. Management, clients, shareholders and staff are pleased, which in turn allows the principals to either choose to retire knowing their succession plan was successful, or to help add value and expand the horizons. All small engineering consulting firm owners should take this leap.

NEW HORIZONS AND CHAR The systems transition that is typically Alexander R. Keen is a founder of associated with an M&A (i.e., accounting, the Altech Group. Brian Bobbie is project management, IT infrastructure, President of Altech Environmental office relocations, staff allocations, etc.) Consulting Ltd. and CAO of Char is nearly complete. All staff has made the Technologies Ltd. For more information, transition to the new ladder, and look email: akeen@altech-group.com, bbobbie@altech-group.com forward to the opportunities provided.

Niagara Region’s Rosehill WTP Upgrade in the Town of Fort Erie Niagara Region is upgrading the Rosehill WTP in the Town of Fort Erie. The project comprises installing new process treatment equipment, replacing the power distribution and SCADA control systems, and modernizing the personnel areas. The $12M upgrade is being constructed in stages with completion by May 2020.

www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

December 2018  |  43


misconceptions environmental engineers have about the SR&ED tax-incentive program By Mikhail Gogolev, ITC Plus

ABOUT THE PROGRAM The SR&ED program is the largest source of federal government support he Scientific Research and Experi- for research and development in Canmental Development (SR&ED) tax ada. Annually, it provides $2.8 – $3.5 bilcredit program in its current form lion of tax assistance to a few thousand started in 1986 and has survived a claimants. Provincial governments also few revisions since then. add substantial funding, worth billions It is hard to find anyone in the envi- of dollars more. ronmental engineering community who For small and medium businesses, has not heard about this program, but the which most environmental consulting paradox is that environmental engineers firms are, SR&ED credits come in the are claiming SR&ED credits more rarely form of cash. The credit can be as high than cabinetmakers or welders. This is as 67% of eligible salary expenses. SR&ED claims are reviewed by a spedue to a number of misconceptions which send a message that the SR&ED program cial branch of Canada Revenue Agency is something very complicated and not to where an engineering expert, called a research and technology advisor, will be touched. review scientific eligibility and extent of the claim. The financial reviewer will review the specifics of claimed salaries and other expenses. The Income Tax Act defines the purFrancine Kelly-Hooper has joined pose of the program: “Scientific research Stantec’s community development and experimental development means team as an environmental systematic investigation or search that is contaminant scientist. She brings carried out in a field of science or techmore than 25 years of experience in water, soil, and sediment chemistry nology by means of experiment or analstudies. Francine will be based in ysis and that is basic or applied research.” Stantec’s Waterloo office. It also covers: “Experimental develFrancine will develop two main opment, namely, work undertaken for services for clients. First, she will find the purpose of achieving technological beneficial use alternatives for advancement for the purpose of creatcontaminated soils and sediment as ing new, or improving existing, materials, financially and environmentally devices, products or processes, including sustainable alternatives to landfill incremental improvements thereto.” disposal. Second, she Most environmental engineers claim will apply petroleum hydrocarbon SR&ED expenditures under this category. forensics The program is designed to assist Canatechniques to dian businesses in reducing risks associdevelop timely ated with developing new and/or improvand cost-effective ing current technological processes, site remediation products, devices or materials. The intent strategies. is to stimulate companies to expand their knowledge, products and services. Francine So why don’t many environmental Kelly-Hooper engineers use this source of additional income? Many believe that the process of stantec.com application for SR&ED credits is bureau-


44  |  December 2018

cracy-intensive and involves substantial paperwork. Also, that environmental consulting work is severely regulated and any attempts to change the approved technology of site assessment and cleanup may deem the results of the work illegitimate. MISCONCEPTION 1. Environmental work is always associated with technological uncertainty and, thus, contains SR&ED. SR&ED work begins with identifying technological uncertainty. Rookie SR&ED enthusiasts try to claim that any work performed at an environmental site is associated with technological uncertainty because the soil, geological and hydrogeological structures of the site are substantially unknown and there is always risk of failing when providing environmental cleanup. Much to their regret, such projects are commonly rejected, the reason being that there is no deficiency in the underlying technology and, with some additional funds and work, all unknown structures may be identified and accounted for in engineering plans. However, engineers who formulate hypotheses about the nature of underground structures based on deep knowledge of quaternary geology and geomorphology are commonly successful with their projects. MISCONCEPTION 2. Work done by environmental companies does not contain any SR&ED. This misconception is based on interpreting the requirement that site assessment and cleanup work is supposed to meet the applicable guidelines and regulations. This is true for the content of the site sampling and investigation. However, in many non-orthodox cases, inquisitive specialists may perform additional analysis and try innovative methods of site examination and rehabilitation. This work will be gladly welcomed as a SR&ED claim.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

MISCONCEPTION 3. It is a widespread perception that a sucWhat is important is that the experimental cessful SR&ED claim should bring some work is well planned and the hypothesis on significant discoveries, or, otherwise, it may not pass the CRA review. This is a how to solve the technological uncertainty is wrong presumption, because the CRA progressively verified. position wisely acknowledges that even a well-designed experiment may not bring the expected result. What is important is that the experimental work is well contract with the client. However, this is MISCONCEPTION 5. Once audited, the chances to get subplanned and the hypothesis on how to not what normally happens. Typical consolve the technological uncertainty is tracts describe what results should be sequent SR&ED credits vanish. If a company claims SR&ED expenses year after progressively verified. After all, proving a achieved but not how to achieve them. CRA recognises that these contracts year, a time comes when the claim is subnegative answer to a research question is are lump-sum arrangements in bulk and jected to a review by SR&ED team that also a technological advancement. the experimental work is funded by the includes the RTA and FR. However, it is contractor. At complex sites, it may sub- important to know that the auditors only MISCONCEPTION 4. Work performed for a client cannot stantially exceed the initial cost presented review the claim for the specific tax year be claimed. This misconception occurs in the job quotation. Such work may be and do not go after the previous years, when the environmental consulting com- claimed with one provision: that the engi- no matter how negative their conclupany does some paid experimental work neer has a clear understanding of techno- sions may be. In many cases, after a negat the client’s site. In fact, innovative logical uncertainty and consciously plans ative review the company stops claiming SR&ED for subsequent years which is a experimental work may not be claimable the experimental work. major strategic mistake. only when the details of the experimental work are specified in the fee-for-service continued overleaf…


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CASE STUDIES The following are two examples of environmental projects that were successful as SR&ED claims. Dewatering of an excavation. At a condo development in Toronto, wells were drilled, according to the technology standards, to the depth of the underground garage excavation. The wells encountered

till deposits consisting of low permeable fine sand, sandy silt, silt and clay. The low permeability of these deposits was considered favourable for the excavation dewatering. However, when the excavation progressed, groundwater started to flow through the garage floor and tie back holes into the excavation. The claimant hypothesized and further

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confirmed by drilling deeper boreholes and performing pumping tests that the source of the water was the deep aquifer in the sand formation located 10 m below the bottom of the excavation with high piezometric head values. This artesian aquifer provided upward groundwater movement either through the overlying low permeable deposits or through artificial conduits such as tie backs. Through pumping experiments, the claimant identified that effective dewatering of the excavation could be provided by three deep dewatering/depressurizing wells extended into the deep aquifer. Remediation system for deeply positioned VOCs. At an urban environmental site, high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were identified in deeply positioned groundwater. The site geology featured 8 m – 14 m of silt, underlain by 5 m – 15 m of sand. Groundwater level at the site was located between 9 m – 11 m below the ground surface. The deep position of the contamination made traditional active remediation techniques unfeasible. The claimant came up with a concept of in situ bioremediation. A series of bench-scale tests were performed to prove the concept and identify the optimal concentrations of the remedial agents. The problem was that the site started with non-detect levels of specific microorganisms, Dehalococcoides, which were supposed to destroy VOCs. To compensate for this deficiency, Dehalococcoides were injected into the deep subsurface, followed with sodium lactate to stimulate growth of the micro-organism population. This technology worked well for reducing concentrations of VOCs.

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CONCLUSION The SR&ED tax credit is an effective means of stimulating innovation in the environmental industry and well-organized engineers should not have trouble using it to support their businesses.


Mikhail (Mike) Gogolev, PhD, P. Eng., is with ITC Plus Inc. Email: mgogolev@itcplus.ca

Concrete (Untreated)

46  |  December 2018

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


JWC introduces new wastewater grinder at WEFTEC


uring WEFTEC 2018 in New Orleans, ES&E staff visited JWC Environmental’s booth to witness the unveiling of its latest advancement in high-flow wastewater grinders, the Channel Monster FLEX. The new grinder offers a modular and adaptive architecture, a higher flow capacity, and a lower total cost of ownership. These innovations have been combined with JWC’s other technologies such as Wipes Ready cutters and a perforated solids diverter. The Channel Monster Flex is constructed with separate FLEX grinder module and solids diverter modules brought together with a unique flex frame. This modular design allows for the flexibility of servicing the cutting element and perforated solids diverter element separately. The cutting element of any sewage grinder is the portion that will typically need overhaul in time. With the FLEX grinder being a separate module in the Channel Monster Flex, JWC says that a customer can receive a pre-assembled cutter module when required and easily replace it in the field. This eliminates the need for shipping a full unit back to the factory for repair or being required to perform extensive and complex repairs on-site when a box of parts arrives. The capabilities of the Channel Monster Flex can also be expanded with changes in the surrounding community it serves. If peak flows increase or decrease at a given lift station, a customer can now upgrade the unit in the field to handle changes in flow by ordering a larger or smaller solids diverter module. The Channel Monster Flex has been optimized to maximize flow capacity while minimizing any solids and wipes bypass. This means up to 20% more flow capacity in the same channel width, when compared to earlier Channel Monster products. It achieves these high flows while still utilizing a perforated solids diverter instead of horizontal screening bars.



www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

The perforated construction solids diverter, plus the ability of maintaining an extremely tight drum to cutter interface minimizes the opportunity for material bypass and ensures all debris, including wipes and rags, are shredded. The Channel Monster Flex is also available with an optional 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) drive motor. Flow capabilities from 11.4 to 160 MLD and numerous combinations of grinder heights and diameters of the solids diverter, plus customized installation frames, make it very versatile for both in-channel installations and wall mounting within wet wells. JWC is represented in Ontario by ACGEnvirocan. For more information, email: sales@envirocan.ca

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December 2018  |  47


Centrifuge dewatering system saves WWTP more than $200k annually By Frank Scriver


olvay is an activated sludge wastewater treatment facility, which is part of the old American Cyanamid Company. In total, five chemical plants feed 11.4 million litres per day of wastewater into the facility, making it difficult to create a consistent sludge.

THE CHALLENGE Dewatering sludge in an industrial wastewater treatment facility can be difficult, because the sludge produced by chemical plants contains very few fibres. “We have a lot of different batches, which change day to day, and month to month,” said Solvay’s maintenance and wastewater treatment superintendent Brian Smith. “This makes it difficult to keep a healthy and consistent biomass. We see many different food groups and these can change quickly, which makes it very difficult to develop a consistent sludge. When we go out to start the centrifuge in the morning, it’s different every day. Whatever the manufacturing plant is doing, their discharge hits us within an hour. We don’t have any large equalization ponds.” To make a consistent sludge, plants require a consistent waste. According to Smith, “if everyone sent a consistent waste, then the bacteria would acclimate to it. You could grow healthy bacteria that would settle. But when you constantly change the pH and the chemical feed, you have some bacteria that are dying and others that are increasing in population. This type of sludge is extremely difficult to dewater.” Solvay previously used two chamber presses that had difficulties handling the capacity. Smith was forced to rent an additional chamber press for six months of every year, running all of them 24/7. This also created a need for an additional operator. “This created a huge stress on our 48  |  December 2018

The bowl shell of a decanter centrifuge has a cylindrical/conical shape. It rotates at a high speed, creating the centrifugal force needed for separation.

manpower,” Smith said. “We had operators who focused solely on the presses. Since our sludge is so difficult, for every ton produced we had to add one ton of fly ash. This increased the amount of tons we had to send off to the landfill. We could get close to 50% solids, but when you take into account that you are adding a huge amount of fly ash, that accounts for a lot of it.” The chamber presses were installed in the late 1980s and the company used a hazardous waste incinerator. During the 1990s, the facility shut down the incinerator and made many changes to the manufacturing processes. “We couldn’t dewater fast enough, so we basically just stopped wasting. That would back up the sludge into the wastewater treatment plant, causing problems,” Smith said. “The rental press helped us to bring the sludge levels back down, but this put an extra cycle on the wastewater treatment plant. So, not only was our feed swinging, but now we were cycling the amount of biomass and were holding nothing steady.” “When the solids level rises in a waste-

water treatment plant, costs also rise,” Smith explained. “We add polymer to make the sludge settle in the secondary clarifier. Once you have no control, you can’t allow the solids to go to the river, so you add more and more polymer, which is expensive.” THE SOLUTION In the winter of 2017, Smith connected with Flottweg Separation Technology and was able to work within its pilot program on a rental agreement for centrifuge equipment. “The pilot unit originally came with a solid scroll, but it was exchanged for an open bodied (Xelletor) scroll,” Smith said. “We saw a huge improvement. The pilot unit was giving us solids at 19% – 20% and it was easy to run. You hit the start button and it began producing product right away. We began to run the Xelletor scroll from April to August and it was a step change. The product was flaky and it was much easier to keep the centrate clean. It was at least 21% solids. That 1% – 2% makes a physical change in the way the sludge looks and the way

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it behaves. Free water was removed, and it didn’t look wet at all.” From the beginning, Flottweg worked with Solvay on a long-term lease and was able to install the new scroll design once it was available. “Now, it’s almost a non-issue,” Smith said. “We installed the new Xelletor scroll in less than eight hours. It just dropped into the same bearing housing. The solids are about 1% – 1.5% better. The operators have no issues at all. Because our sludge is so different, we just baseline the amount of polymer we are putting in it and then run the sludge feed as hard as we can until the centrate gets dirty. Then we back it off a little. Usually during the day we may start at 190 lpm, then, as the thickener pulls down the sludge, it gets a little thinner and we may speed it up by about 38 lpm.” “We waste a steady amount from our secondary clarifier each day, and now we can actually control our wastewater

volume is reduced by 90% – 95% in this process. Solvay currently uses settling clarifiers but could also use a centrifuge to perform this step, which is then followed by a dewatering process. Regardless of whether the solids are transported after dewatering, reused as fertilizer, disposed of in landfills or incinerated, maximum dryness is the most critical factor. The other key factors are cost efficiency in terms of consumption of polymers, energy, water and spare parts, as well as continuous, automatic operation at minimal costs. HOW IT WORKS A decanter centrifuge can be viewed Depending on the size of the treatment plant, there may be a variety of as a settling pond wrapped around an processes used. Although Solvay only axis. In the settling pond, solid particles, uses centrifuges for dewatering, it is which are heavier than the liquid, setimportant to mention that thickening is tle to the bottom, driven by gravity, and build up a sediment layer on the botalso possible with decanter centrifuges. All waste treatment plants have some tom of the pond. In the rotating bowl kind of thickening process. This means of the centrifuge, solid particles, which concentrating the surplus slurry pro- are heavier than the liquid, move to the duced in the biological stages, before it is inner diameter of the bowl, driven by pumped into the digestion tower. Slurry continued overleaf…

treatment plant. We set our sludge wasting at 133 lpm, for example. It runs all day, feeds into the thickener, and the thickener dewaters. So when the staff arrive in the morning, they may have 3 m of material in the thickener, although this amount can vary. It’s not unusual to make changes because you are batch operating the thickener. When it starts in the morning it may be 3% solids. Right before the end of the day, solids may be 1% – 1.5%.”

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centrifugal force, and build up an annular sediment layer on the inner surface of the centrifuge bowl. Since the centrifugal force in the decanter is approximately 3000 times gravity instead of 1 times gravity in the settling pond, separating solid particles from a liquid in a centrifuge becomes much faster and more efficient. The bowl shell of a decanter centrifuge has a cylindrical/conical shape. It rotates at a high speed, creating the centrifugal force needed for the separation. Inside the bowl, there is a scroll conveyor for continuous discharge of the sediment which is packed on the inner surface of the bowl wall. The scroll conveyor rotates at a speed relative to the bowl speed. This differential speed is created by a rotating gear box at the drive end of the bowl. Sludge to be separated enters the bowl via a stationary feed pipe. From the feed pipe it enters the separation zone via feed ports in the scroll body. In the sep-

aration zone, it separates into sediment and liquid layers. Sediment is scraped off the bowl wall via the scroll conveyor and delivered out of the pond on the conical end of the machine, also called the dry zone. Then, it leaves via discharge ports on the conical end of the bowl. The separated liquid flows to the cylindrical end of the bowl where it is discharged by gravity via an overflow weir. These critical design features have been considered since the beginning of the 1970s. Today, the result of this continuous development is the complete Flottweg HTS Decanter Portfolio for sludge dewatering which includes equipment to handle capacities of 10 m3/h – 180 m3/h.

and reduce energy costs. This system allowed Solvay to decrease operation time from 24/7 with full-time dedicated operators, to just one 12-hour shift per day. With chamber presses, there was a lot of physical work such as scraping and moving the plates. The centrifuge system decreased the need for additional manpower and also reduced the risk of injury. The plant no longer needs to add fly ash to the centrifuge, which saves the cost of fly ash, hauling cost and tipping fees because the end product is lighter. In total, the plant was able to see a return on investment within a few months. After the first year in operation, the Flottweg system proved its worth by providing Solvay a net annual savings of more than $214,000.

RESULTS The Flottweg Separation Technology centrifuge system allowed the plant to reduce man hours used with the previ- Frank Scriver is with Flottweg ous dewatering equipment, reduce oper- Separation Technology. Email: ation time and the volume of landfilled fscriver@flottweg.net material, increase sludge consistency,

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Biosolids are pumped into trucks at the plant's outdoor transfer station.

New biosolids transfer pump installed after St. Marys WWTP upgraded


he St. Marys wastewater treatment plant was commissioned more than thirty years ago and currently serves 7,000 residents. The Ontario Clean Water Agency is contracted to run the facility. Wasted sludge is processed and converted to fertilizer which meets the CFIA Registration standards (biosolids). It is then transferred for storage to a large holding tank which was built below ground. When the tank reaches capacity, the biosolids are pumped out into trucks and hauled away for eventual land application. In 2007, the plant’s process was upgraded, which necessitated installation of newer equipment to handle the modernized conditions. As a result of the upgrades, Digesters 1 and 2 were abandoned as conventional digesters. Biosolids stabilization is now achieved through patented technology from Lystek. CHALLENGES These changes increased the viscosity of www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

the thickened biosolids significantly, and also increased the percentage of solids from 3% to 8%-14%. The centrifugal type pump previously used, could not handle the highly viscous biosolids and flow rate dropped to 10 litres per second (L/s). The slow speed increased the time to fill the haul trucks to almost an hour, which negatively affected productivity and costs. An additional problem was that water would have to be added to the biosolids to allow it to flow better, further reducing the efficiency of the process.

The NETZSCH BT vertical pump has reduced loading time to 17-20 minutes.

cation. The pump is operated intermittently, and during the interim time when it is not running, it is exposed to a harsh environment. Therefore, when it has to be deployed, it is crucial that it runs and provides the desired performance. NETZSCH was able to meet these requirements.

RESULTS The new pump was installed in September 2017 and has continuously met the customer’s expectations. The highly viscous, high solids content biosolids are being handled as desired. Increasing the flow rate from 10 L/s to 33 L/s reduced fill time for the trucks. The normal time for filling had been approximately 60 minutes. The NETZSCH pump filled the first truck in 17 minutes, and has consistently averaged 17 to 20 minutes. This translates to a huge savings in the overall THE SOLUTION transportation costs. The Town retained B.M. Ross and The design and operating parameAssociates of Goderich, Ontario, to ters of the NETZSCH progressing cavity engineer the solution. Their assesment pump have made it possible to move the resulted in recommending a positive dis- biosolids with a high solids content of placement pump. Continued evaluation up to 14% with minimal modifications narrowed the selection to a progressing to the overall system in place. cavity pump. Further investigation for the pump that was best suited to solve For more information, email: these problems resulted in the selection george.balcerczyk@netzsch.com, or visit www.pumps.netzsch.com of a NETZSCH pump. Reliability is a key factor in this appliDecember 2018  |  51


After scrubbing, biogas is fed to a combined heat and power engine/generator system.

WWTP’s biogas power system relies on thermal mass flow meters for optimal performance

At full capacity, the biofuel co-gen energy production system can generate millions of kWs of electricity each year. The combined biofuel co-gen and solar power energy generating capacity is capable of supplying all the plant’s daily energy needs, depending on weather conditions that affect solar energy generation.

By Steve Craig

MEASURING GAS FLOW Measuring digester gas flow accurately over variable flow rates is critical to the small municipal wastewater treat- WASTE-TO-ENERGY A conventional wastewater treatment success of wastewater biofuel co-gen ment plant, with responsibility for its local city and surrounding process has been in place for years to treat energy production. Digester tank gas is a rural areas, decided several years the area’s residential and industrial waste- combination of methane (CH₄) and carago to convert its operations to a more water. Treatment phases include the typ- bon dioxide (CO₂), with a small percentsustainable green electric power model. ical solids processing, clarification and age of other trace gases. Over more than a decade, in phases, the disinfection prior to discharge. After the The actual composition of digester plant’s engineers set a series of goals to initial phases, the solids are dewatered gases can vary with the process and ambiconvert its operation from relying solely and sent to an anaerobic digester. The ent temperature conditions (e.g., seasonon power from its local electric utility to digester process includes heating the tank ally with hot summers and cold or freeza mix of biofuel co-gen, solar and con- over a two week time frame, with the end ing winters), but a typical average is 65% result being gases, liquids and solids. ventional power. (±5%) CH4 and 35% (±5%) CO₂. This The resulting biofuel is scrubbed to dirty wet gas typically contains particles The plant’s reusable solar energy rooftop arrays and biofuel co-generation remove H₂S gas and is conditioned for of hydrogen sulfide (H₂S), which can be system produce more than 200 kW of moisture and siloxane removal. Biogas is present in condensation on the pipe walls green energy. fed to a combined heat and power engine/ and instrumentation. The biofuels system is tasked with meet- generator system. This system generates Digested CH₄ gas can be explosive ing much of the treatment plant’s energy enough electricity to support on average and combustible, and it can result in flow requirements. Over three-fourths of these 75%, or more, of the plant’s operational meter installation conditions that require are now being met with sustainable green needs. The heat captured by the gener- hazardous approval ratings. When there energy, thanks to co-gen electric power ator system’s heat exchanger is used for is more gas production available than fueled by waste gas, that in the past would process and facility heating needs, which can be consumed for electric power genhave been flared into the atmosphere. is especially important in the winter. eration purposes, this waste gas is flared


52  |  December 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

for safe disposal. Repeatable, accurate gas flow measurement is essential to support digester gas production or for plant process control. Many government authorities require gas production data for regulatory reporting purposes to ensure environmental compliance for greenhouse gas reporting. There are a number of key criteria to consider when specifying a flow meter for digester gas measurement: • Accurate and repeatable measurement. • Low maintenance with no moving parts to clog or foul. • Simple threaded insertion for easy installation and periodic maintenance. • Wide turndown for accurate low and high flow rate measurement. • Approved for Class 1, Division 1 (Zone 1) hazardous environments. • Factory calibrated for digester gas compositions. • Direct mass flow measurement. • Temperature compensated flow measurement for accuracy in changing process gas temperatures. THE NEW BIOFUEL GAS SYSTEM In an earlier phase of the overall project, the plant team first specified four thermal mass flow meters for its original digester gas system. These were primarily required for environmental monitoring, with one meter placed on the plant’s first digester, one on the plant’s second digester, one on the flare gas header and one on the flare gas burner. Several years later, after the first four meters performed well, the plant contacted Fluid Components International (FCI) to discuss the next phase of the project’s needs. After consultation with the plant engineers on the next co-gen capability phase of the project, the FCI applications group recommended that the company’s ST51 thermal mass flow meter be installed at the site to support the co-gen process. Thermal dispersion sensing technology provides direct mass flow measurement, without the need for additional components or equipment. It places two thermowell protected platinum resistance temperature detectors (RTD) in the process stream. One RTD is heated, while the other senses actual process www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

temperature. The temperature difference between these sensors generates a voltage output, which is proportional to the media cooling effect. This can be used to calculate the mass flow rate. With their direct mass flow sensor technology, the thermal flow meters also include built-in temperature compensation to ensure repeatable and reliable mea-

surement for process temperature changes over ±30°F. This automatic temperature compensation technology adjusts automatically to changes in seasonal temperatures, for extremely dependable measurement of the gas flow rate and totalized flow. continued overleaf…

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BIOFUEL GENERATION UNITS When the facility added its full biofuel co-gen power capability, the ST98 flow meters had performed well for almost a decade and were considered a natural choice. An additional flow meter was placed on the wet gas pre-biofilter line, and a second meter was placed on the co-gen engine side. The actual gas composition and percentages was different for each of the two flow meters. The wet gas meter measured a combination of CH₄, CO₂ and H₂O. The co-gen meter was calibrated for CH₄, CO₂ and O₂. To process the wet gas, it was first heated and then chilled to near freezing for moisture removal. The plant’s control system monitors both gas production and co-gen engine gas usage. The two flow meters are connected to the control system with their 4-20 mA outputs. Readings from the meters for the wet and dry side of the process are compared by the process control system. If the two meters operate outside of a pre-set differential, they are then taken out of service for cleaning and calibration checks. The new insertion style thermal mass flow meters were installed at a 45-degree angle, pointing up. Due to the crowded equipment conditions at this installation, there was not enough pipe straight-run to create a uniform gas flow profile in the pipe, which could have affected meter accuracy. Both meters were, therefore, installed with vortab insertion panel flow conditioners to ensure measurement accuracy.

(Left) The ST51 flowmeter. (Right) Thermal dispersion sensing technology uses two temperature detectors, placed in the process stream.

The plant’s new meters were installed with a ball valve and packing gland assembly kit, which simplifies inspection and maintenance as necessary. The meters are easily removed from process line without shutting down the process or interrupting service. Steve Craig is with Fluid Components International (FCI). For more information, visit www.fluidcomponents.com

Waterra has expanded its product line of PES Inline Disposable Micro Filters. Our line now includes pore sizes of 0.2 micron, 0.45 micron, 1.2 micron and 5 micron. All filters are available in two size (surface area) formats: 300 cm2 & 600 cm2 (for higher turbidity samples) The only groundwater filters that are made in Canada

54  |  December 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


New technology provides full nitrogen removal in less than two hours


ne large public utility has partnered with Microvi Biotech, Inc. and WesTech Engineering, Inc. to showcase a large-scale demonstration of the Microvi MNE solution for its wastewater treatment plant. The demonstration’s primary objective is to tackle increased nitrogen discharge limits that are expected to be implemented over the next decade in the area. The utility is using the demonstration to proactively evaluate cost-effective, innovative technologies to meet these projected effluent limits, possibly as low as <6 mg/L total nitrogen (TN). Installed in April 2018, results from the demonstration show that the combined nitrification-denitrification process can achieve effluent levels consistently below 3 mg/L and even as low as 1 mg/L TN from influent ammonia (NH3) concentrations as high as 45 mg/L. These results occur with a retention time of under two hours, and little to no biosolids are produced. This result is claimed to be unprecedented, compared to available technologies for nitrification. The next phase of the demonstration will focus on sidestream treatment of ammonia concentrations as high as 500 mg/L. “Microvi’s technology is compelling because it allows us to meet potential future nitrogen limits while making the most of our existing treatment facilities. In our area, treatment requirements are expected to tighten, and many plants have no room to expand. We need to find solutions to make existing facilities meet our future needs,” said Jason Warner, the utility’s general manager. Microvi MNE is a new biological process for water and wastewater treatment. This demonstration project combines it with WesTech process equipment. It is a single pass system that requires minimal operation time and maintenance, while eliminating the need for biosolids treatment and disposal. www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

(Top) At a recent open house, visitors looked at a container of biocatalysts that have been pulled out of the bioreactor tank. (Left) Microvi’s technology uses novel biocatalytic composites that intensify biological processes.

Customized integrations of the process for various applications have provided consistent BOD/COD removal, nitrification and denitrification. According to the companies involved, the process has a significantly smaller footprint, minimal biosolids production, reduced pumping requirements, and reduced energy costs. Also it is said to be operator-friendly, stable, robust, and can be used in existing infrastructure. Microvi’s technology uses novel biocatalytic composites (biocatalysts) that intensify biological processes, while maintaining a controlled population of targeted microorganisms at a much higher density than existing technologies. Despite the complexity of the MNE

biocatalysts themselves, the design and operation of the systems are simple. Microvi’s technologies have been implemented in the US, Australia and the UK, for drinking water, municipal wastewater, and industrial applications. WesTech has an alliance agreement to commercialize the Microvi MNE solution for the water and wastewater industries. For more information, visit www.westech-inc.com/microvi-mne

December 2018  |  55


New report released on removing multiple chemical contaminants using biofiltration


he Water Research Foundation commissioned a study to help develop a multi-contaminant removal matrix, which can be used by the water treatment industry as a quick reference on biofiltration capabilities. Specific objectives of project #4559 were to: • Perform a state-of knowledge review of chemical contaminant removal by biofiltration. • Develop appropriate indicator chemicals for use in the evaluation of biofilter performance for a wide spectrum of chemical contaminants. • Evaluate the effect of filter media type (i.e., exhausted granular activated carbon versus anthracite) and empty bed contact time (EBCT) at the pilot-scale. • Investigate the impact of upstream processes (i.e., oxidation). • Evaluate the effects of short-term chemical spiking events at the pilot-scale. • Evaluate the simultaneous removal capabilities for 3+ year old biologically-active carbon filters at the full-scale. • Provide guidance documentation to water utilities for achieving maximum simultaneous removal of multiple chemical contaminants using biofiltration. Numerous studies and a growing body of literature have been dedicated to biofiltration. Its role in water treatment has expanded beyond the removal of biodegradable organic matter for turbidity control, to include contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), taste and odour causing compounds (MIB and geosmin), disinfection byproducts (DBPs), and inorganic contaminants (i.e., manganese, iron and ammonia). Since many water utilities already operate conventional granular media filters, converting them to biological mode can extend the bed-life of the filters and meet water quality objectives without additional capital investments (i.e., adding post-filter adsorbers). Moreover, many utilities are increasingly faced with the challenge of dwindling water supplies and a strong push for potable water reuse. Improving the performance of biofiltration for simultaneously removing multiple chemical contaminants, without minimizing current water quality objectives, will be critical to expanding their source waters. Effective removal of individual classes of some chemical contaminants withbiofiltration has been shown. However, performance for simultaneously removing multiple classes of chemical contaminants (i.e., the combination of inorganic and organic contaminants) is not well established. Also, the effect of several biofiltration design and operational parameters varies across different studies. The effect of changes in EBCT, influent concentration (i.e., during spike events), media type, and upstream processes 56  |  December 2018

(i.e., preoxidation) on biological filtration performance can be important. Therefore, further research is needed to understand the impact of these changes on biological removal of multiple chemical contaminants from various water qualities during pilot- and full-scale applications. PROJECT GOALS The aim of this project was to gather as much multi-contaminant removal data as possible, across a range of operational parameters, and produce a guidance document. Comprehensive biofiltration removal data for a variety of chemical contaminants from unpublished and published literature were reviewed and compiled in a spreadsheet matrix. A meta analysis of the literature data on the effects of media type and EBCT was performed for taste and odour compounds. Indicator PPCP chemicals were compiled, which represent groupings of contaminants that can be monitored to assess biofiltration performance for a wide spectrum of PPCP chemicals. The impact of media type, EBCT, upstream processes, and chemical spiking events was assessed for multiple chemical contaminants for three biofiltration pilot-scale studies. Finally, five full-scale biofiltration facilities were evaluated for their ability to remove multiple chemical contaminants. Guidance information was developed that includes a simplified visual aid of a multi-contaminant removal matrix that allows Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

quick reference of biofiltration capabilities. The report identifies key design and operational parameters that influence the simultaneous removal of multiple contaminants, and recommends treatment approaches for recalcitrant contaminants. There have been many studies conducted on biofiltration for trace organic contaminant removal. Information from these studies was also consolidated and summarized. Ranges of EBCT, temperature, and throughput volume information, where available, are reported, as well as removal data for biofilters containing biological activated carbon (BAC) or inert (anthracite or sand) media. This concise summary can be used to obtain contaminant removal ranges and associated references. Median removals were calculated from the literature review data for each compound, and the compounds were divided into four removal classifications: 0 – 15%, > 15 – 50%, > 50 – 85%, and > 85%. This classification scheme can be

used towards the development of indicator compounds that serve as proxies to imply removal of a larger group of compounds. The underlying concept of an indicator is that absence or removal of an indicator compound during a treatment process would also ensure absence or removal of identified and unidentified compounds with similar properties. An attempt was made to categorize compounds further, based on chemical structure and biodegradability characteristics, using the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Biocatalysis/Biodegradation Database. Compounds within the same removal category that resulted in the same biodegradation pathway were grouped into preliminary indicator groups. However, several limitations (i.e., likelihood of multiple pathways for a given compound, dependence on pH, temperature, type of metabolism) prevented the establishment of a direct link between chemical structure, biodegradation pathway, and

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experimental removal seen in biofilters. However, the general removal classification approach can still prove useful for selecting indicators for other compounds in the same removal bin. Information and performance data collected during the literature review, pilot testing and full-scale evaluations were analyzed collectively. Focus was placed on studies that examined simultaneous removal of multiple target constituents. In the report, performance data are synthesized in a multi-contaminant removal matrix. This can be used to quickly assess which compounds might be removed and the degree of removal that could be expected for a given set of conditions. References are provided, if further information is needed. The analysis focused on key design and operational parameters and water quality characteristics that may influence the simultaneous removal of multiple contaminants. These include media type (BAC versus continued overleaf…

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anthracite), temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, pre-oxidation, acclimation, and contaminant concentration fluctuations. The analysis focused on a diverse but selective suite of classical and emerging chemical contaminants. These include dissolved organic carbon (DOC), assimilable organic carbon (AOC), iron, manganese, ammonia, ambient DBPs and their

precursors, taste and odour compounds, tics, EBCT, and pre-oxidants should be and a suite of emerging trace organic guided by raw water characteristics and compounds (TOrCs), such as flame retar- water treatment goals. dants and pharmaceuticals and personal In general, simultaneous removal of care products. the following contaminants is achievable during biofiltration, using either inert or KEY FINDINGS BAC media: DOC, AOC, taste and odour Filter design and operating criteria, compounds, iron, manganese, ammonia including media type and characteris- haloacetic acids (HAAs), Nnitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), trihalomethane (THM) precursors, HAA precursors, NDMA precursors, and some TOrCs. Upon start-up, an acclimation period ranging from weeks to months is necessary, depending on the contaminant. DOC removal between 5% and 20% can be expected for inert or exhausted BAC media after acclimation. In general, biofiltration is more effective at temperatures greater than 15°C, DO levels greater than 3 mg/L, and within a pH range of 6 – 9. Increasing EBCT beyond 10 minutes results in marginal improvement for contaminant removal for biofiltration, especially at temperatures greater than 15°C. However, at temperatures below 15°C, greater TOrC removal may be obtained with EBCTs longer than 10 minutes. The use of pre-ozonation improves the overall removal of contaminants, but ozonation can generate unwanted byproducts. Some of these byproducts (i.e., AOC, formaldehyde, NDMA) are removed by subsequent aerobic biodegradation, but others (i.e., bromate) are not. There are a few TOrCs, particularly halogenated compounds (i.e., perfluoroalkyl acids, sucralose, flame retardants) that are recalcitrant to ozone/biofiltration. These contaminants can be removed downstream of the biofiltration step through physical separation processes, such as activated carbon or high-pressure membranes. The use of pre-chlorine or pre-chloramines has a negative impact on biofilters containing inert media. The presence of chlorine in the influent of BAC-based biofilters can diminish TOrC removal, but will have less of an impact on the removal of other contaminants such as manganese, HAAs, and ammonia. For more information, visit www.waterrf.org

58  |  December 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Marcus Firman, Past President of the Ontario Water Works Association (OWWA) (left) and Dan Huggins, President OWWA, present Abhay Tadwalker (centre) with the Norman J. Howard Award.

Norman J. Howard Award goes to Toronto Water’s Abhay Tadwalkar


bhay Tadwalkar, Manager of Process, Innovation and Energy, Toronto Water, was presented with the Norman J. Howard Award at the Ontario Water Works Association's annual conference earlier this year. The award recognizes proficiency in one or more of the following areas of a municipal water supply: design, construction, operation, maintenance, management, regulation, and research. Abhay began his career with the City of Toronto wastewater division in 1985 and then moved to the drinking water division five years later. During his 30 plus years with the City, he has been instrumental in leading various studies and implementing process changes that have saved millions of dollars, either in operating costs or in terms of revenue generation through energy optimization programs. He has also undertaken volunteer work through Canadian Executive Services Organization (CESO) in countries such as Romania, Honduras and Colombia. He was the president of the Ontario www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

Water Works Association from 2014 to 2015 and is an active member of the American Water Works Association's (AWWA) Water Research Foundation, currently serving as a member of the Tailored Collaboration Review Committee. “I am humbled and particularly proud of receiving this award as a Toronto Water employee and having the opportunity to emulate Howard's legacy and dedication to the City of Toronto,” he said. ABOUT NORMAN J. HOWARD Born in 1884 in England, Norman Joseph Howard attended Xaverian College in Sussex before entering medical school at London University in 1901. Half way through his studies, Howard left medical school and began studying bacteriology, graduating in 1905. Following graduation, he spent two years working in laboratories in London. But, it was his move in 1907 to the London Metropolitan Water Board, which provided Howard a unique opportunity. He began working under Sir Alexander Houston, who played an important role

in introducing chlorination. Howard worked with the Board until 1911. His training in medicine and his degree in bacteriology prepared Howard to play a dominant role in the decontamination of water supplies and the protection of public health in later life. During the early 1910s, Toronto was in a time of crisis, as the death rate from typhoid was soaring. The city was in need of an expert in bacteriology and Howard was a perfect fit. He arrived in September 1911 and began work as a bacteriologist, managing the Centre Island Filtration Plant. This led to Howard’s lengthy career as Director of Water Purification. His tenacity and attention to detail were evident throughout his career, often collecting samples along Toronto’s waterfront despite treacherous weather. Chlorination studies were a major endeavour during this time and Howard played a crucial role in efforts to disinfect water and also to overcome taste problems. Later, he helped implement treatment by superchlorination (a term coined by Howard himself) and reintroducing prechlorination in 1921. To no one’s surprise, Howard received a number of awards and honours throughout his lifetime. He was President of AWWA and Chairman of the Canadian Section, recipient of the Fuller Award, and President of the Canadian Institute on Sewage, to name a few of his accomplishments. Also significant were Howard’s notable humanitarian efforts, often using his knowledge of medicine to benefit plant staff that were, essentially, isolated on the island. He was considered by many as the island doctor, providing services for more than 40 years without fee and making more than 8,000 house calls. Howard fought for what he believed was right, seeking truth regardless of the consequences. He retired from the Toronto's City Water Works Laboratory in 1954, but continued to privately consult on various water boards. Norman Howard died in 1956.

News continues on page 63… December 2018  |  59


Aerzen Turbo G5 Plus is the most compact and efficient turbo in its class. It features AERZEN airfoil bearings with double coating and the new multilevel frequency converter technology, which reduces the heat loss in the motor to a minimum and, consequently, improves total efficiency significantly. Aerzen Canada T: 450-424-3966 E : sales-ca@aerzen.com W: www.aerzen.ca


The Aqua ElectrOzone® Ozone Generation System is ideal for potable water treatment, wastewater/water reuse and industrial applications that require ozone treatment for taste and odour control, bleaching/colour removal, oxidation and disinfection. It is designed for safe operation and effective treatment. The Metawater MicroGap™ dielectric core technology is engineered for high dimensional accuracy, allowing for consistent ozone generation, extremely low failure rates and efficient cooling. Aqua-Aerobic Systems T: 815-639-4511 E: mgunderson@aqua-aerobic.com W: www.aqua-aerobic.com


The Aqua ElectrOzone® M-Series Modular Ozone Generation System is specifically designed for smaller ozone installations seeking the advantages of system modularity and built-in redundancy. Each ozone 60  |  December

system is configurable in 15 lb. per day increments from 15 to 540 lbs per day. Additional features include: simple installation and operation, modular ozone cells, integrated process control and silent operation. Aqua-Aerobic Systems T: 815-639-4511 E: mgunderson@aqua-aerobic.com W: www.aqua-aerobic.com


Chem-Pro® MC-3 Diaphragm Dosing Pumps are engineered to meet the rigorous demands of municipal water and wastewater treatment. Chem-Pro’s design handles high pressure applications to 10.3 bar (150 PSI), and feed demands to 153 LPH/40 GPH. MC-3 pumps are fitted with Blue-White’s exclusive Dia-Flex® single layer PVDF diaphragm and Dia-Flex® exhibits zero breakdown or delamination. Units are NSF STD61, ETL, CE listed. NEMA 4X/lP66 rate. Blue-White Industries T: 714-893-8529 F: 714-894-9492 E: sales@blue-white.com W: www.blue-white.com


The NEW ProSeries-M® MS-6 Chemical Feed Sensor accurately measures chemical feed from your dosing pumps, using the latest ultrasonic technology. The patent pending design provides the widest flow range on the market, from 10 to 10,000 ml/ min (0.158-158.5 GPH) and has a low pressure drop of less than 1 PSI. Wetted components are constructed of PVDF and PEEK, and the included wetted end fittings allow for more than 14 inlet and outlet configurations. NSF61 listed. Blue-White Industries T: 714-893-8529 F: 714-894-9492 E: sales@blue-white.com W: www.blue-white.com


Road erosion, premature concrete failure or water ingress into wastewater systems? Denso’s 12 ˝LT tape has been proven for nearly a century to block water from accessing assets. It won’t harden or crack and is the perfect solution to protect concrete and prevent I&I. Applied in minutes, requiring minimal surface preparation, no mixing or curing, it can be buried immediately. Denso North America T: 416-291-3435 E: sales@densona-ca.com W: www.densona.com


The new Picomag from Endress+Hauser is a simple, reliable and maintenance-free plug-and-play flow meter for utilities in a pocket-sized format. Picomag offers customers easy commissioning with Bluetooth, using its SmartBlue App, as well as seamless system integration thanks to IO-Link technology. Endress+Hauser Canada T: 905-681-9292  F: 905-681-9444 E: info@ca.endress.com W: www.e-direct.endress.com/ca/ picomag


Proline 300/500 flow measurement technology provides continuous on-board diagnostics and meter verification

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

with Heartbeat Technology™, and fast commissioning and intuitive operation via display, web server and WLAN. It offers maximum flexibility with configurable I/O. Endress+Hauser Canada T: 905-681-9292  F: 905-681-9444 E: info@ca.endress.com W: www.ca.endress.com/proline300500


Hoskin Scientific introduces the HOBOnet™ Field Monitoring System. Monitor field conditions from your desktop or mobile device. HOBOnet transforms the way you collect and view field data! With up to 50 wireless sensors streaming data back to one central, cloud-based weather station, you can now measure conditions over large areas once considered too costly or impractical to monitor. Hoskin Scientific E: salesb@hoskin.ca, Burlington, ON E: salesv@hoskin.ca, Burnaby, BC E: salesm@hoskin.ca, Montreal, QC W: www.hoskin.ca


Hoskin Scientific introduces HI3896BP, Hanna Instruments Backpack Lab Soil Quality Educational Test Kit, designed for educators and environmental science students, containing lessons, activities, and test kits that relate to important parameters evaluated in soil quality. Backpack Lab is designed with all the necessary components in one place. Ideal for transporting, it is easy to take this durable backpack to the field for on-site measurements. Hoskin Scientific E: salesb@hoskin.ca, Burlington, ON E: salesv@hoskin.ca, Burnaby, BC E: salesm@hoskin.ca, Montreal, QC W: www.hoskin.ca


The LittaTrap is an innovative catch basin insert designed to be easily retrofitted into new and existing stormwater catch basins to specifically target litter, leaves and gross pollutants, capturing them at source and preventing them from accumulating in our precious harbours and beaches. Imbrium Systems T: 800-565-4801 E: info@imbriumsystems.com W: www.imbriumsystems.com


Hoskin Scientific has introduced the Bronkhorst EL Press Digital Pressure Meter/Controller. The EL-PRESS series digital electronic pressure transducers and controllers for gases and liquids have a compact thru-flow design. The instruments include a diaphragm type piezo-resistive pressure sensor for pressure measurement/control from: lowest ranges 2…100 mbar absolute, gauge or differential up to highest ranges 8…400 bar absolute/gauge or 0,3…15 bar dif. Hoskin Scientific E: salesb@hoskin.ca, Burlington, ON E: salesv@hoskin.ca, Burnaby, BC E: salesm@hoskin.ca, Montreal, QC W: www.hoskin.ca

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The HUBER Drum Screen LIQUID poses an interesting alternative to primary clarifiers for several reasons. LIQUID has better removal rates than clarifiers, but with a smaller footprint. The LIQUID also provides better process control in surge events, with more reliable operation. Finally, LIQUID has lower investment costs relative to primary clarifiers. HUBER Technology T: 704-990-2053 F: 704-949-1020 E: huber@hhusa.net W: www.huber-technology.com


Markland’s Automatic Duckbill Composite Sampling System facilitates compliance monitoring, even in freezing temperatures. Explosion-proof, it uses compressed air (not pumps) and a self-cleaning action to move samples up high lifts (24+ metres), over long runs (30+ metres), and from multiple sites simultaneously. Markland Specialty Engineering T: 855-873-7791 (NA), 905-873-7791 E: markland@sludgecontrols.com W: www.sludgecontrols.com December 2018  |  61




ORIVAL Automatic Self­-Cleaning Water Filters are simple to install. These fully automatic self-cleaning filters provide uninterrupted downstream flow, while cleaning themselves only when needed, based on a pressure differential between the inlet and outlet. They are simple, robust and efficient, while providing unparalleled performance. With models from ¾" to 24" and filtration degrees from 5 to 3,000 microns, Orival filters are available in many configurations and construction materials. Orival T: 800-567-9767 E: filters@orival.com W: www.orival.com


USF Fabrication, Inc. manufacture a complete line of engineered metal doors for underground utility access. They have been fabricating solutions since 1916 with over 160,000 sq ft of manufacturing space. This allows them to offer the best lead times in the industry. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff is committed to providing customers with the right product for their application and shipping it when they need it. USF Fabrication T: 604-552-7900  F: 604-552-7901 E: sales@engineeredpump.com W: www.engineeredpump.com 62  |  December

The Style W257 dynamic movement joint from Victaulic is preassembled and reduces installation complexity for threaded rod installations of the AWWA M11 harness and C219 bolted sleevetype joints. It can accommodate differential settlement and seismic movement in large-diameter piping systems. The joint is available in 14 ˝to 78 ,˝DN350 to DN1950 sizes and is designed to be direct buried. Victaulic T: 905-884-7444 E: rhys.jardine@victaulic.com W: www.dynamicmovementjoint.com


Waterra has expanded its product range of PES Inline Disposable Filters to now include pore sizes: 0.2 micron, 0.45 micron, 1.2 micron and 5 micron. These capsule filters are available in two size formats: a 300 cm² surface area version and a 600 cm² surface area version for higher turbidity samples. Waterra Pumps T: 905-238-5242  F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com


Waterra HS-2 Oil/ Water Interface Sensors represent some of the most advanced technology available today for hydrocarbon product layer measurement. To define the prod-

uct layer, these devices utilize a proprietary ultrasonic sensor which is more sensitive in a broader range of hydrocarbon products than conventional optical systems. These quality sensors are now also available with Kynar (PVDF) jacketed tapes. Waterra Pumps T: 905-238-5242  F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com


The Spectra FieldPro is the most popular peristaltic pump that Waterra has sold. The FieldPro combines the MasterFlex EasyLoad II pump head with a powerful motor and power supply in a rugged aluminum case. It will work all day on a full charge, and includes a 12 Ah AGM battery, smart charger and storage compartment — everything you need in a portable peristaltic pump. Waterra Pumps T: 905-238-5242  F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com


Waterra’s WS-2 Water Level Sensors are advanced products that utilize advanced electronic technology. The WS-2 features an innovative design as well as compactness, portability and reliability — all at a competitive price. WS-2 tapes are available with Kynar (PVDF) or polyethylene jackets and graduated in imperial or metric units. Waterra Pumps T: 905-238-5242  F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


what may be the largest oil spill in the province’s history. Husky says the 250,000-litre spill occurred during restart procedures on November 16, when workers were in the process of resuming operations following record inclement weather. Husky officials took four days to address the

media regarding the spill, which irked some of the province’s ministers. However, when Husky finally addressed the spill publicly on November 20, the company said it had no idea why the pipe’s connector became weak and disconnected through a lack of pressure.

On November 5, 2018, Irving Pulp & Paper Limited was sentenced in the New Brunswick Provincial Court in Saint John and ordered to pay a $3.5 million penalty in connection with three continued overleaf… offences under the pollution prevention provisions of the federal Fisheries Act. The company pleaded guilty on OctoBarrie • Belleville • Brampton • Collingwood • Kingston • Ottawa ber 9, 2018. The violations resulted from WWW.AINLEYGROUP.COM effluent discharges from its pulp mill into the Saint John River over a two-year Delivering proven infrastructure planning & engineering solutions period. It is one of the largest penalties ever for depositing deleterious substances. In addition to the penalty, the company is to satisfied clients for over 50 years required to provide a plan that clearly identifies the interim measures to be taken. Irving Pulp and Paper is required Markham, ON 905-747-8506 to install a multi-million-dollar effluent Vancouver, BC treatment facility as a condition to operate. 604-251-5722 The paper manufacturer has three Edmonton, AB prior convictions for Fisheries Act vio780-455-4300 lations in 1999, 2009 and 2010. The WeKnowWater@BV.com penalties in those cases ranged between Consulting • Engineering • Construction • Operation www.bv.com $37,000 and $75,000. Environment Canada also issued warnings to the company in 2011 and 2012. There are 53 species of fish in Black&Veatch_ND.14_ProCard_TP.indd the 1 2014-11-12 10:29 AM watershed, according to the case’s agreed statement of facts. In a statement about its guilty plea, Irving Pulp and Paper said, while there was no evidence of any fish mortality or environmental harm in the Saint John River at the time, the company did fail a prescribed test under Section 3 of the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (under the Fisheries Act) that requires 50% or more of rainbow trout tested to survive 96 hours in 100% effluent. The mill was originally charged with 15 offences related to discharges; however, 12 of those charges were dropped. Irving Pulp and Paper self-reported all of the discharge incidents.


Husky Energy officials say a gap in the pipe at its SeaRose floating platform, 350 kilometres southeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland, is the likely cause of www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

Innovative, Fit-for-purpose Solutions www.stantec.com/water December 2018  |  63

ES&E NEWS The largest oil spill in recent memory for Canada’s east coast offshore industry occurred in 2004, when 165,000 litres of oil leaked from a Terra Nova platform. The spill was linked to the death of some 10,000 birds, which some bird experts say may indicate some bad news to come regarding the recent Husky spill, which occurred at the same time of year, yet was significantly larger. In a statement on November 18, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board said: “Thanks to the efforts of many, there have been no reports of workers getting hurt during last week’s storm, which was one of the worst this region has seen offshore since the Ocean Ranger disaster in 1982. The absence of injuries speaks to hard-earned advances in safety in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area.” Both Husky Energy Inc. and Husky Oil Operations Ltd. remain embroiled in a First Nations lawsuit and face environmental charges relating to a 2016 pipe break that spilled oil into the North Saskatchewan River. The James Smith Cree

P: 519-763-0700 F: 519-763-6684 48 Dawson Road Guelph, ON N1H 5V1

64  |  December 2018

Nation and the Cumberland House Cree Nation allege that some 90,000 litres of oil mixed with distillates spilled into the river. An additional 160,000 litres of oil was spilled, but did not enter the river.

washed down stormwater drains and into rivers, lakes and oceans. According to Imbrium, LittaTrap can be easily installed into new or existing drainage infrastructure. Through the partnership, Imbrium Systems will distribute LittaTrap across Canada.


In November, Nova Scotia fishermen began blocking a survey boat hired by Northern Pulp to design a route for an effluent pipe into the Northumberland Strait. Pictou County fishermen and the TACKLING PLASTICS AND TRASH local Mi’kmaq community are concerned that the pipe plan will threaten IN WATERWAYS Enviropod and Imbrium Systems the Strait’s ecology, including key lobster recently introduced the Enviropod Lit- fishing grounds. Currently, some 70 miltaTrap to tackle the issue of plastics lion litres of treated waste daily still flow and trash in Canadian waterways. daily into lagoons on the edge of the PicLittaTrap is a low-cost catch basin tou Landing First Nation reserve. insert that captures and retains plasThe new effluent treatment facility tic and trash that would normally be would replace Northern Pulp’s current wastewater treatment plant in Boat Harbour, a facility that has processed the mill’s bleached kraft pulp effluent for some 50 years. But after a pipeline break, the facility was essentially ordered by the province in 2015 to shut its doors by 2020. The mill’s new plan is to build a treatment facility to handle some 75,000 cubic metres of wastewater daily, using an activated sludge treatment system that would aerate and settle the effluent into a large tank on the mill’s property. A Insitu Groundwater Contractors pipe running along the floor of Pictou Harbour to the outflow area would use • Dewatering systems a difuser system to release the effluent in • Mobile groundwater treatment systems • Well and pump installation and maintenance smaller intervals, the company says. • Pump, filter, generator rentals The fishermen’s blockade of the • Sediment tank rentals Northern Pulp survey vessel came after • Insitu groundwater remediation systems an effluent leak at the paper mill in www.insitucontractors.com October due to a faulty pipe. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told media that the company’s research on the water is lawful, but that it's essentially up to the management at the Northern Pulp mill near Pictou to decide whether to call in the RCMP to end the blockade. Paper Excellence, parent company of the mill, has said the facility and its 300


Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

ES&E NEWS employees will be out of work unless it can build the pipeline to the Strait. It has not offered any alternative measures, and does not believe the underwater pipe would endanger the area’s ecology. Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan said his concerns with the mill’s plan were compounded when officials learned that the mill’s Plan B would include an overland stretch of pipeline along the causeway across Pictou Harbour. It would also cross the town's watershed and the Caribou wellfield, a source of domestic drinking water for the town and some people in the immediate area.


Recently, there have been several announcements of green infrastructure funding across Canada, particularly for wastewater treatment and stormwater management. Alberta – The Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities announced more than $5.7 million through the Green Municipal Fund for wetland system measures in the Town of Wainwright. These upgrades are designed to help Wainwright better manage and treat stormwater. The new wetland measures will improve drainage and divert the majority of stormwater to a new lagoon called Gold Quarter Pond. Ontario – The Minister also announced over $7 million in grants and loans through the Green Municipal Fund to improve wastewater treatment plants in the Townships of Wellington North and St. Clair. In Wellington North, funding will be used to upgrade the current wastewater treatment plant in Arthur to service the growing population. These upgrades will improve the quality of wastewater released into the Conestogo River, significantly reducing the negative impact on the environment. In St. Clair, the project will include the installation of a new system at the Courtright wastewater treatment plant to improve odours and lower the plant's use of potable water. Quebec – The Quebec municipalities of Beloeil, Saint-Jean-sur-Richewww.esemag.com @ESEMAG

lieu, Saint-Zotique and Varennes are using funding from the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program to develop climate adaptation plans. Each municipality will adopt a clear greening strategy aimed at reducing ambient heat, while mitigating the issue of stormwater management. New Brunswick – Moncton will use funding from the Green Municipal Fund to replace an oil-fired boiler with a biomass one as part of a pilot project to test a low-carbon district energy system at its municipal operations centre. Operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions reductions will be tracked over an 18-month period, with the objective of lowering the carbon footprint and

increasing local energy resilience. First Nations – The federal government also announced $7.2 million in funding to connect Ontario’s Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation to the City of Kenora's water system. After more than 13 years, a Fort St. James area First Nation in British Columbia, known as Tl’azt’en Nation, finally has safe drinking water after a boil advisory that began in 2005 was recently lifted. Indigenous Services Canada says a newly commissioned water treatment facility will provide potable water to the community.

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December 2018  |  65

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COMPANY PAGE ACG Technology........................................67 Aerzen........................................................33 Associated Engineering...........................35 BI Pure Water............................................57 Blue-White.................................................11 Canadian Infrastructure Products..........25 CANECT......................................................31 Cole Engineering Group...........................43 Denso.........................................................16 Endress + Hauser........................................5 Engineered Pump.....................................40 Envirocan..................................................67 ERIS Information......................................30 Halogen Valve Systems............................21 Hanna Instruments..................................58 Harmsco Filtration Products...................34 Hoskin Scientific.......................................49 Huber Technology....................................19 HydroFlow Canada...................................24 HydroStorm..............................................25 HydroWorks..............................................25 Imbrium Systems.....................................68 Layfield Group..........................................34 Markland Specialty Engineering.............47 Minotaur Stormwater Services................27 Mueller.........................................................2 Myron L........................................................7 Parsons......................................................38 Pentair.......................................................13 Pinchin......................................................45 Pro Aqua......................................................9 RV Anderson..............................................43 Sentrimax....................................................3 SPD Sales...................................................57 Stantec................................................ 44, 45 TRIECA.......................................................50 University of British Columbia................15 USF Fabrication........................................40 Victaulic.....................................................53 Vissers Sales..............................................23 Waterra.....................................14, 29, 39, 54 WSP............................................................37 Xypex Chemical Corporation...................46

66  |  December 2018

CEOs talk about growth opportunities for water reuse


op CEOs in the water reuse sector discussed the incredible growth opportunities in water recycling during a roundtable discussion at the 33rd Annual WateReuse Symposium, held in September 2018. B. Narayanan, CEO of Carollo, said his company’s business has seen continuous growth in the water reuse market and that he expects this to continue. While, in the 1990s, reuse projects accounted for a miniscule amount of Carollo’s ventures, by 2017, reuse projects accounted for about 25% of them. This growth, he explained, is driven by supply and demand, and impacted by population growth and migration to warmer climates. “All of this has created demand and stresses, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. The supply side is no better, and in fact, it’s made the situation worse. Due to contamination and climate change alone, water sources have become increasingly scarce,” said Narayanan. Narayanan also noted that there has been a huge “softening in perceptions” around water reuse, which historically has been one of the largest barriers against it. This shift, he said, has also come in the form of social awareness to better appreciate the value of water. Cindy Wallis-Lage, President of Black & Veatch’s Global Water Business, emphasized to the panel the importance of integration, education and innovation to develop successful water management strategies. Wallis-Lage recalled starting at her company at a water reclamation plant that used percolation ponds. “It was so controversial at the time. Can we do this? Will it be accepted? What’s the impact on groundwater? Much has changed since," she said. “Reuse really is the answer. We have to step up and utilize solutions to make sustainable communities.” Wallis-Lage said that about one-fifth of the world’s population is in water-

scarce areas. She believes in the threepronged concept of integration, education and innovation. “Words create much of the challenge for reuse. We tend to segregate water and label every drop of it based on its history, versus its potential. We have to break that barrier, and talk about just water, period.” Patrick Decker, CEO of Xylem, told the roundtable that, while water issues are intensifying, advances in smart technology are creating new possibilities. He said those at the conference should choose to embrace the idea of leadership and be part of a mission and purpose for water. “All of the technologies that are needed to solve our world’s water problems already exist,” he said. Decker believes the “toilet-to-tap” concept set back the water reuse sector significantly over perception issues, but believes the industry has managed to move on from it. Using terminology such as water purification creates a much better perception around water reuse, he said. Heiner Markhoff, CEO of Suez Water Technologies & Solutions, emphasized to the roundtable that, to help take control of water’s future, it is time to change global thinking about water as a waste product. Monitoring analytics is a huge part of driving reuse forward, he said. Markhoff noted that a lot of technologies are becoming more prevalent, including: membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment; ozone and UV treatment to make potable reuse possible; brine solutions with electrodialysis reversal and for TDS (total dissolved solids) removal prior to reuse; and for industrial treatment, measures such as zero liquid discharge systems and thermal solutions. “We’re here to play our role in developing more cost-efficient, more energy-efficient and better solutions that bring down operating costs and reduce footprints for reuse solutions to come,” said Markhoff, adding that the whole industry is working hard to bring down the costs for water reuse.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine



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