Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine | June 2018

Page 1

JUNE 2018 www.esemag.com

Wastewater treatment plant monitors its GHG emissions Wastewater report draws attention to emerging contaminants Specifying piping materials for water infrastructure systems Why do we still fluoridate drinking water?


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June 2018 • Vol. 31 No. 3 • ISSN-0835-605X

COMING IN OUR AUGUST 2018 ISSUE This issue will offer our 40,000 readers across Canada a strong and diverse range of articles. EDITORIAL FOCUS



Infrastructure Design for a Changing Climate


Improving large scale flood forecasting and preparation

Annual Government, Association, University and College Directory


Using biological control for invasive zebra and quagga mussels


Choosing the right groundwater model can help ensure an adequate water supply


Wastewater upgrades and straight pipe removal boost outlook for Nova Scotia’s LaHave River


National wastewater report calls for renewed focus on emerging contaminants


Timmins approves $2.2M upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant clarifier





Why do we continue unquestioningly to artificially fluoridate our drinking water? Manitoba Hydro evaluates options for its generating stations’ potable water systems Cape Breton significantly cuts down on non-revenue water use


Controlling treatment disinfection byproduct creation from natural organic materials


Wastewater treatment plant monitors its GHG emissions —Cover story


New grit recovery system installed at Edmonton’s Gold Bar WWTP


Penticton explores modern options for its biosolids disposal


Specifying piping materials for water infrastructure systems


PEI blueberry processing facility looks to upgrade its wastewater treatment lagoon


Developing new stormwater treatment designs for trapping contaminants of concern

STAY CONNECTED  ▶ www.esemag.com 4  |  June 2018

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Why do we continue unquestioningly to artificially fluoridate our drinking water? By George Pastoric


any wonderful slogans are used by Water Environment Federation and American Water Works Association chapters throughout North America and Canada, acknowledging the importance of and pledging our love and respect for water. I’ve worked in the water and wastewater industry as a supplier for more than 30 years, dealing with municipalities and industries, cities, engineers and operations people. I have great respect for everyone in this industry. There is one practice in our world of water, though, that does not sit right with me and it never has. This is the strange, oppressive, and seemingly unchallengeable federally-driven program that pulls at our heart strings to deliver an improvement to our dental health by mass fluoridating only portions of our population via some, but not all, major municipal water supplies. In his article “Does artificial fluoridation mean no golden years for the elderly? (ES&E, Sept. 2012), Sheldon Thomas, founder of Clear Water Legacy and a former manager of water distribution for the City of Hamilton, also detailed his 6  |  June 2018

concerns on this procedure. A percentage of readers may now be rolling their eyes, thinking this has all been discussed, but has it? This program was not developed in Canada or for Canadians and, as I see it, does not respect Canadian values, principles, rights and our environment. So how in the world and why in the world did we get into this in the first place? My extensive research revealed that this controversial program began back in the 1960s. It was driven by Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud and a publicist who wrote a book entitled “Propaganda”. He was known as “the father of public relations” and he felt “manipulation was necessary” as a result of the “herd instinct” that we human beings apparently exhibit. Sources record that Bernays helped the Aluminum Company of America and other special interest groups to convince the American public that water fluoridation was safe and beneficial to human health. This was achieved by using the American Dental Association in “a highly successful media campaign” to get the program passed in the U.S. According to Health Canada, 45.1%

of Canadians drink fluoridated public water. Canada is one of the most fluoridated countries in the world. In comparison, only 5.7% of the world’s population has their public water supply fluoridated. We, in the environmental industry, know that if you need to pilot something you do it on a small scale. How did a corporation and special interest groups get multiple countries to just jump and enter into this experiment on their entire populations? This concept was not enthusiastically embraced by the entire world, however. It was banned in many countries and stopped in others, after no evidence of reduced tooth decay was found. In 1978, the West German Association of Gas & Water Experts rejected fluoridation for legal reasons and because “the so-called optimal fluoride concentration of 1 mg per L is close to the dose at which long-term damage [to the human body] is to be expected.” Of course 1 mg/l is a concentration or dilution rate, not how much you have ingested on a daily basis. So do you know how much fluoride you have ingested? How do we even know how much fluoride we have in our bodies? Strangely, when fluoride was imposed on us, our population was not facing a life-threatening situation, and there was no declaration of Martial Law. Yet, we could not opt out and we were silently stripped of our Right to clean water. Things have changed and it’s not the ‘60s anymore, so can we please acknowledge something obvious: toothpaste made the water fluoridation program obsolete. Why can’t we just accept this and let people be responsible for their own health care? Sadly, this did not happen. Bags of fluoride, marked poisonous, arrive at water plants and they are mixed into our drinking water. What is that man doing over there, pouring bags of poison into our drinking water? Is he a terrorist? No, that’s our government and they say this is a smart thing to do. And what is in the bags? Is this a pharmaceutical grade additive? Does ALCOA supply this? Can we see the MSDS sheets? How is quality ensured? Is it tested and if so how? Lots of questions arise that should raise concern. Through this process, our society has also faced another blow, another corruption of words.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

These are bold words that sound glorious, but what about the facts? Have cavities been extinct since 1965 then? What about the rights of people who don’t want fluoridated water, legal issues, the REVIEW OF MASS BALANCE INFORMATION pollution, the waste and the controversy? Only 5.7% of the world’s population Health Canada suggests that we should all be drinking 2 litres per day of water. has their public water supply fluoridated, In fluoridated areas we fluoridate the and there are protests in every one of entire supply of 329 litres per person per these countries by educated people having day. Why would we waste so much of an to fight their own governments. The rest of additive? Financially, this shows that for the world it seems is doing fine without it. the dollar we spend on fluoridation, we receive about $0.006, or 6/10ths of one IS POLLUTING OUR ENVIRONMENT cent of the tax dollar “value”, while $0.994 SAFE AND EFFECTIVE? Environmentally, this program uses or 99.4 cents of our tax dollar spent on this program is financial waste. Is this typ- about 1 part of 150 then wastes the rest needlessly. What kind of people can waste ical for any other government program? The Canadian government considers this much? This much waste is pollution, this program a success. The US Cen- regardless of what it is. Our bodies absorb an unregulated, ters for Disease Control and Prevention call it “one of the 10 great public health unmeasurable amount. We get it by ingesachievements of the 20th century.” The tion through drinking prepared water, World Health Organization considers coffee, tea, juice, beer, wine, etc., anything access to this substance to be a part of made using this water. We can’t avoid it when we are watering and washing our the basic human right to life. Water joined tobacco, as a word that describes something that has ingredients, but has no published ingredients list.

vegetables, making foods with water, ice, bathing, showering, etc., and yet we are assured this is “OK”. Aside from this, the vast majority of this prepared fluoridated water supply goes directly to the environment when we wash our cars, water our lawns, flush our toilets, use it industrially, etc. To put this into perspective, every year here in Canada the amount of fluoride that we purchase would be almost 52,000 22.68-kg bags, and of this, we end up ingesting about 316 bags per year. The balance of 51,678 of these bags goes directly into our precious environment. This means we have been putting over 1,000,000 kg of fluoride directly into our environment every year since 1965. That is more than 50,000 metric tons. Is there honestly anyone out there thinking that this is “OK”? When we started this program there was none there except in areas where it occurred naturally. When we consider fluoride levels in our natural spring waters and this fluoride continued overleaf…

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TECHNICAL ADVISORY BOARD Archis Ambulkar, Jones and Henry Engineers, Ltd. Gary Burrows, City of London Patrick Coleman, Black & Veatch Bill De Angelis, City of Toronto Mohammed Elenany, Urban Systems William Fernandes, City of Toronto Marie Meunier, John Meunier Inc., Québec Tony Petrucci, Stantec, Markham

Environmental Science & Engineering is a bi-monthly business publication of Environmental Science & Engineering Publications Inc. An all Canadian publication, ES&E provides authoritative editorial coverage of Canada’s municipal and industrial environmental control systems and drinking water treatment and distribution. Readers include consulting engineers, industrial plant managers and engineers, key municipal, provincial and federal environmental officials, water and wastewater plant operators and contractors. Information contained in ES&E has been compiled from sources believed to be correct. ES&E cannot be responsible for the accuracy of articles or other editorial matter. Articles in this magazine are intended to provide information rather than give legal or other professional advice. Articles being submitted for review should be emailed to 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

8  |  June 2018

discharge statistic, what can we expect? If there is fluoride there now, how can we know if it is natural? Why have the legal, financial and environmental aspects of this program never been part of the open discussion? Who was party to this decision on our behalf? Was there ever an environmental assessment or any consideration of the environment? Would we have said yes to this if we had all of the information to consider beforehand? Should we not have the right to review all the details of this to see if we should continue this at all? FLUORIDE – PART OF THE BASIC HUMAN RIGHT TO LIFE FOR DENTAL HEALTH, OR PERSISTENT TOXIC PRIORITY POLLUTANT? Introduced in the late 1980s, the Ontario government’s MISA (Municipal Industrial Strategy for Abatement) program focused a lot of attention on persistent toxics and priority pollutants. It also set out to accurately qualify and quantify data on discharges so that we could better manage and protect our environment. MISA also listed persistent toxic priority pollutants like arsenic, lead and fluoride. It limited industries’ discharge to a maximum of 1 ppm of arsenic and 1 ppm of lead, but 10 ppm of fluoride. According to the handbook, Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, fluoride is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. Fluoride is a cumulative poison that accumulates in bone over the years. Five grams of fluoride is a lethal dose. The 22.68 kg bags that are delivered to municipal drinking water treatment facilities can each kill 4,536 people. Wastewater and water plants do not remove fluoride, so a cycle began where we continue to contribute and distribute

this persistent toxic material to our environment. There, like in our bodies, it is cumulative. It will be around for a long, long time and it will continue to collect in our environment. Are we comfortable with these facts, as well as in dumping a persistent toxic into Mother Nature and our sacred fresh water supplies year after year, acting entitled and completely justified in the pursuit of “pretty teeth”? Many doctors are firm in their resolve to see no changes to the program, yet have they ever been aware of all the facts? We are told that this program represents a pinnacle of achievement in health care and we see federal tax dollars at work telling us of this, looking to enforce this program. Why? The program boasts of reduction of a few cavities per person in a lifetime – a few fillings, which to me might as well just be statistical error. This is not saving the lives of our citizens, yet all citizens are affected when our rights are taken away and we are forced to be exposed to this whether we want it or not, forced to waste tax money at an alarming rate >99% and pollute too! Where is the data showing that this is safe and effective? Doesn’t the presence of the program seem to present unnecessary impositions and unquantified, unwanted risks? Not all doctors are so sure of this program. Dr. Peter Mansfield, a physician from the UK and advisory board member of the recent government review of fluoridation (McDonagh et al 2000), has stated: “No physician in his right senses would prescribe for a person he has never met, whose medical history he does not know, a substance which is intended to create bodily change, with the advice: ‘Take as much as you like, but you will take it for continued on page 66

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Manitoba Hydro evaluates options for generation stations’ potable water systems By Dr. Lyle Henson and Isaac Deluna


ydroelectric generating stations are typically remote in nature and run by a small number of operation and maintenance personnel. The current staff of Manitoba’s Lower Nelson River Stations (LNRS) fluctuates between 20 – 25 people during the day shift and two or three people during the night shift. During heavy maintenance periods (spring and fall) there can be 25 – 30 people during the day shift and 15 – 20 during the night shift. The original water treatment systems at the LNRS were fed from the station service and cooling water system carrying Nelson River water from the forebay through the turbine unit main strainer to a hydropneumatic tank. Historically, prior to entering the tank, raw water was dosed with chlorine. From the hydropneumatic store tank, “treated” water was then distributed throughout the generating station. For years, this process was the water treatment system at Limestone Generating Station and Long Spruce Generating Station for production of potable water. A multimedia filtration system was also in operation at Kettle Generating Station during this time. The old water treatment systems at the three stations were not able to meet Manitoba Regulation and Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ). So, a decision was made to seek viable replacement options. Consideration for the remote nature of these facilities and the limited availability of operations personnel had to be considered when choosing appropriate technology.

Top: C10 module at nanofiltration membrane pilot.. Bottom-left: Raw water at Radisson Converter Station. Bottom-right: Finished water at Radisson Converter Station.

levels at 30 NTU or higher significantly decrease the effectiveness of chlorination in the treated water, which creates a high risk of microbiological contaminants in the drinking water. Surface water (Nelson River water) typically contains high levels of dissolved organic matter. When mixed with chlorine, it creates byproducts such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAA) which are WATER TREATMENT considered carcinogenic. ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED Various water treatment technologies Water quality data gathered by Man- were considered for the upgrade of the itoba Hydro indicates that the Nelson water treatment systems at the LNRS. River contains high levels of turbidity The four most viable were water hauling, (up to 60 NTU) and dissolved compo- microfiltration, ultrafiltration and nanonents. Research indicates that turbidity filtration (tubular membranes). 10  |  June 2018

WATER HAULING The first option considered was hauling treated water by truck to the generating station. Depending on the water usage at the generating station, water could be delivered as required. There are advantages with this option regarding permitting, operator classification and operation and maintenance requirements. Classification and permitting would only be required for the distribution system (level 1) and minimal chemicals would be required. On the other hand, there are disadvantages. The potential of cross contamination when handling water from the continued overleaf…

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WATER supply. Note, new filters would need to be purchased and installed. This negatively impacted the operation and maintenance cost of the proposed system. • The UF system frequently stopped due to high differential pressure at the 50-micron filters. The pilot plant could not run for more than half a day without operator intervention. • This technology required the use of antiscalant (chemical product) prior to UF, which adds another cost to the operation. This antiscalant has been approved but it may have a negative impact on the environment.

water plant to the point of use is a serious concern. The cost of transporting water is high when considering the purchasing/leasing of trucks, maintenance, and garaging. Finally, the process is vulnerable to delays in water delivery due to weather conditions, truck breakdowns, and truck operator availability. The Town of Gillam is a remote location where the closest city/town is 300 km away and it is the only source of water when considering this option. Preliminary engineering draft assessment conducted by a consultant indicated that the Town of Gillam water treatment plant could not handle any additional load unless upgrades were made to the water treatment process and infrastructure. In addition, its pressure filters were not meeting turbidity standards. MICROFILTRATION Microfiltration produces higher levels of water quality than more traditional methods of coagulation and filtration and will typically meet or exceed current water quality regulations. One of the major drawbacks of this system is that the raw water requires pretreatment to reduce dissolved organics. If the system is installed without pretreatment, there is a high chance that turbidity and particulate content of the raw water will cause membrane fouling, frequent cleaning cycles, higher operator involvement and increased pathogens. Because of the pretreatment required, this alternative presented huge disadvantages, such as high capital cost, a larger footprint because of the two-stage treatment, associated chemical costs, and a higher operator classification level. As part of the water treatment plant upgrades at Lower Nelson River Stations, a study was conducted at Henday Converter Station to prove the viability of installing a microfiltration water treatment system without pretreatment. Two water quality tests were performed at Henday, and in one of the tests, the treated water showed non-compliance with the total trihalomethanes parameter mandated by MR 41/2007. Also, it was determined that dissolved organic carbon removal was poor with this technology.

12  |  June 2018

Fouled 100-micron particulate filters (UF Pilot Plant at Limestone).

PILOT PLANT (ULTRAFILTRATION/ HOLLOW FIBRE) With this technology, raw water is pumped through a coarse filter (50 micron and 100 micron), then through an ultrafiltration (UF) membrane unit and then to a post UF water storage tank. Ultrafiltration membranes are backwashed periodically to avoid differential pressure increase. A chlorination system is provided for injection into the backwash water entering the UF membranes. Backwash water coming out of the membranes is collected in a wash water tank and then disposed of slowly. Filtered water is then injected with antiscalant solution to control scale on the surface of the membranes. A booster pump feeds the water into two housings of ultrafiltration membranes. While passing through the membranes, water divides into three streams: product, reject, and recycle water going back to the ultrafiltration pump. A pilot plant was installed at Limestone Generating Station in 2016 to determine if this technology was suitable for use at the LNRS. The pilot plant resulted in the following findings: • The 50-micron filters constantly plugged up (every second day), requiring operator intervention. These filters were located downstream from the raw water

PILOT PLANT (NANOFILTRATION/ FYNE PROCESS) A small nanofiltration pilot plant was installed at the Limestone Generating Station and the Radisson Converter Station in 2014. A small Mini-Fyne pilot unit was used for the pilot tests, fitted with three full-scale 4m C10 modules, each containing a different membrane to be tested (AFC30, AFC31 & ES404). The semi-permeable nanofiltration membrane is coated on the inside of the membrane tubes. Membrane tubes are connected by “U”-shaped connectors in a series flow path within each module. There is only one inlet and one outlet connection on each module for raw water. A 12 mm diameter foam ball is fitted in one of the raw water connections on each module. A screened “foam ball catcher” at each end of the flow path keeps the foam ball from leaving the system. During operation, flow reversal causes the foam ball to pass through all the tubes in the module before being caught in the foam ball catcher at the other end of the module. This provides cleaning of the inside wall of the membrane tube. A pressurized feed of raw water was supplied to the unit for the pilot. The Mini-Fyne unit has a higher–pressure recirculation pump, driven by a variable frequency drive, to provide the correct flow conditions at the membrane surface for process and foam ball clean. When the unit is filtering, raw water is circulated at pressure by a recirculation pump through the inside of the membrane tubes. Additional raw water is drawn into the recirculation loop. Clean filtered water continued overleaf…

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Sustainable Ecosystems


Soil retaining system helps urban trees reach passes through the membrane tube wall and is collected in the module shroud. During the filtration process, the inside maturity Keshavarzi The concentration By of Eric organics and

other contaminants slowly builds up in the recirculation loop and thisand water is reen infrastructure susdischarged periodically to waste in a flush tainability goals are of incycle. The recirculation pump is slowed creasing importance, and down and achieving the rejectthem by-pass valve requires tech-is opened. The frequency of opening of the nical knowledge and training in varied valve controls the recovery (percentage fields. Integration of soil and trees into for rawareas watersubstantially converted toimproves filtered water). urban susDuring the filtration process, theof inside tainability and helps alleviate some our walls pressing of the membrane slowly most ecological tubes challenges. become coated contaminants from These include airwith and water quality, rising the raw water. To maintain cleanliness of temperatures, flooding and erosion from the membrane surface and to discharge daily rainfall events. theThe concentrated raw water contained West Don Lands, in Toronto, Onin the recirculation loop, the unit peritario, is a community that is people foodicallyfamily and automatically performed a cused, friendly, environmentally “foam ball clean”. During the foam ball sustainable and beautifully designed for clean, the direction of the flow of the raw living. It has a Stage 1 LEED ND GOLD water in the module is reversed. certification under the pilot program esThis causes the foam ballBuilding to pass tablished by the U.S. Green through each of the 72 membrane tubes Council. inside the module, cleaning the inside One notable sustainable component, surface in ofthe thedesign membrane tube. streets, At the utilized of the area’s same time the reject valve opens, disis a soil retaining system called Silva charging the concentrated raw water and Cells™. Typical urban trees in the city drawing freshapproximately water into the recirculacore die after seven years. tion loop. The foam ball clean occurred However, Silva Cells help extend their every six flush life spans, thus cycles. promoting the growth of For the pilots, mature street trees.the C10 modules were fitted with PCI type ofAFC30, & Although the City TorontoAFC31 had preES404 membranes. These membranes are viously used Silva Cells as part of a manufactured from polyamide (AFC30 stormwater management pilot program in & AFC31 75% retention of CaCl2) and The Queensway, their use as part of site


walls of the membrane tubes slowly become coated with contaminants from the raw water.

polyethersulphone (ES404 4000 MWCO) material. The unit is automatically controlled by a programmable relay controller to undergo automated foam ball cleaning cycles on a pre-set frequency. A VFD driven recirculation pump draws water into the recirculation loop and filtrate leaves the system through a permeate flow meter. The recirculation loop water becomes more concentrated over time Installation of Silva Cellseach in Mill Street. and is purged to drain foam ball cycle. The foam ball interval setting condevelopment is new. In fact, the West Don trols the operating recovery. Lands streets are the first in a Toronto The pilot plant resulted inwith the following: subdivision to be designed this sys• tem High quality water that exceeds installed under parking lay-bysManand itoba Regulation and Guidelines for sidewalks. Canadian Drinking Water Mill Street was the firstQuality. subdivision • street Lowin Toronto operation and maintenance to be designed to include requirements, essentially “hands off ” this soil retaining system. As the lead operation. engineering consultant, R.V.Anderson • Associates No chemical required treatment. coordinated allfor plans and spec• ifications Chemical cleaning extended to three with the landscape architect. to four months due to mechanical foam About Silva Cells ballSilva clean.Cells are a plastic/fiberglass • structure Superbofcolour removal. columns and beams that sup• port Outstanding turbidity removal. paving above un-compacted planting

• Smaller footprint. • Easy installation. The results conclusively showed that the AFC30 membrane exceeded the GCDWQ and would meet the needs of the Limestone, Long Spruce, Kettle and Radisson facilities. Additionally, the unit proved to be largely hands off and required a minimum amount of manpower to operate. There was only a single clean performed during the pilot and this was prior to start-up at the Radisson facility. soil. The structure has 92% void space Asisanticipated, the pilot confirmed the and a stable surface for the installation need to perform a chemical clean every of vehicle loaded-pavements. three or four months due tothey the can effiWhen properly installed, cacy of the foam ball clean. The results achieve an AASHTO H-20 load rating. of both pilots supported use of the Canadian Highway Bridgethe Design Code Fyne process for all of Manitoba Hydro’s loading can also be achieved through apgenerating stations and HVDC facilities propriate design. This is the required load due to performance, limited manpower rating for structures such as underground requirements and grates cost. in areas of trafvaults, covers and fic including sidewalks and parking lots.

Dr. with TheLyle cellHenson structureis transfers the force to a Membrane Specialists. Email: base layer below the structure. lyle.henson@membranespecialists.com. Soil within the cells remains at low Isaac Delunarates, is with Manitoba Hydro. compaction thereby creating ideal



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26 | May 2013 14  |  June 2018

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WATER mated flushing devices. Mueller Canada consulted with the CBRM Water Utility in the months following the presentation and went to the site to better understand the logistics of adding an HG-8 to the MacLeod Street service bleeder line. It was quickly determined that this would be an easy installation as the existing service bleeder line used for conventional flushing had an old Mueller inverted key curb stop which remained fully open, controlling the water flushed through a 20 mm polyethylene tubing to the surface. The Hydro-Guard HG-8 was attached to the existing curb stop as a reliable connection for the flusher’s outlet line. Though a curb stop was not required for the automated flushing device’s outlet connection, the municipality did not want to jeopardize the service bleeder line’s integrity, as it had been dependable for years of daily use at a relatively high pressure. By adding a new Mueller Oriseal curb stop on the inlet connection of the automated flushing device and an adjustable arch base service box, the flushing unit was quickly connected. All that was left to do was return the gravel and softly compact the ground over the installation area. During excavation, Louie Margettie, CBRM Water Utility Supervisor, found that the old Mueller inverted key curb stop and the relative service bleeder line were still in good working condition and could be used to connect the HG-8 automated flushing device. “At this point, it became clear that this was going to be an easy installation, by using the existing curb stop and service bleeder line,” said Margettie. It is important to ensure that flushing units are suitable for the environment in which they are operating. In colder climates like Cape Breton, where winter temperatures can be consistently below freezing, it is necessary to place mechanical components in the ground below frost depths. This can add a degree of difficulty when it comes to accessibility. To overcome this challenge, internal components of the HG-8 are mounted on a movable platform that is connected to the inlet and outlet piping. This arrangement allows the platform to be easily raised to the surface by one person and


The town of New Glasgow had installed eight Hydro-Guard® HG-8 automated flushing devices.


Cape Breton significantly cuts down on non-revenue water use By Jeff Jensen


he Cape Breton Regional Municipal (CBRM) Water Utility in Nova Scotia supplies potable water to a population of 81,000, which is distributed over 770 km of pipeline. To do this, they operate, maintain and manage five water treatment plants, six pumping stations, 11 water storage tanks, eight supply sources, 2,900 fire hydrants, 28,700 water meters, and thousands of valves. All municipal water distribution systems require flushing to maintain chlorine residual levels and prevent the buildup of biofilms. CBRM, like many municipalities of its size, uses a variety of conventional flushing methods for discharging stagnant water, including service “bleeder” lines (operating 365 days a year) and periodic manual hydrant flushing. This results in millions of litres of treated water going back into the environment. Non-revenue water (NRW) represents significant costs, when factoring in the 16  |  June 2018

expense of treating and pumping water throughout the distribution system. Real costs of non-revenue water are difficult to determine per flush event, as operational costs and asset depreciation are also difficult to ascertain. Quantifying the volume of water lost through conventional flushing methods versus an automated flushing device is the goal of this article. When Greg Campbell, CBRM Water Utility’s Water Systems Engineer, viewed a presentation on automated programmable flushing in the spring of 2017, it became obvious to him that there was a relatively easy and inexpensive fix to significantly reduce the NRW problem occurring at the MacLeod Street flush point in Sydney. The presentation showcased the neighboring town of New Glasgow’s “auto flushers” that save an average of 37 million litres per auto flusher annually. The town of New Glasgow had installed eight Hydro-Guard HG-8 auto-


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then lowered back for normal operation. At the surface, the HG-8 installation is only evidenced by its composite lid at ground level. If the municipality feels it is necessary, extra security from public tampering may be added by using a 65 cm-diameter frame and cover. The HG-8 eliminates flushing noise and vibration, which means the public isn’t aware or concerned with flushing events, unlike other flushing approaches that visibly discharge water. The water utility currently has the unit set to flush twice daily, instead of 24 hours per day, and is maintaining acceptable chlorine residuals. Flushing is scheduled when demand is low which results in less disruption to water customers and still provides consistent, safe, clean drinking water. This unit alone is expected to save nearly 23 million litres of water annually. There are many options for automated flushing, and most can be easily installed using existing water infrastructure. For example, discharge outlet lines can ideally be plumbed to storm sewer manholes or swales. Many automated flushing units

also have the capability to add accessories for real-time analysis, using two-way communication with existing SCADA systems. These options can be very useful in times of unusual weather events like flooding or large snow accumulations. CBRM installed a Neptune positive displacement ND customer meter to the unit on MacLeod Street and can accurately measure flow at the flush point. If one 20 mm service line at 115 psi can displace over 23 million litres of water annually into the environment, imagine how many of these service lines and other bleeder or flush lines behave in a similar manner in other municipalities. These numbers become staggering when you look at non-revenue water as a global issue. Each Hydro-Guard® HG-8 flushing device can With innovation on the part of CBRM and save over 23 million litres of water annually. collaboration with local suppliers, a smart solution to conventional flushing became an instant success, saving the utility $2,284 annually per installation. Jeff B. Jensen is with Mueller Canada. E-mail: more-info@muellercanada.com

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June 2018  |  17


Controlling treatment disinfection byproduct creation from natural organic materials


afe operation of a water treatment plant requires careful monitoring of the water supply for any substances entering the plant that could negatively impact treated water quality. One aspect of water quality that has recently garnered more attention from authorities and utilities is natural organic matter (NOM). This is a group of carbon-based compounds found in natural water systems and formed by the decomposition of organic materials and associated metabolic reactions. NOM itself does not pose a risk to human health. However, some NOM compounds are known to react with chlorine and chloramines in drinking water treatment to produce disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), which are known to be carcinogenic and/or genotoxic. Health Canada, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the World Health Organization include sections focused on control of DBPs in their drinking water treatment guidelines. Preventing the formation of DBPs is a multi-faceted issue for drinking water utilities. A variety of strategies are being developed for both general treatment and specific plant/source conditions. Each facility and water source is different; therefore, no one strategy can be applied. Often, utilities are encouraged by their local authority to have a unique monitoring plan developed. Prevention strategies can be generalized into four groups (reference WHO 2006): • Optimize treatment conditions to remove precursor NOM compounds. • Use a different chemical disinfectant with less tendency to form byproducts. • Use a non-chemical disinfectant. • Remove DBPs prior to distribution. Since drinking water plants typically maintain a disinfectant residual in the distribution system, use of solely a non-chemical disinfection is often not an option. Similarly, most guidelines specify chlorine or chloramines for disinfection; 18  |  June 2018

Online peCOD analyzer.

DBP formation pathways.

therefore, it can be difficult and costly to switch to a different chemical disinfectant. Removal of DBPs before distribution is often not practical, due to high implementation costs and uncertainty as to whether the DBPs are forming at the plant or in the distribution system through reactions with residual disinfectant. Therefore, the

preferred prevention strategy for most utilities is optimization of treatment conditions to remove precursor NOM compounds. For utilities beginning to address DBP formation through removal of precursor compounds, it is crucial to gain an continued overleaf…

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WATER understanding of the NOM present in the source water matrix influent to the plant. This is especially important for sources that experience seasonal/temporal variations, which is common for many surface water systems and some groundwater systems. Traditional parameters for monitoring of source and treated waters include total organic carbon (TOC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nm (UV254). These parameters are complimentary to each other, providing different insights into the overall NOM makeup. However, they each have shortcomings and individually do not reveal the full picture. Recently, a new photoelectrochemical oxygen demand (peCOD) method has been developed for fresh water systems. Its low detection limit (<1 ppm), rapid analysis time (<5 min), and streamlined operation allow utilities to implement it for source monitoring. ASTM International has published a new method specific to peCOD (D808417), and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has also published a method for the peCOD in surface waters (E3515). One drinking water utility, which receives source water from a river, sees a great amount of variation in source water quality throughout the year, and even from events such as storms and rapid snowmelt. In early 2017, they implemented peCOD

alongside TOC and UV254 in an online monitoring system, with the end goal of using real-time monitoring of these parameters to develop a model for dictating treatment actions, such as pH adjustment and coagulant dosing. The first stage of this project was to establish baseline conditions for each of the parameters, as well as comparing their response to events known to influence NOM. The comparison showed the value of the peCOD parameter in the application of source water monitoring. The data indicates that peCOD can successfully capture/detect any event detected by UV254 or TOC, and suggests that peCOD can capture/detect a greater fraction of the NOM than the other parameters for certain events. The next stage of this project is to utilize a THM analyzer alongside the online analyzers monitoring source water, which mimics disinfection to form, then measure THM disinfection byproducts. The utility will develop correlations and trends for each parameter, as well as combinations of parameters, to actual DBP formation. Implementation of the Online PeCOD Analyzer has already given the utility a barrier of protection, in that the operators constantly check the value to get an idea of the incoming NOM to the plant. As more data is collected, the operators will continue to establish connections


Online UV254, SUVA, and TOC analyzers.

between measured values/behaviour and real plant decisions, improving their operation efficiency and leading to reductions in operating cost. For more information, visit www.mantech-inc.com

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20  |  June 2018

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The Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plant was built in 1994, almost entirely underground.

Wastewater treatment plant monitors its GHG emissions By Mirja Maja


lobally, little attention is paid to gaseous emissions from wastewater treatment processes. This contrasts greatly with the regulatory monitoring that is applied to the quality of water emissions from such facilities. However, in Helsinki, Finland, a large municipal wastewater treatment facility continuously monitors its emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to help in the City’s efforts to combat climate change and also to help improve the wastewater treatment process. The Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plant was built in 1994, almost entirely underground, as the average winter temperature in Helsinki is -4°C, with extremes below -20°C to -30°C. Underground construction is common practice in Nordic 22  |  June 2018

shallow and scattered shore and nature reserves along the coastline of Helsinki. The activated sludge treatment process includes three phases: mechanical, biological and chemical treatment. Traditional nitrogen removal has been enhanced with a biological filter that utilizes denitrification bacteria. Biogas is generated in the sludge digescountries, providing other advantages, tion process and the energy produced such as land availability above the plant from it means the plant is self-sufficient and the provision of stable conditions for for heating and about 70% self-sufficient for electricity. However, the plant aims process control and odour management. The Viikinmäki plant is the largest to be fully energy self-sufficient in the wastewater treatment facility in Finland, near future, and around 60,000 tonnes handling approximately 270,000 m³ of of dried waste sludge is sold each year wastewater per day. It is treated in com- for landscaping purposes. pliance with the Finnish Wastewater Discharge Permit, which is stricter than GAS MONITORING the EU Water Framework Directive for As a result of the size of the plant, parameters such as nitrogen removal, according to the European Pollutant phosphate content, BOD, COD and Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) suspended solids. Treated wastewater reporting, and the commitment of the is conveyed 8 km out to sea and to a Helsinki Region Environmental Services depth of over 20 m. The 16 km long dis- Authority (HSY) to the protection of the charge pipe was built in the 1980s and environment, it was necessary to moniwas designed to ensure that discharged tor or model gaseous emissions. At the wastewater did not accumulate in the continued overleaf… Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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The Gasmet CEMS measures all infrared frequencies simultaneously to produce a spectrum from which qualitative and quantitative data are produced.

beginning of the E-PRTR reporting requirements (2007), HSY modelled annual gaseous emissions based on grab samples. This was relatively simple to implement because the plant is enclosed underground and a gas exhaust system was already in place. Initially, a portable Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analyzer from Gasmet was used for a short period to assess plant emissions and for research purposes. However, as Mari Heinonen, Process Manager at Viikinmäki, reports: “The gas emissions data were very interesting; but, they were not representative of the annual emissions and posed more questions than they answered. We therefore purchased a continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) from Gasmet. Very little data has been published on the GHG emissions of wastewater treatment and, as far as we are aware, Viikinmäki is the only plant in the world conducting this type of monitoring, so our data is likely to be of major significance.” The Gasmet CEMS employs an FTIR spectrometer to obtain infrared spectra from the waste gas stream, by first collecting an “interferogram” of the sample signal with an interferometer. This measures all infrared frequencies simultaneously to produce a spectrum from which qualitative and quantitative data are produced. For example, the CEMS at Viikinmäki continuously displays emissions data for CH4, N2O, CO2, NO, NO2, and NH3. Over a number of years, Gasmet has established a library of FTIR reference spectra that now extends to simultaneous quantification of 50 gases or identification of unknowns from a collection of 5000+ gases. This means that it is possible to re-analyze produced spectra with the instrument’s PC based software (Calcmet) and thereby to identify unknown gases. Whilst FTIR is able to analyze an enormous number of gases, the technique is not suitable for noble gases, homonuclear diatomic gases (e.g., N2, Cl2, H2, F2, etc) or H2S (detection limit too high). With the monitoring data, Heinonen has calculated the annual emissions for methane to be around 350 tonnes, and for nitrous oxide around 134 tonnes. This means that the emissions per cubic metre of wastewater equate to 3.5 g of methane and 1.34 g of nitrous oxide. Looking forward, Heinonen believes that it will be possible to use the gas monitoring data to improve process control. She says that “traditional monitoring/control systems focus on concentrations of oxygen, nitrate and ammonia in the water, but, if we detect high levels of N2O gas for example, this may indicate a problem in the process that we can use as a feedback control. Monitoring data for gaseous nitrogen compounds (N2O, NH3, NOx) complements water analysis and provides a more complete picture of the nitrogen cycle in the treatment process. “Clearly, further research will be required, but this work may indicate a need to consider the fate of nitrogenous compounds beyond just those in the wastewater. The removal of nitrogen from wastewater is a key objective, but, if this results in high N2O emissions, the process may need to be managed in a different way.” Mirja Maja is with Gasmet Technologies Inc. Email: mirja.maja@gasmet.com

24  |  June 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

The Global Water Crisis 1.8 billion people lack access to clean water

Hygienic practices such as washing hands with soap can reduce the risk of diarrhea by at least 35%

2.5 billion people—more than a third of the world’s population —lack access to a toilet

More than 3.4 million people each year die from water related diseases—that’s nearly the population of LA

Women and children spend 200 million hours a day collecting water

Nearly 90% of global cases of diarrhea are estimated to be attributable to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene

WHERE WATER FOR PEOPLE COMES IN Our goal is simple: Water for Everyone Forever We’re taking big steps to solve the world’s water crisis—permanently. We want complete water coverage for every family, every school, and every clinic. And we’re teaming up with Everyone to make this difference last Forever. Water For People brings together local entrepreneurs, civil society, governments, and communities to establish creative, collaborative solutions that allow people to build and maintain their own reliable and safe water systems. We’re not just addressing the symptoms of the problem, but preventing it from happening again in the future. The road to permanent water coverage for Everyone Forever is challenging. If we invest more now to create sustainable and replicable water and sanitation infrastructure, we can achieve incredible outcomes—more children are in school, more individuals are employed, more families are healthy and thriving, and more communities are collaborating and growing. From there, the impact continues to ripple out on a national and global scale.



New grit recovery system installed at Edmonton’s Gold Bar WWTP By Nick Szoke


or most people, the term “wastewater” can be misleading. Think of water that’s been spent, not water that is waste. In fact, wastewater contains many valuable resources that, if recovered, can be repurposed. Integrated resource recovery (IRR) offers a comprehensive framework for maximizing the recapture of valued end products. In 2014, EPCOR Water Services Inc. was faced with a challenge in Edmonton, Alberta. They had previously been treating the City’s wastewater grit slurry at Kennedale Works Yard, but the site was discontinued to facilitate new housing developments. Since land treatment of grit slurry was not considered a viable option, EPCOR needed to find other means to manage this material. Until a better solution could be realized, they temporarily disposed of the grit slurry at the Cloverbar Biosolids Storage Lagoons. EPCOR retained Stantec to review grit slurry characteristics, its hauled volume and mass, and disposal frequency. Stantec also developed site options and offered estimates of probable costs for informed decision-making purposes. The purpose was to answer two main questions. How could EPCOR recover grit from wastewater to produce a reusable and marketable product? How could they feasibly accomplish it without negatively impacting the environment or nearby communities? Stantec reviewed candidate equipment suppliers and found that HUBER Technology was well suited to receive and process the type and quantity of wastewater slurry collected from Edmonton’s wastewater sewer system. There were no facilities in North America that used HUBER technology for this purpose. Therefore, Stantec deemed it prudent to visit facilities in Europe to review their operating history and understand the nuances of the overall system, as well as reliability, robustness, equipment layout, and other 26  |  June 2018

HUBER’s grit removal system.

considerations. They also took the opportunity to engage in dialogue with plant representatives to gather knowledge and specific technical information useful in the design of such a facility. Finally, the team visited HUBER’s manufacturing facility to learn

about the stringent quality control and testing. EPCOR engaged Stantec and PCL to engineer and construct the grit treatment recovery facility (GTRF) at the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant (GBWWTP). Its purpose is to accept and treat settled

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

solids collected from the City’s wastewater sewers and pump stations. There are several IRR projects operating in North America, but this is the first purpose-built facility of its kind solely incorporating HUBER grit processing technology. The technology can effectively remove at least 70% of the inert solids from the grit slurry and at the same time reduce organic content to less than 3%. Stantec reviewed the design criteria and basis of design with HUBER to confirm equipment selection and process requirements. The GTRF was to be capable of processing 3.0 m³ of treated solids per hour. Hydrovac trucks owned and operated by EPCOR dispose of odorous material at this facility, which has been designed to accommodate up to 10 trucks per day, each with a payload up to 6.1 m³ of grit slurry. The current design is based on one truck bay, one receiving hopper, one drum washer, and two grit washers working in parallel. Provisions have been made to expand the facility to add a second truck


erty boundaries, with very constrained opportunities to expand the treatment processes. This presented a significant challenge when determining a location on-site that met the following criteria: • Tied to the plant’s final effluent to provide a wash water supply. • Able to convey the reject water back to the headend of the plant for full treatment. • Allows clear access and sufficient area for hydrovac trucks to maneuver to dispose of the sanitary waste in the GTRF. • Considers future expansion of the plant. Based on the criteria outlined, a location at the east end of the plant was selected as the preferred site. Due to the proximity of the proposed GTRF to an actively used City walking trail, additional design challenges for noise and odour mitigation for surrounding communities SITE LOCATION The GBWWTP is set in Edmon- had to be factored into the design and ton’s river valley, adjacent to Gold Bar operation. Park. The plant site has defined propcontinued overleaf…

bay, a second receiving hopper, and a second drum washer. While coarse material from the drum washer is conveyed to a disposal bin, clean grit is conveyed to a 6 m³ bin for reuse. The current design and future expansion have the same wash water demand of 142 m³ per hour (~40 L/s). Disinfected final effluent was deemed a good wash water source. The cleaning process was configured so that the reject water could be paced at the same rate as the wash water was supplied. Any excess water in the grit slurry could be handled by buffer storage in the wet wells. Reject water from the washing of the grit is then pumped back to the headend of GBWWTP for full treatment. The GTRF was developed within the existing limits of the GBWWTP, which provided several challenges for construction teams on site.

June 2018  |  27

WASTEWATER NOISE CONTROL Due to how close GBWWTP is to neighbouring residential communities and Gold Bar Park, EPCOR must adhere to strict noise regulations as outlined in the City of Edmonton’s by-law requirements. The by-law states that the maximum noise emitted from the facility cannot exceed 65 decibels during daytime hours and 50 decibels during all other times. Two major sources of noise at the GTRF are the HVAC supply air unit and odour control units. Overall noise is further increased by the sound emitted from the hydrovac trucks regularly accessing the facility, as well as the operation of the treatment process. Stantec worked closely with equipment manufacturers to ensure that noise control requirements were met. For equipment that produced elevated noise levels, they used screen walls to provide a buffer between the facility and adjacent walking trail.

ODOUR CONTROL Special attention was paid to air handling systems to effectively reduce odour from the disposal of the sanitary grit. Similar to the reasoning for strict noise requirements, GBWWTP has implemented a strict odour mitigation program. Stantec designed an odour control system to reduce odours to less than 5 odour units (OU) and 2 parts per billion (ppb) of H2S at the fence line. The odour control system was designed and implemented to scrub and clean peak and average odour concentrations at 99% and 95% H2S and total odour removals, respectively.

These include: use of final effluent to clean wastewater grit slurry; grit recovery for potential beneficial reuse; and full treatment of reject water through the GBWWTP. Ultimately, the GTRF separates the fine and coarse material and results in the fine material consisting of less than 3% organics. Recovered grit can then be beneficially reused as road construction material, trench backfill, and in other similar ways. The grit treatment recovery facility was fully commissioned in October 2017. EPCOR is continuing to review and implement new and innovative technologies at the GBWWTP, while also moving in a direction that embodies integrated resource recovery principles. There are many other opportunities for possible resource recovery from wastewater treatment.

IRR AND SUSTAINABILITY The GTRF is aligned with Edmonton’s strategic plan “The Way Ahead” and demonstrates EPCOR’s commitment to providing cost-effective and practical solutions with attention to IRR and sustainability. The implementation of the Nick Szoke is with Stantec in Edmonton. GTRF at GBWWTP follows the princi- For more information, email: ples set forth in IRR and sustainability. ashley.warnock@stantec.com


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28  |  June 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Penticton’s use of the Campbell Mountain Landfill for wastewater solids has been part of the controversy. Photo: City of Penticton

Penticton explores modern options for its biosolids disposal

Robson’s staff report notes that the compost facility at Campbell Mountain does not meet new regulations, which is a particular driver for exploring additional composting options. He also noted that the market for compost has enticton’s public works manager keting challenges, landfill needs, and been slow, with the city needing to hold is recommending that the Brit- development pressures have created the compost giveaway days for Penticton ish Columbia city spend $125,000 need to review operations and explore businesses and residents in order to free to have a consultant examine an other potential methods of managing up real estate at the landfill. A community engagement plan was a array of modern options for handling its the solids,” wrote Penticton Public Works strong component of Robson’s presentaManager Len Robson in the report. wastewater biosolids. The Public Works Department wants tion to city council this month. He said that, Currently, the Okanagan Valley city of 44,000 people transports biosolids to issue a request for proposals to qual- due to recent controversies surrounding every weekday from its advanced waste- ified engineering consulting firms to the siting of proposed composting faciliwater treatment plant to a composting identify potential alternative manage- ties elsewhere in the region, he wanted to facility at the Campbell Mountain Land- ment processes in a report to service the ensure that the public not only stayed in fill, where it is processed into compost, sanitary sewer residuals management the loop, but that Penticton received the best guidance surrounding options for needs for at least the next 20 years. using aerated static pile technology. the future of its biosolids management. The review would explore: A staff report describes the process The city even has a dedicated engagement as being mixed with a blend of ground • Land application of biosolids; strategist for the project. organic and dimensional lumber waste • Incineration or waste to energy; Penticton’s use of the Campbell Mounat a ratio that allows for the compost • Landfill options; tain Landfill for wastewater solids has process to occur. After meeting the tem- • Alternative solids processors; perature and time requirements, the • Digestion process at the wastewater been part of the controversy at several council meetings in 2018 for the neighreport adds, the completed compost is plant (with and without food waste); bouring Regional District of Okanagan screened and sold in bulk or small quan- • Drying and pelletizing; • Compost production for landfill gas Similkameen. Residents have been up in tities, primarily to local users. arms over odours they say are emanating “Although this simple process has capture; worked reasonably well for many years, • Composting (current process or alter- from the compost facility, where biosolids are taken. facility age, condition, regulations, mar- native process).



June 2018  |  29


Specifying piping materials for water infrastructure systems By Daniella M. Pizzurro, David Mayfield, and Ifeoluwa A. Bamgbose


here are two main material options to consider when looking to replace drinking water systems: plastic or copper. Concerns have been raised about both materials. Do plastic pipes leach harmful chemicals into drinking water? Does exposure to elevated copper have health implications? In an attempt to clarify potential hazards associated with indoor potable water pipes, a survey was conducted of publicly available, peer-reviewed studies containing information about chemicals leaching from seven common piping materials: copper, polyethylene (PE), cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Due to the complex and varied composition of plastics, numerous studies have been conducted to assess the myriad substances leaching from these materials. The composition of copper piping is much less complex, consisting of 99.9% copper and a small amount of phosphorus as the only intentional components.

Therefore, studies on leaching from cop- tion of copper contributes to the amount per focus less on leachable substances and types of byproducts, ions and/or parand more on the factors contributing to ticles that leach into the water. Among the contributing factors to corrosion are pH, corrosion and leaching. hardness, temperature, dissolved oxygen, oxidizing and complexing agents, other COPPER PIPES Copper has been used for piping pur- ion concentration, the duration of water poses for over 75 years, typically because stagnation, and age of the pipes. These of its durability, reliability, corrosion resis- various factors affect the rate and extent tance, safety and longevity. The majority of of scaling, oxidation, and leaching in the copper tubing produced is manufactured copper pipes. Copper piping is primarily composed with a specific copper alloy, C12200, which is comprised of a minimum of 99.9% cop- of one substance and is tightly constrained by alloy specifications. As a result, per and less than 0.04% phosphorus. While lead has historically been iden- the byproducts reported to form on, and tified as a corrosion byproduct in drink- leach from, copper piping are mainly soling water systems that use copper pipes, uble and insoluble copper compounds. The most common compounds formed there is no lead in copper piping. Any lead leaching is likely from older lead in pure water are substances that contain pipes, solders and fluxes used to connect the cupric ion (an ionic form of copper, copper pipes in the same system, and/or missing two ions). Substances such as alloys containing lead (e.g., brass), and copper sulfate or phosphate compounds are formed to a lesser degree, depending not from the copper material. Regulations and research on copper on the quality of the water conveyed and pipes are mainly focused on corrosion the use of water treatment agents (e.g., control and monitoring rather than on orthophosphate). These affect copper solubility and the leaching, because the scaling and oxida-

Electronic Water Treatment System Eliminates Limescale Reduces Chemicals Stops Biofouling Reduces Corrosion

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30  |  June 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


A recently installed underground copper service line. Copper has been used for piping purposes for over 75 years. Photo: John Galloway

form of the copper compound(s) that grow on the inner pipe wall and can leach into the water. In any case, studies indicate that these copper compounds and their potential health effects are established, well-known, and regulated. PLASTIC PIPES To understand the phenomena of leaching from plastic pipes, the published literature was first surveyed for studies on substances potentially leaching from commonly used drinking water system piping materials. The analysis focused on the six plastic piping materials, PE, PEX, HDPE, PP, CPVC and PVC, from which 163 leachable substances were identified. Next, to assess the extent to which the identified leachable substances are currently understood well enough to be regulated, drinking water quality criteria or standards from a variety of sources were reviewed. It was found that criteria or standards exist for 89 of the 163 substances, but none are available for the remaining 74. Moreover, no guidelines exist for 17 of the 37 substances most frequently reported to have leached from various plastic piping materials. When sorted by piping material, the substances identified as having leached from PEX are the most common, followed by PVC and HDPE materials. The substances were also sorted into 38 separate chemical groups. This categorization revealed the following patterns: • Halogenated compounds and hydrocarbons represent a sizable fraction of all the substances identified and are reported as leaching predominantly from CPVC and PVC materials. • Organotins are reported as having leached from PVC and CPVC only, and not from HDPE, PP, PE or PEX. • Alkyl phenols (including alkyl phenol esters, acids, ester amides, aldehydes, and ketones) and quinones are all reported as having leached from HDPE, PE, PEX and/or PP materials, but not from PVC or CPVC. • For other chemicals, clear patterns are not as easily discernable. Aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, and vinyl compounds, for example, are reported as having leached from a variety of material types. Some of the key factors that affect substances leaching from

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June 2018  |  31

WATER plastic piping materials include water quality, pH, sampling duration, the age of the materials, temperature, and exposure to UV radiation or other gross manipulations. Different substance profiles have been measured in water from pipe segments of the same polymeric materials from different manufacturers. Thus, such observations appear to depend not only on material type and the aforementioned factors (e.g., pH, water quality, use conditions), but also on the processes by which they are manufactured. This point requires further investigation into manufacturing processes and standards in place that may result in different formulations and the ultimate reactivity of the materials. The literature survey confirmed that, under certain environmental conditions, many substances can leach from commonly-used plastic piping materials into drinking water. Importantly, the mere presence of such substances in drinking water does not necessarily present a health risk. A detailed review and under-

standing of each water quality criterion ily tin-based (approximately 95% tin), is needed before any conclusions can with small amounts of antimony, copper, be drawn about the significance of the silver, selenium or other minor alloying measured substance concentrations in metals added. Fluxes used to make the drinking water. Future research could solder joint are designed to be lead free, build upon this analysis to prioritize and are also designed to flush free of the substances or chemical groups for addi- system after the joints are made. tional data collection. In either case, fittings and joining methods must also be evaluated separately PIPE FITTINGS when assessing health and environmental Pipes themselves are not the only consequences. In both copper and plastic materials that come into contact with systems, the growing use of mechanical drinking water. Plastic piping materials joints greatly limits the additional mateoften contain plastic fittings and solvent rials that are introduced to the system in cement joints, which may be comprised joining. of substances and materials that are To read the full study survey, visit: different from that of the actual piping www.esemag.com/piping-material-survey and may also contribute substances that could leach into drinking water. Daniella M. Pizzurro, Ph.D., David In the case of copper, they are manu- Mayfield, M.S., DABT, BCES, and factured from the same alloy as copper Ifeoluwa A. Bamgbose, M.S., are with piping, and are 99.9% copper. In some Gradient. For more information visit, cases, specialty fittings require the use www.gradientcorp.com of other copper alloys, with primary alloying elements being tin and zinc. Solders used to join copper are primar-


32  |  June 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


The REGEN system was evaluated for use at Wyman’s blueberry processing facility in Morell, Prince Edward Island.

PEI Blueberry processing facility looks to upgrade its wastewater treatment lagoon


he REGEN wastewater lagoon treatment solution incorporates an uncomplicated, fixed-film treatment process that is easily added in series or parallel to existing lagoon infrastructure. Low-energy operation allows for potential integration with renewable energy sources. Chemical-free operation allows for low-complexity and cost-effective operation. There are over 6,000 wastewater lagoon treatment systems currently in operation across North America. They are a reliable and robust solution for wastewater treatment, but upgrade options are often needed due to increasing capacity requirements or more stringent discharge standards. The REGEN system was evaluated for use at Wyman’s blueberry processing facility in Morell, Prince Edward Island. A pilot system removed more than 10 kg/day of chemical oxygen demand (COD) from the lagoon. Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) concentration was reduced from 240 mg/L to less than 10 mg/L. Removal rates of 95%, or more, were observed for COD, BOD, and total www.esemag.com

suspended solids (TSS). A full scale, 12 metre ISO container system would remove more than 10 kg of BOD or more than 40 kg COD/day from the lagoon and could be operated for wastewater polishing or in recirculation. Testing at Wyman’s showed that the REGEN BAF system can supplement underperforming lagoons. Running the system discharge back into the lagoon helps to reduce the load and provide aeration, aiding in overall performance. Lower strength lagoons can place the REGEN BAF system at the back end to ensure discharge limits are met. Both options would be a cost-effective alternative to replacing or upgrading existing underperforming systems. The installation of the REGEN BAF pilot scale system at Wyman’s was a success. It was easily installed over a two-day period and ran smoothly for a summer and fall testing period. Results showed it would benefit the company if operated in conjunction with their current lagoon. The BAF could operate up to eight months per year in PEI’s cli-

mate. This would allow them to either discharge earlier in the year, or over a smaller discharge area, saving on the cost of irrigation equipment This project showed that the REGEN BAF can be used to supplement existing underperforming lagoons. It can either be placed as a polishing step at the effluent of a lagoon to treat the effluent contaminants to below discharge limits, or used in parallel to the lagoon to recirculate partially treated, aerated wastewater back into the lagoon. This would help reduce the load and increase the processing capacity of the lagoon. For more information, email: bconnolly@islandwatertech.com

June 2018  |  33


Developing new stormwater treatment designs for trapping contaminants of concern By Devrim Kaya, Allen P. Davis and Birthe V. Kjellerup


or more than 50 years, environmental scientists, natural resource managers and regulatory agencies have recognized urban stormwater runoff as an important source of contaminants of concern in waterways. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heavy metals bind to stormwater particulate matter and settle into aquatic sediments, where they persist for decades, impact the health and behaviour of aquatic life, and accumulate up the food chain. In one three-year project, researchers from the University of Maryland will design a modular stormwater treatment system ready for field testing, based on data collected at three test sites. The final design could be applicable at industry sites and in communities anywhere. In the first phase of the project, the team will develop various inexpensive geomedia capable of capturing the contaminants. PCBs and PAHs adsorb strongly to particulate matter and media with high organic content, and dissolved copper forms pH-dependent surface

complexes with organic and inorganic material. In fact, preliminary results from ongoing studies of PCBs in deposited stormwater sediment at the University of Maryland suggest that a large fraction of contaminants of concern could be removed by simply trapping particulate matter. Possible sources for the geomedia, based on the findings of previous studies, include locally-sourced “standard” bioretention media and amendments such as yard waste, wood chips, activated carbon, biochar, aluminum, and/ or iron oxide. The team will select media based on its high sorption capacity, rate of uptake, leaching potential, and ability to promote biodegradation of PCBs and PAHs and/or to immobilize copper. The team will then develop a stormwater best management practice (BMP) that layers these geomedia in a “treatment train.” This approach will allow site managers to leverage multiple types of chemical interactions, including partitioning, filtration and adsorption, to capture a larger concentration of contaminants, without

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causing clogs that would require more frequent maintenance. With help from a passive sampling strategy that monitors reduction levels, site managers will be able to mix and match the layers to create the optimal system for a location’s contaminants and climate and to know when to replace modules as their effectiveness begins to wane. The project will address several key research questions. Firstly, what are the fundamental processes that determine the concentrations and mass loadings of PCBs, PAHs and copper, distributed among different size fractions and organic content of the stormwater particulate matter? How will PCB congeners distribute among different stormwater particulate matter fractions? How can this be exploited for designing treatment systems? The project will look at which types of geomedia will be able to most effectively remove PCBs, PAHs and copper from the stormwater to comply with varying discharge criteria, and at how these types of geomedia influence the Stormwater Quality Services include: Ministry of the Environment Compliance Inspections Oil/Grit Separator Unit Tracking Stormwater Flood Response Lab Analysis Stormwater Ponds Small Spills Removal Jellyfish® Filter Consulting

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The project will examine if the answers to these questions can lead to scale up and implementation of low-cost, lowmaintenance stormwater BMPs that target contaminants of concern. biodegradation of PCBs and PAHs and immobilization of copper. Can amendments be introduced to the geomedia that can enhance the rate and extent of biodegradation? How can the geomedia be combined with particulate matter removal technologies in a treatment train approach to comprehensive stormwater treatment? Thirdly, how can the selected geomedia, and possibly separately-collected particulate matter, be included into the development of sustainable operations for the on-site treatment of PCBs, PAHs and copper in stormwater runoff? The project will also see if passive samplers can be applied in stormwater management systems to assess the efficiency of geomedia-based treatment solutions. Can the use of passive samplers lead to reduced maintenance concerns? Finally, the project will examine if the answers to these questions can lead to scale up and implementation of low-cost, low-maintenance stormwater BMPs that stable biofilms for regions with different target contaminants of concern. rainfall patterns so bacterial communities are not washed away. THE ROLE OF MICROBES To do this, the researchers will first To boost the effectiveness and sus- have to determine whether soil and tainability of the treatment train, the weather conditions can be exploited to researchers will explore ways to seed increase biodegradation of adsorbed the media with microbial communities PCBs and PAHs at all. Although this capable of immobilizing copper and bio- question has yet to be fully investigated, degrading PCBs and PAHs into harmless University of Maryland researchers have byproducts. And, it is here that the spa- found PCB-degrading bacteria in the tial reach of the project will prove most top media layers of a campus bioretchallenging. The team will need to create ention cell, suggesting it is possible for www.esemag.com

indigenous microbes to serve the role. This project will also be among the first to examine how the accumulation of potentially toxic metals in a treatment system affects microbial activity. Devrim Kaya, Allen P. Davis and Birthe V. Kjellerup are with the University of Maryland Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. For more information, email: devkaya@umd.edu, apdavis@umd.edu, bvk@umd.edu

June 2018  |  35

STORMWATER enhance its public communications. For example, the flood status near Belleville, Ontario, where the Quinte Conservation Authority is headquartered, may differ from outlook statements in Trenton and Mississauga, which are monitored by Lower Trent or Credit Valley conservation authorities, respectively. Forecasts for heavy rain, snowmelt or high wind, or a change in conditions on local waterways are factors. Each authority continually monitors and assesses conditions, and then posts flood status and low water status with dashboard-like widgets on their websites.

In 2017, significant and steady rains raised Lake Ontario’s water levels, closing Toronto’s Centre Island for most of the summer. Photo: Elenathewise, AdobePhotoStock

Improving large scale flood forecasting and preparation By Matt Ables


t has been a year since significant and steady rains raised Lake Ontario’s water levels and local authorities are working to avoid future flooding and battering of the shoreline. Winter water levels alone have not been providing an accurate indicator of peak levels seen later in the spring. By monitoring weather and hydrologic conditions, municipalities and regions can better respond to extreme weather events and improve climate resilience. Ontario is among the provinces best prepared to respond to flood risks and mitigate damages. Several conservation authorities, like Lake Simcoe Regional and Grand River, have independently dedicated resources necessary to conduct research and apply knowledge from their findings to policy and action. With a similar vision and goals for more science-based decisions, a majority of conservation authorities have formed data sharing hubs. Establishing a single clearinghouse of validated data empowers each member of the coopera36  |  June 2018

tive group to easily, safely and seamlessly share information. This grassroots movement enables each organization to more accurately anticipate increases in hydrological levels. Moreover, each authority can better prepare for a weather event, before a gauge in its own monitoring network has detected any change. Although data collection density has greatly increased, KISTERS web interoperability services utilize open data standards to make application programming interface (API) options available via hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) for fast and efficient distribution of information. Authorized groups and individual users can also retrieve and calculate data. Weather events can impact communities differently within the same region. So each member of the hub has the ability to apply different flood forecasting models like HEC-RAS, re-analyze past flooding events and prevent future flooding events with green infrastructure. Each authority also has new opportunities to

A BROADER APPROACH The same innovative technologies for data synthesis, validation, processing and interoperability are being applied continental wide. The Office of Water Prediction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has implemented the National Water Model (NWM). Developed by Dr. David Maidment, this simulation model of observed and forecasted streamflow features complex representations of physical processes such as snowmelt, infiltration and movement of water through soil layers and terrain. It runs hourly uncoupled analysis or simulation of current conditions. Shortrange forecasts are executed hourly, while medium-range forecasts out to 10 days are produced four times per day. A daily ensemble long-range forecast to 30 days is also produced. All model configurations will provide streamflow for 2.7 million river reaches and other hydrologic information on 1 km and 250 m grids. A project using NWM forecasts approximates flood impacts at stream and street level. As forecasts are ingested by KISTERS’ big data technology stack, precipitation and flow information are converted into water level data, utilizing rating curves computed using the height above nearest drainage (HAND) method, also developed by Dr. Maidment. Flow, precipitation, water level, and evaluations of forecast data versus actual gauge measurements are then provided to Esri for geoprocessing and the creation of inundation maps. The system also ingests official forecasts. The partnership ensures the best com-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

bination of data-processing workflows, capabilities and spatial analysis is applied to address big water issues. As a result, emergency management professionals can easily view approximate flood levels and address inundation, using 18-hour or 10-day forecasts. The NWM viewer or visualization tool serves as a dashboard. The display streamlines a significant volume of information critical to first responders and their technical advisors, including hydrographs of forecasted flow or discharge rate, computed stage or water level, and surface precipitation rate. The system performs ongoing evaluations of forecast data versus actual gauge measurements. Sentinel sites, or river basins with high probability of being severely impacted by extreme weather events, are closely monitored. Open data standards like WaterML 2.0 and SOS to transfer data, and KISTERS web interoperability services enable the innovative flood forecasting system to connect data streams that were previously isolated.

The additional volume and integrity of data quickly delivers insight into small creeks and rivers previously unmonitored or unreliably monitored. The need for high accuracy, real-time information on flow and stage has also brought about the deployment of cutting-edge monitoring devices. Modern radar sensors that measure water levels and velocity can be used to produce discharge records at stations where complex flow conditions make the application of conventional stage-discharge measurement methods ineffective or impossible. Conditions include flow reversals, backwater effects, and hysteresis effects, and they can occur when the onset of flooding has been reached. Simple output from these Doppler frequency devices supports integration into most any data measurement system.

ing. Old systems for managing weather events are failing to keep pace with the volume, velocity and variability of flood forecasting data being collected. Uncertainty is still sure to exist. Costs to update or construct flood protection barriers are sure to rise. Loss of experience-based knowledge also increases with retirement. However, the ability to adopt modern and scalable technologies to help make sense of all that data to address flooding risks is readily available. Effective tools for data collection, management and analysis help inform long-term decisions related to extreme weather events. Considering the magnitude of change and the level of resilience cities desire, no municipality will be able to monitor, plan and respond alone. Private-public partnerships, inter-government agency data sharing hubs, and public collaboration will be essential.

FUTURE APPROACHES The factors that affected planning Matt Ables is with KISTERS North decisions and construction of existing America. Email: kna@kisters.net flood protection structures are chang-

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June 2018  |  37


Using biological control for invasive zebra and quagga mussels By Seth Donrovich


ince their introduction to North America in the mid1980s, invasive zebra and quagga (dreissenid) mussels have been ravaging their newly adopted ecosystems. Dreissenid mussels have a high fecundity and ability to readily disperse due to their unique microscopic free-floating veliger (larva) life stage, causing rapid colonization of any water system they invade. These tiny mollusks have severely degraded ecosystems, inhibited recreation, and wreaked havoc on industries dependent on surface water for manufacturing or drinking and irrigation water. In fact, the cost over 10 years for treating intake pipes, water filtration equipment, and power plants’ operating costs for zebra mussel damages is estimated at $3.1 billion dollars. While effective in controlling mussels, chemical control options may be damaging to infrastructure, require detoxification prior to discharge, necessitate significant permitting, entail long application times, and are toxic to non-target organisms and the environment. Mechanical control options are point-based and require a large upfront capital investment. Physical removal is likewise time-consuming and expensive. Zequanox molluscicide, commercially developed by Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., a provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf and ornamental and water treatment markets, is the first fully biological control option specifically targeting invasive zebra and quagga mussels in all life stages. As a biological control, there are no lasting impacts to the environment, negligible effects on non-target organisms when used as directed, and Mixing Zequanox at the DeCew II Generating Station.


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38  |  June 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

minimal safety concerns for workers. The active ingredient in Zequanox is composed of dead cells of the soil microbe, Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf), which is ubiquitous in North American freshwaters and soils. Strains of Pf are commonly used in the manufacturing of food enzymes, pharmaceuticals, agricultural protection products, and even in the production of food. The Pf microbe in Zequanox is not genetically modified and is designated at Biosafety Level one, deeming it to be of the lowest possible risk to human health and the environment. The active ingredient, combined with biological, food grade inerts, creates a wettable powder end product that has the appearance of freeze-dried coffee or granular cocoa powder. The formulated end product is mixed with on-site water to form a slurry which is then injected into the macrofouled water system. Unlike chemical control options, the invasive mussels respond to the Pf as a food source and will continue to filter feed in the presence of Zequanox, effectively consuming the product along with their regular planktonic diet. Once ingested, the product will rupture the stomach lining of the mussels, causing mortality. This unique mode of action allows for mortalities to occur over a period of time, generally several days to several weeks, which can prevent a massive shell-debris slug that could occlude, for example, critical system heat exchangers. The product is safe and easy to apply, only requiring standard mixing and injection equipment and the use of basic personal protective equipment, e.g., eye protection and a dust mask, while mixing and loading the Zequanox when creating the slurry. Zequanox is non-corrosive, biodegradable, and requires only short application times of 2 – 6 hours, therefore causing no disruption to normal facility operations. Treatments can help prevent unexpected outages and ensure continued system operation for industrial facilities. Waters treated with the product can be used immediately after application. In addition, there are no lasting effects to water quality and ecosystem health. It is Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) registered for use in hydroelectric facilities in Canada, with both expanded enclosed system and open www.esemag.com

water registration packages submitted to PMRA in early 2018.

between 2009 and 2012. During the final phase in a series of product efficacy trials in 2012, the entire CANADIAN DEMONSTRATION service water system was treated, targetPROJECT ing full adult mussel control at high prodAs part of the Canadian registration uct concentrations. Product efficacy was package, and to help bring the product to evaluated using bioboxes, which are small market in Canada, a large-scale demon- aquarium-like structures that receive stration project occurred at Ontario treated system water, as a mesocosmic Power Generation’s DeCew II Generating representation of the service water sysStation, located in St. Catharines, Ontario, continued overleaf…





June 2018  |  39

WATER tem. Zebra mussel mortality reached as lower active ingredient concentration of high as 94% at 150 ppm of active ingredi- 100 ppm. With ongoing product optimient concentration. zation trials, this target concentration for full control can be reduced even further. IMPROVEMENTS TO ZEQUANOX Moreover, low concentration, frequent Significant improvements have been (every two to three weeks) maintenance made to Zequanox since the early prod- treatments of 10 ppm active ingredient uct implementation phase. Product devel- or less have been developed to target the opment, including investigating different settlement phase of the mussels, thereby treatment protocols, has led to full mus- preventing new mussels from attaching sel annual control being achieved with a to surfaces within a water system.








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40  |  June 2018

91st Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition & Conference New Orleans Morial Convention Center New Orleans, Louisiana Conference: September 29 – October 3, 2018 Exhibition: October 1 – 3, 2018


This treatment program stems from the dreissenid mussel life cycle, which includes the approximate three week free-floating veliger stage, before the mussels begin attaching to a solid surface. Treating over this settlement season not only limits the amount of new mussels in the system, but also steadily reduces the adult population over the duration of the treatment program. These maintenance programs can be customized based on the infestation level in a water system and the desired level of control. Regulations allow for up to 50 ppm of active ingredient concentration to be applied at a frequency of every two weeks for this treatment program. TREATMENT AT POWER GENERATION FACILITY This customizable maintenance program was commercially realized with eight, biweekly low concentration treatments occurring from June to October, 2017. This was designed to be conducted during a time period when the water temperature dictated high levels of mussel activity. This maintenance treatment program occurred at a power generation facility on the Great Lakes, which was experiencing both invasive zebra and quagga mussels in the once-through cooling system, affecting critical heat exchangers, including the surface condensers and boiler feedwater pump lube oil coolers. Previous mussel control from thermal water circulation was prohibited due to recent permitting changes and the facility was searching for a safe, effective, and reliable solution to improve performance and reduce maintenance costs brought about by the mussel infestation. The facility chose Zequanox as a highly efficacious and environmentally friendly solution to their invasive zebra and quagga mussel issue. During the treatment program, Zequanox was metered into the system, individually into two units (unit 7 & 8), for a period of two hours during normal facility operations. Therefore, the product application did not require any deviation from normal system operations. Product concentration was targeted at approximately 10 ppm of active ingredient for each of the treatments, with concentration regularly monitored throughout the

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

application time. Similar to the demonstration trials at DeCew II, bioboxes were used to determine the efficacy of the treatment program, with each unit having a biobox placed at a predetermined location downstream of the injection point. The biobox for unit 7 was placed at the approximate midpoint of the system, while the unit 8 biobox was placed near the terminus of the system. Over the course of the treatment program, cumulative adult mortalities indicated over 90% kill in the treated system collectively. Juvenile mussel settlement was monitored using eight, 0.125 inch thick, hair cell ABS plastic plates (4.375 inches x 4 inches), nested at a 15 degree angle on a clear acrylic base and placed perpendicular to the biobox flow to encourage settlement. In addition to the two treated bioboxes placed in units 7 and 8, an additional set of settlement plates was placed in a control biobox, located upstream of the injection point to monitor settleZequanox being applied at Round Lake in Petosky, Michigan. Photo: Holly Henderson Photography ment in the absence of Zequanox. Over the course of the entire treatment program, the unit 7 biobox saw a 95% reduction in mussel settlement, while the unit 8 biobox saw a 52% reduction. The facility plans to continue their zebra and quagga mussel maintenance treatment program, ensuring fluid power generation and continuing to limit their maintenance costs. U.S.F. S.F Fabrication’s Hatch Safety Grate System is available in a variety S.F. ariety of configurations A recent distributor partnership with to meet virtually ually any application. The system allows for routine maintenance of pumps uall Solenis LLC for enclosed water systems and equipment when closed and may act as an additional barrier er when open. It allows in Canada and the U.S. has made full ngs without exposing themselves to people to move freely lly around the hatch opening dangerous fall-through. service Zequanox treatments in industrial facilities as convenient as ever. All Hatch Safety ety Grates feature: • Tamp Tamper-res r istant 316 SS hinges res Solenis will provide complete customer and nd hardw har are service, from designing treatment pro• Po Powder-coated aluminum grates to grams specific to the facility, to providresist corrosion res ing mixing and injection equipment, to • Hold old open devices to lock the grates conducting on-site application, moniin their full upright and open position toring, and consultation. • Ca Can be ret r rofitted into existing Further product optimization will not access openings only continue to streamline enclosed industrial system treatment programs, Our experienced team provides a quick turnaround on quotes, but also tailor the product for use in both drawings and deliveries. Call us today 1.800.668.4533 semi-enclosed and open water systems.

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June 2018  |  41


Choosing the right groundwater model can help ensure an adequate water supply By Jim Finegan


roundwater can be a challenge for municipalities and other government agencies which are developing water treatment and distribution systems, and sewerage systems. Different locales present different challenges and opportunities, and agencies must be prepared to respond to all groundwater eventualities. With rising waters facing many areas, and others subject to drought, it is more important than ever to understand what types of water resources and challenges are presented beneath any type of development. The problem is that each development, location and community poses its own

42  |  June 2018

unique challenges. For instance, in areas where rising waters, both inland and coastal, are problematic, they can hamper development, by making sites susceptible to flooding. Conversely, in areas that are susceptible to drought, developing agencies face much different challenges. There must be a sufficient supply of water to support new development. The questions facing agencies in both situations are how to know what’s below and what might happen to groundwater conditions in the future, before committing to a development.

GROUNDWATER MODELING The answer may be found in computer-based groundwater modeling, which can provide answers to questions about the unseen subsurface environment. Modeling may provide the answers that developing agencies need to support business and resource decisions. A groundwater model utilizes a mathematical analog to simulate the physical and chemical processes affecting the movement and quality of groundwater. The process begins with drilling boreholes. Instruments are then inserted into these to collect the data on which the model will be built and the data is translated into computer code that allows scientists and engineers to simulate the natural conditions below ground. Scientists and engineers will use the computer code to “view” what’s underground and the resultant model should be able to predict how water flows there. The trick is to select a model that will best match the known conditions underground, without including more detail than needed. By using equations that simulate groundwater flow and are run multiple times throughout the process, and estimating hydrogeological conditions, as well as soil characteristics, scientists and engineers can deduce the flow and quality of the water below. Groundwater modeling begins with a conceptual site model (CSM), which provides an abstract set of physical boundaries to define groundwater flow and variables that can affect the rate, direction and quality of the groundwater within the area defined by the CSM. It should be developed prior to the groundwater model, and both the CSM and the groundwater model should constantly be updated and refined as new data are collected and analyzed. But what water supply and groundwater remediation decisions require quanti-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

fication? The answer is that nearly all decisions require some level of quantification. The question is: which models are right for which situations? CHOOSING THE RIGHT MODEL There are two basic categories of models: groundwater flow models, and groundwater fate and transport models. Flow models only explicitly account for groundwater (and sometimes surface water), while fate and transport models evaluate groundwater and allow chemical migration to be simulated. Groundwater flow models are used to simulate the volume, rate, and direction of groundwater movement within the subsurface. The model requires a thorough understanding of the hydrogeologic system inputs (such as natural and A groundwater model begins with data collected from instruments inserted into boreholes drilled artificial recharge, groundwater flow, into the ground. Photo: Frank, Adobe Stock and leakage from surface waters), and outputs (i.e., evapotranspiration, under Groundwater fate and transport mod- used to model contaminants in both the flow, loss to surface waters, and pump- els simulate the movement and chemical groundwater and vadose (unsaturated) ing) as well as site-specific information alteration of contaminants as they move zones. Fate and transport models used on aquifer properties. through the subsurface. They may be continued overleaf…

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June 2018  |  43

WATER to model transport within a groundwater zone require the development of a calibrated flow model, or, at a minimum, an accurate determination of the flow velocity, which has been based on field data. When determining which model to utilize, the key consideration is what type of decision is being made. Development of a fully three-dimensional groundwater flow and transport model for the sole purpose of evaluating groundwater may be overkill. It is often more appropriate to rely on less labour-intensive methods. Conversely, it is generally not appropriate to rely solely on simple analytical equations for projects involving complex sites, such as areas where geochemically complex contaminant plumes have commingled. In such complex cases, the project may require some preliminary or screening-level modeling prior to deciding what outcomes might be expected. The choice of model is typically influenced by the purpose of the study and the scale of the study site, such as the

detail needed to represent the hydrogeologic processes to be evaluated and the acceptable uncertainty in modeling results. For example, assessing hydraulic capture with multiple extraction wells may require either an analytic element model or a numerical model, but chemical fate-and-transport modeling is not needed and an analytical solution may be too simple to address superposition (i.e., the combined drawdown from more than one pumping well). Specific model codes and modules/ packages, as well as the need for other features, such as a linked vs. fully-integrated model that also includes surface water, are selected following determination of model type. These are often difficult questions to answer because there are so many different models and packages to choose from, and the process typically requires a trained groundwater modeling expert.

tems and sewerage systems are complex developments, requiring specialized engineering, architectural, and planning expertise to complete. Understandably, because of the complexity of these buildings and systems, most of the designers’ attention is focused above the ground. However, the geology below the ground is just as important. Having too much or too little water below the surface can have a significant impact on the success of any development. Groundwater modeling can help developing agencies and their engineering teams analyze the flow and quality of the water that lies below the surface before the project begins. This is invaluable information, but it is important to choose the right type of model. Dr. Jim Finegan is with Kleinfelder. Email: jfinegan@kleinfelder.com

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Wastewater upgrades and straight pipe removal boost outlook for LaHave River


ova Scotia’s LaHave River runs in between the communities of Bridgewater and Lunenburg. New projects are now underway to improve and maintain the health of the river, often overwhelmed with sewage, for the future of these towns located just a stone’s throw from the North Atlantic Ocean. The federal government recently agreed to provide funding of up to $750,000 through Canada’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund for upgrades at Bridgewater’s wastewater treatment facility. This will be used to replace the floating anaerobic digester gas storage cover and the belt filter press at the plant. This will improve the quality of wastewater effluent, helping to reduce odours, increase efficiency, and safeguard the health and well-being of local residents, the town council says. CBCL Limited has been contracted by the Town of Bridgewater to provide engineering services for the upgrades. Once the operational requirements are determined, CBCL will undertake a preselection process for the equipment through a request for quotation tender. According to a department report, Bridgewater’s wastewater treatment plant employs three technical operators and has 14 sewage pump stations. The current plant has a 9,100 cubic metre per day capacity. These upgrades come as a welcome addition, after a pipe failed recently in one of the wastewater pump systems. This led to the discharge of untreated wastewater into the LaHave River. According to local media reports, the main discharge pipe at Pump Station 4 failed and flooded the pump station.

About 600 straight pipes along the LaHave River dump raw or partially treated sewage into the water. Photo: Municipality of the District of Lunenburg

“It’s a challenging time for urban municipalities as we work to balance annual budget pressures against the rising costs of important infrastructure projects,” says Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell. On the eastern side of the LaHave River, the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg is beginning its straight pipe replacement program. The province of Nova Scotia and the federal government are each contributing a third of the $17 million program that is working with homeowners on a cost-sharing scheme to replace the straight pipes. About 600 straight pipes along the LaHave River dump raw or partially treated sewage into the water. Lunenburg estimates that roughly 600,000 litres of untreated sewage flows into the estuary every single day. Council and residents hope that installing septic systems and removing

the straight pipes, which are technically not allowed under the Nova Scotia Environment Act, will significantly improve the river’s water quality. Funding to remove the straight pipes materialized in an unusual way. A 13-year-old student at Bridgewater Elementary made headlines after she began testing for fecal bacteria at different locations around the LaHave River. Stella Bowles found high levels of contamination and posted the results on social media. In the process, she garnered an online following and caught the attention of her local municipal council. Now, three levels of government have jointly pledged $15.7 million to help clean up the LaHave River along Nova Scotia’s South Shore, thanks largely to the efforts of the environmentally-minded student. The goal is to make the lower LaHave River straight-pipe free by 2023.

It’s a challenging time for urban municipalities as we work to balance annual budget pressures against the rising costs of important infrastructure projects. www.esemag.com

June 2018  |  45


National wastewater report calls for renewed focus on emerging contaminants By David Nesseth


anada has often held to a scattered approach that aims to merely meet minimum standards for wastewater treatment. However, a new report suggests it is time to coordinate and strategize for the future before Canada falls further behind other jurisdictions, and the number of contaminants in wastewater continues to grow, creating adverse effects on Canada’s public and environmental health. The March 2018 report, Canada’s Challenges and Opportunities to Address Contaminants in Wastewater, is the result of findings over six months by an expert national panel appointed by the Canadian Water Network and funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It showcases seven recommendations for the federal government to get Canadian municipalities not only back on track, but ahead of the game, as much as is possible,

46  |  June 2018

when it comes to taking a more ambitious approach to wastewater treatment. “We recommend effective collaboration between the various levels of government and risk-based watershed and sewershed approaches that consider all elements of wastewater management to protect the environment and human health, while recovering some resources along the way,” Susheel Arora, member of the report’s expert panel and Director of Wastewater and Stormwater Services at Halifax Water, told Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine. The challenge in moving forward comes from the fact that many Canadian cities are not only locked in for the long term on their wastewater infrastructure, but an estimated one in four wastewater facilities in Canada will require substantial upgrades to simply meet baseline Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations.

Those upgrades alone, the panel report states, could cost some $5.5 billion. While the report calls for increased action, some Canadian municipalities will have until 2040 to even arrive at those minimum standards. According to Arora, however, the timelines are “pragmatic” and based on the risk to the receiving environment. “There are several utilities or municipalities which have been assigned shorter timelines of 2020 or 2030, based on a different level of risk to the receiving environment and human health,” said Arora. “Future-based timelines provide an opportunity for addressing some contaminants of emerging concern through resource recovery, as new technologies prove themselves in the marketplace,” he added. Canada’s laggardness in embracing wastewater technology has seen it fall well behind the U.S. and European Union in terms of making secondary treatment a minimum acceptable technology. While Canada finally implemented secondary treatment as law in 2015, it has been law in the U.S for 47 years, and in the EU for 27 years. To encourage progress for Canadian municipalities, the panel report suggests that incentives should also play a role in local decisions on wastewater facility upgrades. Incentives to achieve results beyond minimum compliance do not necessarily have to be financial in nature. Professional accreditation and peer-assessed benchmarking programs demonstrate responsible stewardship and effective management and are excellent motivators for municipalities and utilities. But, there are other avenues for change and action, the panel report suggests. The authors illustrate how the City of Brantford in Ontario followed the 2-stage Composite Correction Program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It helped the city identify ways to re-rate design capacity, achieve higher effluent quality and defer significant infrastructure expansion capital costs. “Optimization of existing wastewater treatment infrastructure can be a cost-effective method to improve performance measures and potentially delay the need for major infrastructure investments,” the panel report states.“Additional benefits [in Brantford] included an increased under-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

standing of treatment capability, improved communication between operations and city staff, confidence in troubleshooting issues, tools to address poor process conditions and the ability to nitrify when conditions were optimal.” The panel report also touts “co-benefits” as a very real added value consideration for municipalities nervous about investing in their wastewater infrastructure. Those $5.5 billion in-plant upgrades still on the to-do list for some cities are expected to translate into $16.5 billion in associated benefits, the report states. For example, cities that use wastewater technologies designed to remove conventional contaminants such as biochemical oxygen demand and ammonia get the “co-benefit” of a technology that enhances the removal of trace organic contaminants. Then, there is the new conversation on resource recovery at wastewater treatment plants, where there are opportunities for generating revenues for partial or full cost recovery, such as selling methane back into the grid or commercial fertilizer products. All five of Metro Vancouver’s wastewater treatment plants recover and use biogas to generate heat for their plants, the panel report notes. “Recouping costs may be attractive at the municipal level, while supporting a circular economy is likely to resonate with the general public,” the panel report states. Additionally, the panel report notes that direct treatment isn’t always the only option available to municipalities. Treatment represents only one element of wastewater management and the effectiveness of other options like source control, sewer separation and the use of non-technology options should also be given strong consideration. In terms of a Canadian city that has been a leader in wastewater management, the panel report points to Calgary, which currently collects data on 60 chemical compounds, including flame retardants, hormones, pharmaceuticals and common cleaning agents. The City has also invested in a partnership with the University of Calgary, called Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets, to test technology and watershed impact.

A Blueprint for Action 1. Continue to apply and further develop risk-based approaches. Develop an effective risk management approach to deal with the complexity and changing nature of chemical mixtures in wastewater and their observed effects in the environment and on human health. The precautionary principle approach, based on best science and Indigenous knowledge, and inclusive of uncertainty and adaptive management, would be core to this work. 2. Improve access to data on wastewater treatment across Canada. Establish a coordinated and meaningful national system of collecting, assessing and sharing data on wastewater treatment among municipalities and utilities in Canada. Consider re-establishing something similar to the Municipal Water and Wastewater Survey, with Indigenous input, as well as a nationally accessible database. Effective collaboration between provinces, territories, Indigenous and the federal government is required to build this database. 3. Incentivize and reward innovation to go beyond minimum standards. Encourage an assessment of new or amended treatment technologies, using research and pilot testing, to generate a menu of solutions to guide investment decisions. This would include a compendium of key examples focused on how co-benefits can be derived from optimization and innovation in wastewater management. These actions would support Canada’s infrastructure program for wastewater system upgrades, including resource recovery. 4. Support site-specific approaches based on receiving water quality objectives. This would also incentivize jurisdictions to develop source water protection programs that include sewershed protection plans and prioritize options for source control. Recognize where keeping contaminants out of systems is more effective than trying to remove them from wastewater through treatment. 5. Implement watershed-based approaches within an integrated watershed approach to water management and governance, including the possibility of water quality trading. In addition to source control, other non-technical opportunities could be considered to address and reduce risk to local communities and the environment. 6. Better coordinate research, technology transfer and practice insights to improve the understanding of risks and recognize meaningful co-benefits (e.g., centres of excellence, data dissemination, success/failure case studies, pilot plant studies, coordination of research, process certification). This initiative will be challenging, but is much needed, and must be spearheaded by the federal government and Indigenous governments across Canada. 7. Require a future-ready strategic planning document as a condition for immediate and long-term funding with input from all stakeholders as well as consideration of resource recovery and implementation timelines. This will support the funding of proven and promising technology and the flexibility to choose community-tailored solutions that are appropriate, robust and will have the greatest beneficial impact. Source: The May 2018 report, Canada’s Challenges and Opportunities to Address Contaminants in Wastewater, by Canadian Water Network

continued overleaf… www.esemag.com

June 2018  |  47

WASTEWATER SOURCE CONTROL Pathogens, nutrients, metals, pharmaceuticals and microplastics are some of the known and emerging contaminants of concern found in wastewater, but the report makes clear that science has not yet been able to establish which ones are the clearest present danger. Instead, the report notes that keeping contaminants out of municipal systems in the first place, commonly called source control, instead of trying to remove them from wastewater, was one of the “top priorities” expressed by the expert panel. Assessing and restricting certain substances in the marketplace through the Canadian Environmental Protection Act remains a priority, the panel report states, particularly given that many contaminants are only partially treatable by conventional treatment, or expensive to treat. Microbeads and their contribution to microplastic pollution globally have become a high-profile example of source control, as many jurisdictions have been

48  |  June 2018

moving to ban the product. In Canada, the sale of shower gels, toothpaste and facial scrubs containing plastic microbeads is set to be banned by July 1, 2018. “Public education for source control goes a long way in protecting the environment, and the report recommends a holistic watershed and sewershed-based approach, with public education as part of the solution,” said Arora. Sewer overflows also remain a concern, as weather patterns grow increasingly severe and unpredictable. The panel notes that upgrades to collection systems must stay on pace with other system upgrades to avoid the release of stormwater and raw wastewater when collection system capacity is exceeded during heavy rain. The report gives examples of upstream investments to reduce combined sewer overflows and bypass events, such as separating stormwater and sanitary sewers; reducing inflow and infiltration of stormwater or groundwater into sanitary sewer collection pipes; disconnect-

ing downspouts to sanitary sewers; strategically utilizing existing storm sewer capacity; real-time control; and incorporating overflow surge tanks into systems. The City of Ottawa, for example, has been using real-time controls of overflow equipment and monitoring pipe flow data to maximize the capture of potential overflows. The City has also been building storage facilities to temporarily hold additional flows, and is developing monitoring systems to alert staff of flows at 13 different overflow locations. David Nesseth is a freelance writer working with Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine. Email: editor@esemag.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Timmins approves $2.2M upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant clarifier


he northern Ontario City of Timmins has awarded a $2.2-million primary clarifier upgrade to Pro Pipe Construction Ltd. for its Mattagami Wastewater Pollution Control Plant. The primary clarifier was originally built in 1964, but the existing plastic longitudinal chain and scraper system, added in 1999, has reached its end of life, according to Public Utilities manager Steve Kukulka. “Plastic chains were put in, and those were not robust enough, in the opinion of the chief operator and other staff, to keep the system going.” The tender includes the cost of the clarifier and the scum trough, rehabilitating the concrete tank, new infrared lighting, fixing up sections of the concrete floor and walls, and installing new railings and kick plates. Upgrades will also include replacement of the existing sludge pump suction piping with a larger and more effective design, according to a City report. Also slotted is the replacement of existing dewatering valves and process piping with new ones. There is a $250,000 contingency fund for such things as construction change orders, unforeseen issues, and any problems with the site conditions. The Mattagami Wastewater Pollution Control Plant serves the communities of Timmins, Mountjoy and Schumacher. It employs five workers and treats approximately 20,000 cubic metres of wastewater per day.

The Mattagami Wastewater Pollution Control Plant. Photo: EBS Geostructural

Wastewater is pumped through 11 pumping stations, treated, tested and disinfected, with the effluent discharged into the Mattagami River within provincial guidelines. According to City documents, solids are treated anaerobically, and methane gas is produced in the digesters as a source of energy for the boilers. Biosolids are hauled to landfill for proper disposal. The plant and some pumping stations are equipped with diesel generators for emergency situations. In recent years, Timmins has also performed upgrades worth more than $80

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million to a secondary treatment project for the Mattagami plant. The upgrades increased the plant’s treatment capacity by converting it from primary to secondary level of treatment. Ballooning costs in 2012 for the secondary treatment upgrades made councillors hesitant to spend more on the facility. Previously, the upgrades went about $14 million over the projected budget. The new system provides biological treatment to reduce the amount of bacteria and phosphates in the treated wastewater discharged into the Mattagami River.

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June 2018  |  49


Spill protection berms, portable hazmat tanks are low-cost insurance against high-cost penalties, environmental damage By Nancy Argyle


mplementing a spill prevention plan and deploying the proper spill prevention equipment is a low-cost method of insuring against penalties and non-compliance outcomes. One of the most essential items in the spill prevention toolkit is a berm that is designed to meet your project’s specific requirements. In most cases, spill berms are used to provide secondary containment for materials that are hazardous to the environment, in the event that the primary storage containers become defective or damaged. Using the right berm material can have a significant outcome for both the operator and the environment. Compared to other countries, in Canada, it is especially important to select the correct berm fabric. Commonly-used berm fabrics have often not been tested for diffusion or permeance, because they are designed for emergency one-time use and not long-term fuel storage secondary containment. Therefore, they do not meet Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) guidelines or Canadian regulations. Developed by SEI Industries Ltd. of Delta, British Columbia, Arctic-Shield fabric was initially designed for aboveground secondary containment of fuels in Arctic climates at remote sites. Arctic-Shield fabric is fully certified by Intertek to meet the CAN/ULCS668-12 standard for liners. SEI is the only company to manufacture to this standard which is listed in the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations (SOR/2008-197), under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Arctic-Shield fabric has a high strip tensile and adhesion strength, a low cold crack temp below – 50ºC and low diffusion rates, which is well below CCME and ULC requirements. It was specifically 50  |  June 2018

Important questions to consider when selecting temporary storage include: Is the tank selfsupporting? Can it be collapsed and folded for shipping and storage? And is it durable?

Many fire departments use hazmat tanks, either as a slop tank for cleanups or to contain materials they encounter during incidents. Rail emergency response teams typically have spill packs, which contain hazmat tanks, pre-positioned around the country, so they can respond quickly to a derailment. Numerous provincial forest services also use hazmat tanks to hold fire retardant, while oil and gas companies often keep them on hand for pipeline leaks. In addition to the many ways in which hazmat tanks provide temporary storage, they can also be used as mixing tanks or as settling tanks for skimming operations. With a myriad of possible applications, there are some important features to consider in selecting one, especially if the ability to carry, move or ship the tank easily is a requirement: • Is the tank self-supporting with no frame or parts to assemble? • Can it be collapsed and folded for compact storage and shipping? • Is it made of durable, mould and mildew resistant fabric? • Does it offer a flotation collar with no inflation required? SEI Industries’ Hazmat Tanks are lightweight, portable and foldable, allowing for quick setup and cost-effective shipping. They are currently used by many companies and emergency response agencies. No matter what the project, when working with chemicals, fuel and other hazardous fluids, proper spill protection equipment is not only a sound investment and a wise compliance item but an important aspect of good corporate citizenship and environmental protection.

engineered for long duration fuel exposure that might occur if a fuel spill were to happen at a remote site that is unmanned for the winter. Able to endure those challenging parameters, Arctic-Shield fabric provides spill protection for operations in both rural and urban locations. After selecting the right berm for the job, users must also include an overflow option like the RainDrain or Spill Monkey, which are filters that automatically remove rainfall and water, which normally collects inside a berm, while holding back hydrocarbons from discharging into the environment. Designed to meet the most rigorous demands of today’s safety personnel, Nancy Argyle is with SEI Industries Inc. hazmat tanks provide a convenient solu- Email: nancy@sei-ind.com tion to critical problems associated with leaks, spills or inadequate containment.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Emerging fuels threaten underground storage tank integrity


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egulated substances, primarily automotive fuels made from petroleum or a mixture of petroleum and other regulated substances are stored in hundreds of thousands of underground storage tanks (USTs). Regulations require that they are constructed, maintained, and operated in a manner which ensures that these substances are stored safely. New or different fuel formulations are often referred to as emerging fuels and enter the market for various reasons, such as policy changes or technical requirements. Emerging fuels include biofuels, like ethanol; new formulations of petroleum based fuels, like ultra-low sulfur gasoline; combinations of multiple types of fuels, like ultra-low sulfur diesel; or others. Emerging fuels may not always be compatible with all UST systems, and storing emerging fuels can sometimes increase corrosion. Biofuels include all substances listed in the 2015 UST regulation that require additional actions by owners and operators to ensure compatibility. These include gasoline blends containing greater than 10% ethanol; diesel blends containing greater than 20% biodiesel; or any other substance identified by an implementing agency now or in the future. Two biofuels, primarily ethanol and biodiesel, have significantly increased their share of the total national vehicle fuel market over the last decade. Isobutanol is projected to become more prevalent in this market in the future. In addition to biofuels, a small percentage of emerging fuels are also made from renewable feedstocks. Green or renewable gasoline and green or renewable diesel are chemically very similar to petroleum based fuels and meet the same industry specification. Each biofuel fuel blend has unique chemical characteristics different from purely petroleum derived gasoline or diesel fuel. Those chemical characteristics may affect how the fuel interacts with UST systems which contain many components made of different materials.

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If any of these materials are incompatible with the regulated substance stored and even temporarily lose their manufactured properties such as shape or flexibility, the UST system may fail to contain the regulated substance. This could result in a release to the environment and possibly a failure to detect the release. Incompatibility between fuels stored and UST system materials can result in equipment or components such as tanks, piping, gaskets or seals becoming brittle, elongated, thinner, or swollen when compared with their condition when first installed. Many retail facilities, such as gas stations and non-retail fueling facilities already store ethanol and biodiesel in their UST systems. Ethanol and biodiesel are commonly blended with gasoline and diesel, respectively. Petroleum-biofuel blends are referred to by a number that usually refers to the approximate biofuel percentage of the overall blend: E10, E15, or B20. Gasoline blended with 10% ethanol is called E10. Biodiesel may be blended in diesel up

If any of these materials are incompatible with the regulated substance stored and even temporarily lose their manufactured properties such as shape or flexibility, the UST system may fail to contain the regulated substance.

to 5% without any special labeling, and it is also increasingly found in concentrations such as B10 or B20. These fuels are also available in some retail markets and non-retail uses as even higher blends, such as E85 or B50. Corrosion has been commonly reported in USTs storing diesel fuel and gasoline-ethanol blended fuels. Evidence suggests that, when storing diesel fuel, corrosion generally appears on metal components inside USTs. When storing ethanol blended fuels, corrosion is usually

found in sumps. Instances of this corrosion began appearing about a decade ago. Owners have corrosion protection for their UST systems’ metal components in contact with the ground. But corrosion protection is not required for metal components inside underground storage tanks or in sumps. Owners and operators must also ensure corrosion does not affect the functionality of their equipment. For more information, visit www.epa.gov.

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Latest spill shows Canada’s north still struggling to prevent and control oil events


he Qulliq Energy Corporation (QEC) based in Nunavut says a faulty automated valve and loose plug were the likely culprits in a recent diesel spill from a day tank used to hold fuel for the community’s power generators. The spill saw 4,000 litres of diesel fuel leak out of the power plant’s front door in Grise Fiord, Nunavut. In a statement, QEC said staff were on-site conducting maintenance when the incident occurred and were able to contain the spill. QEC’s environmental specialist and Nunatta Environmental Services Inc. flew to Grise Fiord with additional spill response supplies to continue remediation efforts, the company announced. “The corporation is currently constructing a new power plant in Grise

56  |  June 2018

Fiord. The fuel spill occurred at the old power plant site,” QEC announced in a statement. “While safety personnel will be on the site during the environmental remediation process, community members are asked to exercise caution around the area where work is being done.” Arctic diesel fuel is designed to work at low temperatures and evaporates faster than heavier fuels, but at the same time can be more poisonous for people, animals and plants when first released. It’s generally believed to be less damaging to the environment than the heavy fuel oil often used by large shipping vessels. A team from QEC says it continues to investigate what went wrong and is making all efforts to ensure it doesn’t happen again. About a year before, a fuel hose leaked

30,000 litres of diesel fuel at a gold mine in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. The spill was determined to be the result of a faulty safety valve in the storage tank and employees who were not properly trained. A series of 2017 reports on Arctic oil spills authored by World Wildlife Fund Canada found that the North can often be woefully unprepared for containing oil spills. This is despite the Government of Nunavut’s Petroleum Products Division providing each community with 150 feet of floating boom, 200 feet of rope, two bales of absorbent pads, four empty 205-litre drums and other equipment. The WWF Canada report notes that some of the key challenges surrounding oil spills in the Arctic include: a low numbers of trained oil spill responders; poor communications infrastructure, especially phone and Internet networks; no hazardous waste disposal facilities; the climate, such as high waves and strong winds that can make it impossible to contain oil spills using floating booms. In summer 2017, the federal government announced $175 million will be spent over five years for spill response enhancement around the Arctic Ocean. Nearly $95 million will be used to fund safety equipment, marine infrastructure, and training on Arctic coastal communities, with the goal of creating safer and more efficient resupply operations. Another $29.9 million will be used to build an Arctic National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit for increased surveillance capabilities over the growing number of ships in the North. Between 1984 and 2004, a total of 23 commercial cruise ships transited the Northwest Passage, according to the Arctic Council. But in 2017 alone, Coast Guard numbers show 93 vessels made voyages in the Arctic: 19 passenger ships and 74 cargo ships and tankers.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


All-terrain sewer system key to Nova Scotia home builder’s conservation philosophy By Joseph Harmes


he Villages of Seven Lakes, an award-winning development about 25 minutes from Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the largest project in Atlantic Canada modeled on the innovative building philosophy known as conservation design. This concept prioritizes the uniqueness of both the built and natural habitats of a rural setting and maximizes cost efficiency by utilizing green and sustainable infrastructure practices, ranging from housing density to wastewater transport and treatment. The journey to groundbreaking in 2014 was arduous. It took six years to consolidate separate parcels into a single 634-acre forested building site touching seven lakes, and four more in bureaucratic haggling with local authorities for a development agreement. Meanwhile, the developer continuously worked on the design so that 60% of the property would forever be a wildlife preserve (a goal of conservation design communities) The area consists of lots of bedrock. Gravity sewers would have required while situating 634 moderately sized and priced homes on just large, deep trenches whereas pressure sewer mains are installed just 254 acres. below the frost line. But, the labour-intensive part was conservation design itself because the diverse elements didn’t dovetail easily. These included: • Formulating community character components like low-profile ingress and egress. • Walking, hiking and bike paths. • Preserving as many trees as possible. • Protecting riparian buffers, wetlands and migratory paths. “The placement of all roads, services, infrastructure, wells, wastewater systems, driveways, houses and lawns has to be carefully thought out,” says the project manager Brad Harnett. THE WASTEWATER CONUNDRUM The development plan meticulously sprinkles residential clusters throughout the landscape, with each home site measuring one-quarter to three-quarters of an acre. But, incorporating a wastewater infrastructure for these detached “little villages” proved challenging and crucial to the development’s success. “Infrastructure for stormwater or wastewater can either degrade the environment or play a beneficial role,” says Randall Arendt, an author, designer and consultant, whose work influenced the concept of Seven Lakes. Traditional gravity sewer design came with numerous caveats. Foremost was environmental integrity as gravity sewers would require clear-cutting acres of trees for the sewer’s large-diameter, deeply excavated mains blasted through bedrock. This becomes even more costly and disruptive when installed in areas with high groundwater tables, where dewatering is required. “The (Seven Lakes) terrain is quite challenging and a gravity system would have required many manholes and several pump stations. Some homes would still require pumps to get continued overleaf…


June 2018  |  57

TANKS & WASTEWATER up to the sewer main,” says Harnett. Although the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) approves of modern septic systems instead of gravity in some circumstances, they have noted that, except for newer tanks,“few of the existing septic tanks are large enough, and almost none are fitted with filters.” A bigger concern is that “maintenance and operation requirements are rarely met in HRM” and “many people believe that a tank that works well never needs to be pumped.” “Septic tanks at each home would have to be monitored and pumped at a potentially high cost and there would always be the fear of contamination from leaks,” says Harnett. Additionally, ground conditions around many parts of the property were not suitable for properly functioning septic tank drain fields. “Focus groups showed that prospective buyers, most of who have never lived in a rural area, are nervous of having to maintain a septic system,” says Gail Penney, president of the Penney Group, who long envisioned a conservation design community like Seven Lakes and brought it to fruition. “Septic wasn’t the choice for us because it is too limiting, for buyers, the environment and for developers. In the long term, it presents too much risk for the environment and ultimately the development overall.” “Many homebuyers have had no prior experience with individual septic systems and do not understand or trust them,” says Arendt. “Wastewater infrastructure rarely registers as a consideration among homebuyers, except perhaps as a very minor one, and only when innovative wastewater solutions are highlighted as part of the marketing.” A ‘GO-TO’ INFRASTRUCTURE The developers consulted WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff, who recommended the All-Terrain Sewer, designed, engineered and manufactured by Environment One Corporation. A key component of the system is the E/One grinder pump station. It is housed in a tank about the size of a dishwasher that is buried in the ground, with its lid easily camouflaged with minor landscaping. Components include a 1 hp, semi-positive displacement pump whose robust torque can move wastewater 58  |  June 2018

through small-diameter, inflow-and-infiltration-free pressurized pipe for a distance of more than 4.8 km, or straight up 56 m to a force main or treatment plant. “Our sewer is a low-pressure system using 5 cm- to 10 cm-small diameter pipes and E/One grinder pumps, which are installed at each home,” says Harnett. “The grinder pump station collects all of the wastewater from the home and grinds it into slurry. It is then pumped directly to our wastewater treatment plant,” he explains. According to Harnett says: “Frost does not normally penetrate deeper than 1.68 m and our sewer lines are installed at least that deep. If rock is an issue and we cannot achieve that depth we can insulate the pipe.” AFFORDABILITY Depending on the location, the price of an All-Terrain Sewer can be comparable, or even cheaper, than septic. Savings of almost 50% might be realized in comparison to gravity systems. Up-front costs to install a complete wastewater infrastructure are substantially reduced as it is a low-impact system with grinder pumps and pipe installed only when construction of a home begins. The technology also has meant builders can utilize large sites or small isolated plots, once thought financially, environmentally and/or geologically impractical to sewer. “E/One’s All-Terrain Sewer allows us to place homes anywhere on our site, whether it be at the top or bottom of a hill and anywhere in between,” Harnett says. Besides the aquatic ecosystem, the topographical challenges at Seven Lakes included slopes exceeding 30%, rock outcroppings and potential archeological sites. “Traditional septic systems result in expansive lawns, and large spaces between home sites. Our design addresses these issues. We can design our lots to suit the land and the needs of homebuyers first and foremost,” says Penney. “We do not need to plan the homes around the soil conditions required for septic design.” When presented the options, Harnett says: “It was either a developer-financed on-site wastewater treatment plant, or individual on-site septic disposal systems.”

He estimates the cost of the treatment plant and infrastructure was approximately $1.2 million. For the first 100 homes it was about $12,000 each, much less than constructing 100 individual septic systems with tanks and disposal fields. Also, they were able to construct the 100 homes in an area of approximately 40 acres which would not be possible using traditional on-site systems. The greatest number of homes using traditional treatment methods in this area would be no more than 20 or so, due to topographical constraints. The developers calculated each home would produce approximately 1,000 litres of wastewater daily. It is transported through tightly-sealed pipe to the Seven Lakes wastewater treatment facility, which could be built to a smaller, more economical scale because of the absence of I&I. Once there, wastewater passes through five tanks (each with a holding capacity of 100,000 litres) and is separated into scum, effluent and sludge. The effluent is delivered to another system where nutrients are broken down in a biological process, before passing through ultraviolet light for tertiary treatment. Finally, it is pumped uphill to a subsurface infiltrator system which delivers the effluent to a large, sandy dispersal field to help recharge groundwater. Seven Lakes has incorporated an alert system at the wastewater treatment plant which is totally automated and is monitored by computer 24/7. If there is a problem with the system, it sends a message to the plant operator’s cell phone. They can log into the system and switch pumps on or off and adjust the system remotely. Joseph Harmes is a freelance writer who has documented the evolution and acceptance curve of low-pressure sewer systems since the early 1990s. For more information on this project, email: gvorsheim@eone.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine



Chem-Pro MC-2 Diaphragm Metering Pumps are well suited for the aggressive chemicals often used in municipal water and wastewater treatment. Their rugged design can handle high pressure applications to 175 PSI (12 bar); feed demands to 15 GPH/55 LPH. They are fitted with Blue-White’s exclusive Dia-Flex single layer PVDF diaphragm. Dia-Flex exhibits zero breakdown or delamination. Units are NSF STD61, ETL, CE listed. NEMA 4X/ lP66 rate. Blue-White is ISO 9001:2015 Certified.


T: 714-893-8529 F: 714-894-9492 E: sales@blue-white.com W: www.blue-white.com

Blue-White Industries

Polymer Pumps


Blue-White’s FLEXFLO Peristaltic Polymer Pumps are expertly designed to meter precise amounts of polymer liquids used in wastewater treatment. They are equipped with our exclusive built-in tube failure detection plus (TFD+) system, which will detect oil and water based polymer leaks in the head, helping to eliminate costly polymer spills and clean up. Because the peristaltic design of the polymer pump has no valves, it won’t clog, and it is self-priming even against maximum line pressure.


T: 714-893-8529 F: 714-894-9492 E:sales@blue-white.com W:www.blue-white.com

Blue-White Industries

Block water from accessing assets 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 www.esemag.com

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. T: 416-291-3435 E: sales@densona-ca.com W: www.densona.com

Denso North America

Plug-and-play Flow Meter 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. T: 905-681-9292 F: 905-681-9444 E: info@ca.endress.com W: www.e-direct.endress.com/ca/ picomag

Endress+Hauser Canada

Flow Measurement

Chlorine Ton Scale


The Chlor-Scale Ton Container Scale from Force Flow provides an accurate and reliable way to monitor the amount of chlorine used in your disinfection process. Knowing the exact amount fed allows you to document that target disinfection levels have been consistently met. Epoxy powder coated to ensure maximum strength for safety and durability. Electronic and hydraulic versions are available. T: 925-686-6700 F: 925-686-6713 E: info@forceflow.com W: www.forceflowscales.com

Force Flow

Chlorine Safety Maximize the safety of your chlorine feed system by using a Force Flow Chlor-Scale to accurately monitor how much chlorine has been fed and how much remains in your ton container. By adding a Halogen Emergency Valve Shut Off System, the ton container valve will be closed within seconds if a leak is detected or a panic button is pushed. ACE18 BOOTH No. 22055


T: 800-893-6723 W: www.forceflowscales.com W: www.halogenvalve.com

Force Flow/Halogen

Chlorine Emergency Shutoff Proline 300/500 flow measurement technology provides continuous on-board diagnostics and meter verification with Heartbeat Technology , and fast commissioning and intuitive operation via display, web server and WLAN. It offers maximum flexibility with configurable I/O.

T: 905-681-9292 F: 905-681-9444 E: info@ca.endress.com W: www.ca.endress.com/ proline300500

Endress+Hauser Canada

The Terminator Actuator from Halogen Valve Systems can now be used on chlorine ton containers as well as 150 lb cylinders to instantly stop the flow of chlorine in case of an emergency. Emergency chlorine shutoff is initiated when the controller receives a close contact signal from a leak detector or included emergency shutoff switch and a relay output. T: 800-893-6723 W: www.forceflowscales.com W: www.halogenvalve.com

Force Flow/Halogen

June 2018  |  59

PRODUCT & SERVICE SHOWCASE Submersible + field instruments

Stormwater Treatment

Sequoia Instruments’ submersible + field instruments measure particles and their properties, using Laser In-Situ Scattering and Transmissometry (LISST) technology. This includes: LISST-200X – submersible particle size distribution + concentration analyzer; LISST-ABS – measures suspended sediment concentration; and LISST-Holo2 – holographic particle imaging + size distribution.

The Jellyfish Filter is a stormwater treatment technology that removes a high level and a wide variety of stormwater pollutants. The Jellyfish Filter has been verified through the ISO 14034 Environmental Management – Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) program and is the only stormwater filtration device in Canada to achieve this verification.

Hoskin Scientific

Imbrium Systems

E: salesb@hoskin.ca, Burlington, ON E: salesv@hoskin.ca, Burnaby, BC E: salesm@hoskin.ca, Montreal, QC W: www.hoskin.ca

Fiberglass Flumes Hoskin Scientific offers a full line of standard fiberglass flumes, such as Parshall Flumes, Palmer Bowlus Flumes, H Flumes, Trapezoidal Flumes, along with countless custom structures used for open channel flow measurement. E: salesb@hoskin.ca, Burlington, ON E: salesv@hoskin.ca, Burnaby, BC E: salesm@hoskin.ca, Montreal, QC W: www.hoskin.ca

Hoskin Scientific

Drum Screen The HUBER Drum Screen LIQUID provides reliable fine screening with maximum separation efficiency for the maximum retention of fibres and hair. Special sealing between the channel and the front-end screen basket opening prevents unscreened wastewater from passing through the screen basket. A cost-efficient solution, the LIQUID also provides high throughput capacities and maximum operating reliability. T: 704-990-2053 E: huber@hhusa.net W: www.huber-technology.com

Huber Technology

60  |  June 2018

best-in-class measurement performance and an ultra-wide turndown ratio to ensure that every drop is recorded. The Octave – precise measurement using the Sound of Science . Master Meter Canada Inc.

T: 866-761-1535 W: www.mastermeter.com

Automatic Self-Cleaning Filters ORIVAL Automatic Self­Cleaning 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.

T: 800-565-4801 E: info@imbriumsystems.com W: www.imbriumsystems.com

Stormwater Modeling Tool PCSWMM for Stormceptor is a continuous simulation modeling software that determines the most appropriate-sized Stormceptor for your site. Highlights include localized rainfall data from over 1,900 NOAA weather stations across North America, and the ability to size multiple Stormceptor units within a single project. Visit www. imbriumsystems.com/launch-pcswmm.

T: 800-567-9767 E: filters@orival.com W: www.orival.com


T: 800-565-4801 E: info@imbriumsystems.com W: www.imbriumsystems.com

Retrofit Baffle System The OPTIFLOW 270 Retrofit Baffle System retrofits into existing 270-degree vortex grit chambers to significantly improve removal efficiency. Grit removal systems designed to meet previous standards can be upgraded to remove 95% of grit down to 150 microns (100 mesh). This baffle is available not only for flat-floor vortex chambers but as a conversion system for sloped and cone-shaped chambers.


Imbrium Systems

Introducing the newest enhancement to our flagship measurement solution! Master Meter’s Octave Ultrasonic Commercial & Industrial Meter is now available with floating flanges. This new design creates value for utility department crews by significantly reducing the overall weight of the product, greatly increasing installation agility, while decreasing the speed of install. The decreased weight provides the additional benefit of a reduced transportation-related carbon footprint. The stainless-steel Octave continues to provide

T: 800-898-9122 F: 913-888-2173 E: answers@smithandloveless.com W: www.SmithandLoveless.com

Smith & Loveless

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Quick Clean Check Valve


The RapidJack Quick Clean Check Valve eliminates the need for time-consuming valve disassembly and interim piping realignment. Instead, quickly access the entire valve by opening the top and pulling the arm assembly up and out. This simple process consists only of removing four bolts, detaching the spring, and lifting it free from the check valve body (approximately 15 minutes total). T: 800-898-9122 F: 913-888-2173 E: answers@smithandloveless.com W: www.SmithandLoveless.com

Smith & Loveless

Engineered metal doors 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.

T: 604-552-7900 F: 604-552-7901 E: sales@engineeredpump.com

USF Fabrication

Accommodate Dynamic Movement 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 sleeve-type 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. www.esemag.com

T: 905-884-7444 E: rhys.jardine@victaulic.com W: www.dynamicmovementjoint.com


Controlling contaminated groundwater Waterloo Barrier is a low permeability cutoff wall for groundwater containment and control. It is a new design of steel sheet piling, featuring joints that can be sealed after the sheets have been driven into the ground, and was developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo. It has patent/patent pending status in several countries. Canadian Metal Rolling Mills assisted in developing the product. T: 519-856-1352 F: 519-856-0759 E: info@waterloo-barrier.com W: www.waterloo-barrier.com

Waterloo Barrier

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

Waterra Pumps

High Performance Submersible Pumps Waterra’s High Performance Submersible Pumps are designed

specifically for well purging and sampling procedures. All of these pumps can greatly speed up the process of purging and sampling monitoring wells, especially if dedicated installations are used. These pumps are complete and ready to use.

T: 905-238-5242 F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com

Waterra Pumps

Rugged and Reliable Peristaltic Pump The Spectra Field-Pro is the most popular peristaltic pump that Waterra has sold. The Field-Pro combines the MasterFlex Easy-Load 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. T: 905-238-5242 F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com

Waterra Pumps

Advanced and Portable Water Level Indicator 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. T: 905-238-5242 F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com

Waterra Pumps

June 2018  |  61

ES&E NEWS READER COMMENT In response to the article “Real-time monitoring could reduce First Nations water advisories by one third, study finds”

ter spent on operations & maintenance (O&M) funding and upgrading old existing technologies that don’t work. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) fundI can agree that having remote moni- ing only covers 80% of O&M. toring is good, but the monies to install, We First Nations have good operaoperate and maintain this could be bet- tors that are challenged with working

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long hours on a plant where automation is often down and where there are no funds to repair or replace it. Additionally, operator salaries are at a minimum. We have electronics in the newer plants that are constantly breaking down and it costs big money to fix or replace those systems. Remote monitoring can be abused too. It has a lot to do with attitude to operate and maintain from all involved. There are so many factors. Money could be better spent to have proper equipment on-hand, such as extra chemical pumps, chlorine and tabletop instruments. I see the costs of having online analyzers and worry that their O&M cost will not always be covered. As in every profession there may be some operators that don’t always do what is expected of them. It is frustrating trying to operate a water plant that wasn’t designed properly in the first place, or that lacks the funds for chemicals, repairs or replacement. I know and see many of the situations our operators are in. What is an operator to do? In my surrounding area, remote monitoring would not remove Drinking Water Advisories. To tell First Nations commu10:29 AM nities they need remote monitoring is wrong. We have to fix other things first, especially operator salaries and operations & maintenance funding. Deon Hassler, Technical Services, File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council, Saskatchewan, and water and wastewater operator circuit rider trainer

Editor's note: The article referenced by Mr. Hassler can be read on www.esemag. com. It reported that researchers at the University of Guelph found that the majority of drinking water advisories in First Nations communities across Canada are precautionary, and that installing real-time monitoring systems could reduce the number of these advisories by more than one-third.

Innovative, Fit-for-purpose Solutions www.stantec.com/water 62  |  June 2018

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


At Randle Reef in Ontario’s Hamilton Harbour, one of the most contaminated underwater sites on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes, construction of a 6.2-hectare double-walled steel containment structure is nearing completion, and phase two, the dredging of contaminated sediment, will begin this summer. Marking phase 2 for the $139-million project will mean sucking up 60 hectares of underwater coal tar and other contaminants to deposit it into the containment structure. The work will be a joint-venture contract between Milestone Envi- Randle Reef. Photo Credit: Hamilton Port Authority ronmental Contracting Inc. and Fraser River Pile & Dredge Inc. Contamination of Randle Reef is the NOW AVAILABLE IN CANADA! result of multiple historical sources over TURBO ADVANTAGES WITHOUT LIMITATIONS a period of more than 150 years. Pollution sources include coal gasification, Proven single-stage, integrally-geared turbocompressor petroleum refining, steel making and technology with the highest levels of Reliability, Efficiency, Turndown, Maintainability and Affordability associated coking, municipal waste, sewage effluent and overland drainage. One-Stop Diffuser Expertise Phase 1 began in September 2015 with disks, tubes & strips the reconstruction of an adjacent harWorld’s first rubber membrane diffusers since 1975 • Featuring OxyStrip diffusers Large Air Bubble Mixing Techn bour pier wall. The in-water construction • “Turndown is more important than efficiency” – now you can have both! ® 16:1 air burst driven mixing • Highest efficiency and widest turndown – 8:1 & with Dual-Air of the facility began in May 2016. Phase 3 Innovative, Most energy-efficient mixing of the remediation project involves comNo in-basin moving parts Easy installation pacting contained sediment and dewaterDrinkin ing it, followed by constructing an imperS HYDRO-PULSE meable cap on top of the facility. This BUBBLETRON Large Bubble Mixing Technology final phase is expected to begin in 2020 Large Air Bubble Mixing Technology Food processing & a wide IDEAL MIXING FOR: and be completed in 2022. Ideal mixing for: Innovative, air burst driven mixing Anoxic Basins• Innovative, air-burst driven mixing •MostAnoxic, Aeration & Swing Tanks • Sludge Tanks energy-efficient mixing The Randle Reef facility, once filled Aeration Basins in-basin moving parts HYDRO-LOGIC ENVIRONMEN •No Drinking Sludge Mixing• Energy-efficient, up to 50% less power Easy installationwater storage tanks • Channel Mixing Applications 762in-basin Upper St. James St., Suite 250, Hamilton, ON L9C 3A2 • Ph: 905-7 Drinking tank mixing• No with contaminated sediment and capped, • Sewage pump station grease cap busting & water odorstorage control moving parts Sewage pump station grease info@hydrologic.ca www.hydrolo • Industrial and Food Processing Applications…and more! • Easy installation cap busting & odor control will be utilized as a port facility. This Industrial Applications Food processing applications, liquor blending approach of containing contaminated & a wide range of mixing applications sediment in an engineered facility and HYDRO-LOGIC ENVIRONMENTAL INC. 762 Upper St. James St., Suite 250, Hamilton, ON L9C 3A2 • Ph: 905-777-9494 • Fax: 905-777-8678 creating useable land is a first in Canada.



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Professors Bruce Rittmann, Arizona State University, and Mark van Loosdrecht, Delft University of Technology, were named the 2018 Stockholm Water Prize Laureates for their research and innovations in revolutionizing water and wastewater treatment. In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee recognizes continued overleaf…





HYDRO-LOGIC ENVIRONMENTAL INC. T: 905-777-9494 • F: 905-777-8678 • info@hydrologic.ca • www.hydrologic.ca 762 Upper James Street, Suite 250, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L9C 3A2

June 2018  |  63

ES&E NEWS Professors Rittmann and van Loosdrecht for "pioneering and leading the development of environmental biotechnology-based processes for water and wastewater treatment. They have revolutionized treatment of water for safe drinking, and refined purification of polluted water for release or reuse, while minimizing the energy footprint." Professor van Loosdrecht's research has led to the quite widely used Anammox and Nereda technologies for wastewater treatment. The Anammox process is a resource efficient way to remove nitrogen from wastewater. In industries it is used after anaerobic wastewater treatment while in municipal wastewater treatment it is used in combination with sludge digestion. In both cases this results in an energy producing treatment process. According to the Stockholm International Water Institute, the Nereda technology is based on granulation of bacteria, which allows a simpler and cheaper municipal wastewater treatment process. A Nereda plant can be built on a smaller patch of land and uses up to 50% less

Project outline courtesy of Town on Blackfalds.

energy than conventional methods. The prize will be presented on behalf of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of Stockholm Water Prize, at a royal award ceremony in August, during World Water Week in Stockholm.

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

64  |  June 2018

Dewatering systems Mobile groundwater treatment systems Well and pump installation and maintenance Pump, filter, generator rentals Sediment tank rentals Insitu groundwater remediation systems



Federal and provincial officials attended a commissioning ceremony recently to celebrate the completion of the $71-million North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Transmission System, which connects the City of Red Deer's wastewater facility to Lacombe, Blackfalds and Lacombe County through a 28-kilometre pipeline. After one year of design and geotechnical services that began in 2015, followed by one year of construction, the new system now boasts two major lift stations, emergency storage reservoirs and odour management measures. The wastewater forcemain uses fused jointless pipe ranging from 700 mm to 900 mm in diameter. Lacombe will provide management services for the North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Services Commission for a rate of approximately $30,000 per month. The federal government contributed $29.8 million to the project under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The Alberta government provided approximately $33.2 million, and the North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Services Commission covered the remaining costs, including a small contribution from the City of Red Deer for future wastewater flows.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Research at Oregon State University has shed new light on how increasingly common silver nanoparticles in consumer products can potentially interfere with the treatment of wastewater. Findings suggest conventional toxicity testing methods for silver concentrations at treatment plants may produce results that yield a false sense of security. According to researchers, studying this material is important because if silver, which has broad-spectrum antibacterial properties, thwarts the work of the wastewater plants' beneficial bacteria, then too many nutrients may end up in waterways. “Silver nanoparticles are being incorporated into a range of products, including wound dressings, clothing, water filters, toothpaste and even children's toys,” said corresponding author Tyler Radniecki, an environmental engineering assistant professor at Oregon State University (OSU). “The nanoparticles can end up in wastewater streams through washing or just regular use of the product.” The work by Radniecki and collaborators in OSU's College of Engineering looked at silver nanoparticles, the ionic silver they release and an ammonia-oxidizing bacterium, Nitrosomonas europaea. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, or AOB, are crucial because they convert ammonia to nitrite. The study looked at both free-floating, or planktonic, N. europaea and also the biofilms they create. Research confirmed earlier observations that biofilms are more resistant to silver than planktonic bacteria. “Biofilms showed higher resistance for multiple factors,” Radniecki said. “One was simply more mass of cells, and the top layer of cells acted like a sacrificial shield that allowed the bacteria below not to be inhibited. Slow growth rates were also a protection from silver toxicity because the enzymes that silver prevents from turning over aren't turning over as frequently.” More importantly, said the researchers, the study unveiled that the inhibition of AOB's ammonia-conversion ability is more a function of silver expowww.esemag.com

sure time than the level of silver concentration. “Most of the studies investigating the inhibition of wastewater biofilms by nanoparticles have been conducted in short-term exposure scenarios, less than 12 hours,” Radniecki said. “Also, they've used an equal amount of time for hydraulic residence and sludge retention.” The problem with that, Radniecki explains, is that in a treatment plant that uses biofilms, sludge retention time (time bacteria are in the plant) will be much greater than the hydraulic residence time (time wastewater is in the plant). “That allows, over time, for the accumulation and concentration of metal contaminants, including ionic silver and sil-

ver nanoparticles,” said Radniecki, whose work involved exposure times of 48 hours. “The immobilized biofilm cells are exposed to a much greater volume of water and mass of contaminants than the planktonic cell systems.” he said, adding that: “This means the results of short-term exposure studies may fail to incorporate the expected accumulation of silver within the biofilm. Wastewater plant monitors might be underestimating the potential toxicity of long-term, low-concentration exposure situations.” www.today.oregonstate.edu/news

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June 2018  |  65

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66  |  June 2018

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I had to condense hundreds of hours of research and reasoning into a five minute presentation to council. After my presentation, the Hamilton health officer offered the reassuring “safe and effective” comment to calm the audience. In response, I asked how 1,000,000 kg of fluoride into our receiving waters per year was “safe.” I did not get an answer. I was then thanked for my time and not asked any questions. A vote was held, but continuing to fluoridate the water was favoured by the majority of council. I am sorry we started mass fluoridation, but I cannot change this situation by myself. We need a reality check and our rights back. It is my strongest recommendation to all that it is in our best interest to stop financial waste and pollution and to reinstate the sacred value of water and stop treating Mother Nature like a doormat. She is essential to our very lives and it is a sad needless sin to pollute and harm her in this way. What does this say about our society? Water is perfectly fine. Why can’t common sense prevail? Water did not need any “improvement”. Only in our time, from the 1960s to today, did any portion of society get influenced to believe that it “needed something”, and in the meantime, what does this say about us, and what legacy do we leave on this planet? Water is sacred. It should never be, never have been compromised and this is not a negotiable. The same goes for our rights. Would it be appropriate to consider a review of our nation’s sugar consumption history and revisit our national health, fitness and dental care education programs at this time? If you are concerned about the legal issues, the unnecessary cost, and health and environmental issues fluoridation can cause, you need to raise your voice to educate the public and our leaders and stop this madness. If you, the environmental water industry, won’t or don’t do this at this time, who will? I ask and urge you – this industry – to step up now for all our sakes please. Isn’t there still just too much controversy to not question the continued mass fluoridation of water in perpetuity?

the rest of your life because some children suffer from tooth decay.’ It is a preposterous notion.” Dr. Dean Burk was an accomplished and accredited American biochemist, medical researcher, and a cancer researcher at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and the National Cancer Institute. He became head of the National Cancer Institute’s Cytochemistry Sector in 1938. After retiring from the NCI in 1974, Dr. Burk remained active, devoting himself to his opposition to water fluoridation, after discovering what he claimed was a direct correlation between the rate of cancer increase and the implementation of the fluoride program. Today, there is increasing concern for lead and other toxic substances, and ingestion limits are changing. It is published that fluoride does not occur naturally in the body, that there are zero uses for fluoride in the body and 180 symptoms of fluoride poisoning. Yet, fluoride is what we feed everyone this program can reach. If you suffer from one of those 180 symptoms, how likely is it to be addressed successfully if fluoride is not even acknowledged to be a potential source of the problem? “Fluoride”, although it is not one pure substance but an ingredient list we cannot see, seems to be the protected, loved poster child of our dental care program and we see our tax dollars directed to ensure the propaganda on this just keeps going. Dentists are told and then tell us that fluoride is safe, but did they ever look at all the data? How can this be when the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists states that from birth through six months, babies should not receive any fluoride. How would baby formulae made from fluoridated water be safe for a baby? How would you bathe them? While our federal government got us into this situation, it seems we can only get out of it, city by city. However, most city politicians are not able to process this type of information or any arguments without technical back up. In this case they look for guidance to federal officials, who are firm in their insistence on continuing fluoridation. In 2012, I spoke for clean water and George S. Pastoric is with Hydroagainst fluoridation in Hamilton and it Logic Environmental Inc. Email: proved to be a very strange experience. george@hydrologic.ca

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