Determining the composition of wastewater Removing iron from drinking water Infrastructure stimulus changes EA process Stormwater filtration evolving
Storage Tanks, Containment & Spills - Special Section
Contents ISSN-0835-605X May 2009 Vol. 22 No. 2 Issued May 2009
ES&E invites articles (approx. 2,000 words) on water, wastewater, hazardous waste treatment and other environmental protection topics. If you are interested in submitting an article for consideration in our print and digital editions, please contact Steve Davey at email@example.com. Please note that Environmental Science & Engineering Publications Inc. reserves the right to edit all text and graphic submissions without notice.
Should Toronto homeowners have to wait for lead-free drinking water? - Editorial comment by Tom and Steve Davey
10 Filtration systems take stormwater pollution prevention to a new level 14 Advanced online instrumentation helps facility meet its BNR goals 18 Restoration of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forests receiving attention 20 Determining the microbial composition of wastewater 24 Another change in the drinking water regulation landscape 26 Biological system removes iron from water - an Ontario first 30 Infrastructure stimulus package results in amendments to the federal EA process
DEPARTMENTS Product Showcase . . . . . 67-72 Environmental News . . . 73-79 Professional Cards . . . . . .74-80 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
31 Chloride contaminated water captured with a collection trench system 32 New low cost ways to remove arsenic from drinking water 36 New membrane filtration facility cleans drinking water from West Vancouverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eagle Lake 40 How a global approach to wet weather issues can improve water quality 44 St. Lawrence Cement Inc. v. Barrette 48 Environmental companies concerned green economic opportunity at risk 49 Discreet sewage treatment for English resort town 52 Determining the size of on-site sodium hypochlorite generation systems 56 Sealing systems for pumping applications 80 Understanding complex water flow patterns
C o n t a in m e n t
58 Hartland NB wins uphill battle to fight fires throughout town 60 Collapsible fuel bladders protect sensitive Arctic environments
62 Protecting tanks from ice damage using submersible mixers 64 Guidance Document developed for the new Environment Canada petroleum storage tank regulations
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Should Toronto homeowners have to wait for lead-free drinking water? Comment by Tom and Steve Davey
rinking water in over 50 percent of one hundred older Toronto homes, which were tested during the summer of 2008, exceeded acceptable levels of lead, a large increase over a previous study. Testing was done on homes built before the 1950s in older parts of Toronto, Scarborough and Etobicoke. Homeowners whose readings were high were notified, along with public health officials. Why is lead so dangerous? Lead is what is known as a neurotoxicant or a brain poison. Even in very small amounts, lead can harm the developing brain and nervous system of fetuses and young children, which can lead to behavioural and learning difficulties. Lead can also interfere with the way that hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying part of blood) is produced. Lead can disturb processes essential to vitamin D and calcium metabolism. Chronic, or long-term lead exposure, can lead to high blood pressure and peripheral vascular disease.
It is generally agreed that there is no safe level of lead exposure, although risk of suffering adverse health effects from lead exposure will decline as exposure declines. The first-ever round of provincially mandated testing on lead pipes serving homes was done between December 2007 and April 2008. Only six of the 100 homes tested had lead levels above the Ontario standard of 10 parts per billion. But the second round of tests during the summer of 2008 found that water in over 52 homes exceeded that level, and was as high as 82 parts per billion. Some attributed the spike to warm weather. Lou Di Gironimo, the general manager for Toronto Water, was reported as saying: "Lead is like any metal; it corrodes, and, at microscopic levels, bits of it release into water. When the water is warmer this process happens more rapidly." Though the troubling results caught public health and water officials a little
by surprise, Dr. Howard Shapiro, Toronto’s associate medical officer of health, doesn't believe there's cause for panic. "The summer is when it's at its worst. Actual exposure over the year will be less than that," Dr. Shapiro told The Toronto Star. But he added that public health officials will be getting the word out: "We need more communication with people about this issue because it is more widespread," he said. Experts advised that those in older homes who had not had lead pipes replaced should run taps that hadn't been used for six hours or more for at least five minutes to remove lead and other contaminants from the water. “This is especially important if there are children younger than six or pregnant women in the home”, Dr. Shapiro emphasized. “Water filters with the certification number NSF/ANSI 53 also help remove lead”, said Lou Di Gironimo. All the measurements in the Toronto continued overleaf... May 2009 | 7
Comment by Tom and Steve Davey
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Technical Advisory Board Jim Bishop Stantec Consulting Ltd., Ontario Bill Borlase, P.Eng. City of Winnipeg, Manitoba George V. Crawford, P.Eng., M.A.Sc. CH2M HILL, Ontario Bill DeAngelis, P.Eng. Associated Engineering, Ontario Marie Meunier John Meunier Inc., Québec Peter J. Paine Environment Canada 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 e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Canadian Publications Mail Sales Second Class Mail Product Agreement No. 40065446 Registration No. 7750 Undeliverable copies, advertising space orders, copy, artwork, film, proofs, etc., should be sent to: Environmental Science & Engineering, 220 Industrial Pkwy. S., Unit 30, Aurora, Ontario, Canada, L4G 3V6, Tel: (905)727-4666, Fax: (905) 841-7271, Web site: www.esemag.com Printed in Canada. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without written permission of the publisher. Yearly subscription rates: Canada $75.00 (plus $3.75 GST).
8 | May 2009
study were taken from "standing water" – not water that had been running from the tap for five minutes. Last year, the city began a nine-year program that combines replacement of the City's portion of lead service lines with water main work. That program costs about $19 million a year.
To its credit, Toronto Water has now taken action to speed up the process for lead testing in drinking water. The City estimates that there may be as many as 65,000 lead water service connections to homes that may need to be replaced. Some 8,000 of these were replaced last year; the City aims to boost this to 9,000 a year. Given the potential health risk to its residents, surely taking nine years to completely replace lead water service connections is far too long of a time frame. Late last year, at least one child received a shock, and two dogs died, after contacting electrically-charged handwells embedded in City sidewalks. To ensure public safety, Toronto Hydro has had to begin testing and repairing every handwell. Having implemented several 9% annual water rate increases to fund water and wastewater services, surely the City now has the wherewithal to speed up its lead service replacement program, as it recently had to do with the handwell stray voltage issue. To its credit, Toronto Water has now taken action to speed up the process for lead testing in drinking water. Previously residents had to call the City and wait for the sampling kit to be delivered, a process that often took up to 10 weeks to complete the sampling, testing and reporting. Residents can now pick up and drop off a sampling kit at any of the six Toronto public health offices. It is hoped the change will reduce the waiting time for test results to just two or three weeks. Toronto and other municipalities forwarded results from testing to the province at the end of October. An On-
tario Ministry of Environment spokesperson, Kate Jordan, said that “the province is still going over the first-round results of 55,000 samples from across Ontario. A report is expected soon, but testing found that the vast majority of drinking water was below the maximum acceptable level for lead.” In 2007, the ministry ordered all Ontario schools and daycares built before 1990 – the year lead solder was banned – to run taps daily for at least five minutes. Lead seldom occurs naturally in water supplies like rivers and lakes and is almost never present in water leaving treatment plants or travelling through water mains. The drinking water produced at Toronto’s water plants exceeds Health Canada’s standards. Health Canada has established a maximum acceptable concentration of lead in drinking water of 10 ppb (parts per billion) in a free-flowing sample of water. Tests for lead concentration at the City’s plants are below 1 ppb. While this comment has focused on the situation in Toronto, lead in drinking water is an important issue for any Canadian water systems installed prior to 1950, when lead service connections were a popular choice.
Tom and Steve Davey (left) are the editors of Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine. Please email any comments to email@example.com
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Next generation filtration systems take stormwater pollution prevention to a new level By Andrew Potter ince the 1970s, regulations and efforts across Canada have significantly reduced water pollution by more than 60% from traditional point sources like sewage treatment plants, industrial factories and illegal disposal of hazardous or organic waste. It has become clear that the remaining pollution in most lakes, rivers and streams is primarily caused by stormwater runoff, especially urban runoff. During rainstorms and spring snow melts, built-up pollutants on surfaces are washed away and deposited into catch basins. The runoff travels from catch basins and gutters until it is released into a larger body of water, including major drinking water sources. Most pollutants in runoff result from everyday activities that take place at a variety of hot spot locations: 1. Parking lots and roadways experience a significant build-up of pollutants from vehicles, construction, maintenance and accidents. Asphalt wear and transmission fluid drippings deposit sediment, oils and grease. Road surface treatments leave behind sand and salt. Construction activity introduces significant loads of sediment and oils from construction vehicles. Accidents at busy intersections cause transportation spills. 2. Parks and residential settings contribute several pollutants to stormwater runoff, including litter and bacteria from organic material like grass clippings, leaves and pet feces. The use of car care products, fertilizers and pesticides also introduces contaminants into the stormwater runoff in these locations. 3. Maintenance and industrial yards generate all types of waste from a variety of day-to-day activities. Vehicle and equipment repairs deposit solvents, oils and other hazardous waste. Clean-ups, washouts, painting, fueling and other activities leave behind industrial waste that is eventually washed into stormwater systems. 4. Marinas and boatyards are especially critical, due to their proximity to
10 | May 2009
Inserts can be installed in any catch basin drain or inlet.
Cross-section view of EnviroStream installed in catchbasin.
major lakes and rivers. Painting, sanding, fueling, engine washing and storage, and everyday cleaning activities are a major source of stormwater contaminants in these locations. Contaminants are also often highly concentrated here since little dilution occurs so close to major waterways. 5. Gas stations and vehicle service centres experience petroleum spills, fueltank leaks and car washing waste that all contribute to stormwater pollution. These locations also experience common vehicular pollution and littering. For several years, the primary goal of
stormwater management was to collect and remove water as quickly as possible, using catch basins. Stormwater is considered as nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, because pollutants are carried a great distance, converging with other streams and becoming diluted below the legal limit, before being deposited into the environment. Unfortunately, dilution is not the most effective means of solving pollution, and urban stormwater runoff is now identified as a leading source of water quality problems. This has caused continued overleaf...
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Cover Story many jurisdictions across Canada to implement best management practice (BMP) stormwater solutions, like detention ponds and hydrodynamic separators that reduce the pollutant load entering the environment. These systems do have their drawbacks, as available land is limited for detention ponds and maintenance of hydrodynamic separators is often overlooked. Furthermore, they do not take a point-of-source approach to stormwater remediation. Alternatively, stormwater filtration systems can be installed in catch basins where pollution is most concentrated. Benefiting from a point-of-source approach There are many methods available for reducing stormwater pollution, but the most cost-effective and efficient methods are those that focus on preventing “first flush” contaminants from ever entering the drainage systems in the first place. These methods take a point-of-source approach despite the fact that stormwater is considered nonpoint source pollution. The “first flush” phenomenon refers to the belief that, in the first few minutes of a rainfall event, approximately 95 percent of contaminants on an impervious surface are transported into the stormwater drainage system. As the rainfall continues, it “cleanses” the surface and the concentration of contaminants drops off for the remainder of the rainfall event. This “first flush” phenomenon is readily observed at the aforementioned hot spot locations. Taking a targeted point-ofsource approach at these spots significantly minimizes the amount of pollutants entering stormwater runoff and acts as an emergency backup during spills. Next generation BMP filtration systems are designed to remove most contaminants from stormwater. These systems are ideal for taking a targeted point-of-source approach. For example, the IPEX EnviroStream stormwater treatment system uses a filter media to remove 98% of inorganic solids and virtually eliminate total petroleum hydrocarbons. First generation BMP solutions like hydrodynamic separators that are designed to trap nonpoint source pollutants using by-pass and treatment chambers may only remove 50 to 80% of the total sediment load. 12 | May 2009
Inserting a new filter only takes a few minutes.
Maintenance is as easy as weighing the filter to determine saturation.
For areas of high contaminants, 50 to 80% removal may not be good enough to meet total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirements. TMDL defines the maximum amount of pollution that a waterbody can handle without violating water quality standards. When a specific location exceeds the TMDL, costs due to fines, or the need to send contaminated water offsite to a treatment facility, can greatly impact a company’s or municipality’s bottom line. Filtration systems can help ensure that a specific location does not exceed TMDL requirements. Providing better overall value While filtration systems are better at removing stormwater pollutants through their point-of-source approach, many have argued that they can be costly, susceptible to clogging or unable to handle deluge events. However, new technological advances and simple installation and maintenance have eliminated these issues. 1. Installation – Unlike retention ponds that require a lot of space or hydrodynamic separators that require costly excavation to install, many filtration systems can be installed without excavation. For example, the EnviroStream stormwater treatment system can be easily installed in almost any existing catch basin in less than two hours. All that is required is to anchor and seal a filter and debris basket platform to a catch basin wall and insert overflow bypass tubes, filter canister and a debris basket.
2. Maintenance – While all stormwater systems require maintenance, some require specially trained personnel or costly equipment such as a vacuum truck. When maintenance is more costly, it is often neglected and not performed on a regular basis, especially during tough economic times. This can further reduce the efficiency of a stormwater system and put more pollutants into the drainage system and eventually into lakes, rivers and streams. Emptying the debris basket and changing the filter on the EnviroStream system can be done by a single person in less than 30 minutes, making maintenance costs much less of a concern. 3. Clogging – New technological advances in filters and filter designs have enabled filtration systems to avoid clogging. Today’s filters are capable of filtering particles larger than about 5 microns in size, which is about 1/8 the size of human hair. This includes hydrocarbons like petroleum, gases and polymers. Today’s filters are also capable of capturing nitrates and phosphates, and biocide-enhanced filters are available to reduce bacteria in certain environments. Many filtration systems also include debris baskets for collecting larger items, like litter and leaves, so that these items never reach the filter. 4. Overflow – Hydrodynamic separators are capable of handling high-gallon flows during deluge events. However, these systems use chambers and not fil-
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Cover Story ters that trap the high concentration of pollutants that occurs during the “first flush” phenomenon. This means that pollutants remain in the system, and turbulence during a heavy deluge event can cause them to be remixed with the “cleaner” water. This is especially true when these systems are not properly maintained and cleaned out on a regular basis. While the ability of a filtration system to handle a deluge event has been a concern, filtration systems effectively address the “first flush” phenomenon by removing the high concentration of contaminants that happens during the first few minutes of rainfall. If heavy rainfall continues, features like overflow bypass vents allow water to bypass the filter, while diversion hoods prevent floatables and debris from entering the drainage system. Filtration systems can also be customized with several types of filter media for a more targeted approach such as in areas of high bacteria or nutrients. Conclusion While first generation systems have their place and work well for many locations, filtration systems are the next dynaBLEND® Polymer Makedown Units
Fluid Dynamics introduces the L Series dynaBLEND® polymer blending and activation system. The dynaBLEND® units feature the patented HydroACTION® non-mechanical, high-energy polymer mixing chamber, with a choice of diaphragm metering or progressing cavity pumps. Control options range from simple manual systems to fully instrumented PLC-based units with an unlimited variety of inputs and outputs. Standard units are available to provide activated polymer solution from 30 gph through 21,000 gph. Custom units also available. Fluid Dynamics Lansdale, PA Tel: 888-363-7886 or 215-699-8700 E-mail: email@example.com www.dynablend.com
generation in stormwater treatment and are constantly evolving with innovative features. For example, standing water has always been a concern for all stormwater systems, providing an environment for dangerous bacteria and mosquito growth. The EnviroStream system features an innovative dry drain that sits below the filter and allows the entire filter platform to completely drain and eliminate stagnant water. Everyday activities continue to put
pollutants and contaminants into our lakes, rivers and streams, which impacts our ecosystems, tourism and public health. As the shift in environmental “green” thinking continues to grow, it may now be time to take BMP stormwater treatment to the next level, using a targeted point-of-source approach. Andrew Potter is with IPEX. For more information, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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May 2009 | 13
Wastewater Treatment Optimization
Advanced online instrumentation helps facility meet BNR goals By Bob Dabkowski utrient levels in wastewater treatment plant effluent are a rising concern as regulatory agencies seek further improvements in effluent quality. Wastewater treatment plant managers and operators face more demanding requirements to improve nutrient removal, especially in locations threatened with eutrophication. In addition, many managers know their wastewater utilities will need to deal with future nutrient removal requirements and, in anticipation of tightening regulations, a large number of plants today operate to “goal” levels, removing even currently unregulated nutrients. What this means for the average wastewater treatment plant is ever-increasing emphasis on meeting even more stringent standards while maintaining plant efficiency. A critical part of that efficiency is a plant’s ability to make best use of new online instrumentation that optimizes plant processes and promotes efficiency. This has been the case for the wastewater treatment plant in Greenville, Alabama. The facility uses online instruments that provide real-time monitoring of the facility’s biological nutrient removal (BNR) process, allowing it to make criti-
cal immediate adjustments that increase performance and efficiency. The Greenville plant is a mechanical aeration, activated sludge plant that treats an average of 1.2 million gallons per day (USMGD) and serves approximately 2,800 customers. Following primary aeration, the flow is split between two continuously sequencing reactor (CSR) basins. The Schreiber CSR system at the Greenville plant is designed as a constant-flow, single-basin, complete-mix reactor. Activated sludge is added to basin influent and a bridge that runs from the middle of the basin to the edge rotates, maintaining a constant mix of solids independent of aeration. Meanwhile, oxygen levels are manipulated to create oxic, anoxic and anaerobic phases that generate specific bacterial biological reactions aimed at nutrient removal. As well as occupying a small footprint, the automated, energy-efficient CSR system operates by running blowers only intermittently. To optimize the CSR process, the plant has installed online instruments to continuously monitor dissolved oxygen (DO), mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS), and oxidation/reduction potential (ORP).
“Our aeration basins basically operate individually from each other,” says Bruce Branum, plant superintendent. “In each basin we primarily monitor DO and, to aid process treatment and energy savings, we also utilize online ORP measurement. To help us keep a better eye on our bugs, we also use online sensors to monitor our suspended solids.” Online MLSS measurement The accurate measurement of MLSS is critical to the CSR system. “By knowing the mixed liquor concentrations, the volume of the tank and the BOD, we calculate an accurate food-tomass ratio,” Branum says. “We want to know if there is adequate food coming in for the activated sludge micro-organisms in the tank.” The Greenville WWTP had long relied on laboratory analysis for MLSS readings. But the plant recently installed new online sensors that provide realtime MLSS measurements, and this has significantly reduced the plant’s reliance on intermittent and time-consuming laboratory analysis. The plant’s new suspended solids analyzers (Hach SOLITAX® sc) use dualbeam infrared scattered-light photometers and receptors to monitor the mixed liquor. continued overleaf...
The Greenville plant is a mechanical aeration, activated sludge plant that treats an average of 1.2 million gallons per day (USMGD) and serves approximately 2,800 customers. 14 | May 2009
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Wastewater Treatment Optimization The analyzer provides accurate and continuous measurements completely independent of colour. Real-time monitoring of MLSS concentrations in its aeration basins has allowed the Greenville plant to consistently maintain target MLSS levels. “Before we installed the probes, we had to go out and take samples, measure the mixed liquor of each basin through lengthy laboratory tests and then make our judgment of whether or not to waste sludge for further processing,” says Branum. “Now, it’s instantaneous. We can look at a screen and see how many solids we currently have in each basin, 24 hours a day.” Knowing the MLSS concentration at all times allows plant operators to optimize the biomass quantity and quality to meet variations in influent flow and load. The plant has installed a Solitax probe in each aeration basin and one at the plant headworks, along with a Hach UVAS sensor. “The probe installed at the headworks monitors solids loading of the influent wastewater and lets us know when certain industries are discharging to the plant,” Branum says.
“The UVAS probe measures the mixture for toxic shock and tells us if we are receiving an influx of high BOD.” DO and ORP process monitoring Two primary process control measurements in the CSR process are ORP and DO. The Greenville WWTP has installed ORP and DO probes in each aeration basin and can utilize either DO or ORP for blower control. Using DO control for aeration allows for a steady rate of air delivery, while using ORP control allows the air delivery rates to be maximized for the BNR process. “Think of it this way,” explains Branum, “DO tells us how well the bugs are breathing; ORP tells us when they should breathe to maximize nutrient removal.” To meet DO measurement requirements, the Greenville WWTP installed Hach luminescent dissolved oxygen (LDO) probes in each aeration basin. When DO reaches a certain level, the bacteria have enough air and are satisfied. The blowers can then be cycled on and off to create anoxic and anaerobic environments.
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“The great benefit of this process is that it’s power-efficient,” says Branum. “We save power by not having to aerate all day long.” Prior to installing the LDO probes, the plant had used membrane-based DO probes. The LDO probes are robust and require less maintenance. About once a month they are cleaned off and once a year the tips are replaced. Optimizing CSR system BNR processes typically require three different tanks for the nutrient removal process. With the Schreiber CSR system used at the Greenville plant, one tank is used for all three stages. As influent enters the basin, activated sludge provides the necessary bacteria or biomass for the biological reactions that result from manipulation of the oxic, anoxic and anaerobic phases. The changes between phases at the Greenville plant are automated based on real-time DO and ORP readings. During the oxic stage, the blowers are adding sufficient oxygen to the mixture to obtain a DO value of 2.0 ppm. During this time when the DO is high, the ORP increases to a predetermined set point and turns the blowers off. Nitrification occurs during the oxic stage, converting ammonias to nitrates and water. After the blowers shut off, the process enters the anoxic stage and DO drops to an undetectable amount. During this time, the nitrates reduce to nitrogen gas, producing oxygen, which is used in the respiration of the denitrifying organisms. When there is no more free oxygen, the basin enters the anaerobic stage and bacteria become stressed and release orthophosphate. At a low enough ORP level, the system triggers the blowers and oxygen is reintroduced into the basin; now the basin is back in the oxic phase and the stressed bacteria reabsorb the phosphorus, but at two to three times the normal level. The phosphorus is removed when the sludge is wasted. The Greenville WWTP discharges an effluent that is well under regulatory standards as established in its National Pollutant Elimination Discharge System (NPDES) permit. Bob Dabkowski is with Hach Company. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
16 | May 2009
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Restoration of the world's forests receiving attention orests once covered almost twice the area that they do today. Large expanses have been converted or degraded to produce food, timber, and energy and the loss is continuing at a rapid rate. Just one fifth of the world’s original forest cover remains in large tracts of relatively undisturbed forest. But forests can recover. Restoration of degraded lands (i.e.,
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some brown areas on the map) is receiving increasing attention because of the vast opportunities involved: climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and substitution of fossil fuels with biomass; climate change adaptation through creation of shade and buffers; contributions to rural livelihoods, and better access to firewood; increased food security; reduced risk of flooding and mud slides; biodiversity conservation through habitat improvement and migration corridors; and production of forest products to serve markets near and far. Not all converted or degraded forests, however, are suitable for restoration. Some of the world’s most productive agricultural lands are former forests, and significant areas that were once covered by trees have been converted to urban and industrial uses. But vast areas of marginally productive lands and pastures could grow trees once more and be part of multifunctional forest landscapes. The map shows the world’s forests as they used to be and as they are today. Green areas are the landscapes of today’s forests. Intact (large undisturbed) forests appear in dark green, and managed or fragmented forests in lighter shades of green (dense forests in medium green have a canopy cover of at least 30% while sparse, open forests in light green can be as low as 15%). Brown areas represent estimates of historical forest cover. These are areas where climate conditions are believed to have allowed forests to grow at some point after the latest glaciation, but where forests have been replaced by developed land and croplands (dark brown) or pastures and grasslands (light brown). Red areas show recent (2000 to 2005) tropical deforestation. The Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) is a worldwide network that unites governments, major UN and non-governmental organizations, companies and individuals with a common cause. This map was prepared for the GPFLR by the World Resources Institute.
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Determining the microbial composition of wastewater By Dr. Jackson Kung’u econtamination of wastewater before it is released into the environment is very important. Microbial composition The microbial composition of wastewater and sludge is monitored to determine the degree of pollution and potential exposure to harmful micro-organisms. Many of the micro-organisms found in sewage sludge, which include bacteria, fungi, parasites and enteric viruses, are potentially pathogenic. The most common types of bacteria found in sewage sludge are of enteric origin (i.e., from the intestines) because sewage contains human and animal waste. Also found are members of the genera Streptococcus, Clostridium, Mycobacterium and Listeria. The presence and concentration of a given pathogenic micro-organism depend, however, on whether there are healthy or sick carriers in a population.
The sewage sludge can contain as many as 108 to 109 total coliforms, 106 to107 of fecal coliforms, and 102 to 103 salmonellae bacteria per gram of dry matter. Generally, bacteria can survive in the soil for a few months. Some are rendered partially or completely inactive by extreme temperatures below the freezing point or by summer dry spells. Before using farmland to which sludge has been applied, a waiting period of a full year or at least one summer is recommended. Sludge may also contain a number of pathogenic fungi, such as Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans. These fungi respectively cause diseases clinically referred to as aspergillosis, candidiasis and cryptococcosis. Since human infection by these fungi is through direct contact or inhalation of spores and hyphal fragments, workers who handle sludge, especially those who are immunocom-
promised, are at the greatest risk. The two important parasites found in sludge are protozoa (e.g., amoebae, Toxoplasma gondii, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium sp.) and helminthes (such as Ascaris sp., Trichuris sp. and Taenia sp). Parasites pose health risks primarily to workers at sites where sludge has been applied. These parasites are often present in sludge in the form of cysts or eggs, which are very resistant and can be destroyed only by heat treatment at temperatures of at least 70˚C. The number of eggs and cysts in a kilogram of dry matter ranges from several hundred to several thousand. Such numbers are very high, given that only a few parasites are required to cause infection. If present in the soil after application of sludge on land, eggs or cysts can survive for several years, posing health risks to humans and animals that come into contact with the contaminated soil.
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20 | May 2009
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Counting bacteria colonies on filter membrane under a stereo microscope.
Viruses may be present in raw sludge at concentrations as high as 1,000 virus particles per gram of dry matter. Most of the viruses are those that attack the digestive system, i.e., enteric viruses including the hepatitis A virus. In the soil, some viruses can survive for several
months in the top soil (first 5-15 cm deep) thus posing a health risk to humans and animals. Assessing microbial composition of wastewater Since it is not practical to test for every potentially pathogenic organism in waste-
water, the degree of pollution is determined by use of indicator organisms. Two groups of organisms used as indicators are the total coliforms and fecal coliforms. The fecal coliform group, however, is considered the most significant indicator of fecal contamination. The coliform group of organisms consists primarily of the genera Escherichia, Enterobacter, Citrobacter and Klebsiella. The coliforms are widely distributed in nature, and many live in the gut of humans and warmblooded animals. These organisms are considered opportunistic pathogens because they generally do not cause disease in healthy individuals. A more rigorous test to assess the extent of fecal contamination and potential health risks may involve testing a suite of microbial indicators (e.g., total and fecal coliforms, enterococci, Escherichia coli, coliphage, Clostridium perfringens and human enteric viruses). Clostridium perfringens is a common cause of food poisoning. Collection of samples Sampling is a critical part of sanitary continued overleaf...
May 2009 | 21
Wastewater Treatment water testing. As often stated, the laboratory results are only as good as the sample collected. Therefore, it is important that the sample accurately represents the mass of water being tested, and that deterioration and contamination of the sample before analysis are prevented. Generally there are two methods for sampling wastewater: grab sampling and composite sampling. Grab sampling refers to a sample collected at one time. The disadvantage of a grab sample is that it reflects the composition of the water only at the point in time when the sample was collected. Composite sampling, on the other hand, consists of a collection of numerous individual discrete samples (about 100 mL each) taken at regular intervals, usually of one hour over a period of 24 hours. The collected samples are poured into a larger bottle and kept refrigerated at around 4Ë&#x161;C over the sampling period. The analysis of this composite sample, collected over a period of time, represents the average composition of the wastewater during the collection period. Two types of sample containers may
22 | May 2009
Close-up of a filter membrane as seen under the stereo microscope. The blue colonies are possible coliforms.
A filter membrane covered by bacteria colonies. A sample like this would require dilution to get valid counts.
be used: a wide-mouth, 120-mL borosilicate glass bottle with glass stopper or screw-cap closure, or an autoclavable, non-toxic polypropylene bottle. The containers must be sterilized before use.
Sample treatment and handling If the sample to be tested contains residual chlorine, it must be dechlorinated. This is achieved by adding an appropriate amount of sodium thiosulphate
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Wastewater Treatment dechlorination agent to the bottle befo f re samp m le collection. Ty Typically ly, th t is amoun u t is 1.0 mL of 1% solution of sodium u th t iosulphate fo f r a 120-mL bottle and is added befo f re sterilization of the bottle. Ideally, y the sample should be processed within one hour of collection. However, since this is not alway a s possible, it is recommended that the sample be refr f igerated below 10˚C and then processed within six hours. When collecting samples, suff f icient space (approximately 2.5 cm) in the bottle should be left f to allow mixing of the sample by shaking. Contaminating the mouth off the bottle with hands or other non-sterile obj b ects should be av a oided. T sting fo Te f r colifo f rms The two accepted methods used to test fo f r total colifo f rms and fe f cal colif rms in wastewater are the membrane fo f lter procedure and the most probable fi numb m er (MPN) meth t od. The memb m rane f lter procedure is the most commonly fi used today a because it is easy, y accurate a d inexp an x ensiv i e, an a d results ar a e obtained with t in 24 hours.
The membrane filter procedure is the most commonly used today because it is easy, accurate and inexpensive, and results are obtained within 24 hours. On M-Endo agar medium colifo f rm colonies ap a pear as a golden-green sheen at 10x magnifi f cation un u der a fl f uorescent light source. The colifo f rm count of the sample size tested is expressed as the number of colony n fo f rming units (CFU) per 100 mL of water. It’s ’ imp m ortant to rememb m er th t at alth t ough each colony n of organisms recovered on the membrane f lter typically represents one organism, fi occasionally more than one organism will merge to fo f rm a larger than normal colony ny. T be considered valid, To d the number of colifo f rm colonies on the filter surf ce should not exceed 80 CFUs, and fa the total number of all colonies should not exceed 200 CFUs. If these limits are exceeded, d the sample should be diluted www. w esemag ag.com
appropriately to give between 20 to 80 colifo f rm colonies and less than 200 off total number of all colonies. Fecal colifo f rms fe f rment lactose at elevated temp m eratu t res as well as at 35˚C. The incub u ation temperature requ q ired is 44.5˚ ± 0.2˚C. When grown on M-FC medium u , th t ey ap a pear a as blue colonies. No more than 60 fe f cal colifo f rms, or more t an th a 200 of total colonies, should be present on th t e memb m ran a e fo f r a valid coun u t. Interpreting results Results may a be presented in the fo f rm of presence/absence of colifo f rms or in terms of number of colifo f rm colony f rming units (CFU) per 100 mL. Eith fo t er way ay, the recov o ery of colifo f rm org r anisms in wastewater indicates the possible presence of enteric pathogens. Presence of fe f cal colifo f rm is a confirmation off recent fe f cal pollution. When the wastewater is being discharged into water bodies such as rivers or lakes, the concentration of fe f cal colifo f rms per 100 mL ideally should be zero or at a level wh w ere maximum permissible microbial limits fo f r the type off water (e.g. recreational) into wh w ich the
wastewater is discharged are not exceeded. International stan a dar a ds or guidelines fo f r “unrestricted public access” reclaimed water use requires that thermotolerant colifo f rm levels be redu d ced to less than 2.2 CFU/100 mL. The Canadian Great Lakes Sewage Pollution Prevention Regulations (SOR/2007-86, dated May a 3, 2007, as pub u lished in the Canada Gazette Part II, V lume 141, No. 10 on May Vo a 16, 2007) requ q ire testing of eff ffluent fr f om a marine sanitation device to ensure that the eff f uent meets the fo fl f llowing standards, as determined by standard methods: 1. In the case of a ship in an area other than a designated sewage area, the fe f cal colifo f rm count of the samples of eff ffluent is equal to or less than 250/100 mL. 2. In the case of a ship in a designated sewage area, the fe f cal colifo f rm count off the samples of eff ffluent is equal to or less than 14/100 mL. Dr. r Ja J cks k on Ku K ng’u is with Mold & Bacteria Co M C nsulting Labora r tories (M (MBL) L In I c. E-mail: jku k ngu@moldb d acteria.com
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May 2009 | 23 Ma
Another change in the drinking water regulation landscape in Ontario By Richard Clara
he regulatory framework for drinking water in Ontario has changed dramatically since the Walkerton tragedy, beginning with the passage of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 2002, and O. Reg. 170/03, which regulates drinking water supplied to residential consumers. Since 2003, O. Reg. 170 has been supplemented with many additional regulations, most notably for schools and daycare centres, operator training, lead testing, and many others. It soon became apparent that the complexity of O. Reg. 170/03 was imposing undue complexity and hardship on small drinking water systems, which provide drinking water to the public in a variety of settings throughout Ontario. Following an extensive consultation process, a
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separate regulatory framework was developed, which would transfer the regulation of small drinking water systems (SDWS) to District Health Units under the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC), rather than the Ministry of the Environment. Recognizing that this transfer of authority would take time, the MOE issued O. Reg. 252/05 in 2005 to provide a temporary program to regulate small works until the District Health Units were ready to assume this responsibility. Since that time, the MOHLTC has been busy. The Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) was amended to enable the regulation of public drinking water. Next, the regulations were written to specify the actual program elements. Then the resource requirements were established, and inspectors were hired and trained. All in all, a monumental process! On December 1, 2008, the regulatory authority for small works was officially transferred to the MOHLTC, to be delivered through the District Health Units. On that date, two regulations were enacted under the HPPA to regulate drinking water supplied by Small Drinking Water Systems. O. Reg. 319/08 will be the ultimate regulation for small works. A second regulation, O. Reg. 318/08,
was created to permit an orderly transition from the former MOE regulation (O. Reg. 252/05). O. Reg. 318/08 is essentially identical to O. Reg. 252/05, but was promulgated under the HPPA. This allows works that are already compliant with drinking water regulations under the MOE to remain compliant under the MOH programs until O. Reg. 319/08 becomes effective for them. The key to the regulation of small drinking water systems under the new program is the use of a risk assessment in the process. In contrast to the “one size fits all” approach of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the District Health Units will assess the risk level for each water treatment plant, based on its own unique circumstances. A computer-based Risk Categorization Tool (RCat) has been developed to help inspectors with this process. The RCat incorporates a series of questions and inspector observations to assess factors such as source type, treatment process, historical test results, and so on. Once the level of risk is established, treatment options and operational and testing requirements will be determined and captured in a Directive that will prescribe the terms of compliance for that particular system.
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24 | May 2009
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Regulations Once the Directive has been issued, the system ceases to be regulated under O. Reg. 318/08, and from that point will be regulated under O. Reg. 319/08. It is estimated that there are over 18,000 small drinking water systems in Ontario, and each one will be visited and assessed in this fashion, which is a huge undertaking. Through the risk assessment process, each small drinking water system will be adjusted and monitored only as much as necessary to ensure that safe, potable water is delivered to consumers. What does this mean? If you are a small works owner providing drinking water to the public, then you are already familiar with the requirements of O. Reg. 252/05; if not, then you should be. For now, your compliance requirements remain unchanged under O. Reg. 318/08. At some point in the future, you should expect to receive a call from a Public Health Inspector for a site visit. He will inspect your system and plug the system characteristics into RCat. Soon thereafter, you will receive a Directive that will specify your requirements for treatment, operation, and testing to keep your system in compliance, and to ensure continued supply of safe drinking water to your consumers. There is an appeal process to the Medical Officer of Health if you disagree with the requirements of the Directive. Owners of small drinking water systems would be well-advised to prepare for the day the inspector comes calling. Such preparations will demonstrate responsible system operation and consideration for the safety of consumers, and may lead to less onerous requirements in your Directive. Key elements to these preparations include: 1. Establish your Testing History: Establish an historical testing record. A clean record of testing provides a compelling argument that your system is already providing safe drinking water. 2. Document your Procedures and Records: Nothing impresses an inspector more than a system that has thorough and organized records. Document your system procedures, maintenance records, and test reports thoroughly. Create a simple filing system so that records and reports can be accessed easily and quickly. 3. Have a Contingency Plan: Make sure that you have plans in place to protect
your consumers in case of operator, treatment system or adverse water quality issues. With the transfer of regulation of small drinking water systems to District Health Units, Ontario is nearing the end of a long process that began with the shortcomings revealed by the Walkerton tragedy. It has not been an entirely straightforward process, and many lessons had to be learned along the way. Collaboration and open communication have ultimately resulted in a new drink-
ing water framework that provides safe drinking water to the people of Ontario, wherever you live, work or play. For more information on the regulation of small drinking water systems, visit www.health.gov.on.ca. Richard Clara is Laboratory Manager for ALS Environmental, Thunder Bay. E-mail: email@example.com. Mark Hugdahl, ALS Technical Services, helped with this article.
May 2009 | 25
Biological system removes iron from water By Christine Furlong, P.Eng, and Jean-Yves Bergel – An Ontario first township in Ontario has successfully reduced the iron content of water from one of its wells with a pressure filter using a natural biological process. Iron is the fourth most common element in the Earth’s crust (around 5% by weight). It is also present, in its ionized and reduced form, in groundwater, anoxic hypolimnion surface water and rivers polluted with acid mine drainage or industrial effluents. Generally, iron is found in two natural forms: ferrous (valence +2, dissolved) and ferric (valence +3, insoluble). In natural waters, only ferrous iron (reduced form) is soluble. It is normally associated to anions such as HCO3 and SO42–. Iron can be found as oxides (FeO, Fe2O3, Fe3O4), sulphides or pyrite (FeS2), silicates, carbonates and some phosphates. The mechanisms of iron dissolution from water involve acidification, reduction, complexation and sometimes oxidation. Several of these reactions occur frequently in combination with a predominance of chemical reduction. All are biochemical in nature. Iron has no health effects at typical groundwater concentrations. Its presence has only aesthetic consequences, such as a coloured appearance of tap
Skid mounted Ferazur filter and raw water pumps used also for filter backwashing.
water, metallic taste, spots on washed clothing, clogging or staining of plumbing fixtures, and fouling and corrosion of piping. There are different methods for removing iron from water. The most effective involves utilizing natural biological activity. In 2007, a Degremont Ferazur® pressure filter that uses biological meth-
Raw water concentration
Total organic carbon
Table 1. Raw water characterization at Fergus site. 26 | May 2009
ods for iron removal was installed at Fergus Well F4 in the Township of Centre Wellington. The Township owns and operates the Fergus water system, which has five groundwater supply wells. Well F4 is one of two main supply wells for the community, pumping 1,364 L/min, 24 hours a day. The water from the well is of excellent quality except for elevated iron, which regularly exceeds 0.7 mg/L in the raw water. Previously, the Township added sodium silicate to the raw water prior to chlorination in order to sequester the iron. However, the municipality continued to experience coloured water and laundry staining complaints in the northeast sector of the Fergus water distribution system, where most of the water from Well F4 was used. The Township undertook systematic flushing in the area on a regular basis with limited success in mitigating the problem. Jar testing indicated that iron began to precipitate out of solution after approximately 12 hours of retention time following the addition of sodium silicate. Water treatment improvements were required at Well F4 in order to meet regcontinued overleaf...
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
WILO Canada expands Canadian Water & Wastewater division with the hiring of National Sales Manager for Municipal & Industrial markets. WILO Canada Inc, the Calgary based subsidiary of WILO SE, is proud to welcome Abe Bitar as National Sales Manager, Municipal & Industrial Markets. “Abe Bitar is an enormous asset for the WILO Canada team” said Bill Lowe, President WILO Canada. “Abe brings 30 years of application, marketing and sales experience in the pump industry to WILO and will be an integral part of our continued growth in the Canadian Municipal & Industrial markets. As National Sales Manager, Abe will be driving the development of the WILO Canada sales and distribution team. His extensive knowledge and focused approach has energized our management team and his passion for pumps and superior customer service is motivating our customer base.” Abe is charged with all facets of business development for the Municipal & Industrial markets, including overall strategy, expanding and managing the distributors and educating consulting engineers and end users, for the WILO submersible pumps, mixers and dewatering pumps. A graduate of Texas Tech University with a BSME, Abe has worked as a mechanical engineer for one of the largest construction and engineering firms in North America; internationally he has worked in marketing and sales management and most recently in the Canadian water and wastewater industry. Abe’s greatest strengths are his passion for excellence, his knowledge of the market, his expertise in pump applications and his commitment to the customer. Abe is dedicated to making sure that WILO Canada will become your solution provider of choice for all your water and wastewater requirements.
About WILO Canada Inc: Committed to Customer Satsifaction WILO may be a new name to Canadians; WILO is an established name in the global market. WILO was founded in 1873 as a family owned brass and copper factory. Today, 136 years later, WILO SE is still a family owned company headquartered in Dortmund, Germany and one of the global leaders in the pump business. What started 1928 with the world’s first heating circulator is now a company servicing the HVAC and Water & Wastewater industries with pumps. WILO takes pride in its innovational leadership of the industry. Today WILO employs over 6000 people in 51 countries. Annual turnover is in excess of $1.6 Billion Canadian dollars in 2008. We manufacture in 10 factories strategically located on 3 continents. In this challenging global economy WILO continues to grow and prosper due to our commitment to quality and service.
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The Ferazur filter is able to reduce iron concentrations by approximately onethird.
ulatory requirements following the Walkerton tragedy. So, the Township took the opportunity to investigate alternatives to iron sequestering. Systems using greensand/potassium permanganate and proprietary media were considered. The use of permanganate was not favoured by the Township due the risk of malfunction and pink water entering the distribution system. The municipality requested quotations from three pressure filter manufacturers. The performance standard for the filter was to reduce iron concentrations to less than 0.3 mg/L in more than 95% of the samples taken. Two of the manufacturers required the addition of a chemical oxidant (chlorine) prior to the filter and a dechlorination chemical after the filter to reduce the free chlorine residual to concentrations within regulatory limits. Degremont Technologies, the manufacturer of the Ferazur unit, proposed biological removal utilizing a support media, air and iron bacteria naturally occurring in the well. How the process works Biological iron removal uses mostly Gallionella ferruginea stalked bacteria, or Leptothrix ochracea filamentous bacteria. These micro-organisms are naturally present in raw groundwater. The process requires putting the formed biomass in intimate contact with oxygen from air. To perform this action, 28 | May 2009
Degremont developed the ReoxazurÂŽ, an inline gas-liquid mixer that mixes air and raw water together prior to contact with the filter media. Because the formed biomass has an autothropic character, the micro-organisms are capable of synthesizing their essential metabolites by assimilating inorganic carbon present in water so they can build up the carbohydrates required for growth. The biomass is fixed on an inorganic support media called Biolite S. The granulometry of this media is appropriate to retain the precipitated metal oxides formed during the contact period of water passing through the biomass. The media volume and depth and the filtration rate depend on raw water characteristics such as manganese, alkalinity, hardness, inhibitor concentrations and temperature. A complete raw water analysis, including those parameters as well as total organic carbon (TOC), H2S, NH4+, NO2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;, pH, As, Fe and true colour, is required. The raw water characterization for the Fergus site is summarized in Table 1. The Ferazur system was delivered to the site fully assembled, with the exception of the air compressor and blower. The skid-mounted assembly consists of an epoxy-coated steel pressure vessel (2.13 m in diameter by 2.50 m high), complete with steel plate media support system, stainless steel piping, pneumatically controlled valves, sampling ports and control panel (PLC). Process air for the Fergus system is
supplied by the compressor, while air scour for the pre-backwash cycle is provided by a positive displacement blower. The Fergus system uses raw water for backwashing the filter. The use of treated water is also acceptable if it does not contain free chlorine, which would eliminate the biomass in the filter that is necessary for iron removal. The backwash system is completely automated utilizing a PLC. Backwash can be triggered by differential pressure across the filter media, programmable timer or turbidity monitoring of the filtered water. The Ferazur unit had a higher capital cost than the other two filter systems that were considered. However, a review of the Ferazur system indicated that there would be operating cost savings over the long term with respect to operator attention and the purchase of oxidation and dechlorination chemicals. In addition, it uses significantly less water to backwash the media than the other two filters under consideration. The manufacturer estimated a backwash volume of 9 m3 every two to three days compared to over 40 m3 over the same period for the other units, resulting in annual water savings of about 5,670 m3. Since the backwash water is wasted to the sanitary sewer, the lower backwash volume also results in reduced flows to the wastewater treatment plant which was a compelling consideration for the Township in these times of increased awareness of the need for energy and water conservation. In August 2007, the Ferazur pressure
Air scour for the pre-backwash cycle is provided by a positive displacement blower. Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Table 2. Raw water iron concentrations.
filter was commissioned. Based on experience, Degremont indicated that seeding of the filter might take several days. Following system disinfection in accordance with AWWA standards, raw water was introduced to the filter on Aug. 12. On Aug. 13, iron concentrations were reduced by approximately one-third, from 0.99 to 0.61 mg/L. On Aug. 14, the filtered water concentration increased to 0.73 mg/L, so air flow to the unit was increased. Iron concen-
Table 3. Treated water iron concentrations.
trations were then reduced to 0.31 mg/L, 0.17 mg/L and less than method detection limit on Aug. 15, 16 and 20 respectively. Seeding of the filter was expedited by increasing the air flow to the filter to approximately 1.7 L/s on Aug. 14. Following initial commissioning, air flow has been reduced to less than 0.7 L/s, resulting in reduced operation of the air supply system and subsequently reduced energy consumption. Over the
last six months of operation, the raw water iron concentrations have regularly exceeded 0.8 mg/L (Table 2), while iron concentrations in the treated water have consistently been below 0.05 mg/L (Table 3). Christine Furlong is with Triton Engineering Services Ltd. Jean-Yves Bergel is with Degremont Technologies Ltd. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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May 2009 | 29
Infrastructure stimulus package results in amendments to the federal EA process By Alexandria Pike, Sarah Powell and Eve Carr-Harris he recent economic slowdown and the ensuing public demand for an economic stimulus package is the impetus behind the federal government's recent roll-out of a two-year streamlined environmental assessment (EA) process for 'shovel ready' infrastructure projects funded under the federal Building Canada Plan. Now in place and in effect until March 31, 2011, the new regulations made under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) are intended to prevent duplication between the federal and provincial EA processes and streamline development of infrastructure projects that are deemed to pose insignificant environmental effects. Specific classes of infrastructure projects receiving federal funding will either be exempt from the requirement to conduct a federal EA or the federal government may substitute a provincial EA process for the federal process. The federal government estimates that as many as 2,000 infrastructure projects that receive federal funding through the federal Building Canada Plan over the next two years may be exempt from the federal EA process as a result of these amendments; this is estimated by the federal government to represent approximately 90 percent of EAs for these types of projects. The federal government also expects that proponents will realize cost savings of as much as five percent of project costs. During the next two years, a more comprehensive reform of the federal EA process will also be considered by the federal government. Similarly, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment is also currently considering potential models for a 'one project â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one EA' approach to better ensure that EA regulatory efforts are coordinated, efficient and made as uniform as possible. Expanded Exclusion List Regulations CEAA, which took effect in 1995, ensures that projects are reviewed before federal authorities take action (e.g., fed-
30 | May 2009
This 10m span deep corrugated structural plate arch culvert was installed on the Alaska Highway (near Liard Hot Springs, BC) to replace an older structure. Environmental groups have expressed concern regarding revising the EA process for new projects. Photo courtesy CSPI.
eral funding, permitting or land) so that projects do not cause significant adverse environmental effects. CEAA subjects all such projects to EAs, unless they are described in an exclusion list. CEAA's Exclusion List Regulations (replaced by the Exclusion List Regulations, 2007) have been in place since 1995 and exempt from EAs projects with "insignificant environmental effects". Until the March, 2007 amendments, the projects described were generally of a minor, routine or incremental type or involved matters such as maintenance or repairs. CEAA's Exclusion List Regulations, 2007 have now been expanded to exclude a list of infrastructure projects that are deemed by the federal government to pose insignificant environmental effects (reportedly based on the federal government's previous EA experience on similar projects). Exempted projects include public transit and railway projects, modification or widening of roads or bridges, modification of solid waste facilities, water treatment projects and modifications to buildings to improve energy efficiency. These projects (assuming they are not carried out in a national park, park reserve, national historic site or his-
toric site) will no longer be subject to federal EA, in an effort to advance stimulus activity in a timely manner. Projects located near federally-protected, environmentally sensitive areas are not subject to the exemption unless (i) total costs of the project are less than $10 million (excluding land costs) and (ii) environmental mitigation measures are in place to protect such areas. The regulations define environmentally sensitive areas narrowly and could include protected habitat areas or designated Areas of Concern. Such decisions are to be made on a case-by-case basis and guidance documents are being prepared to provide clarification. Adaptation Regulations CEAA's new Infrastructure Projects Environmental Assessment Adaptation Regulations authorize the federal Minister of the Environment to approve the substitution of a federal EA with a provincial EA process while retaining federal decision-making power (including the ability to refer a project to a review panel under CEAA). In doing this, the Minister must be satisfied that (i) the substituted process includes consideration of environmental effects and possible mitigation and other continued on page 73...
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Chloride contaminated water captured with a collection trench system method cuts a trench in a precision knife-like fashion, using a laser guidance system, there are minimum spoils to manage and dispose of. The One-Pass Trenching system also eliminates the need for open excavation, which results in a number of immediate benefits. No sheeting is required, which by itself is a huge cost savings. Also, the risk of sidewall collapse is eliminated, as the trench opening is supported and maintained during the cut and is immediately backfilled. Fill can range from sand, pea-stone, bio-mulch or zero valent iron, depending on the project. For highly contaminated sites, the One-Pass Trenching method virtually assures a Level B working condition will not occur. This is due to the fact that no open excavation ever exists. For this project, DeWind One-Pass Trenching was installed in three trenches. They ranged from 150 to 235 linear feet, with a width of 18 . They were installed to a depth of 33 feet, and backfilled to grade with pea-stone. This was all done in one pass. The site manager estimated that, while it took one week for DeWind to complete the installation, it would have taken months using conventional methods. For more information, E-mail: email@example.com large chemical company with worldwide operations discovered it had high chloride content in soil and groundwater at one of its facilities in Western Canada. An earlier attempt to deal with this problem with a deep trench designed to collect migrating contaminated water, met with failure. The high water table, combined with sandy soil conditions, led to trench walls collapsing. The facility operators felt that another attempt at a deep collection trench installation, using a conventional open cut trench construction approach, would be unproductive and would pose a significant safety hazard. Adding to the difficulty was the site itself. The proposed trench system would need to be installed along various alignments, bringing it at times quite close to storage tanks and at some points beneath connective transmission piping. Using a conventional open trench method also meant risking undermining building foundations. Conventionally, this could only be avoided by driving steel sheeting into the ground to create a support structure all along the trench alignment. Installation of support sheeting would be an enormous added expense. Also, it would have caused vibration to radiate back into the building and connective piping, some of which was low enough to obstruct the construction process itself. CH2M HILL was contracted to find a workable solution for installing the trench, in light of the various site issues. The solution they found is called One-Pass Trenching. It was developed by DeWind of Holland, Michigan, and has a significantly smaller footprint on site, which allows for operations to be conducted within tight working conditions. Because the One-Pass
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New ways of removing arsenic from water By Suchit Kaila he occurrence of arsenic in drinking water sources all across the world is alarming. Conventional treatment processes are too costly to be used in developing nations, so many people suffer the risk of arsenic exposure. However, there have been a number of recent developments and ongoing research to develop alternative techniques for arsenic removal. ZVI/iron filings filtration Many researchers have investigated the efficiency of arsenic removal by passing the water through a filter containing zero-valent iron (ZVI). In this process, arsenic is removed by adsorption on iron hydroxides produced through the oxidation of iron by dissolved oxygen in the water without an added chemical oxidant. High arsenic removal efficiencies of more than 94% have been reported with this process. Promising results for arsenic removal
32 | May 2009
using ZVI on a full scale have been achieved with a flow-through reactor, using a mixture of ZVI and quartz sand, to treat up to 10 gpm of shallow groundwater collected from railroad sub-drains at a former pesticide manufacturing site in New Jersey, where arsenic concentrations in the water were up to 10 mg/L. With prototype units, more than 99.8% of the arsenic was removed. With the full-scale system, the initial arsenic removal was 99%, but that declined and then stabilized at 94% by the third month. There was a slight increase in iron levels in the treated water, from 0.19 mg/L in the influent to 0.28 mg/L in the effluent. Iron-based adsorbents In recent years, a lot of research has been focused on producing low-cost iron-based adsorbents for arsenic removal, and iron-oxide-coated sand has been found to be very effective, with 95.8% As(III) removal. Iron-oxide-
coated sand can also effectively remove organic arsenic. Natural iron ores have been tested as adsorbents as well. Iron ore containing mainly hematite has been found to be very effective for As(V) adsorption, achieving 99% removal in the optimum pH range of 4.5 to 6.5. Cotton pallets soaked in a ferric chloride solution to prepare an iron(III)coated lignocellulose adsorption media have also been reported to be very effective for As(V) removal. The media can be regenerated with dilute sodium hydroxide, but after five regeneration cycles, the arsenic removal capacity dropped by 11.5%. This media can be produced commercially at a very low cost compared to other adsorbent media such as granular ferric hydroxide. Ion-exchange media Some modifications to the ion exchange process have been proposed to enhance arsenic removal. Anion resin
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
The Proven Vertical Solution! Conventional arsenic removal processes are often too costly to be used in developing countries, so many people suffer the risk of exposure.
loaded with MnO2 can be used to remove both As(III) and As(V). In this technique MnO2 sites scattered on the surface of the resin beads oxidize As(III) to As(V), which is retained by the resin. This results in similar removal efficiencies for As(III) and As(V) by ion exchange. However, some manganese is released into the treated water, which will require treatment for drinking water applications. Ion exchange has been reported to be very efficient for organic arsenic removal as well, while achieving high bed volumes and high bed capacity. Batch and column studies using a cation exchange resin activated with Fe3+ ions have shown that ion exchange has a higher organic arsenic removal capacity than manganese greensand or ironoxide-coated sand. Other researchers have found that copper-doped ion exchange resins have a stronger affinity for arsenate than sulphate or nitrate. Using these resins eliminates chromatographic peaking issues when exposed to high sulphate levels. These resins can be easily regenerated by NaCl with no capacity drop. Adsorbents Most of the adsorbent media-based arsenic removal techniques are too costly for use by developing nations. The cost of media is usually high and www.esemag.com
the spent media has to be replaced every year or two, which adds significant expense. This has encouraged researchers to search for more efficient, less expensive alternative adsorbents. Some that have been recently reported in the literature are hardened paste of Portland cement, activated seawater-neutralized red mud, chitosan, hydrotalcite and water treatment plant residuals. Hardened paste of Portland cement has been reported to remove up to 95% As(V) and up to 88% As(III), based on batch experiment results. Activated seawater-neutralized red mud has been reported to remove close to 100% As(V) at pH of 4.5. The removal efficiency is independent of initial As(V) concentration and the presence of competing ions at concentrations usually found in water. Chitosan is an agricultural waste that can effectively adsorb As(V) when converted to bead form. The media can be regenerated with sulphuric acid up to 15 times for multiple reuse. During batch testing, arsenic removal efficiencies of 91.5% As(III) and 96.8% As(V) were achieved. However, efficiency is reduced in the presence of competing ions such as chloride and sulphate at concentrations of 100 ppm and above. Hydrotalcite is a synthetically precontinued overleaf...
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Drinking Water pared clay material that has very good arsenic removal properties, for both As(V) and As(III). The media can also be used at household levels using porous pot or filter candle techniques. The major advantage of this media is that spent hydrotalcite can be easily converted into a fertilizer that would have insignificant effects on soil arsenic levels. Some researchers have found that residuals from conventional drinking water treatment plants, using alum or ferric salts for coagulation, can adsorb As(III) and As(V). The water treatment residual can be obtained at no cost from existing drinking water treatment plants and will be a significant low-cost treatment option. However, more research and field testing are needed. UF techniques Arsenic removal efficiencies using polyelectrolyte-enhanced ultrafiltration (PEUF) have been investigated by researchers who used cationic polyelectrolyte and found that the opposite charge of polyelectrolyte to that of the targeted ion binds the charged arsenate
complex. The solution is then passed through a UF membrane, resulting in arsenate rejections of up to 99.95%, and more than 99% water recovery. The macromolecular complexes formed due to the addition of polymer are retained by the membrane in the retentate, but arsenic rejection decreases with increasing salt concentration such as hardness. Pre-oxidation of As(III) to As(V) may be applied as pre-treatment to remove arsenite using PEUF. Arsenate can be easily removed after applying voltage to the UF cell; the process is called electro-ultrafiltration (EUF). Arsenic rejection through UF increased from 30% to more than 90% after applying voltage. However, As(III) rejection was quite low and could be increased from 14% to 76% by raising the pH of water to 10 and applying a 25V charge through the membrane. Pre-oxidation of As(III) to As(V) will increase the total arsenic removal efficiency. RO technique Vibratory shear enhanced process (VSEP) nanofiltration has been reported
to increase arsenic removal by NF membranes. VSEP produces intense shear force at the membrane surface by vibrational energy for thinning the concentration polarization layer formed at the membrane surface, and consequently improves arsenic rejection through an increase of back transport velocity. VSEP with a tight NF membrane could effectively remove As(V) to below drinking water standards, regardless of feed As(V) concentration. VSEP also reduces the fouling tendency of membrane considerably and can be used to treat river water without pretreatment. As(V) removal efficiency was not significantly affected by pH of feed water and was always more than 99%. However, As(III) removal efficiency was pH-dependent and increased from 53% at pH 3 to 94% at pH 11. Biological processes In recent years, researchers have focused on biotechnology to develop alternative processes for arsenic removal that are both cost-effective and eco-friendly. The three main treatment mechanisms
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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Drinking Water are phytoremediation, biosorption and biological oxidation. 1. Phytoremediation utilizes plants to either remove the pollutants or render them harmless in soil and water systems. The overall cost-effectiveness of this process makes it quite attractive and popular. The plants have roots and root hairs that provide a large surface area to extract the pollutants. The natural properties of the plants to extract elemental pollutants from the soil or water can be enhanced by genetic engineering to develop species that can extract arsenic from the groundwater through their roots and transport and accumulate it to the above-ground tissues. These pollutants can be much more easily managed in the solid phase and above ground. Pterris vittata L., commonly known as Chinese brake fern, can accumulate as much as 2.3% arsenic in its aboveground parts. One plant could reduce arsenic in 600 ml water to 10 ppb from 46 ppb in three days. Using this technique on a large scale would require a large granular bed to grow ferns. 2. Biosorption processes using natural materials or microbiological organisms can be used to remove arsenic from water. Aspergillus niger biomass coated with iron-oxide has been shown to provide high removal efficiencies of 95% As(V) and 75% As(III) at an optimum pH of 6. Using powdered seeds of the Moringa oleifera plant (commonly known as drumstick) as a bioremedial approach has been reported with As(III) and As(V) removal efficiencies of 60.2% and 85.6% respectively. Dried powdered roots of the water hyacinth plant have been found to remove 93% As(III) and 95% As(V) from a 200 ppb solution within 60 minutes of contact time. The arsenic removal was optimal between pH 2.5 and 8.0. 3. Biological oxidation of iron and manganese is already established. Several micro-organisms such as Gallionella ferruginea and Leptothrix ochracea can catalyze iron oxidation. The micro-organisms can be deposited and accumulated on an appropriate filtration media, such as polystyrene beads, in the filtration column in an oxidizing environment. www.esemag.com
During the process, oxidation of iron results in the formation of a biofilm, and iron oxides, along with the microorganisms, are deposited on the filter media. As(III) is oxidized into As(V) by the micro-organisms and arsenate is removed from the solution by adsorption on the biogenic iron oxides. A high overall arsenic removal efficiency of up to 95% can be achieved with the initial arsenic concentrations of up to 200 ppb. This process avoids use of the chemical reagents for oxidation, offering an economical and environmentally friendly option. Some researchers have reported the arsenite oxidative properties of other bacteria strains as well. Alternative techniques Sunlight-assisted arsenic removal has been gaining importance, as it can be applied effectively in developing nations, especially where solar energy is plentiful. Over 90% As(III) can be oxidized photochemically within two to three hours, by illumination with 90 W/m2 UVA light in water containing iron. The addition of citrate strongly accelerates As(III) oxidation and 80% to 90% arsenic removal can be achieved. This technology can be very effectively applied for household purification systems, especially in developing nations, but has serious limitations and may be unviable for full-scale applications, especially in the North American climate. Conclusion The latest research developments in alternative technologies for arsenic removal have helped to identify future trends. These alternative technologies will also provide environmentally friendly solutions and reduce the impact on the environment from the arsenic-laden wastes generated by existing technologies. Note: This information is not based on independent findings or the author’s opinion, but on a review of the published material. Suchit Kaila is with Stantec. He was the author of two previous articles on arsenic in Environmental Science & Engineering, in March 2007 and September 2007. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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New membrane filtration facility cleans water from West Vancouverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eagle Lake By Walt Bayless
Process pipe gallery and primary filtration pumps.
agle Lake has been used as a potable water supply for West Vancouver, British Columbia, since the 1920s. It is the primary municipally-operated supply, and, until recently, only chlorination was used for water treatment. For the past 10 years, however, recognizing that additional treatment was required to protect the public from pathogens, colour and turbidity, the District of West Vancouver, with the assistance of Dayton & Knight Ltd., has been reviewing options for providing filtration on the Eagle Lake supply. Located at the foot of Hollyburn Mountain, West Vancouver is a waterfront community spanning 89 km2. It is bordered by Howe Sound to the west, the Capilano River to the east and the Coast mountains to the north. The municipality's population is about 45,000. The District supplies potable water to the residents from three sources. Two are owned and operated by the District; the third is a bulk water connection to Metro Vancouver. Eagle Lake is situated at 483 m elevation, adjacent to Cypress Provincial Park and is contained within a natural coast woodland environment. Although it is a
36 | May 2009
natural lake, the top water level has been raised through the construction of two dams, and the total lake volume is approximately 1.6 million m3. Water flows into the lake from Nelson Creek, Black Creek and Eagle Creek, which originate near the base of the Cypress ski area. As the water supply is a lake source, there is some short-term variability in the water quality, but colour and turbidity events are generally modulated through the lake dilution. Turbidity is less than 10 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU), normally less than 2 NTU. Colour is typically 5 to 10 true colour units (TCU); rarely higher than 20 TCU. The water is very soft and pH is typically 6.2 to 6.5 units. Total organic carbon is less than 5 mg/L and UV transmittance (UVT) is between 80 and 90%. The Districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s review of filtration options investigated treatment technologies, plant location and overall system capacity. Throughout the program, there was a requirement to minimize the system energy requirements, costs and environmental impacts. Project development In 2001, the District engaged several
membrane manufacturers to undertake on-site pilot testing to demonstrate the performance of membrane technology for the removal of colour, organics and turbidity. At that time, the use of membranes for colour and organic removal was relatively new, necessitating the pilot testing requirements. The results of this testing demonstrated that, through the addition of a coagulant such as polyaluminum chloride (PAC), followed by flocculation, the membranes were able to remove up to 80% of the incoming colour and organics. Turbidity was easily removed by the membranes. The District undertook additional studies to determine the location of the water treatment plant and further refine the business model for construction of the facility. The site review recommended a treatment plant located adjacent to the existing lake to maintain the high elevation and the advantage of a gravity supply to the District. Unlike the majority of Metro Vancouver member municipalities, the District has the option to supply a significant portion of potable water from its own supplies rather than through bulk pur-
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Eagle Lake Membrane Filtration Facility. A tiered vertical structure was designed to follow natural rock bluffs at the site.
chases from Metro Vancouver. Prior to developing Eagle Lake, the District completed a cost-benefit analysis that compared the near-complete reliance on Metro Vancouver bulk water to a complete reliance on its own municipal supplies. The latter would require further development of storage on Eagle Lake and significant upgrades to the District’s distribution system infrastructure. The result of the cost-benefit analysis was that a 20 to 25 MLD municipal facility would provide the District with the most cost-beneficial supply. In 2007 the District’s annual average day demand was 28 MLD, and in the month of August the peak was around 40 MLD. The installation of universal water meters has resulted in a decrease in the water consumption rates and is predicted to keep maximum day demands below the 2007 levels well beyond 2020. Therefore, the treatment plant will operate at capacity throughout the year, optimizing the utilization of the source and maximizing the return from the capital expenditure. Membranes GE Water and Process Technologies Canada, a Canadian company, was awarded the tender for the supply of the membranes for the Eagle Lake treatment facility. The plant consists of 12 primary membrane cassettes, each containing 48 membrane modules. Each module contains 30,000 membrane strands, or approximately 41 m2 of filter surface area. The membranes are essenwww.esemag.com
tially filters that permit the passage of water, but hold back anything larger than 0.1 micron. (A human hair has a thickness of between 40 and 120 microns). This is the first time the third-generation ZeeWeed® 1000 membrane technology has been implemented in British Columbia, and it is the first plant in the world to use this membrane for secondstage treatment. The plant's primary membrane filtration process consists of three concrete tanks in which cassettes of membranes are suspended. Raw water is drawn through the hollow membranes using centrifugal pumps. The treated water is collected in a header pipe where it then travels to the clearwell. Reject water continuously flows at a controlled rate from each membrane tank and is collected in the backwash holding tank. Backwash water is pumped to the two secondary membranes to be further filtered. Filtered water from the secondary membranes is directed to the head of the plant and mixed with raw water. Reject water from the secondary membranes is directed to the waste holding tank and then discharged to the sanitary sewer. Measures taken to prevent membrane fouling include cyclic agitation using compressed air, and backflushing with treated water about four times each hour. Over time, the trans-membrane pressure required to produce the design continued overleaf...
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Membrane module being installed.
flow across the membranes will exceed a pre-selected value. At this point, the membranes are cleaned using a Cleanin-Place, or CIP, system. Using this system, the membranes are backflushed with citric acid and sodium
38 | May 2009
hypochlorite and left to soak in the chemical solution. The solution is then circulated and neutralized before being slowly discharged to the sanitary system. The innovative membrane-cleaning strategy used at this plant reduces chemical waste
through the reuse of cleaning chemicals among the different trains and stages. Water treatment To assist the membrane process, water is first treated using a 1 mm rotating band screen, which removes coarse material that passes through the lake intake screens. Screened water then flows through a rapid mix tank where caustic soda and PAC can be added when required. Three parallel flocculation tanks provide five minutes of single-stage flocculation. This short flocculation step is required to allow a pin-floc to form and provide time for the colour and organics to be entrapped and adsorbed by the floc prior to membrane filtration. The membranes then remove the floc and the absorbed colour and organics. The pin-floc is a fine floc that appears as dust in the water stream, much like dust in a sunbeam. In addition to removing the turbidity and flocculent, the membranes provide in excess of 5.5-log protozoa removal. As the membranes age, the removal will drop to 4-log, still in excess of the 3-log required under the current regulations. To assess the integrity of the membrane
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Water Treatment system, every 24-hours the system undergoes a membrane integrity test that involves pressurizing the membrane from the inside with compressed air. Any weakness in the membranes is identified by the rate the air pressure drops. A membrane integrity test failure will result in that train being taken offline until repairs are implemented. Once the water passes through the membranes, 12% sodium hypochlorite is added to provide virus disinfection. Variable-rate chemical dosing pumps, controlled through the facility PLC, provide a flow-paced control chemical injection. Due to the low-pH water, the facility incorporates a pH and corrosion correction facility. Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) is used to adjust the pH to around 7.8. The PLC controls the chemical metering pumps based on a compound control loop using both flow and pH to determine the chemical application rate. A final addition of orthophosphate is used to provide corrosion protection in the distribution system. The operation of the membrane filtration plant is fully automated. The operator has access to the process using a
keyboard and a monitor screen referred to as the human machine interface, or HMI. This system can also be accessed via remote communications, permitting the operator to follow up on and assess the nature of alarms without having to travel to the facility. Environmental sustainability The facility is located at a high elevation to maximize gravity on the supplied water, which minimizes pumping requirements necessary to supply water throughout the District. The chosen site has adequate natural pressure to supply the entire District without external energy inputs. The use of Ecosmart concrete, reuse of blast rock for aggregate, minimization of habitat disturbance, and the selection of a hybrid vehicle for operator access were part of the design and construction program to ensure compliance with the Districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environmental sustainability policies. Membrane technology provides water that exceeds the treatment requirements with the smallest necessary footprint. Along with the vertical tiered building design, the habitat disturbance within the
natural environment was minimized. Chemical consumption in the membrane cleaning system, water pre-treatment system and chlorination system was minimized through the design of the membrane and water treatment processes. Conventional treatment technologies would not have been able to meet these reductions. A construction waste management plan was developed for the building construction, which included recycling of wood and steel scrap. Approximately 70% of the construction site waste was diverted from landfill. Additional features including the selection of building lumber from certified sustainable forests, low VOC paints and waterless urinals. During the project, excess building material such as plywood and building lumber were donated to Habitat for Humanity, a charity that specializes in the construction of subsidized housing for low-income families. Walt Bayless, P.Eng., is with Dayton & Knight Ltd. www.dayton-knight.com
May 2009 | 39
How a global approach to wet weather can improve water quality By Martin Couture and Gianfranco Maragno
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et weather issues have evolved greatly over the last generation. From a side issue 40 years ago, they have reached the forefront of environmental concerns. Initiatives such as the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and directives from the Canadian Council of the Ministers of the Environment indicate that stormwater and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) can no longer be considered as inoffensive as initially thought. Combined sewers are designed to receive both sanitary flows and stormwater flows. A compromise between interception efficiency and construction costs must be achieved. An under-designed sewer will only be able to admit sanitary flows. On the other hand, an infinitely large pipe could receive all flows (combined and storm) but at a very substantial construction cost. Modern engineering practice dictates the design parameters for combined sewers to be both economically feasible and able to transport combined flows for an acceptable design storm. Stormwater management is also a topic of growing concern in developed urban areas. Managers of municipal stormwater systems recognize the importance of source control of stormwater flows to prevent any physical damage (sewer backups, basement flooding, etc.)
40 | May 2009
from occurring if the runoff reaches the surcharging drainage system too quickly. By throttling and slowing the volume of runoff from the collection points in the system, additional retention capacity is indirectly created in the sewer. In doing so, instant access to the drainage system can be delayed, providing a more manageable flow in the system, preserving the capacity of transfer to the receiving body of water. Key steps to optimal solutions Stormwater and CSO management is a rather new science to North America. Time and resources can be saved by gaining from the collective experience of others. European countries have been dealing with wet weather issues for the last few decades. High population density, coupled with the scarcity of surface water, has forced European countries to develop compact, space-saving ways of managing wet weather flows. Each of the best management practices available has been ranked and reduced to critical steps that can be implemented sequentially in order to achieve an optimized global approach to wet weather issues. In order, these steps are: 1. Source control of stormwater flow rates. 2. Retention capacity upstream in the sewer or drainage system. 3. Optimal overflow weir or emergency discharge capacity.
4. Provide end-of-pipe treatment capacity. Source control of flow rates Urbanization transforms the landscape from undeveloped land to impervious pavements and buildings. Surface runoff increases dramatically because very little open ground is available to absorb stormwater. Overflowing sewers in urban centres can usually be associated with increased runoff rates and volumes in newly developed neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city. The focus should be put on attenuating the arrival of stormwater runoff to the CSO point or the storm drain, instead of retrofitting a congested urban pipe network. Many inexpensive and simple technologies can help utilities and cities to control these stormwater flow rates. Inlet control devices (ICD) such as vortex flow regulators and orifice plates, stormwater infiltration, ponding and swales are among the easiest methods to implement. Source control not only provides significant flexibility to the municipality, but it has also been proven that maximum use of existing drainage systems can be achieved through source control. A new source control alternative that is gaining popularity in Germany is the Mulden-Rigolen or swale infiltration trench system. Infiltration through an active soil layer creates partial sus-
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Stormwater Treatment pended solids removal, while percolation regenerates the water table. In a recent project, storm drains in a section of the city of Hamlen in Germany were disconnected from the combined sewer system to reduce hydraulic surcharges. Figure 1 shows a section view of the functioning principle of the MuldenRigolen infiltration trench. Controlling stormwater flows at their source is usually the least expensive and most efficient strategy. While it may rapidly and efficiently solve some overflows or capacity problems, it is rarely sufficient to solve all of the overflow problems caused by increased runoff. Upstream retention capacity By using source control, the conveyance capacity of the existing sewer and drains is partially restored and some overflow events are prevented. At this point, extra retention capacity in the sewer or storm drain is usually lacking. Addition of storage basins is the second element to be considered to prevent overflows. Urban stormwater retention basins, whether off-line or inline, are used to store peak flows during wet weather events. Wet weather flows
Figure 1. Section view of the Mulden–Rigolen infiltration trench.
that would otherwise surcharge the system and present serious overflow issues can now be captured and treated. These stored volumes of stormwater can be released progressively to the outfall once the storm event has died down and global system capacity is restored. Whenever possible, these storage basins should be installed upstream in the system in order to relieve the downstream
system drainage capacity. The benefits derived from urban storage basins are multiple: • Quantitative benefits: Peak flows are dampened by the extra retention volume, thus avoiding pipe surcharge and flooding. • Qualitative benefits: Highly loaded volumes of wet weather flows that continued overleaf...
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Stormwater Treatment would otherwise discharge directly to the receiving body of water are captured. • Economic benefits: The cost of future land development is limited by lengthening the life span of existing storm drainage infrastructure. The use of stormwater or CSO retention basins is gaining popularity in Canada and the United States, but they are common in the Netherlands, France and Germany. Not only do these urban retention basins provide extra capacity, but they can be upgraded to achieve primary treatment of TSS in CSOs or provide evolved treatment capacity for stormwater. Optimal overflow weir capacity Statistically rare storm events can produce very large runoff flows in the drain system. It is impractical and very expensive to capture, convey and treat all these wet weather flows in a very short period of time. Once upstream retention is achieved by promoting source control and creating holding basins, the next element that needs analysis is designed to limit levels in the system or in the basins, the downstream overflow weir. Overflow weirs should be activated to relieve the extra water from the system generated by these statistically rare storms. Optimizing the overflow weir will enable the drainage manager to maximize the in-line retention of stormwater volumes, minimize the number of uncontrolled overflows, and yet overflow the extra water, thus alleviating unwanted water surges in the system. The incidence of sudden peak flows on the receiving water quality, if and when they occur, should be minimal because peak flow pollution load will be found in the first
w w w. a mw a t e r. c o m 42 | May 2009
flush of the system. The first flush should be either maintained inside the system, conveyed to the WWTP, or stored in wellplanned stormwater retention basins further upstream. The most common overflow device is the static overflow weir. The relationship between flow rate and water head across a sharp crested weir is given by the Poleni formula:
Where Q = Flow rate (CFS or m3/s) µ = Weir coefficient (function of the geometry ≈ 0.6 to 0.8) B = Weir width (ft or m) g = Gravitational constant (32 ft/s2 or 9.8 m/s2) H = Static water head upstream of the weir (ft or m) For a given weir geometry, it can be seen from closer inspection of Equation 1 that the water head increases exponentially as a function of the flow rate.
Equation 2 shows that overflow head is an exponential function of the flow rate. It would be of great benefit if an overflow device would present a “proportional” hydraulic relationship as shown in Equation 3.
Where Kp is a proportionality constant. If this were possible, a proportional overflow weir would noticeably lower the required water head at the overflow (h0) while simultaneously optimizing storage in the sewer. The water head at the overflow can range from less than a centimetre to about 60 cm, depending on the size of the storm event. Also, it is often the higher hydraulic grade line (HGL) generated from the overflow event that creates the basement flooding. Proportional overflow devices, namely bending weirs, self-priming siphons, optimized weir geometries and the like, were introduced in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. Figure 2 shows a proportional overflow weir (bending weir) installed on a side weir. End-of-pipe treatment capacity Once as much source control as possible is achieved, urban retention basins are fully utilized and the system’s control weirs are optimized, increased treatment capacity should be considered. For CSO applications, traditional methods or techniques of increasing or expanding existing wastewater treatment require large footprints and can be expensive. Furthermore, biological treatment systems can hardly handle the peak flow conditions associated with wet weather events. For stormwater discharge, the addition of TSS removal devices or event stormwater filtration can radically improve the quality of otherwise untreated flows. A recent interest in high-rate treatment of CSOs, like highrate ballasted flocculation or high-rate vortex separation, has Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Stormwater Treatment been kindled. These solutions require very little footprint and are able to offer very high upflow velocity while maintaining a robust treatment for all flows up to the design flow rate. Figure 3 shows a picture of a high-rate vortex separator installed at the pump station in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This ballasted flocculation treatment system utilizes microsand as seed for the floc formation and increases the settling velocity of the floc. One of the world’s largest CSO treatment plants using this technology was built in Achères, near Paris, France; it is capable of treating 22.5 m 3/s or 513 MGD. The optimal solution Every drainage system is unique, and individual study and analysis are always warranted. The influence of each of the four steps in the optimal solution is a function of the constraints of the community. For example, in older communities, where raw land is at a premium, it might be difficult to build retention basins. Drawing from the experience of many wet weather treatment installations around the world, the four steps described here will work toward the same goal: optimal wet weather strategies lowering the number (and volume) of uncontrolled annual overflow events and improving the quality of the receiving bodies of water. Martin Couture and Gianfranco Maragno are with John Meunier Inc. E-mail: email@example.com.
Figure 2. Proportional overflow weir installed on a side weir.
Figure 3. High–rate vortex separator being installed at a pump station in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
May 2009 | 43
St.Lawrence Cement Inc.v.Barrette By Scott Thurlow
t isn’t often that the Supreme Court of Canada issues an edict that will have a profound impact on the operations of an industrial facility. On November 20, 2008, the Supreme Court released its decision in St. Lawrence Cement Inc. v. Barrette. The issue arose out of a facility which was operating under a special statute passed by the Quebec legislature in 1952 which authorized St. Lawrence Cement (SLC) to build a cement plant in a municipality. That statute stipulated specific requirements relating to its environmental practices. After the plant began operating in 1955, problems arose between SLC and neighbours who were displeased with the consequences of the plant’s activities, i.e., smells, noises and dirt. The Government of Quebec was forced to intervene numerous times in the past five decades. Ultimately, two neighbours sued SLC in 1994, adding many other petitioners to the class action as time passed, claiming that the neighbourhood disturbances caused by the plant were abnormal or excessive. The Supreme Court held that, even though it appears to be absolute, the right of ownership has limits and the Civil Code (Article 976 C.C.Q.) prohibits owners of
44 | May 2009
land from forcing their neighbours to suffer abnormal or excessive annoyances. The Court noted that ‘civil fault’ actions will only arise if the action also constitutes a violation of the standard of conduct of a reasonable person under the general rules of civil liability. In addition to the general rules applicable to faultbased civil liability, the Court recognized a scheme of no-fault civil liability in respect of ‘neighbourhood disturbances’ under the Quebec Civil Code. This nofault standard is based on the annoyances suffered by the victim being excessive rather than on the conduct of the person who allegedly caused them. Such a regime is consistent with general policy considerations, such as the objective of environmental protection and the application of the polluter-pay principle. The theory of ‘real liability’ must be rejected. As soon as the limit of normal annoyances is exceeded, the neighbouring owner can set up his or her right against the owner who is at fault by bringing an action to put an end to the disturbance or receive damages as a result. For industry in general, it is very important to note that, in order to avoid being sued in tort for nuisance, companies will have to go out into the commu-
nity and respond to the reasonable concerns of their neighbours when operating in that community. A nuisance, paraphrasing the Court’s decision, is based on what affects individuals in proximity to a facility, and has nothing to do with the regulations for emissions and noise, nor with meeting other licenses associated with operations. The Court was resoundingly clear on the fact that St. Lawrence Cement did not commit any fault in the performance of its activities. In reinstating the decision of the trial judge, the Court found that SLC had not committed a civil fault in relation to its statutory obligations. The trial judge found that SLC had fulfilled its obligation to use the best-known means to eliminate dust and smoke and had taken reasonable precautions to ensure that its equipment was in good working order at all times and was functioning optimally, which was required by the special statute that allowed it to operate. Notwithstanding that fact, SLC owed their neighbours a duty that was above and beyond simply following the regulatory requirements. Despite committing no wrong, the Court found that it was liable for the annoyances caused to its neighbours be-
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Legal Affairs cause, as the Court noted, it is irrelevant if â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śthe interference results from the intentional, negligent or non-faulty conductâ&#x20AC;? and it is â&#x20AC;&#x153;of no consequence provided that the harm can be qualified as a nuisance.â&#x20AC;? The Court also noted that conduct is not the deciding criterion when it comes to abnormal annoyances. An owner who causes abnormal annoyances without either intent to injure or excessive and unreasonable conduct does not abuse his or her rights, because he or she cannot be accused of wrongful conduct. In the case of the former, an owner who commits a fault may be held liable for damage even if the damage does not reach the level of abnormal annoyances. In other words, a company will not only have to observe the letter of the law and the conditional certificates that apply to its facility, it will also be required to listen to the needs of its community and address annoyances, or nuisances, that may arise from its operations. The Court noted that nuisances, including odour and noise, are defined as the unreasonable interference with the use of land. To be actionable, the inter-
ference must be intolerable to an ordinary person, assessed by considering factors that include the nature, severity and duration of the interference, the character of the neighbourhood, the sensitivity of the plaintiff and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;utility of the activity.â&#x20AC;? The Court did go out of its way to note, however, that St. Lawrence Cement was not exactly a beacon of environmental progress. Nor did the company respond to the many complaints of its neighbours.The Court noted that a facility has to be a very attentive part of the community and SLCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reluctance to listen was a significant factor that contributed to its liability. St. Lawrence Cement could not be mistaken for a Responsible Careâ&#x201E;˘ company. The codes of practice require the very community outreach that was lacking in the present case. The Community Awareness and Emergency Response Code is premised on an ongoing dialogue with the surrounding community, and the language of the code almost parrots the deficiencies in SLCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operations and community relations noted by the Court. Written in 2000, well in advance of the decision, the codes of practice re-
quire that a company be sensitive to the needs of a community and create an environment that harmoniously ensures that concerns are dealt with. As a result of this decision, it is important for industry to take a broader view of the term â&#x20AC;&#x153;reasonable,â&#x20AC;? knowing that what seems reasonable to them, may not be reasonable at all. The case is also important for defining what a "neighbour" is, and that, in the future, the term must be construed liberally. The Court noted that, while neighbours must prove a certain geographic proximity between the annoyance and its source, decisions will be made based on specific facts. A good example of how one company exceeded that standard involved a resident living about two miles from their plant. He lived on the side of a hill, and had complained several times about noises emanating from the plant at night. Plant personnel checked for this noise several times but could not find the source or even hear the noise. Finally, they decided that they should go to the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home at night and see if they could replicate the continued overleaf...
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May 2009 | 45
Legal Affairs same situation that the resident faced. Once they got to this house, they could hear the noise very clearly. After checking, they found that one of the fans on the roof of the plant pointed upwards towards the hill and the sound went straight up towards his house. Once they realized the problem, they adjusted the fan and its location and the problem was solved. It should be noted that all facets of this decision will not resonate equally across the country. Firstly, outside of Quebec, there is no civil code, the structure of which was the underpinning for many of the conclusions made by the Court. That is not to say that the decision is irrelevant if your company doesn’t operate in Quebec, however. While not all provinces have similar articles, ultimately the resonating element of the decision is that a company that causes a nuisance which a reasonable person knows, or ought to know, causes harm to his neighbour, is liable for damages notwithstanding the fact that they are in compliance with the applicable regulations. Supreme Court jurisprudence has a
46 | May 2009
nasty habit of slipping into all kinds of areas where it was not intended to creep. Regardless, the substantive differences between the civil code and common law property rights will affect how this decision is used in the future. Secondly, the facility in question was granted its license as a result of a special statute – not a certificate of approval, or a license – but an act of the Quebec National Assembly. While the text of the Code does not require evidence of wrongful conduct to establish the liability of an owner who has caused excessive neighbourhood annoyances, the Court noted in its decision, nothing in the statute obviated the responsibility of the company to take prudent care. We can conclude from the decision that, when the legislature excludes the application of the ‘ordinary’ law, it does so expressly. There was no provision in the special statute precise enough to limit civil liability of the plant’s activities. There are some important policy lessons that today’s governments can learn from this decision to avoid problems in the future. The most obvious is the “buffer zone” issue in the province of Ontario.
These zones have to be respected and constructed in such a way so that in a decade, if surrounding property is re-zoned into a new residential neighbourhood, it does not encroach on facilities to the point that there could ever be a case initiated against these pre-existing facilities. The facility involved in this litigation was literally across the tracks from residential units, and, notwithstanding the statute authorizing its construction, better municipal planning could have completely avoided the litigation. Companies, too, have to take the extra step to ensure that their neighbours are not ‘injured’ or ‘annoyed’ by their operations; the annoyance is, after all, in the eyes/nose/ears of the annoyed. More bluntly, companies have to stand in the shoes of their neighbours to determine what is reasonable. This article was originally published in the Canadian Chemical Producers Association magazine, Catalyst, Spring 2009. Scott Thurlow is Senior Counsel with Temple Scott and Associates. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
CANECT 2009Report Attendance up slightly at CANECT 2009 he Canadian Environmental Conference and Tradeshow (CANECT) was held April 2021, 2009 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto. Held annually since 1992, this event attracts senior people responsible for environmental engineering, regulations and compliance issues. Session topics covered: • Environmental regulation and compliance • Managing approvals and permits • Proactive air emissions compliance • Reducing carbon costs • Environmental management standards and guidelines • Managing inspectors and investigators • Industrial waste and waste diversion
Hilary Stedwill of Bennett Jones LLP, gave a presentation on Canadian environmental law. • Water and wastewater compliance • Brownfields - the new rules • Spills planning management and compliance Co-organized by ES&E Magazine, CANECT 2009 was co-located with Health & Safety Canada, the annual tradeshow of the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA). Combined, the two shows attracted some 500 ex-
hibiting companies and 7,000 tradeshow and conference delegates. The event also featured several draw prizes for conference delegates, some of which were sponsored by John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd. CANECT 2010 will be held in the same location, May 3-5. For further information, please contact Denise Simpson. E-mail: email@example.com, or visit www.canect.net.
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May 2009 | 47
Ontario’s environment companies concerned green economic opportunity at risk ccording to a new study conducted by Deloitte for the Ontario Environment Industry Association (ONEIA), Ontario companies are eager to capitalize on growing world demand for environmental services, products and technology, but are concerned industry and government need to work more cooperatively if this is to happen. The research engaged a broad range of companies in the province’s environment industry, including firms working in the areas of environmental engineering, alternative energy, recycling, waste processing, water purification, air quality and brownfields remediation. Firms say Ontario must quickly develop the optimal combination of focused regulations, pricing mechanisms and programs, or risks ceding this important market to other jurisdictions in the world. Overall, environment firms are optimistic about the opportunities to do business in the province. In fact, 47 per
cent agreed or strongly agreed that Ontario is “a great place for environment companies to do business.” They also believe they have good sources of welltrained and motivated employees, growing local markets for their products and services, and fair access to markets outside Ontario and Canada. In general, participating firms believe they have excellent access to export markets. In fact, study participants feel that many federal and provincial programs are excessively focused on exports and not enough on making the most of the home market. Environment firms see Ontario’s current regulatory system as the most significant challenge to growth. While they favour strong environmental protection for the public, they also believe the rapidly changing needs of business demand greater regulatory flexibility. More than half the survey respondents (58%) believe government regulation does not keep pace with innovation.
The vast majority of survey respondents (84%) believe so-called “green procurement” requirements in government contracts would be beneficial to expanding the environment sector in the
Governments should emphasize environmental outcomes, rather than picking winning technologies, to encourage the purchase of environmentally friendly products and services. province. They feel government can take a leadership role by becoming an early adopter of new technologies, and by setting efficiency, waste and emission targets for public contracts and public buildings. More than four times as many study participants believe governments should emphasize environmental outcomes, rather than picking winning technologies, to encourage the purchase of environmentally friendly products and services. This includes mandating higher prices for potentially environmentally harmful behaviour to encourage such things as energy conservation, use of alternative energies, increased recycling and reduced waste. Ontario’s environment industry is made up of more than 2,700 firms across the province that employ more than 60,000 people. The world market for environmental goods, services and technology is expected to grow to over US$700 billion annually in coming years, offering a significant growth opportunity for Ontario companies. The study, conducted by Deloitte, was commissioned by ONEIA in partnership with the Ontario Ministries of the Environment, Economic Development, and Research and Innovation, and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. The study used a combination of interviews, focus groups and a survey to engage more than 180 companies across the province in February and March 2009. For more information, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
48 | May 2009
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Discreet sewage treatment for English resort town outhern Water have recently spent £22 million on significant improvements to the Eastbourne Wastewater Treatment Works, which is located on the south coast of England, but the 138,000 residents of the catchment areas in the resort towns of Eastbourne and Pevensey will see very little of it, as the works are almost all underground. What they will see, however, is a surface building, containing offices and control rooms, designed to resemble the many Napoleonic forts that are spaced along the English Channel coast, along with the Martello defensive towers; these were built in the early years of the 19th century to protect England in the wars against France, which came to an end in 1815. In the 1960s, a modest pumping station was built on the site to deal with wastewater in the manner current at the time, i.e., essentially untreated, and pumped along outfall pipes reaching ever further from the beach. This station had been upgraded and improved by piecemeal alterations until 1993, when a major scheme was initiated to introduce significant levels of wastewater treatment to the site. Recognising that Eastbourne is a tourist town, the 1993 improvements were undertaken underground, or rather what, at high tide, would have been underwater. Two hundred piles were sunk to bedrock, and a concrete box the size of a football pitch was constructed immediately behind the shingle bank which forms the high tide barrier. The function of the piles was to prevent the concrete box floating at high water. When the installation was completed, the concrete box was roofed over, and the area became a car park. Underground, wastewater came in, was screened to remove debris, grit, and rags, and flowed into one of six Johnson lamella separation units, designed to remove 50 per cent of the suspended solids and 20 per cent of the BOD (biochemical oxygen demand). The six units, which were used mostly as five plus a 'spare', were supplied and installed by Vexamus, the UK agent for Nordic Water Products.
The upgraded plant, designed to mimic one of the Napoleonic forts which are spaced along the south coast, is neighbour to a new building development. A car park forms the roof of the underground processing chamber.
When it was constructed, Eastbourne was said to be the largest lamella installation in the UK. After treatment, water was pumped 3.2 kilometres (2 miles) out to sea. Whilst effective, and enabling Eastbourne to maintain high standards of
sea and beach cleanliness, in 1998 the UK government and the European Union reclassified the English Channel and the new standards for wastewater cleanliness meant even more effective treatment was required. continued overleaf...
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The seaside plant is literally at the water's edge. The processing chamber is below water level, in a concrete box fixed in position by concrete piles to prevent it floating on the tide.
This has involved replacing three of the lamella units with biological secondary treatment; agreeing to new standards for stormwater; improving the means for dealing with solid waste; and attention to smells and other external impacts from the site. Now only some surface works remain to be concluded. "What we have now is a process which starts with the preliminary screening," says Andy Taylor, Southern Water's assistant project manager on the site. "This uses new and upgraded screens to remove rags and paper. Then
of 15 years, but half the lamella capacity installed in the mid-1990s has been removed. "It shows just how well they've performed," says Taylor. "We can use them in conjunction with the BAFF plant to achieve a certain percentage reduction in BOD. The less the lamellas work, the more the BAFF plant has to do, and vice versa. There was lots of spare capacity before with six tanks, and even now we have just three, we can think of it as two and a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;spareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. We can, of course, always increase their efficiency by varying the
1998 the UK government and the European Union reclassified the English Channel and the new standards for wastewater cleanliness meant even more effective treatment was required. grease and grit tanks take those elements out. We only have three lamella units now, but after them we now have new biological aerated flooded filter (BAFF) treatment. "It's the first time we've used a BAFF plant at a major Southern Water WTW, and it works with millions of tiny beads made from recycled plastic bottles. The beads host millions of microscopic bacteria, and float in a series of compartments in large tanks. They work by removing organic pollutants from the water flowing from the lamellas, before it is pumped out of the same long sea outfall." The new plant has a design window 50 | May 2009
chemical dosage, but, significantly, we have not proportionately increased our use of chemicals since we introduced the BAFF plant. "As well as further improving the quality of our outflows, the BAFF plant shares with the lamellas the advantage of compactness. The space under the car park was limited and couldn't practically be extended.â&#x20AC;? More significant is the arrangement with the Environment Agency over stormwater. Before the new arrangements, virtually every drop of water passed through the lamellas. Now it is accepted that, in cases of exceptional stormwater flow, the volume of solid
waste hardly changes, while the overall volume increases dramatically. Now the full screening-lamella-BAFF process is reserved for predicted maximum flow under normal conditions. The extra, under storm conditions, is largely rainwater and this is screened, passed through the grit and grease tank, then pumped from there out to sea via a medium outfall, 1.7 kilometres (just over 1 mile) long. Input levels are also being reduced through sealing the sewerage system in areas close to the sea, to help reduce the amount of saline groundwater leaking into the system. This removes water which takes up unnecessary treatment capacity, and the saline levels can adversely affect the new biological processing. Solid waste comes from centrifuged sludge, producing 25 per cent dry solids which are pumped to sealed skips and taken off site to be turned into agricultural fertiliser. Smells are comprehensively dealt with - indeed they need to be; in recent years the plant has become neighbour to a new development of quality housing literally just across the street. The shingle shoreline forms a boundary of the site, and, as previously mentioned, the roof is a public car park. Below ground, the air in the process chamber is changed four and a half times an hour; the foul air is passed through a two stage scrubber before being returned to the atmosphere. The pollution level is generally lower than 1 part per billion and is too low for measurement. The visual impact of the development has been addressed through the exterior and, as a final impressive touch, all the demolished and dismantled material, and all new material and equipment went into the concrete box processing chamber through a 4 m by 3 m roof opening, so as not to compromise the use of the car park by closing off sections and removing the chamber roof. The end result is a wastewater treatment works that is in every respect a good neighbour, co-existing with premium seaside housing and helping to keep beaches and overall water quality up to stringent European Union standards. For more information, visit www.nordicwater.se
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
NEWS Thank you, Dr. Landine ES&E Magazine would like to thank Dr. Robert C. Landine, P.Eng., for serving on its Editorial Advisory Board, since March 2003. Dr. Landine was President and Chief Operating Officer of ADI Systems, which has designed the largest wastewater treatment system of its type in the world, now under construction in the United States, plus one that rivals its size in China. Over 160 wastewater treatment plants have been designed under his careful watch and operate in over 30 countries around the world. Dr. Landine also holds the post of Adjunct Professor of Environmental Engineering in Wastewater Treatment at the University of New Brunswick.
We wish you well in your retirement, Robert. Long-term health of waterways examined in paper mill effluent study
The first eight years of a comprehensive monitoring study to understand the effects of pulp and paper mill effluent discharges in four streams have been released. The pulp and paper mill effluent study is a voluntary initiative funded by the forest products industry through membership in the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, a nonprofit research organization. The study is ongoing, and expected to continue for several more years as a research program involving 27 scientists representing eight US universities and research institutions. The four waterways included in the study have supported pulp and paper mills for several decades. The waterways are the Codorus Creek in Pennsylvania, the Leaf River in Mississippi, the McKenzie River in Oregon, and the Willamette River, also in Oregon. These streams represent both coldwater and warmwater streams, a variety of mill processing types, and a range of effluent concentrations. Because the impact of pulp and paper
mill effluent on river ecology may vary due to natural seasonal or year-to-year differences and human use of the watershed, the study not only aims to address pointsource effects from pulp and paper mill discharges, but also aims to understand the larger spatial scale of any impacts at a watershed scale and over a multi-year time period.
The ecological data collected from this study will allow the forest products industry to further refine future environmental strategies for pulp and paper companies by examining mill discharges with both short- and long- term changes to aquatic life. Replicating the study in four waterways provides a foundation for capturing and understanding variability in the natural environment. For more information, visit www.setac.org
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Determining the size of on-site sodium hypochlorite generation systems By C. Bonneville, A. Kanagasuriam and D. London afety concerns about the use, storage and transportation of chlorine gas used in water treatment plants are leading many utilities to convert from chlorine gas to onsite generation of sodium hypochlorite. In 2004, Epcor Water Services undertook an internal study of one of its major facilities, the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant in Edmonton, and determined that, as the plant expanded, the existing chlorine gas system should be replaced by an on-site sodium hypochlorite generation system. Like many other water treatment plants in North America, the E.L. Smith plant relied on chlorine gas for primary and residual chemical disinfection. With the installation of an ultraviolet disinfection system in 2002, chlorine was no longer the lone barrier against all potentially harmful organisms, but it continued to be the plant’s main protection against viruses and some bacteria, in addition to acting as a residual disinfectant in the utility’s 3,400-km distribution network. The plant used multiple 1,000-kg gas tonners, stored on site, for chlorine supply. Expanding the chlorine gas system would require additional on-site tonner storage, increased delivery frequency and greater operator attention for tonner changeover. The location of the plant next to the North Saskatchewan River and in close proximity to new residential subdivisions was seen as a reason not to continue the use of chlorine gas.
Three 65m3 fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) tanks provide 60% of one day’s storage of generated 0.8% sodium hypochlorite.
Advantages of replacing the system included: • Eliminating the bulk storage of chlorine gas; • Reducing the risk to plant personnel because of the significantly reduced requirement for hazardous material storage and handling; • Eliminating transportation liabilities; and, • Reducing the threat to public safety due to a gas leak.
Sodium hypochlorite feed pumps, flow control and distribution systems. 52 | May 2009
Feasible alternatives to chlorine gas that were considered included 12% commercially produced sodium hypochlorite and on-site 0.8% sodium hypochlorite generation. Each was reviewed on the basis of capital and operating costs as well as on practical operating considerations. The 12% sodium hypochlorite option was determined not to be practical as it would require an excessive volume of on-site chemical storage and a high frequency of regular and costly chemical deliveries. On-site sodium hypochlorite generation, on the other hand, would require a large capital cost for purchase and installation of the generation system, and operating costs would be higher than conventional chlorine gas or 12% sodium hypochlorite due to the power demands of the generation cells. As a new, state-of-the-art system that the plant operations and maintenance staff were not familiar with, the on-site generation system would also provide additional operating challenges relative to a conventional liquid chemical dosing system. After weighing the advantages and disadvantages of both systems, Epcor made the decision that the on-site generation option would be safer and more environmentally friendly because it would not require frequent deliveries of chemicals. Determining production capacity The production capacity of the onsite sodium hypochlorite generation system was determined according to a combination of the following factors: • Alberta Environment Waterworks Standards and Guidelines; • Historical chlorine use; • Future plant flow capacity; and, • Electrical power cost structure. Analysis of the historical daily chlorine demand at the E.L. Smith plant indicates consistent seasonal fluctuations each year. In sizing the new system, capacity could be designed for either the peak experienced condition of almost 10 mg/L during spring runoff, or for the average condition of 3.1 mg/L, with the difference made up by increased bulk
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Five 680 kg/day sodium hypochlorite generators, sufficient to meet a 6mg/L chlorine demand at maximum plant flow.
liquid storage capacity to accommodate peaks. The system at the E.L. Smith water treatment plant is designed to accommodate a higher than average dose of 6 mg/L at the maximum design flow capacity of the plant. The difference in chemical volume during spring peak dosing conditions will be met by bulk liquid storage of both 0.8% generated sodium hypochlorite and 12% commercial-grade sodium hypochlorite, the latter being delivered and stored on-site each spring. The E.L. Smith on-site generation system is designed with one 100% standby generator, equivalent to quarter of the design capacity of 6 mg/L at the current raw water design flow of 400 ML/d. The generation system is designed to accommodate the current upgraded plant
net production capacity of 400 ML/d. The design includes inherent hydraulic capacity to increase the plantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s net production to 600 ML/d in the future. On-site sodium hypochlorite generation requires considerable power consumption so it is designed to operate during off-peak hours for average conditions and additionally during peak hours to meet high chlorine demands. However, on-site storage capacity for the generated liquid must be increased to accommodate daytime demands when the generators are not operating. To accommodate the new system, an addition was built adjacent to the plantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existing chemical systems building. The 500 m2 addition has a pile foundation, with independent slabs that act as bases for the large liquid sodium hypochlorite storage and salt brine tanks. continued overleaf...
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1-877-245-7473 May 2009 | 53
Disinfection The addition has a mezzanine level directly above the generators that supports one electrical rectifier and one harmonic filter for each generator unit. All of the equipment related to the sodium hypochlorite system is housed in the addition, including: • A water softener system, consisting of two operating tanks and one standby tank, producing a maximum flow of 482,000 L/day; • A sodium hypochlorite distribution pump system;
• A dedicated motor control centre; • A 13.8-kV liquid-cooled transformer; • A programmable logic control (PLC) system; and, • Heating and ventilation equipment to maintain ambient room temperature. The plant’s gas chlorine system was left in operation until the sodium hypochlorite generation system was operational. New PVC piping was installed to transport the generated 0.8% sodium
Fiber-reinforced plastic brine storage tanks.
hypochlorite to the various primary and trim injection points, so both systems could be operated in parallel during the interim commissioning period. The generation system includes four operating and one standby Severn-Trent Clortec CT-1500 units, four FRP liquid sodium hypochlorite storage tanks, and two FRP brine tanks, as well as other related process, electrical, instrumentation and building mechanical equipment. The facility was constructed with future expansion in mind, and space has been provided to install additional generation equipment to meet the future 600 ML/d net production of the plant. C. Bonneville is with Epcor Water Services Inc. A. Kanagasuriam and D. London are with Associated Engineering Ltd. For more information, E-mail: email@example.com 54 | May 2009
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
NEWS OPWA annual conference The Ontario Public Works Association, held its annual conference and awards luncheon on January 29 in Mississauga. Session speakers included John Campbell, President & CEO, Toronto Waterfront and Rob MacIsaac, Chair, Metrolinx Board of Directors. Joel Garreau, a best selling author, and a senior writer at The Washington Post, presented his insights on how history formed our current society and how these influences will drive future city development. After his presentation, Mr. Garreau led an open discussion on the possibilities and challenges that face our future civilization and how predicted trends may shake the foundation of planning and engineering. Mr Garreau has appeared on over one thousand television and radio programs, including "Good Morning America," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," "ABC World News with Peter Jennings," and “The Larry King Show.” He has served as a senior fellow at the University of California at Berkeley.
WFP has a new Chief Executive Officer Water For People has named Ned Breslin its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Breslin has been serving in the role of Acting CEO for the past eight months. He joined Water For People in January 2006 as the Director of International Programs. Mr. Breslin oversaw the organization’s expansion into the Dominican Republic, Peru, Rwanda, and Uganda, as well as leading the existing programs in Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Malawi. During his tenure, international programs grew from a $3.3 million budget to a $6.5 million budget, supporting the provision of safe and sustainable drinking water resources to 91,722 people and sanitation facilities to 92,983 people in 2008. Mr. Breslin was first introduced to water and sanitation development as part of a Lutheran World Relief initiative in northern Kenya in the 1980s, and subsequently worked in the water supply, sanitation, and hygiene sector in southern Africa for 16 years for a range of local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including the Mvula Trust in South Africa and WaterAid in Mozambique.
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May 2009 | 55
Sealing systems for pumping applications By John P. Crawford roper specification and selection of sealing systems for centrifugal pump power frame applications can help sustain the service life of pumps and avoid the need for pump replacement or rebuilds and their associated costs in time and money. Sealing systems have their work cut out for them in pump applications. When a bearing seal in a pump fails, for example, contaminants have an opening to infiltrate both the bearing and the lubricant. Cleanliness of the lubricant will exert a profound effect on bearing service life. And, should lubricant be lost from the bearing due to seal failure, dry-running operation ultimately could lead to premature and rapid failure of the bearings. Radial shaft seals have long been the most common types of sealing solutions for bearing arrangements in ANSI class pumps. In general, radial shaft seals will function as barriers to retain lubricant,
56 | May 2009
and exclude contaminants. Labyrinth type seals, also known as bearing isolators, are specified for ANSI Enhanced and API-rated process pumps and are gaining acceptance in other service classes. These seals feature a dynamic, non-contacting internal path to exclude fluid and particle contamination while retaining lubrication. They are based on metal or plastic material for chemical inertness and, when installed correctly, offer a very long service life. While the most suitable sealing systems for pumps will be governed by an application’s particular demands and operating conditions, some general guidelines can be offered to assist in making proper choices. ‘Bearing down’ on pumps In API-design centrifugal pumps, which are generally heavy-duty process pumps, bearings are usually located in two positions. A single-row deep-groove ball bearing near the impeller accommodates radial loads and floats in the housing, which allows thermal expansion of the shaft, and an angular contact ball bearing set is fixed in the housing in the thrust position at the coupling end. The angular contact set secures the impeller in the proper axial position and handles the thrust load and a portion of the radial load. Bearing locations in ANSI-design pumps, which are generally light- and medium-duty pumps, are similar to API configurations, except the angular contact ball bearing set is replaced by a double-row bearing, i.e., single bearings with two rows of balls in the thrust position. Bearing arrangements for pumps generally serve to enable smooth, efficient shaft rotation. Sealing systems will contribute to a bearing’s reliable operation and ability to reach full service life. Contacting radial shaft seal solutions typically will incorporate: • A shell, which is sheet steel or elastomer covered, to which the lip material is bonded and provides the requisite interference fit of the seal in the housing bore. • A sealing lip of elastomer or other material, which provides dynamic and
static sealing against the shaft. In pump power frames, the sealing lip should always point toward the material to be retained. Most rubber sealing lips are made from a formulation of nitrile rubber. Some specially-produced material variations have been introduced for use with synthetic fluids or chemically aggressive lubricants. Users can select from a wide variety of seal designs, and materials, to accomplish specific functions. Particularly in pump bearing applications, seals will be exposed to low and relatively constant pressure differentials so general purpose seals are sufficient. However, some types of pumps utilize radial seals as the main pressure retention seal (in which the seal cavity is pressurized). Seal manufacturers offer particular lip profiles for this role that resist deformation under pressure loading and moderate surface speeds. In cases where higher shaft speeds are exhibited, the permissible pressure differential across the seal becomes smaller. As pressure is applied to the seal, more of the lip surface is forced against the shaft, which produces greater friction, as does increased shaft speed. Since too much friction will result in faster wear and shorter seal and shaft life, the two parameters, i.e., pressure and surface speed or PV factor, must be balanced against each other. Some radial designs, principally using PTFE lip material, can accept a PV in excess of 250,000, depending on the service life requirements. Selecting the seal Specification of seals for pumps begins with selecting the correct general design for the application. For example, a spring-loaded radial sealing lip will usually be required to retain a head of oil or low viscosity fluid. Correct sizing for the hardware should follow; inch and metric dimensions and tolerances should not be mixed. For maximized service life and optimized seal performance, users then should evaluate all relevant operating conditions, which will further guide the seal selection.
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Pumps psi (pounds per square inch). Special profiles and materials can be specified to compensate for pressure. 4. Surface finish preparation. For optimum radial lip seal performance and service life, a surface finish of 8 17 Îźin (0.20 - 0.43 Îźm) Ra (roughness average) is recommended, with machine lead of less than 0 +/- 0.05 degrees. Contact surfaces for labyrinth seals are less critical and finishes suitable for static o-rings are satisfactory. Rubber radial seals provide economical and versatile protection for bearings in pumps. Their contact with the shaft can deliver both positive fluid retention and hermetic sealing of the housing. But it should be understood that optimizing a sealing system is a balancing act. Careful definition of the application requirements, evaluating all conditions, and adopting a holistic approach to seal specification can contribute significantly to seal performance and service.
Sealing performance can be maximized by combining a shaft repair sleeve, metal-cased radial seal, and external V-ring flinger, as shown on the right.
Among the key operating parameters when considering sealing systems in pumps are: 1. Surface speed. Each type of radial shaft seals has surface speed limits. Generally speaking, surface speed capability and parameters such as seal torque, power consumption, under-lip temperature, and the effect of dynamic run-out, will take inverse proportions. All these speed-related influences can ultimately contribute to shortened seal life. The majority of standard small bore radial seals, under 8â&#x20AC;? shaft diameter, are rated up to 3,600 fpm (feet per minute) or 18.3 m/s (metres per second), while the large diameter seals, over 8â&#x20AC;? shaft diameter, are rated to approximately 5,000 fpm or 25.4 m/s. Plastic bearing isolators can usually accept up to 5,000 fpm (25 m/s) while metallic versions can be capable of 10,000 fpm (50.80 m/s). To exceed these speed recommendations typically calls for special design considerations. Design variations that can help combat the negative effects of higher shaft speeds include: reducing the radial load of the seal lip; changing to a sealing material that can handle higher temperatures; changing the lubricant type or viscosity; optimizing the shaft sealing surface; and turning to a non-contacting labyrinth seal design. 2.Temperature. Each seal material has an optimum range. Beyond that, thermal stress will harden the compound. This can often be observed as subjective hardness or a series of radial cracks. Upgrading the seal material, e,g., to a fluoropolymer or PTFE, can www.esemag.com
extend a sealâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thermal limit to meet many pump system requirements. Heat aging is, however, a more common cause of failure than wear for nitrile rubber. 3. Pressure. Pressure loading from system conditions or a fault, such as a plugged vent, will mechanically load and distort a sealâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lip profile, resulting in rapid wear and failure. Standard radial seals are designed for only about 7
John P. Crawford is with SKF Sealing Solutions. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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May 2009 | 57
C o n ta i n m e n t
A diverse range of case histories and new developments is reviewed in ES&E’s semi-annual look at tanks, containment systems and spill management.
Hartland NB wins uphill battle to fight fires throughout town n May 7, 2005, the town of Hartland, New Brunswick, experienced one of the worst fires in its history when Craig Manufacturing Ltd., a major employer and manufacturer of heavy equipment such as dozers and graders, began to burn. “We were pumping water out of our reservoir and the river and had other fire departments here to help us,” says Fred Roberts, public works supervisor and deputy chief of Hartland’s volunteer fire department. Much of Craig Manufacturing, then located along the eastern bank of the St. John River, which runs through the town, was in ruins. While several other commercial buildings were also damaged, the pride of Hartland, the 100-plus-year-old world’s longest covered bridge, was untouched. In an agricultural region rich in potato production, the town also attracts tourists year-round. The fire brought home the town’s need for an upgraded water system,
58 | May 2009
The town now has a 250,000-gallon Aquastore® tank.
By Dean Potratz
with the capacity to supply firefighters with the water and pressure they need to protect both of the town’s two zones. The lower elevation zone along the river had the benefit of water pressure from the original hillside reservoir, but the upper elevation zone, the top third of the hillside and above, had no water storage of its own. It needed multiple booster pumps running 24/7 to bring water from the reservoir below and achieve adequate water pressure. The inadequate system had to supply the largest Canadian-owned potato chip processing plant, Humpty Dumpty Snack Foods Inc., at the top of the hill, as well as the 900 citizens of Hartland. If the power went out, “we might get a call in the middle of the night from Humpty Dumpty,” says Mr. Roberts. A backup diesel-driven pump would then kick in to keep water flowing. The pump also ensured the company would have water for fire protection. Clearly, something had to be done to modernize the town’s water system as Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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The 100-plus-year-old world’s longest covered bridge was untouched.
the old reservoir only held 88,000 gallons of water and that was all that was in reserve for fighting fires. The town already had the new system underway when Craig Manufacturing burned. The town now has a 250,000-gallon Aquastore® tank on top of the hill, and so much water pressure that they have had to put in pressure-reducing zone valves to reduce the pressure downhill. The booster station used to run 24/7 (to supply the upper elevation zone), and now it runs approximately eight to nine hours a day.
In addition to the water storage structure, Godfrey Associates specified the upgrading and extension of water mains, pump upgrades, transition lines and other infrastructure that brought the total cost to over $1.25 million. The cost was shared by the federal, provincial and municipal governments, which made it possible for Hartland to undertake the sizeable project. Selection of the water holding structure was key. “The Aquastore came in as better economic value,” says Mr. Hannah. “Selection was based on capital costs; the Aquastore’s lifetime value and lower maintenance costs are bonuses. We recognized that with the glass-fused-to-steel coating there would be savings down the road.” To Mr. Hannah, stability of the water system and storage through power interruptions is a key objective met, along with reduced operating costs and power savings from going to a start/stop rather than continuous pump operation. The whole system has operated trouble-free. Greatario Engineered Storage Systems of Innerkip, Ontario, supplied the Aquastore system to the Town of Hartland and handled all the tank on-site construction. Dean Potratz is with Open Roads Inc. Aquastore is represented in Canada by Greatario. E-mail: email@example.com
Stability of the water system and storage through power interruptions is a key objective met, along with reduced operating costs and power savings. Hartland fills its old reservoir by pumping water to it from town wells. From there, a pump (there were three and now only one 50hp pump is needed) sends water to the Aquastore tank. Hartland pumps roughly 250,000 to 275,000 gallons of water per day. Mr. Roberts points to three goals for the upgrade: better fire protection throughout Hartland, consistent water flow to Humpty Dumpty, and better water quality. The engineer’s view Ken Hannah, of Godfrey Associates, Saint John, New Brunswick, the consulting engineers for the project, says Hartland had simply “grown up” the hillside above the original reservoir, splitting the population into the two zones. Working with Hartland, Godfrey Associates picked the site for the new water structure, land that was once a potato field. It was obtained from McCain Foods Ltd. www.esemag.com
May 2009 | 59
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Collapsible fuel bladders protect sensitive Arctic environments
SEIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Arctic King collapsible fuel tank is manufactured from fabric specifically designed for liquid fuel storage in sub-zero climates.
rotecting pristine Arctic environments is a shared mission of both Environment Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Working together and assisted by SEI Industries Ltd., the two federal government departments are developing key guidelines to ensure that inspectors and operators have the necessary direction to use collapsible fuel bladders, an environmentally safe option for temporary fuel storage in the Arctic. Recently, confusion surrounding new legislation made the use of collapsible fuel bladders questionable, but the government is working to clarify the issue. In addition, national standards that apply to this specific item are being developed. As the only Canadian manufacturer of collapsible fuel bladders, SEI has contributed information and expertise to this effort. The company has 327 collapsible fuel storage tanks in use in the Arctic, and is considered a leader in manufacturing collapsible fuel bladders for harsh climates. Arctic fuel storage options Prior to the invention of collapsible fuel tanks, a number of solutions were used by industry to store fuel in remote locations, including drums, steel tanks, and freezing barges full of fuel into winter sea ice.
60 | May 2009
These options all have potential for harming the environment. Barges frozen in ice can rupture and spills can occur during fuel transfer. Steel tanks require a large footprint and are heavy, difficult and expensive to move, so they are often abandoned. When they are moved, their weight can cause significant damage to the tundra. Fuel drums are also often abandoned or subjected to damage by heavy equipment, causing spills. Due to their smaller size, fuel drums tend to be moved more frequently than tanks, thus adding to the spill potential. Additionally, hundreds of drums are required to achieve the same volume as one collapsible fuel tank. The lower costs asso-
ciated with removing collapsible fuel tanks also encourage proper disposal. Traditionally used for temporary remote locations by the Department of National Defence, collapsible fuel bladders have also served mineral companies, remote-site construction projects, and disaster relief and helicopter operations for decades. They are also being used today as part of the effort to clean up abandoned fuel drums in the Arctic - remnants from the cold warâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s DEW Line. Baffin Island mining example Baffinland Iron Ore Mines required a complete fuel transfer, metering, filtering, pumping and storage solution to expand its Baffin Island mining operations. Like all such operations, this site
The tanks are filled with fuel through an innovative network of manifolds and pumps. Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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needed fuel, but the nearest gas station was 1,000 miles away, so the company turned to SEI Industries to provide a turnkey answer in a challenging work environment. The resulting Baffinland fuel farm consisted of two sites: Milne Inlet and Mary River. A total of 90 Arctic King™ tanks were installed at these sites, with each tank capable of holding 113,530 litres of fuel. In addition, a variety of fuel handling systems were designed to accomplish all other tasks associated with fuel transfer, filtration and metering. An SEI-designed secondary containment berm with oil/water separator was also used to meet environmental regulations. The entire system was transported in 20-foot ISO containers. SEI’s field service representatives oversaw the installation and provided training for employees from local service providers to maintain its products on-site. SEI’s Arctic King collapsible fuel tank is manufactured from fabric specifically designed for liquid fuel storage in sub-zero climates. Constructed from a proprietary high-durability fabric, the tank exceeds all US military specifications and has excellent UV and hydrolysis resistance for a long life expectancy. It continually adjusts to any volume of liquid so that air cannot accumulate, reducing condensation to protect fuel quality and extend equipment life and safety. It is suitable for JP-1, JP-4, JP-8, kerosene, gasoline and diesel fuels with less than 60% aromatic content. An Arctic King tank can be unfolded quickly and easily by six to eight people. Very little training is required, especially after the team has set up its first tank. Once a tank is unfolded, it can easily be unrolled by the team. The tanks are readied for filling by installing fill/drain valves to isolate individual tanks in the farm. Specialized Arctic vents prevent overfilling. The tanks are filled with fuel through an innovative network of manifolds and pumps. They can be isolated into groups of four or filled individually if required. In the Arctic, fuel often arrives by barge, which remains anchored offshore. A floating hose from the barge to shore allows fuel to flow to shore, and then through a pipeline. Robust pumping/filwww.esemag.com
tering equipment ensures that fuel is clean before it reaches the tanks. Other equipment allows for easy fuel handling on-shore. The system’s lightduty vehicle refueling pumps allow operators to fuel vehicles just like any service station. Portable fuel transfer trailers enable bulk fuel transfer into tanker trucks for delivery throughout the mine. A number of aircraft refueling pumps are used to provide aircraft fuel on the airstrip. All fuel is filtered and
metered to API standards for aviation. Remote equipment can receive fuel from transportable helicopter fuel tanks. This massive tank farm was successfully deployed and filled in three weeks during the summer, and the mining operation now has its own sophisticated gas station at the top of the world. For more information, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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May 2009 | 61
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Protecting tanks from ice damage using submersible mixers ce formation inside potable water storage tanks and standpipes is a common occurrence in the northern United States and nearly all of Canada during the winter. Depending on the average air temperature, the inlet water temperature and the amount of turnover, ice formation can range from a thin skin on the top of a water tank to a massive ice cap that weighs many tons. While most people enjoy a little ice in their glass of water, thick ice in a water tank can spell disaster. Like an iceberg, a massive plug of ice can scrape the sides of a water tank as the water level fluctuates. If ladders and other internal hardware inside a tank become locked in the ice, the rise and fall of the ice cap can literally tear the hardware apart. Numerous examples exist around the northern US of tanks that have been
badly damaged or even ruptured by the action of ice (Figure 1). Even modest damage to tank coatings may require partial or complete overhaul, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. In above-ground water storage tanks, ice will typically form on the northern wall of the tank, starting at the waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edge. With continued cold weather, this ice will grow around the edge of the water, eventually forming a complete ring of ice. As the water level rises and falls within the tank, the ring of ice gets thicker and thicker. Eventually, even the centre of the tank becomes frozen over, but that ice is repeatedly shattered and refrozen by the piston-like action of the rising and falling tank level. The ring of ice expands as it freezes, pushing against the walls of the tank. When water levels
Fiqure 2. Side-by-side infrared images taken at night reveal the difference between a mixed and an unmixed tank. Without a mixer, fresh warm water remains trapped at the bottom of the tank. In contrast, a well-mixed tank has more uniform temperatures throughout. 62 | May 2009
By Dr. Peter S. Fiske
Figure 1. Buckled tank due to freezing.
fall, the massive ring of ice clings to the sides of the tank, pulling down on the tank walls. When water levels rise, the collar is submerged, and its buoyancy pulls the walls of the tank in the opposite direction. This stress can cause the tank coating to spall or, in extreme cases, can buckle the sides of the tank. The operators of the Old Town Water District in Old Town, Maine (outside Bangor) had been aware of the dangers of ice formation for many years. Nine years ago, they purchased two new glasslined standpipes to increase their capacity. But after only two winters, one of the tanks showed evidence of ice damage; the glass coating on the exterior of the tank had spalled off due to stress from the ice frozen inside. Water â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a most unusual liquid Nearly all liquids in nature become heavier as they cool. Water is different. When water cools over the last few degrees toward freezing (at atmospheric pressure), it actually becomes less dense due to molecular expansion. The solid it forms (ice) is 9% lighter than the corresponding liquid. This is why ice forms at the top of a body of water and grows downward. It is also why icebergs float. A water tank may have a daily supply of warmer water, but the buoyant force that would carry that warm water to the top of the tank is impeded by the density change as the water cools.
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Figure 3. Despite several months of sub-freezing temperatures, the tank with the submersible mixer (left) remained ice-free. In contrast, the unmixed tank (right) had thousands of pounds of ice, which would not disappear until late spring.
The operators at Old Town realized that, while the water coming into the tanks from the plant was 42-45Â°F, the amount of turnover and low velocity were not sufficient to disrupt the chilled layer of water at the top of the tank. As a result, the tops of the tanks would freeze solid winter after winter. In the late fall of 2008, in an attempt to reduce ice formation inside the tank, the operators began a trial to evaluate a small submersible mixer made by PAX Water Technologies inside one of the two tanks. They theorized that, if the warmer inlet water could be physically
four-to-six-inch thickness of fresh ice to form at the top of the tank. In early January 2009 the mixer was turned on, and the internal condition of the mixed and unmixed tanks was observed. In mid-February, the ice in the tank with the mixer had broken up, whereas the ice in the unmixed tank remained. After eight weeks, the mixed tank was completely ice-free, while the tank without the mixer remained capped with a thick rim of ice (Figure 3).
The teams also used an infrared camera to monitor the temperature profile in both tanks. As they suspected, the unmixed tank had an inverted thermal profile; the warmest spot was at the base where the inlet water came into the tank (Figure 2). But at the top of the tank, the temperature was below freezing. In contrast, the tank with the mixer had a uniform temperature all the way to the water surface. The trial at Old Town will continue through the summer, where the active mixer will help to prevent summer thermal stratification and improve overall water quality. Dr. Peter S. Fiske is with PAX Water Technologies. The company is represented in Canada by H2Flow Tanks. E-mail: email@example.com . Photos courtesy Utility Service Company Inc., Peter Fiske and Bruce Stevens.
They theorized that, if the warmer inlet water could be physically transported to the top of the tank, it would greatly reduce the rate at which ice would form. transported to the top of the tank, it would greatly reduce the rate at which ice would form. The PAX Mixerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patented impeller design is engineered to create a collimated vortex that transports fluid to the top of a water tank using a minimum of energy. Unfortunately, by the time the mixer was installed, Maine was already in the grip of one of the coldest winters on record. Ice had already formed on the interior walls of the tank and, once drained, massive piles of ice had to be cleared from inside the tank. Once the mixer was installed, the tank was refilled. The mixer was turned off for a period of one week, which allowed a www.esemag.com
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Guidance Document developed for the new Environment Canada petroleum storage tank regulations By Craig T. Fisher
The regulations apply to any petroleum product storage tank system located in Canada.
n many cases, when new regulations are developed and come into force, industries must dedicate a tremendous amount of resources to interpret and implement the regulatory change. It can be a costly endeavour, particularly when corporations are working independently of each other. Environment Canada introduced new regulations for petroleum products and allied petroleum products in June 2008. Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations (regulations) have been introduced to reduce the risk of spills and leaks to soil and groundwater for federally-regulated storage tank systems. The regulations apply to â&#x20AC;&#x153;any storage tank system located in Canada in which petroleum products or allied petroleum products are stored and, (a) that is operated by a federal department, board or agency, or belongs to Her Majesty in right of Canada; (b) that is operated by, or belongs to, a federal work or undertaking that is (i) a port authority set out in the schedule to the Canada Marine Act, (ii) an airport within the meaning of the Aeronautics Act, or (iii) a railway;
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(c) that is located on federal land or aboriginal land; or (d) that is operated by a Crown corporation, as defined in subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act, or that belongs to such a corporation.â&#x20AC;? There are essentially six general requirements within the regulations. 1. Tank systems must be registered with Environment Canada by June 12, 2010. If your tank system is not registered by then, product suppliers will no longer be permitted to supply product to your tank system. Information such as tank type, pipe diameters, and descriptions of transfer area are included in the tank system registration requirements. In the event your tank system has not been registered by June 12, 2010, a progress report is required. Once your tank system is registered, Environment Canada will provide a tank identification number, which will be required for suppliers to fill tank systems after the June 12, 2010 deadline. 2. Existing tanks, pipes, and sumps must meet specific design and monitoring requirements. One requirement, in particular, is that any tank found to be leaking must be taken out of service. There are also inspection and monitoring require-
ments, such as installing cathodic protection and vapour monitoring wells. 3. New tank systems must be designed to particular standards which are presented within the regulations. The new design standards are based on best engineering practices and are based upon the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Environmental Code of Practice for Aboveground and Underground Storage Tank Systems Containing Petroleum and Allied Petroleum Products. 4. An Environmental Emergency Plan must be developed for the individual tank system. It must take into consideration the potential risks of the tank system, the measures implemented to mitigate any spills or leaks, and the response activities required in the event of a spill or leak. 5. New release reporting requirements to Environment Canada have been introduced. 6. Records of the tank system design, installation, inspections and testing must now be stored with the tank system. Railway Storage Tank Guidance Document When the new Environment Canada Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations came into force on June 12, 2008, Stragis Environmental Services Inc., in association with Greenland Consulting Engineers, the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) Environment Committee and Environment Canada, began discussions that would lead to the development of a Guidance Document (Document) for railway tank systems. It needed to include interpretation of the regulations, and implementation strategies. Based on the discussions, a Steering Committee was struck that included the major railways across Canada, RAC, Environment Canada and Stragis. The Steering Committee guided the direction of the document and Environment Canada worked directly with the Committee to interpret the regulations. It was the Committee’s aim to assist the railways that must comply with the regulation. Through the Committee’s efforts, the costs of implementation will be reduced by the industry, as railways will work on a collective basis to imple-
ment the regulations, thus eliminating the duplication that would occur if each of the affected railways proceeded to implement the regulations individually. It was also felt that by developing the Document with Environment Canada, railways would be ahead of the game, when it came to interpreting the regulations specifically for their sector. In the rail sector, tank systems are spread out nationally and can be located in cities, or in remote locations. Tank systems owned, or operated, by other affected sectors are typically located in a limited number of locations. The final Document was completed in March 2009. It provides guidance for the railways to prepare their organizations for compliance with the new regulations. Specific documentation was prepared so the railways could complete the registration of their tank systems in the most time-efficient manner, using existing databases, as well as site inspections. Any unclear requirements for design, monitoring, and inspections were interpreted by Environment Canada and
included in the Document. Canadian railways are regulated by Transport Canada. However, some provinces regulate fuel delivery and dispensing to storage tank systems, which may be federally or provincially regulated. So, Stragis worked with the provinces to clarify storage tank system requirements for federally-regulated entities across Canada. Environmental Emergency Plan templates were developed so railways could easily add information required by Environment Canada that might not have been included in existing Emergency Plans. Essentially, the Document provides railways with the materials necessary for managing existing storage tanks, and for the design of new storage tank systems to meet the new regulations. A ‘pilot project’ was completed, as part of the Document’s development. It included site visits and examinations of tank systems in several locations around Ontario. Existing tank system information continued overleaf...
Innovative Water Storage Water is valuable. ZCL Composites Inc. can help you store it wisely while also earning LEED design points with cost-effective fiberglass underground tanks. Some of todays most innovative Green Building projects recognize that water storage is a key element in maximizing water conservation design possibilities.
Green Building applications utilizing ZCL fiberglass tanks include: • Rainwater Harvesting • Stormwater Management • Water Efficient Landscaping Irrigation • Onsite Wastewater Systems • Greywater Recycling • Chiller Unit Water Collection www.zcl.com • (780) 466-6648 phone • (780) 466-6126 fax
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C o n ta i n m e n t
Pipe systems are also covered under the regulations.
was reviewed, and the Document prepared so each of the Class 1 railways, i.e., passenger railways, as well as any federally-regulated shortlines could use it without revisions. Any concerns about implementing the regulations from the railways were addressed by Environment Canada and Stragis. The final Document clearly identifies the requirements of the regulations
for existing tank systems, as well as the design and monitoring requirements for new tank systems. Step-by-step implementation techniques and inspection sheets, decision trees, and photographic tank system information were included in the Document. Railways can use the inspection sheets for registration, as well as to ensure each of their tank systems is in compliance with the regulations.
A training program was also developed by Stragis, and presented to the railways in March 2009. It provided guidance to railway employees responsible for implementing the regulations. The training program included a storage tank training course, which provided the knowledge required to review the tank systems for registration and compliance inspections. Tank registrations and compliance inspections were also completed, using existing tank databases and site visits. Conclusion The development of the Document has proven that industry sectors working together with the regulator prior to and during the implementation of new regulations can be successful in reducing implementation costs as well as potential risks of misinterpretation. Craig Fisher is President, Stragis Environmental Services Inc. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Over 2,000 Attendees • Over 100 Exhibitors • Ten Workshops
18th Annual Canadian Environmental Conference & Tradeshow
May 3 & 4, 2010 Metro Toronto Convention Centre
For more information contact: Denise Simpson: Tradeshow Manager Tel.: 905-727-4666 ext. 21 | E-mail: email@example.com | Toll Free: 1-888-254-8769 66 | May 2009
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Secondary oil containment Albarrie, a leader in containment technology, in partnership with Kinectrics Inc., offers the SorbWeb Plus secondary oil containment system for power utilities. • No maintenance • Cost-effective • Proven system • Rain water passes through, no pumps • Can be installed around energized transformers. Tel: 705-737-0551, Fax: 705-737-4044 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.sorbwebplus.com Albarrie Environmental
Chemical feed stations
Assmann’s compact feed stations, ranging from 40 to 550 gallons, store small amounts of liquids and other chemicals. The feed stations are lightweight, strong and easy to handle. Assmann linear polyethylene tanks are certified by NSF to NSF/ANSI Standard 61. Tel: 888-357-3181, Fax: 888-826-5329 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.assmann-usa.com Assmann Corporation of America
BakerCorp maintains an extensive inventory of over 18,000 pieces of quality rental equipment including more than 17 varieties of steel tanks, roll off boxes, pumps, filtration and specialty equipment. For over 65 years, BakerCorp has provided outstanding customer service, quality equipment and application expertise. Tel: 905-545-4555, 1-800-BAKER12 Web: www.bakercorp.com BakerCorp
Water reservoir & tank mixer
Firestone Specialty Products’ geomembrane systems offer the strength and resilience to perform in many of the most demanding environments. With 100 years of tradition in polymer innovation, Firestone offers geomembranes that are the durable and dependable solution for nearly any application. Tel: 888-292-6265, Fax: 877-666-3000 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.firestonebpco.ca
The JetMix Vortex Mixing System can be used in biosolids storage where solids suspension is important. Benefits of using the JetMix system include: Intermittent operation saves 60-90% in power consumption; expensive tank cleanout and scheduled maintenance not required; easily installed in existing tanks; multiple tank mixing using a central pump house. JetMix was a recipient of a 1997 Innovative Technology Award from the Water Environment Federation. Tel: 519-469-8169, Fax: 519-469-8157 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.greatario.com
PAX Mixer is a very innovative, simple mixer designed to mix water storage reservoirs and standpipes. It offers superior mixing performance with little energy consumption, easy installation, low capital cost. It eliminates stagnation and stratification, minimizes residual loss, prevents nitrification. Tel: 905-660-9775, Fax: 905-660-9744 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.h2flow.com
Firestone Specialty Products
Greatario Engineered Storage Systems
H2Flow Tanks & Systems
Geomembrane GeoFlex Geomembrane is a unique blend of virgin polymers and additives that have been optimized to deliver flexibility, elong-ation, cold temperature resistance, long- term UV stability, and advanced chemical resistance. Layfield’s GeoFlex will consistently perform to the highest standards available in the industry.
Specialist training Practical Hands-on Progressive Formats
Tel: 800-840-2884, Fax: 780-455-5218 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.layfieldgroup.com
Tel: 905-578-9666, Fax: 905-578-6644 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.spillmanagement.ca
Underground tanks ZCL’s underground tanks are constructed of non-corrosive fibreglass composite material and premium quality grade resin. They are marketed under the trade names Prezerver® and Greentank®. Safe and durable, ZCL tanks have become the #1 choice for environmentally safe storage of petroleum products. Tel: 1-800-661-8265 Web: www.zcl.com ZCL Composites
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Package Treatment System ACG Technology’s package treatment system offers performance and durability. It provides sewage treatment within a small footprint. Aeration, mixing and settling can be accomplished in compact, easily transported ISO containers, ideal for remote locations. Provides flexibility of adding future parallel units, an economical means of meeting the needs of any growing sewage loads. Tel: 905-856-1414, Fax: 905-856-6401 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.acgtechnology.com ACG Technology
ACG Technology’s coalescing oil/ water separators are available in carbon steel, stainless steel, FRP and polypropylene construction. Standard systems include air operated diaphragm pump, air filter and floating skimmer. Adjustable weir and skimmer height provides optimal oil removal and minimal disposal volume. Standard range is 1 to 50 GPM. Tel: 905-856-1414, Fax: 905-856-6401 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.acgtechnology.com
The success of the industry's first completely nonmetallic, fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) magnet drive pump has led Fybroc to further expand its 2530 Series line beyond the recently introduced 4x6x13 size to now include a 4x6x10 pump size. This FRP continuous strand thermoset construction design features a one-piece reinforced casing with no separate liners. Tel: 877-633-0999, Fax: 514-633-9374 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.aquateck.com
Concrete arch bridges
Friendly Animal Crossing
Armtec provides BEBO concrete arch bridges in Québec, Ontario and Western Canada. Based on technology developed in Switzerland, BEBO arches are an economical alternative to cast-inplace concrete or structural steel bridges. They are available in a range of shapes with spans up to 31m. Tel: 519-822-0210, Fax: 519-822-1160 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.armtec.com Armtec
Due to the fast growth of road networks and traffic, the number of animal crossings in Canada has increased. Super•Cor is AIL’s animal friendly alternative to reduce the conflict between increased networks and animal migration routes. AIL’s Super•Cor animal crossings are available in various shapes and sizes and can be used for overpasses or underpasses. Tel: 877-245-7473 Web: www.ail.ca Atlantic Industries Limited
Phoenix Underdrain System
Phoenix Panel System
The Isco ADMF pulse-doppler velocity profiling technology measures the velocity distribution within the flow, delivering advanced flow measurement performance. It is versatile and a good choice for metering sites at large pipes and open channels, particularly those with nonuniform, rapidly changing, backwatered, near zero, zero, or reverse flow conditions. Tel: 888-965-4700 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.avensys.com Avensys
The Phoenix Underdrain System provides the following: • Optimizes all types of filters • Extremely low profile; lowest available • Manufactured from corrosion-resistant stainless steel • Variable custom orifice sizing • Custom hydraulic design • Guaranteed uniform air scour distribution • Rapid, low-cost installation Tel: 403-255-7377, Fax: 403-255-3129 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.awifilter.com AWI
The Phoenix Panel System: • Upgrades and optimizes all types of filters • Installs directly over existing underdrain system • Eliminates the need for base gravel layers • Improves backwash flow distribution • Provides longer filter runs and lower turbidity effluent Tel: 403-255-7377, Fax: 403-255-3129 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.awifilter.com AWI
P roduct & Service Showcase
Pump line expanded
Coalescing oil/water separators
Armtec provides a wide range of CONTECH stormwater quality management systems throughout Canada. Products include VORTECHS hydrodynamic separation systems and VORTFILTER filtration systems. These systems are among the best for capturing suspended solids, oils, grit and trash from stormwater runoff. Tel: 519-822-0210, Fax: 519-822-1160 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.armtec.com Armtec
68 | May 2009
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
The Polychem Weda system is a selfdriven, fully submerged system using wing-mounted shredder pumps that provide superior pumping capacity to thoroughly remove solids and sediment from the bottom of rectangular or circular clarifier basins without clogging. Tel: 705-725-9377, Fax: 705-725-8279 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.cmeti.com C&M Environmental Technologies
New stainless steel pumps Grindex’s new stainless steel pump line combines the integrity of years of tested design with the ingenuity and durability of new technology. Inox pumps can be used in applications that would destroy their aluminum predecessors. Their stainless steel construction enables them to endure pH values from 2 – 10, making them ideal for extreme environments with highly acidic or alkaline contents. Tel: 705-431-8585, Fax: 705-431-2772 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.claessenpumps.com Claessen Pumps
Dissolved air flotation
The AquaDAF® Clarifier High-Rate Dissolved Air Flotation System is a viable alternative to conventional settling and DAF clarifiers. Highly effective for treatment of a range of raw water characteristics, including troublesome waters exhibiting low turbidity, high TOC, colour and algae. Visit us at ACE09: Booth 1319 Tel: 804-756-7600 Web: www.degremont-technologies.com Degremont
Self contained breathing apparatus The new frontier industrial SCBA from ISI meets and exceeds industry standards, is NIOSH approved and is suitable for spill response, haz-mat, confined space entry, chemical plants, arenas and pools, etc. Options such as remote airline connection and buddy breather are available and the frontier comes in either low or high pressure in 30, 45 and 60 minute cylinder durations. Tel: 800-265-0182, Fax: 905-272-1866 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.cdnsafety.com Canadian Safety Equipment
Underground stormwater management
Using large diameter corrugated steel pipe under parking areas and playgrounds is a cost-effective way to meet reduced runoff and environmental restrictions while allowing revenue producing services, recreation and commercial development. Design software is available, FREE. Tel: 866-295-2416, Fax: 519-650-8081 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cspi.ca. Corrugated Steel Pipe Institute
Drinking water UV system Ozonia North America has introduced a new and efficient drinking water UV system. Designed for medium to large municipalities, the Aquaray® 36 UV system is an innovative disinfection solution. Depending on water quality, each system can disinfect flows in the 50 MGD range. To learn more about the Aquaray, see us at ACE09 at Booth 1319. Tel: 201-794 3100 Web: www.degremont-technologies.com Degremont
Interface analyzer The Aysix EchoSmart ultrasonic interface analyzer from Cancoppas generates and processes the ultrasonic signal in the Smart Sensor. Locating both of these functions away from a bulky, surface mounted analyzer provides real-time measurements and maximizes integration flexibility. The Aysix EchoSmart Controller can provide continuous, realtime level measurement data for up to 16 Smart Sensors in a network. Tel: 800-595-0514 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.aysix.com Cancoppas
Gravity pipe design Canadian Durability Guideline for Corrugated Steel Pipe Culverts. Your location in Canada may affect the long-term performance of your infrastructure. Understanding your local environment helps you to select the steel material best suited to your site, for optimum durability and value. Tel: 866-295-2416, Fax: 519-650-8081 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cspi.ca Corrugated Steel Pipe Institute
Denso Petrolatum Tapes Proven worldwide for well over 100 years, Denso Petrolatum Tapes offer the best, most economical, long-term corrosion protection for all above and below ground metal surfaces. Requiring only minimum surface preparation and environmentally responsible, Denso Petrolatum Tape is the solution to your corrosion problems in any corrosive environment. For applications in mines, mills, refineries, steel mills, pulp & paper, oil & gas, and the waterworks industry. The answer is Denso! Tel: 416-291-3435, Fax: 416-291-0898 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.densona.com Denso
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Product & Service Showcase
Remove solids and sediment
P roduct & Service Showcase
Denso Bitumen Mastic is a high build single component, cold applied liquid bituminous coating that is used to provide economical corrosion protection on buried pipes, valves, flanges and underground storage tanks. Denso Bitumen Mastic is self-priming, VOC compliant and can be applied by brush, roller or spray. Tel: 416-291-3435, Fax: 416-291-0898 E-mail: blair@densona. com Web: www.densona.com Denso
DeWind provides one-pass installation of gravel filled trenches with simultaneous installation of horizontal HDPE screens near trench bottom; also, trenches for groundwater collection, free-product recovery, or air-sparging applications. Dewatering is generally not required. Depths to 35 feet building up to 57 feet in key trenches. Tel: 616-875-7580, Fax: 616-875-7334 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: dewinddewatering.com DeWind Dewatering & Trenching
With DeWind's One-Pass trencher technology, deep environmental horizontal collection trenches, reactive barriers, and slurry walls are installed in a single pass directly into contaminated water and soil. There is no need to dewater or remediate. Tel: 616-875-7580, Fax: 616-875-7334 E-mail: email@example.com Web: dewinddewatering.com
New calibration facility
Conductivity, level & temperature meter
Endress+Hauser Flowtec AG in Switzerland, the company’s new calibration facility, sets standards worldwide. The facility produces measurements that deviate no more than ±0.015 percent from the reference value – equivalent to about the contents of one champagne glass in one thousand litres of water. Endress+Hauser operates in accordance with internationally accepted standards for the accreditation of its products. Web: www.ca.endress.com Endress + Hauser
Web-based monitoring system The HOBO U30/Wi-Fi Remote Monitoring System is a web-based monitoring system that provides real-time, remote access to energy and environmental data over any Wi-Fi network. HOBOlink™ is a new web-enabled software platform that can be used to access current and historical data, set alarm notifications and relay activations, and control the system from their computer. The HOBO U30/Wi-Fi provides around-the-clock monitoring of various types of renewable energy systems. Web: www.hoskin.ca Hoskin Scientific
70 | May 2009
The Heron Conductivity Plus Level and Temperature Meter enables accurate measurements of conductivity, water level and temperature in wells, boreholes, stand pipes and open bodies of water. The Conductivity Plus can be used to profile conductivity and temperature to depths of 1,000 ft (300m). Tel: 800-331-2032, Fax: 905-634-9657 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.heroninstruments.com Heron Instruments
DeWind Dewatering & Trenching
Groundwater data logger
The low cost Heron dipperLog groundwater data logger has a memory capacity of 32,000 readings and is available on vented and non vented cable. The narrow 5/8 inch diameter logger allows the dipperLog to be used in narrow wells where space is an issue. The portability of the dipperLog on a reel is ideal for pump tests and short term monitoring projects. Each dipperLog includes calibration certificate. Tel: 800-331-2032, Fax: 905-634-9657 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.heroninstruments.com Heron Instruments
HDPE relining pipe
Streamliner CR relining pipe from Ideal Pipe is a strong, light corrugated HDPE pipe designed to “streamline” the upgrading of old metal culverts. In-place relining with Streamliner CR eliminates the trouble and expense of road reconstruction while improving drainage through the culvert. Tel: 800-265-7098 Web: www.idealpipe.ca
The HOBO Remote Monitoring System, a state-of-the-art weather station, provides instant access to data via the internet. The new system combines researchgrade hardware with built-in GSM cellular communications and HOBOlink™, a new web-enabled software platform.
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Fusible PVC™ pipe
IPEX has introduced Bionax™ PVCO Pressure Pipe. Using a revolutionary new production process, PVC is molecularly modified to form a new material – biaxially oriented PVC or PVCO. PVC is transformed into a “super material” with almost double the tensile strength and three times the strength of the starting stock.
Fusible PVC pipe is AWWA C900/905 pipe joined in the field using a specially-designed butt-fusion process. The result is a monolithic, fully restrained PVC pipe that is perfectly suited for horizontal directional drilling and other trenchless applications. Municipalities can standardize on PVC throughout their systems.
Tel: 800-463-9572, Fax: 905-403-1124 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ipexinc.com
Tel: 800-463-9572, Fax: 905-403-1124 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.ipexinc.com
WEDECO Ozone Generators from ITT Water & Wastewater eliminate pollutants, coloured substances, odours and microorganisms without creating harmful byproducts. They are compact in design to reduce overall footprint, and provide reduced energy consumption per unit of ozone production. Tel: 514-695-0100, Fax: 514-697-0602 Web: www.ittwww.ca
ITT Water and Wastewater
Underdrain air/water backwash
Small mechanical face seals
Leopold Underdrain technology from ITT Water & Wastewater is a unique water recovery channel that allows a broader airflow range of 1 to 5 scfm/sf, improved air stability, continuously uniform air flow, and lower water maldistribution of less than 5% (total). Tel: 514-695-0100, Fax: 514-697-0602 Web: www.ittwww.ca
ITT Water & Wastewater has launched Griploc, a new generation of robust mechanical face seals. To facilitate mounting, the new Flygt seals feature one uniform mounting procedure, and each seal comes with a disposable, easyto-use mounting tool. Fewer versions can also reduce spare part inventory. Tel: 514-695-0100, Fax: 514-697-0602 Web: www.ittwww.ca
ITT Water and Wastewater
ITT Water and Wastewater
Pumps for discharge columns KSB’s Amacan P series submersible pumps are designed for discharge column applications. These axial-flow propellertype pumps are optimized to lift large volumes of water (up to 7,000 l/s) at relatively small heads (up to 12 m). This makes them an ideal solution for stormwater pumping stations, water or wastewater treatment plants or irrigation and drainage systems. Tel: 905-568-9200 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ksb.ca
Stainless steel, carbon steel, NSF coating, Hastelloy, titanium – whatever materials are required, ORIVAL will meet all customer specifications when manufacturing fully automatic self-cleaning filtration systems, in sizes ranging from ¾” to 24”. Tel: 1-800-567-9767 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.orival.com
Chemical-free water treatment
Portable level measurement The new TSS Portable Handheld Turbidity, Suspended Solids, and Sludge Level System from Hach offers three parameters in one instrument, has multiple calibration curves and easy sludge blanket levels. It is also a very high accuracy and durable instrument. Tel: 905-286-4846, Fax: 905-286-5805 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.johnmeunier.com John Meunier
Metering pumps Feature-rich and dependable Sigma series metering pumps from ProMinent help keep your chemical feed under control. Sigma pumps operate in capacities of up to 1000 LPH and pressures up to 174 psi. Microprocessor controls are easy to use, with backlit LCD for rapid and reliable adjustment. Tel: 888-709-9933, Fax: 519-836-5226 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.prominent.ca ProMinent Fluid Controls
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Product & Service Showcase
New pressure pipe
P roduct & Service Showcase
Chemical injection equipment
The awardwinning delta® with optoDrive® provides diverse control and operating capabilities in a capacity range of 7.5 - 75 l/h, 362 psi - 29 psi. The delta from ProMinent has many advanced features: pulsed or continuous dosing; automatic detection of airlock, low pressure and high pressure; and an automatic degassing option. Tel: 888-709-9933, Fax: 519-836-5226 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.prominent.ca/delta
SAF-T-FLO Chemical Injection manufactures a complete line of chemical injection equipment for all types of chemical feed systems. A large inventory of retractable and non-retractable injection quills and sampling probes are available to meet your needs. In addition, experienced technical sales staff can answer your questions or help solve your problems. Tel: 800-957-2383, Fax: 714-632-3350 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.saftflo.com
ProMinent Fluid Controls
SAF-T-FLO Chemical Injection
Sapphire is the exclusive representative for the Resetilov Biological Treatment Process wastewater package plants in Canada. These BTP plants are extremely popular in Europe and can handle high flow volumes within a very small footprint. These plants produce exceptional effluent quality, are inexpensive and easy to operate. Tel: 403-537-8470, Fax: 403-537-8479 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.sapphire-group.ca Sapphire Group
The Smith & Loveless PISTA® Grit Chamber maintains the highest proven grit removal efficiencies over a wide range of daily flows because of its exclusive forced vortex design. It removes grit and other discrete particles, separates organics and inorganics, and reduces grit accumulation in downstream basins, channels, weirs and piping. This results in reduced wear on mechanical equipment. Complete grit pumping, dewatering and washing components are available. Tel: 913-888-5201, Fax: 913-888-2173 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.smithandloveless.com Smith & Loveless
Testmark Laboratories Ltd. provides quality organic, inorganic, forensic, industrial and biological analytical testing services to the industrial, municipal and private sectors. Testmark is ISO/IEC 17025 certified, accredited by CALA, and licensed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Tel: 888-282-0422, Fax: 705-693-1124 Web: www.testmark.ca Testmark Laboratories
72 | May 2009
Hatch safety net The lightweight Hatch Safety Net is designed to be permanently installed and easily retractable in floor and roof openings where the risk of fall through is present. When closed, the net system allows people to move freely around confined space openings without fear of falling into the opening. It also allows visibility of inspections and accessibility for limited maintenance and float adjustments. When entry/exit is required, the net can be easily unhooked on all but one side of the opening. Tel: 604-552-7900, Fax: 604-552-7901 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org USF Fabrication
Membrane bioreactor Sanitherm, a division of Peak Energy Services, has perfected containerizing their SaniBrane® MBR. The containerized SaniBrane is portable, provides excellent effluent on start-up, is operator friendly and comes pre-wired, preplumbed and tested. The system for anywhere needing reliable waste treatment with a small footprint! Tel: 604-986-9168, Fax: 604-986-5377 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.sanibrane.com Sanitherm, a division of Peak Energy Services
New laser marked water level meter
Solinst Model 102 Coaxial Cable Water Level Meters now have accurate laser cable markings every 1/100 ft or millimetre. Providing Solinst quality at a low price, they have narrow probes and a durable, flexible cable mounted on a sturdy reel. Tel: 905-873-2255, Fax: 905-873-1992 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.solinst.com Solinst Canada
Advanced pump design Waterra's WSPSS-200 (MegaMonsoon®) Stainless Steel Submersible 12 Volt Pump from Proactive™ is capable of pumping up to 200 feet from ground level by simply connecting it to the PA-10680 Controller. Its reliable design is suitable for continuous purging, sampling and even low flow sampling of groundwater monitoring wells. Tel: 905-238-5242, Fax: 905-238-5704 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.waterra.com Waterra Pumps
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
NEWS Fredericton to get new wastewater pumping station
NF and Labrador releases Drinking Water Safety Report
Fredericton’s northside residents will benefit from improved wastewater treatment as a result of joint federal and provincial funding to replace the main pumping station on Main Street. The federal and provincial governments will each invest up to $458,546, with the City of Fredericton covering the remaining $458,547. The pumping station was originally built in 1968, and it currently serves about 12,000 people in a high-growth area of Fredericton. The new facility will provide extra capacity for 25 years of anticipated development, significantly reduce the incidents of discharge of untreated wastewater, and improve the reliability of the wastewater collection and treatment system. Funding for this project is contingent on completion of all contractual agreements, including pending environmental impact assessment with the municipality.
The annual Drinking Water Safety in Newfoundland and Labrador Report outlines accomplishments and activities for 2007-08 and highlights the province’s 319 designated protected water supply areas, 146 on-site training sessions provided by the department’s mobile training units, and the approximately 19,000 bacteriological samples that were collected and analyzed. During 2007-08, more than 2,400 drinking water samples (chemical) were collected in the province, and an additional three water supplies were designated as Protected Public Water Supply Areas. This designation ensures all activities within the protected areas are controlled using a permitting process, and high-risk activities that could impair water quality are restricted. Furthermore, as of April 2008, 91 per cent of the people in Newfoundland and Labrador who use public water receive it from a protected source. The report is available at www.gov.nl.ca/Env/env/waterres/Reports/Reports.asp
Infrastructure stimulus package Continued from page 30 factors required to be considered under section 16 of CEAA; (ii) the public is given an opportunity to participate and have access to the EA documents; and (iii) an EA report is submitted to the responsible federal authority and made available to the public. Court Challenge Environmental groups have expressed significant concerns regarding these new regulations and view the regulatory changes as a serious attack on CEAA. Sierra Club Canada commenced proceedings in Federal Court in April, 2009, alleging that the federal government acted unlawfully in issuing the federal regulations. The case is expected to be heard later this year. Alexandria Pike and Sarah Powell are partners at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. Eve Carr-Harris is an articling student at Davies. For more information, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kitimat pulp mill convicted for effluent discharge West Fraser Mills Ltd. was recently fined $130,000 after pleading guilty to charges laid under the federal Fisheries Act. Environment Canada's enforcement officers conducted an investigation with the assistance of members from the British Columbia Ministry of Environment Conservation Officer Service of a spill at the Eurocan mill on June 21, 2007. West Fraser owns and operates the Eurocan pulp mill located at Kitimat, British Columbia. The investigation revealed that West Fraser had not been duly diligent in the maintenance of the effluent treatment systems, specifically the main effluent line, at the Eurocan mill. This resulted in a spill of untreated pulp mill effluent into an oxbow (a U-shaped bend in a river) connected to the Kitimat River, waters frequented by fish. Untreated pulp mill effluent has a number of characteristics such as high pH and resin acids that are lethal to fish and other aquatic life.
Correction Notice The article entitled “Bioremediation of soils and groundwater contaminated with fuel oil” appeared on page 30 of ES&E Magazine’s March 2009 issue. The correct email contact for this article is email@example.com.
Chemical levels in wildlife are lessening Regulations on flame-retardant compounds and elimination of their use may be reducing the levels of these chemicals in fish eggs and seabird eggs in northern areas of the Earth, according to results from two studies published in the April 2009 issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. The studies examined tissue levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) during at least 20-year periods in Canada and Norway. The issue of global distillation — the transport of certain chemicals from warmer to colder areas of the Earth — is a concern in these areas, where the chemicals have not been used in large amounts but have been found in the environment and bodies of people and animals who live there. PBDEs are flame-retardant chemicals used to make electrical equipment, textiles, and other fireproof products. These chemicals leak from products and have been found in animal cells. Research and health concerns have led to the banning of two types of PBDEs, penta- and octamixtures, by the European Union and reductions in their use in the United States and Canada since 2004. More recently, use of deca-PBDE has also been banned in parts of the US as well as the EU. The first study examined trout in Lake Ontario, from 1979 to 2004, and how flame-retardant levels might affect the food web in that area. Researchers found that PBDE concentrations increased from 1979 to the mid-1990s but then leveled off or decreased through 2004, and that HBCD levels also decreased through that period, although at a slower rate. “Our observations are consistent with the trend patterns previously observed in continued overleaf... May 2009 | 73
NEWS both Lake Ontario lake trout and herring gull eggs, and these findings have been attributed to the phasing out of the pentaand octa-BDE mixtures,” the researchers write. They also examined the Lake Ontario food web and its influence on chemical levels, and found that “food-web changes may be at least partially responsible for the observed decrease in PDBE concentrations between 1998 and 2004,” although they say more research on this factor is needed.
UNB receives environmental project funding
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New Brunswick’s government is investing almost $296,000 through the Environmental Trust Fund (ETF) to support a series of ten environment-related projects at the University of New Brunswick. These include: • Climate change adaptation, mitigation and preparation in New Brunswick • Trends in climatic data under changing climatic conditions • Assessment of Canadian regional climate model scenarios for New Brunswick • Migration of environmental data into a spatially referenced database • Aboriginal environmental monitor training program • State of the environment report for the St. John River • Assessment of mercury in brook trout from lakes in New Brunswick • Tools for land use planning and management in a changing climate: modeling temperatures in New Brunswick rivers • Measuring ecological processes and biodiversity in New Brunswick head water lakes • Geophysical methods for assessing groundwater flow paths and vulnerability in agricultural areas of New Brunswick. Each year, the ETF provides significant support to community-based initiatives to restore, improve, preserve and protect air, land and water resources. Almost $4 million from the ETF will be invested in 167 environmental projects throughout New Brunswick in 2009-2010.
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
NEWS New initiatives to reduce phosphorus levels New measures were announced recently by Manitoba Conservation Minister Stan Struthers as part of an aggressive plan to reduce phosphorus levels in Lake Winnipeg. Phosphorus contributions from households, cottages, the City of Winnipeg and from farms are being targeted. Proposed regulations would toughen up rules governing the use of septic systems by homeowners and cottagers. The proposals include a ban on septic fields in sensitive areas, a ban on new sewage ejectors and a phase-out of existing ejectors. Rules restricting the use of synthetic fertilizers containing phosphorus are now in effect. These restrictions apply to homeowners who apply fertilizers on their lawns, golf course owners and farmers. Brochures and posters informing Manitobans of these new requirements are now available and have also been sent to 180 retailers and golf courses. A proposed regulation to ban winter spreading of manure on Manitoba farms by 2013 has been posted for consultation. In addition, all new pig producers will be required to register manure management plans with the province. Also, the province is acting on a 2007 recommendation of the auditor general to enforce a minimum storage capacity for manure storage of 250 days for concrete and steel storage facilities and 400 days for earthen facilities, and a maximum storage capacity of 500 days to prevent the unauthorized expansion of hog operations. The City of Winnipeg will be required to meet its licensing requirements for nutrient removal at its wastewater treatment facilities as recommended by the Clean Environment Commission. Manitoba is committed to provide a onethird investment to ensure these requirements are met.
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Parkson opens its own water research facility Parkson’s new water research facility in Pompano Beach, Florida, provides for the piloting of water and wastewater technologies and includes an on-site laboratory, which is designed to speed the continued overleaf... www.esemag.com
May 2009 | 75
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evaluation of process-effectiveness testing. The on-site laboratory also supports product design and development activities, as well as management of necessary maintenance for installed pilot units. According to Parkson, its primary objective is to facilitate water-related research and to accelerate the development of new water and wastewater technologies. In addition, the facility will investigate and enhance value-engineering improvements to existing Parkson products on an ongoing basis.
2009 Stockholm Water Prize winner announced Experts in Water, Wastewater, Environmental Planning, and Simulation Software
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The winner of this year’s Stockholm Water Prize is Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement in India. Dr. Pathak is known around the world for his wide-ranging work in sanitation, where he sets out to improve public health, advance social progress, and improve human rights in India. Dr. Pathak has, for instance, led the development of cost-effective and culturally acceptable public toilets and wastewater treatment systems which are now used daily by 10 million poor people in India. He is also spearheading hygiene and health education models for urban slums and poor communities aimed at improving the lives of millions of people, creating economic opportunities, decent standards of living, and social dignity. The Stockholm Water Prize annual laureate is announced each March in connection with the UN World Water Day and honoured at a Royal Prize Ceremony under the patronage of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden during the World Water Week in Stockholm each August. The prize, administered by the Stockholm International Water Institute and founded by international companies in cooperation with the City of Stockholm, includes a US $150,000 award.
Endress+Hauser honours its inventors
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Recently, over 200 inventors from the Endress+Hauser Group met at the University of Basel, Switzerland, to celebrate invenEnvironmental Science & Engineering Magazine
NEWS tions which new patents were applied for last year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Innovatorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Meetingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is designed to show our appreciation of our inventors,â&#x20AC;? stressed Klaus Endress, CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group. E+H holds over 4,000 â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;liveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;patents and patent applications. Most applications were filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office, followed by the European Patent Office and the United States Patent and Trademarks Office.
AWWA publishes water audit and loss control manual A properly-executed water audit and a loss control program are the most effective ways for a utility to conserve water, save operating expenses, and increase revenues. Water Audits and Loss Control Programs (M36) provides step-by-step guidance and tools for performing a standardized water audit and implementing a water loss control program for all water utilities. The new third edition provides an improved auditing method, the IWA/AWWA Water Audit, developed by the International Water Association Water Loss Task Force. This method, recommended by AWWA as current best management practice, tells utilities what information they need, how to get that information, and how to enter it on water audit worksheets. The new method also redefines and standardizes water audit and water-loss control language and approach, making it useful to utilities worldwide. Highlights in Water Audits and Loss Control Programs include sample forms that allow utilities to plan and control water audit and leak detection work, and keep track of leak repairs. The manual also provides actual case studies of water audit and loss control programs developed and implemented by small, medium, and large North American utilities. And, while the methods and tools offered in this manual are designed to work for water utilities of all sizes, they have been carefully structured with small water systems in mind. Additionally, AWWAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Water Loss Control Committee provided a free, downloadable, water audit software program. The software allows utilities to conduct a basic water audit quickly and
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NEWS inexpensively (ideal for small systems). When used in conjunction with manual M36, the software is an excellent supplement to the benefits of a water audit and loss control program. Audit software is available on the WaterWiser web site at www.waterwiser.org. The manual is available in AWWA’s online bookstore at http://www.awwa.org/bookstore.
Earth Rangers to get new wastewater treatment plant
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H2Flow Equipment and Eimco Water Technologies will provide Earth Rangers with a new wastewater treatment plant at its centre in Woodbridge, Ontario. Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that empowers youth to improve the planet’s health. Its headquarters, the Earth Rangers Centre, is certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold for new construction. Earth Rangers is pursuing LEED Platinum for existing buildings as it embarks on a project to achieve net zero energy at the centre. According to Michael Albanese, president of H2Flow Equipment Inc., the new treatment plant will provide better efficiency plus lower power requirements and will replace an older generation membrane bioreactor (MBR). The treatment plant will feature flat plate Kubota MBR panels. This technology works with nature instead of against it by taking advantage of the naturally-occurring biofilm, which forms almost instantaneously on submerged membranes. Treated wastewater will continue to be stored in Earth Rangers’ 310,000L underground cistern where it joins harvested rain water to supply non-potable water to its cooling tower, and for flushing toilets, cleaning floors and irrigating the grounds.
Catherine Karakatsanis becomes PEO president At its recent AGM, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), the licensing body for pro78 | May 2009
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
NEWS fessional engineers in the province, installed Catherine Karakatsanis, P.Eng., as its 90th President. Ms Karakatsanis will lead PEO’s 71,500 members and 4,900 interns, and chair its Council in 2009-2010. She is the fourth woman to be elected president of the association and is a senior vice president and board member at Morrison Hershfield, a consulting engineering and management firm.
ITT Water & Wastewater has a new president ITT Corporation recently announced that John P. Williamson has been named president of its Water & Wastewater business, headquartered in Stockholm. A provider of pumps and systems to move and treat water and wastewater, the company employs 5,600 in more than 130 countries with brands such as Flygt, Sanitaire, Leopold and WEDECO. Mr. Williamson replaces Per-Inge Birgersson, who is retiring.
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Effective utility management practices Six associations representing the water and wastewater sector, in collaboration with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have released Effective Water and Wastewater Utility Management Case Studies, a companion document to last year’s Effective Utility Management: A Primer for Water and Wastewater Utilities. This companion piece provides concrete examples and “how to” assistance for utility managers through profiles of four utilities that successfully applied the Primer concepts and tools to advance effective management practices and achieve long-term sustainability. The new case study document illustrates how four utilities used the Attributes and Keys, along with example measures and a self-assessment tool found in the Primer, to improve management operations, bring a cost-effective focus to their initiatives, and supplement both their internal and external communications.These resources can be downloaded from www.watereum.org. www.esemag.com
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May 2009 | 79
Understanding complex water flow patterns through atoll lagoons By Dr. John Collen and Dr. Jonathan Gardner he Palmyra Atoll, located due south of the Hawaiian Islands, is protected by The Nature Conservancy and managed as a nature reserve by the United States Department of the Interior. Covering just 4.6 square miles, the atoll is an island of coral that encircles a series of three interconnected lagoons; it is also home to an extensive coral reef and several dozen vegetation-covered sand and reef-rock islets and bars that, along with the lagoons, all form an intricate circuit of complex and poorly-understood water flow patterns. Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), New Zealand, a member of an international consortium of scientific institutions, recently embarked on a research project studying patterns of water flow at the Palmyra Atoll. Although there is no indigenous population on the atoll, five runways and several roads and causeways were built on the islands during World War II for a naval air base. At the time, the construction involved the dredging of a canal through the reef and widespread dredging of lagoons that, together with the causeways, not only lowered the lagoon water levels but also restricted water flow. More than half a century later, the constructed islands, which are no longer
Reef channel typical of sites where water levels are being monitored; dry at some low tides and about 1.5 m deep at high tide.
maintained, are breaking down and researchers around the globe are asking: • If the erosion can be understood, can the findings discovered on Palmyra Atoll be applied to shoreline changes and mitigation of coastal erosion in densely populated islands elsewhere around the world? • Can an attempt be made to model water flow through a complex lagoon system? • As the atoll reverts to some more natural state, what does the situation at Palmyra tell us about how atolls elsewhere respond to human modification and what must we do to protect them? Modeling the water flow Researchers from the Centre for Ma-
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rine Environmental and Economic Research at VUW devised a plan to gain the answers that many were searching for. Research facilities at Palmyra were considered much better than usual and it was of particular interest because it was a chance to study all the processes operating at an atoll, as part of a multi-disciplinary program. The team’s goal was to model water flow before, during and after construction took place at the atoll and to predict what would happen in the future if the causeways were removed. The intention was to use some sort of level indication to ascertain what was transpiring at the reef and in the lagoons. The researchers were looking for evidence in favour of, or against the theory that only a limited area of islands can exist on an atoll platform. It was their hope that, if they could understand the magnitude of the forces involved, they could apply that knowledge to other atolls around the world where the coastline must be protected because of dense populations and their infrastructure. Global warming and other threats to reefs, such as disease and ocean acidification, were to be considered during the study. Obtaining reliable data Modeling the flow of water through the complex lagoon system, to survey the water levels and accurately reconstruct the shape of the water surface across the lagoons through the tidal cycontinued overleaf...
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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May 2009 | 81
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Pressure sensor installed in tidal channel with surrounding rocks to prevent shark attacks.
cles, was to be accomplished by simultaneously measuring the water depths at a variety of sites on the reef flats and channels, and in the lagoons. Trying to find a way to place level indicators in channels and lagoons, to obtain time-series data on the flow and build-up of water masses, was going to be difficult. The study was taking place in an extremely remote location â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the atoll is located 1,000 miles south of Hawaii, with access by charter flight only. Baggage allowances of approximately 22 lbs per person for personal effects, as well as scientific equipment, made the size and weight of the research components critical. The level measurement device would need to perform reliably, independently, and for extended periods of time, as the researchers anticipated only one or two trips per year back to the site to collect data. And each trip would most likely last less than two weeks, in which time the research team also needed to gather data for a range of other projects, check on other equipment and perform any maintenance functions needed. Because of the extreme conditions, including high levels of humidity, extended submersion in salt water with moving coral sand and even potential attacks from sharks and large sea turtles, the construction had to hold up under a number of harsh conditions. Using reliable equipment After doing extensive research it was decided that Pressure Systemsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Model 551 waterMONITOR submersible datalogging transducers, which can hold up to 400,000 scans, were the best fit for the application. 82 | May 2009
These submersible datalogging level transducers incorporate rugged, titanium construction, coupled with an embedded, power-saving, datalogging circuit to deliver precise lagoon level measurements under the most extreme circumstances over extended intervals. An internal battery configuration, which provides years of life and is fieldreplaceable through an innovative submersible, threaded, quick disconnect cable assembly, proved to be beneficial for this study since the transducer was to be left unsupervised at the lagoon for an extended period of time. The waterMONITOR features a total error band better than + 0.05% full scale which includes a temperature accuracy of up to + 0.2Â°C. Preliminary research has been completed at Palmyra Atoll and showed that the instruments could be installed easily and give detailed results over the low tidal range (up to about four feet) experienced at the atoll. However, additional data will need to be collected over time to see how the models and future research plans are impacted. Since the last visit to Palmyra Atoll, the research team has experimented with different ways of installing transducers in variable locations. In the future, the group will survey the positions of the transducers accurately to try to reconstruct the shape of the water surface across the three lagoons and through tidal cycles in the atoll. The team plans to return to Palmyra Atoll in June 2009 to install 10 more datalogging transducers and leave them there for an additional 12 months to gain more information for their research.
Conclusions Research at Palmyra Atoll has involved collecting data that will help researchers understand the past and present lagoon environments. The atoll is unique in that its lack of human population and protection as a wildlife reserve allows scientists to study the natural processes that act to form and erode atoll islands and to modify their lagoons. Reconstruction of the pre-World War II situation and comparison with that of the present day will show the extent to which the ecosystems are being restored naturally, and aid management decisions for the islands in the future. An integral part of the study is understanding the hydrodynamics of the ocean, reef flat and lagoon water masses, as tidal and wind-driven water flow through the lagoons, moving sediment and affecting the water chemistry. Although these studies are in their infancy, it is hoped that deployment of the
Co-author John Collen collecting data on a recent visit back to the atoll.
pressure sensors at all passages where water enters and leaves the lagoons during tidal cycles will contribute to understanding the patterns of water flow under varying conditions. Dr. John Collen and Dr. Jonathan Gardner are with the Centre for Marine Environmental & Economic Research, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. E-mail: email@example.com
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine