Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine November-December 2010

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Polymerr and Drry y-Feed Prepara ation — with ProMinent Experts E x pe r t s in i n Chemical C he m i c a l Feed Fee d and a nd Water Wa t e r T Treatment reat ment


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With Ultromat continuous preparation, the reservoir is separated into multiple chambers. Thus, it is extremely unlikely that recently mixed polymer gets into the suction area of the metering pump (product entrainment). An economical means of polymer preparation with a much smaller footprint than a batch based system thus being a suitable retrofit for existing polymer equipment.

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Contents ISSN-0835-605X November/December 2010 Vol. 23 No. 6 Issued: November 2010 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 steve@esemag.com. Please note that Environmental Science & Engineering Publications Inc. reserves the right to edit all text and graphic submissions without notice.


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7 Is engineering still the invisible profession?– Editorial comment by Tom Davey 10 New biosolids land application technology receives Canadian and US patents 14 Town of Vulcan Alberta undergoes water meter replacement program 18 Developing a low maintenance turbidimeter 20 Making EH&S compliance a priority throughout the chemical lifecycle 24 More remediation needed for removal of toxic heavy metals from soils 28 Designing surface water treatment plants for remote extreme cold locations 32 Water risks in the mining industry are difficult to track

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34 Environmental management of demolition site waste and hazardous materials 37 Using scientifically engineered wetlands to clean wastewater 38 Replacing water and wastewater pipe in urban areas 40 New health protection air quality by-law introduced in Ontario 42 Understanding GHG reporting legislation 80 Is soil sampling the weak link in environmental site assessment? Cover story

DEPARTMENTS Product Showcase . . . . . 68-72 Environmental News . . . 73-79 Professional Cards . . . . . 73-78 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

What would Rick Mercer do to improve client relations? Environmental consulting in the post-infrastructure stimulus fund era. What now? Canada’s consultants able to compete well globally How consultants can improve client satisfaction

Designing storage containers to prevent catastrophic losses Spill containment for tanker truck unloading World Trade Center site contractors switch tanks to avoid fuel spills New method developed to contain spills through door openings Choosing the right storage tank for your needs and budget Non-invasive system developed for securing antennas to water towers

PAGES 54-66 PAGES 46-53

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Comment by Tom Davey

Is engineering still the invisible profession?


he end results of engineering are the most visible of all of the learned professions. Elegant bridges span wide rivers, while office buildings reach toward the heavens. Freeway systems direct huge volumes of traffic into sprawling cities, slashing both travelling times and accident rates compared to the older road systems. Beneath our complex urban centres, tens of thousands of commuters arrive at their destinations swiftly and safely, thanks to subway systems carved out of the earth. Their comfort and safety are further enhanced by complex electrical, electronic and mechanical equipment, and reliable rolling stock. Canadians are also protected by drinking water plants, pollution control facilities, and sophisticated flood control schemes, which are always in a constant state of evolution and refinement, a fact few critics appreciate. Not one of these vital modern services would be possible without the design skills and innovative technology of the engineering profession. None of the learned professions, including architecture, comes even close to providing such tangible evidence of its contribution to society. The general public, so very much captivated by the actions of highprofile actors, athletes (like Tiger Woods), musicians and politicians, is almost totally unaware of the engineering professionals who provide society with such a vital array of services. But, as Thomas Sowell wrote: “It was not our enlightened crusaders who brought light to the masses. It was Thomas Edison. It was not our intellectuals who ended the insularity of isolated communities, it was Henry Ford and the Wright brothers. For the man in the street, Kodak did more to make him aware of picwww.esemag.com

tures than Rembrandt and all the museums put together…..!” Such observations are regrettably rare in a society which is increasingly unappreciative of the benefits of technology. For myself, I fervently believe that water engineers have saved more lives through chlorination, ozonation and other water treatment techniques, than all the miracle drugs put together. In the Ontario of the 1880s, many suffered from typhoid or similar diseases, with mortality rates higher than those of many European cities. Even within living memory, deadly water-borne diseases, now thankfully rare, regularly ravaged the population. Thanks to great Canadian engineering pioneers such as Thomas and Samuel Keefer, Willis Chipman and Dr. Albert Edward Berry, great strides were made in environmental engineering technology at the turn of the century, dramatically reducing the terrible death rates. Although many of Thomas Keefer’s water pumping stations were built before the turn of the century, at least one is still in mint working condition. Dr. Berry, who died in 1984, shortly after turning 90, was probably the most honoured environmental engineer of all time, his national and international distinctions and awards being too numerous to list here. As both engineer and public health professional, he waged a protracted struggle to promote the use of chlorine in Ontario, as well as the compulsory pasteurization of milk. The world knows that Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, yet Dr. Berry, whose work saved countless lives, remains unknown outside a distinguished group of engineering and health professionals. Even when he died, the media largely ignored the passing of this environmental legend, while giving generous coverage to

parades and demonstrations, which could be seen virtually every week. It is encouraging to see that, in recent years, many engineering accomplishments are now being profiled on programs like Daily Planet, Megaworld, Mighty Ships, How It's Made, and Ancient Megastructures. However, engineers must continue their efforts to increase public knowledge about the largely invisible, yet vital work done to build and maintain our water and wastewater systems. While engineering might no longer be the invisible profession, it is regrettably in my mind, still an under-appreciated one by the public it has served so well.

Tom Davey is Founding Editor of ES&E Magazine. E-mail comments to tom@esemag.com

Letter to the Editor Dear Steve I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your comment on the importance of voting, that appeared in the September/October issue. It’s been said that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. Sadly, when it comes to voting, indifference continues to lead the way. From a positive perspective, I would say that I definitely sense a shifting of the tide to more engaged and impassioned voters. I’m one of them. Great piece. Chris MacEachern, TetraTech November 2010 | 7

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Environmental Health

Editor and Publisher STEVE DAVEY E-mail: steve@esemag.com Consulting Editor


Sales Director PENNY DAVEY E-mail: penny@esemag.com Sales Representative DENISE SIMPSON E-mail: denise@esemag.com Accounting SANDRA DAVEY E-mail: sandra@esemag.com Circulation Manager DARLANN PASSFIELD E-mail: darlann@esemag.com Production Manager CHRIS MAC DONALD E-mail: chris@esemag.com

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 steve@esemag.com. Canadian Publications Mail Sales Second Class Mail Product Agreement No. 40065446 Registration No. 7750 Undeliverable copies, advertising space orders, copy, artwork, proofs, etc., should be sent to: Environmental Science & Engineering, 220 Industrial Pkwy. S., Unit 30, Aurora, Ontario, 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 rate: Canada $75.00 (plus HST).

8 | November 2010

Low levels of dioxin emitted during Deepwater Horizon spill


he US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released two peer reviewed reports concerning dioxins emitted during the controlled burns of oil during the Deepwater Horizon BP spill. The reports found that, while small amounts of dioxins were created by the burns, the levels that workers and residents would have been exposed to were below EPA’s levels of concern. Controlled burning of oil on the surface of the ocean (also called in situ burning) was one method used by the Unified Command during the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, to reduce the spread of oil and environmental impacts at the shoreline. A total of 411 controlled burn events occurred, of which 410 could be quantified, resulting in the combustion of an estimated 222,000 to 313,000 barrels of oil. With support from the US Coast Guard, EPA conducted sampling of emissions at the source of the controlled burns in the Gulf of Mexico to determine if dioxins were present. Sampling was conducted to identify potential dioxin exposures and determine the potential risks from inhalation to workers in the vicinity of the fires, risks from inhalation to the general population, and risks to the general population from consuming fish caught in the area. The first report summarizing EPA’s sampling effort indicates that, while dioxins were created from the burning of oil on ocean water, they were created at low levels – levels similar to the emissions from residential woodstoves and forest fires. A second report, co-authored with scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), presents the results of a screening risk assessment for the dioxins emitted from the

controlled oil burns. Results indicate that increased cancer risk due to exposure to the dioxins released from the controlled burning of oil was small - less than a 1 in 1,000,000 increased cancer risk. Additional cancer risks for inhalation by workers and onshore residents and fish consumption by residents were lower than risk levels that typically are of concern to the agency, i.e., greater than 1 in 1,000,000. Had the spill of oil continued, the results of these measurements would have been used by the Unified Command to determine if burning should continue. However, the well was capped on July 15, 2010 and the last in situ burn occurred on July 19, 2010. Consequently, these results are most useful to inform and improve the agency’s ability to respond to future oil spills.

Footnote EPA and other federal agencies have developed a broad set of questions and answers to provide the public with general information on dioxins, including what they are, where they can be found, and major sources of dioxins. The questions and answers explain the review process for the dioxin reassessment and discuss possible effects of dioxin exposure in humans, including advice about consumption of food that might contain dioxins. For more information, visit www.epa.gov. Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Biosolids Management

Canadian biosolids application technology approved by US and Canadian patent offices By Phil Sidhwa

Figure 2. Rear view of the dewatered biosolids direct injection system.


urface application of dewatered municipal sewage biosolids, industrial sludges, and semi-solid animal manures may result in off-site odour complaints, even when these materials are incorporated into the soil on the day of application. To avoid off-site odours and enhance acceptability of these materials as fertilizers/soil conditioners, Terratec has developed specialized equipment (recently patented) to inject them directly into soil. The dewatered biosolids direct injection system (DBDIS) effectively reduces offsite odours. Municipal sewage biosolids Like animal manures, biosolids are largely organic, contain significant amounts of plant nutrients (principally nitrogen and phosphorus) and are valuable fertilizer and soil conditioning materials. Annual biosolids production in Ontario exceeds 400,000 tonnes of dry solids (ds), approximately half of which is used 10 | November 2010

as fertilizer/soil conditioner on agricultural land. Conservative estimates of the fertilizer value to Ontario farmers of landapplied biosolids are $250 per hectare and more than $5 million per year. Traditionally, biosolids have been applied to agricultural land as either a liquid, or dewatered, material. Generally, odours associated with land application of dewatered biosolids are more intense than with liquid biosolids. This is a function of how the dewatered material is processed at the wastewater treatment plant, as well as the manner in which it is handled and land-applied. Liquid biosolids generally contain 2 5% total solids and are pumped and landapplied using a variety of technologies. Contractors employ a tractor and drag hose system or a tanker or truck with high flotation tires, with all systems involving direct injection into the soil. Dewatered biosolids generally contain 23 - 30% total solids and are transported

and land applied as semi-solid materials. They are typically surface-applied to agricultural land with equipment that spreads them evenly at controlled rates and then incorporated into the soil with a tillage implement on the day of spreading. (Figure 1) While the time between surface application and incorporation is generally only a few hours, off-site odours result in complaints from nearby neighbours. Despite timely incorporation, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) increased the separation distances from off-site residences and residential areas for surface application of dewatered biosolids (Table 1). This increased constraint reduced the size and availability of land application sites. Many farmers became frustrated that large parts of their fields could not receive dewatered biosolids and opted out of the land application program. This resulted in large volumes of dewatered

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Biosolids Management

Figure 3. Enclosed loading system used to convey biosolids from road transport trucks to the DBDIS.


to move dewatered biosolids to a positive displacement pump, capable of handling viscous materials with up to 30% total solids. Biosolids move to a distribution box and are evenly distributed through 3” diameter high-pressure rubber hoses to injection knives. A rear-mounted camera enables monitoring of the injection system, to ensure adequate biosolids coverage. The DBDIS is rated to accommodate the increased pressures required for semisolid materials. There are nine injectors offset on 16” centres and each injector has a 14” sweep which opens up the soil, creating a void for the biosolids. A fluted coulter is positioned in front of each in-

jector to cut through crop residue, and the injection depth is adjustable. Injection is usually 3”- 5” below the soil surface, producing a ribbon of biosolids approximately 2” deep x 4” wide in the plant root zone. An enclosed loading system conveys biosolids from trucks on public roads, into the DBDIS at the edge of adjacent application sites (Figure 3). This system eliminates odours, soil compaction caused by road transport trucks entering the site, the potential for runoff in the event of rainfall, unsightliness of conventional biosolids discharge on the continued overleaf...


Notes: 1. Sites selected based on availability of comparison data 2. Dection at <60 is presented as a value of 10 3. Non-Detection is presented as a value of 1 4. Values are averages of samples taken at each Site



Nasal Ranger Vaule

biosolids being redirected to landfill at considerable economic and environmental cost. Landfilling all Ontario biosolids would cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each year and result in the loss of valuable nutrients to agriculture. The global population is projected to increase to 9 billion people by 2050, resulting in increased demand for commercial phosphate and nitrogen fertilizers to meet world food demand. Furthermore, fertilizers will become more expensive as naturally occurring phosphate reserves are depleted and the cost of natural gas, used in nitrogen fertilizer production, increases. Greenhouse gas emissions will also increase due to increased commercial fertilizer production. Thus, biosolids reuse will continue to present a suitable alternative to commercial fertilizers. Dewatered biosolids direct injection system Staff at Terratec postulated that, if dewatered biosolids were injected directly into the soil, odour issues would be greatly reduced, MOE’s increased separation distances could be removed, and farmer acceptance of and land availability for dewatered biosolids would increase. A search for injection equipment was conducted across Canada, the US and Europe. None was identified, so Terratec undertook to develop its own system. The dewatered biosolids direct injection system (DBDIS), designed and manufactured by Terratec (Figure 2), consists of a box with a hydraulic ram push blade





0 7039










Site Number

At Injection

At Surface Application

48 hrs After Incorporation


Figure 4. Odour comparison at sample locations - Toronto biosolids land application program. November 2010 | 11

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Biosolids Management

Figure 1. Surface application of dewatered sewage biosolids.

ground, and transfer to the spreader with a front-end loader. Field testing The DBDIS was field tested, using dewatered biosolids from the City of Toronto applied to multiple sites. Odours

from DBDIS sites were compared with those from surface- spread dewatered biosolids. The Nasal Ranger was used to determine off-site odour intensities. Weather data, such as precipitation, relative humidity, temperature and wind

speed, and information about site conditions were collected and recorded. The odour comparison study summarized in Figure 4 demonstrated a dramatic decrease in odour intensity, where biosolids were injected into the soil, as opposed to surface application. For five of the six spreading events, no odour was detected at DBDIS sites, whereas it was detected at all surface application sites. Where odour was detected at a DBDIS site, it was substantially reduced as compared to surface application (60 vs. 400 NR units). There was no relationship between odour intensity and the weather data for the surface application sites. A demonstration field day was held for staff of the Ontario Ministries of the Environment, and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to demonstrate the odour suppressant effectiveness of the DBDIS technology. Participants were asked to scrutinize the DBDIS and give subjective feedback about odour emissions during its use. All agreed that it effectively mitigated odours and the MOE reinstated the regular guideline separation distances for sites at which the DBDIS is used for land

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Biosolids Management Current Guideline Separation Distances1

MOE Increased Separation Distances

Residential Area

450 m

1000 m

Off-Site Residence

25 m

250 m

Sites separated by less than 1000 m and spread within 2 weeks of each other

No restriction

Off site Residence 500 m Residential Area 2000 m


MOE and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs “Guidelines for the Utilization of Biosolids and Other Wastes on Agricultural Land”, March 1996. Table 1. Comparison of current Guideline and MOE increased separation distances for surface application of dewatered biosolids.

application of dewatered biosolids. Conclusions Five years of field experience with the DBDIS have shown that using this technology reduces land application site odour complaints and significantly improves public and farmer acceptance for land application of these materials. In addition, use of the DBDIS offers several other advantages as it: • reduces nitrogen loss due to volatilization and provides uniform nutrient appli-

cation to site soils; • eliminates the need for a second field tillage operation to incorporate biosolids into soil, thereby reducing equipment, manpower and fossil energy needs, and greenhouse gas emissions; • reduces application site requirements and associated identification and approval costs due to reduced separation distances and increased application areas at sites; • reduces transport distances due to in-

creased community and farmer satisfaction and increased site approvals in proximity to municipal wastewater treatment plants; and, • offers an opportunity to mitigate odours during land application of other semisolid materials such as agricultural biosolids and industrial sludges. Phil Sidhwa is President of Terratec Environmental Ltd. E-mail: psidhwa@amwater.com

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Water Metering

Town of Vulcan meter replacement project ...to boldly go where no one has gone before…


he Town of Vulcan is recognized around the world for its coincidental relationship to the Star Trek television and feature film series. Capitalizing on sharing the same name as Mr. Spock’s home planet, the Town built a Star Trek-themed tourist station. Nearby, a replica of the starship Enterprise has been mounted on a pedestal. The Town also hosts an annual convention which attracts hundreds of Star Trek fans from around the world. In the summer of 2009, the Town, which is situated at the western edge of the Canadian Badlands, in southern Alberta, tendered the replacement of its aging meters. It was losing revenue due to meter inaccuracies and the meters were being read manually. The Town knew that significant meter reading efficiencies could be had by upgrading to a Radio Frequency Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology. Approximately 700 meters were re-

14 | November 2010

A replica of Starship Enterprise has been mounted on a pedestal, near the Star Trek themed tourist attraction.

quired to be replaced in addition to another approximately 200 existing newer meters the Town wished to upgrade to AMR technology. Neptune Technology Group (Canada) Ltd. was chosen to supply and install all the meters and the

AMR system. The project began in September 2009 and was successfully completed in six weeks. As the Town saw the value in having E-Coder technology on their meters, they elected to not retrofit existing meters that were less than 10 years old with R900 Meter Interface Units. These relatively new meters were replaced with Neptune meters equipped with E-Coder R900i registers. All meters were equipped with Neptune’s E-Coder R900i Integrated RF Encoder Register which provided leak detection, tamper detection, and backflow detection flags, as well as the convenience of not having to run wiring. E-Coder R900i’s hourly data logging capabilities also made an excellent customer service enhancement tool, by helping to resolve high bill complaints. A summary of the E-Coder flags can been seen in the following graphs from a recent reading cycle. Days of Leak Depicted in the Days of Leak graph is a breakdown of the leak status (based on a percentage) of 901 accounts. 8.0% are showing a continuous or intermittent leak for the last 35 days. This equates to 72 accounts with some form of a leak that lasted a minimum of 35 days. Additionally, less than 50% reported no leaks. This means that the remainder (over 454 accounts) developed a leak with varying degrees of severity. continued overleaf...

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Water Metering

Days of Leaks

Days of No Flow

Leak Status

Reverse Flow

Leak Status in the Last 24-Hour Period The status of the current leak state is determined by the number of 15-minute intervals during a 24-hour period where the eighth digit of the E-Coder is incremented by one. No leak status flag is set for an installation if less than 50 15minute intervals indicate a change in the eighth digit. An intermittent leak flag is set when 50 to 95 15-minute intervals indicate a change in the eighth digit. A continuous leak flag is set when all 96 15-minute intervals indicate a change in the eighth digit. Of the 901 accounts shown in the Leak Status graph, 14.8% (or 133 accounts) developed either an intermittent leak or a continuous leak. As an example, if a continuous leak of 1/16 gpm occurred (a small leak), this would equate to 90 gallons of water passing through a single meter in one day. Extending this number to all 61 meters showing a continuous leak status would bring the total water leakage to 192,150 gallons in the last 35 days. 16 | November 2010

Days of Zero Consumption Another very interesting statistic is found when analyzing the number of meters that are not showing any consumption during the past 35 days (see Days of No Flow graph). Of the 901 meters read, 55.0% (or 495 accounts) indicate a number of days (from 1 to 35 days) of no flow. Importantly, 2.3% (or 21 accounts) show a status of zero consumption over the last 35 days. Zero consumption can be attributed but is not limited to the following: 1. The account is legitimately not using water, as the building or house is temporarily vacant. 2. The meter has stopped due to excess debris within its measuring chamber. 3. The meter has been bypassed or removed. Reverse Flow Events As part of a backflow prevention program, or to determine if a reverse flow event has occurred, the reverse flow detection feature of the E-Coder will provide this valuable information. As depicted in the Reverse Flow Status graph, there are no accounts where a

reverse flow has occurred in the last 35 days. A reverse flow event for these meters would indicate one of two things: 1. The meter has been oriented in the incorrect direction; or 2. The meter is in the correct direction but a possible cross-connection may exist, allowing a backflow event to occur. The latter of the two scenarios could indicate either a failure of an installed backflow device, or, where no backflow device is installed, that a cross connection may exist for the account. The E-Coder‘s detection of a true backflow occurrence is of significant value; without it, backflow occurrences may go undetected or the failure of a backflow device may go unnoticed until the point of testing. Many utilities recognize the value of reading their meters more frequently, but lack the resources to implement such practices. However, the percentage of Automatic Meter Reading utilized in water meter projects in Canada is on the rise. For more information, E-mail: dmcnichol@neptunetg.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Water Treatment

Development of a low-maintenance turbidimeter By Lukas Staub


tate-of-the-art turbidimeters for potable water analysis are based on the nephelometric measurement principle as described in Standard Methods and adopted by the ISO standards. Turbidity is determined by the measurement of light, scattered at an angle of 90° to the incident beam. Readings are obtained from a calibration curve established with a primary standard (i.e., Formazine). Results are expressed in FNU (Formazine Nephelometric Units) or NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units). A ratio turbidimeter measures the ratio between scattered and transmitted light. If just the transmitted light is detected, it is a single beam turbidimeter. The set-up is quite simple, but there are some disadvantages, especially in terms of maintenance. New low-maintenance turbidity meter In developing the design of the new SWAN Turbiwell turbidity meter, the focus was on achieving a low maintenance apparatus. The features of this new system are: • Non-contact set-up: The optical windows are not in direct contact with the sample which means there is no fouling, so no cleaning is required. The optical windows are heated to prevent condensation. • Light source: Instead of a “light bulb” with a lifetime of around 8,000

18 | November 2010

Figure 1. Schematic of the SWAN AMI Turbiwell.

operating hours, a light emitting diode (LED), with a lifetime of approximately 100,000 operating hours, is used. Therefore, a replacement is not necessary and readjustment or recalibration is redundant. Two different light sources are available, which are either ISO 7027 compliant or accepted as an alternative method to EPA 180.1. • Chamber drain: An automatic or manual chamber drain avoids interference due to a carry-over effect and contributes to reliable measurement. A schematic of the new SWAN AMI Turbiwell measurement cell is shown in Figure 1.

Measuring principle The light beam of the LED source falls on the water surface and is refracted. At an angle of 90°, the detector measures the incoming, scattered light. The transmitted beam intensity is not measured, therefore, the AMI Turbiwell is a single beam turbidimeter and not a ratio turbidimeter. The special design of the chamber (barrier and beam trap) prevents measurement errors due to light reflection. A dark current measurement is completed at least once a day to compensate for the influence of temperature variations on the electronics. The absence of the transmitted beam

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Water Treatment Main applications Sampling and measurement stations in remote locations are a perfect application for this new type of low maintenance turbidimeter. Long travel times to the site for calibration, repair and monitoring are avoided. Non-contact optics ensure measurement reliability and stability. A programmable, automatic chamber drain clears the measurement chamber from settled particles. Providing safe drinking water is the main objective of water treatment and a

spike in turbidity will lead to different safety procedures and protocols. How can we distinguish if this sudden spike is caused by a thin biofilm on the optical windows, decreased lamp intensity, or a real incident with the filters? The answer is to exclude the possibility of a deviation in the instrument itself. Lukas Staub is with Swan Analytische Instrumente AG, Switzerland. For more information, E-mail: JCigana@johnmeunier.com

Figure 2. The SWAN AMI Turbiwell.

intensity measurement and, consequently, the absence of the ratio for light source fluctuation compensation required a new and different approach. Compensation is achieved by normalizing the emitted light intensity. A beam splitter (semi-transparent mirror) within the light source directs a part of the emitted light to a photodiode which registers the emitted beam intensity. Building the ratio of the scattered light intensity to the emitted beam intensity eliminates the fluctuations in the light source. “Normalization� of Turbidity Signals NTS=I90 / I0 NTS: Normalized turbidity signal I90: Scattered light intensity I0: Emitting light intensity This “normalization�, the non-contact set-up, the long-life LED light source, and the regular chamber drain, make recalibration of the turbidimeter, with a primary standard, unnecessary. If a system check is required due to local regulations, a dry verification, using a high precision secondary standard, can be conducted to validate the instrument’s performance. www.esemag.com

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November 2010 | 19

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EH&S Compliance

Making EH&S compliance a priority throughout the chemical lifecycle By Kami Blake


n the past, environmental, health and safety (EH&S) compliance performance and/or enterprise risk management programs have been geared toward delivering continuous improvement and/or reducing risk with a compartmentalized approach. The safety department tended to workplace safety issues, the transportation department ensured the safe and compliant movement of regulated materials, and the regulatory department maintained community and environmental compliance at all agency levels. Recently, however, companies that want to deliver sustainable, ongoing improvements in compliance and risk associated with the management of chemicals are taking a full-lifecycle approach to understanding and managing chemical product compliance. How does a chemist involved in research and development become aware of the impact of transportation regulations on the chemistry of a new product? Not so long ago, an adverse regulatory impact outside his or her area of concentration, would likely be discovered downstream, well after significant resource and financial investment. However, the advent and adoption of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the power of web-accessible and integrated chemical data, regulatory repositories and EH&S systems tools have made it easier to exchange knowledge and information. Adding to the diverse and ever-evolving regulatory landscape, the global econ-

The chemical lifecycle.

pliance and risk are associated with brand, image and, in the end, customer loyalty. Breaking down a complex undertaking As a global compliance or risk professional or business leader charged with corporate leadership in this area, how do you approach it? We suggest looking at three distinct levers: regulatory content and information, compliance tasks and activities, and technology applications and platforms. How are you currently managing reg-

The cost of non-compliance, or excessive risk, is no longer limited to fines and penalties, nor does it solely affect a small group of technically trained and experienced employees. omy continues to introduce new variables into the compliance and risk equation. The cost of non-compliance, or excessive risk, is no longer limited to fines and penalties, nor does it solely affect a small group of technically trained and experienced employees. On the contrary, com20 | November 2010

ulatory content and information across the product lifecycle? What are the activities, tasks and controls you have in place to manage compliance and risks associated with the product you purchase, produce or dispose of? Have you maximized the use of data, platforms, applications

and automation tools to help you complete compliance-related tasks and keep you informed about how you are tracking against a plan? Finally, as you develop a plan around these levers, have you objectively analyzed which functions need to be managed internally and which capabilities require third-party solutions and expertise? With key compliance and risk levers identified, what implementation and activation strategies can be deployed to accommodate businesses of varying sizes and complexities? With answers to these questions in hand, it may be time to view the totality of your EH&S activities from a chemical lifecycle perspective. Applying the levers to the lifecycle: R&D R&D and formulation laboratories are well positioned to make the biggest impact on going green, and may receive the least attention from a compliance or risk professional. Scientists and engineers working in R&D can be made aware of global regulatory requirements and chemical characteristics (e.g., toxicological or eco-toxicological data) through

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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EH&S Compliance commercial data aggregators. However, the challenge is to identify solution providers that offer more than just a compilation of regulatory text and can distill regulatory information into normalized content that can be integrated into platforms and tools. Generating and maintaining such data in-house can be highly inefficient. Typical tools and applications can include laboratory information management systems, formulation systems, and recipe management systems. Access to safety data sheet (SDS) authoring systems may also be required to create and review draft SDS for the developmental formulations. Key challenges in this phase include having appropriate chemical sourcing practices, chemicals and samples inventory management, employee training in proper handling and disposal, providing sufficient 24/7/365 support in the event of an incident, and management of SDS for sourced materials. Often the sheer volume of chemicals and sample materials involved in this phase can make this an administrative challenge without adding value.


Typical tools and applications.

Applying the levers to the lifecycle: Manufacturing Compliance performance improvement and risk management in the manufacturing phase of the chemical lifecycle involve many variables. Key measures include process, employee and workplace safety requirements. As manufacturers are also chemical (raw material) users, the

importance of regulatory content applies equally to the manufacturing function. Additional critical content requirements in this phase include product marketability requirements. Key enabling technology platforms and applications include SDS authoring, SDS distribution, chemical inventory continued overleaf...

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EH&S Compliance management and the associated SDS management, the safe and compliant transport of regulated materials, regulatory reporting, and may also include hazardous waste management systems. Product-level and compliance-related tasks and activities include accurate and regularly updated inventory of chemicals, employee training, communication of product information to other stakeholders, regulatory reporting to government agencies on chemical-related activities, proper preparation of materials for safe transportation, appropriate measures for waste management, minimization and reclamation. Applying the levers to the lifecycle: Distribution Distribution-related compliance tasks and requirements can vary broadly, depending on the activities undertaken by the distributor. Non-asset-based distributors are faced with much less complexity than asset-owning distributors. Further, the scope of functions performed, ranging from formulation to blending to re-branding, also has an impact on compliance and risk. Product marketability and transporta-

tion regulatory content are critical for distribution companies. Technology application enablers include chemical inventory management and associated SDS management and distribution, SDS authoring (e.g., for formulators) and regulatory reporting. Key compliance tasks are comparable to those of manufacturers. To the extent that distributors are also importers of chemicals, they would also have responsibilities associated with registering products with the appropriate governing bodies in the countries to which they are exported. Applying the levers to the lifecycle: Transportation With global supply chains and just-intime inventory management, any compliance-related friction or disruption in the supply chain can be very expensive. Compliance and risk responsibilities may vary depending on the role of the company in the supply chain. Organizations that serve as the transporter typically have responsibilities to ensure that the product has been prepared for transportation in compliance with national and international regulations and guidelines. Other key roles in the supply chain include op-

erators of transfer and storage facilities. Regulatory content can ensure that all supply chain management systems are populated with the most current regulatory data for global transportation. Opportunities for increased efficiencies exist in technology applications and platforms, including automation/pre-population of transportation documents, packaging labels and emergency response information. Significant compliance tasks include the training of employees on the various facets of shipment preparation for transportation by different modes, and the ability to provide classification of transported products, package selection, marking, labeling and placarding. Further, shippers must provide access to 24/7/365 live assistance to address transportation-related incidents and emergencies and provide access to SDS. Applying the levers to the lifecycle: Usage Usage includes hazardous material used in the workplace, and the sale of regulated products containing chemicals directly to consumers. Challenges include high turnover of employees in the retail

Membrane Bioreactors

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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EH&S Compliance sector and a general lack of training and experience with EH&S compliance requirements. Access to regulatory information at the local level is important, as many local agencies such as fire departments have jurisdiction over chemicals storage, dispensing and handling. Technology and other application platforms include providing immediate access to SDS for employees who may come into contact with chemicals in the workplace, establishing a formal process to review and approve chemicals before introduction into the workplace, and filing the required permits and disclosures associated with chemical storage and handling. Important tasks and activities include managing the chemical approval process, chemical inventory lists, SDS data and document practices, permits and disclosures, and employee training. Companies also have to be prepared and equipped 24/7/365 to handle workplace incidents that involve chemical spills and accidents. Applying the levers to the lifecycle: Disposal Knowledge of waste streams, waste codes and information relevant to waste classification and documentation are critical components. Key platform and application enablers include tools to manage the accumulation, tracking, disposal and reporting on waste. Automation opportunities exist to prepare waste documentation, markings and labels. Tasks and activities include employee training, site management for proper accumulation, storage and transportation, classification/profiling of waste streams and products, working with pre-qualified waste haulers and disposal companies, and upstream with R&D and manufacturing to support waste minimization/reclamation. The big picture A comprehensive view of compliance performance and risk management throughout the chemical lifecycle is important to deliver and sustain ongoing improvement. EH&S process standardization and the application of these processes, along with the ability to leverage organizational data, product-level information and regulatory and chemical content, is the cornerstone of a lifecycle approach. Does your organization maintain a www.esemag.com

formidable EH&S and IT staff capable of mining, interpreting and analyzing data, integrating multiple information sources, producing all required compliance documentation, automating a host of compliance-related activities, and supporting an ongoing effort to ensure all data sources and documents are constantly refreshed with the most current and up-to-date information available? If not, outsourcing may offer the most effective compliance solution. While technology platforms and ap-

plications may be developed in-house, there are a variety of solutions that can be readily purchased or leased. Evaluate the lifecycle compliance tasks and activities closely to discern activities that are best managed in-house and those that can be most effectively outsourced. Kami Blake is a Solutions Engineer with the 3E Company. For more information, visit www.3ECompany.com

Laser Marked Water Level Meters


Flat Tape Water Lever Meter



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Soil remediation terminology Soil Washing. This method may only involve water with or without pH adjusters, or may be combined with chemicals in order to bring the heavy metals into the liquid phase. The chemical treatment may involve oxidation, reduction, chelation, etc. The overall process involves two major steps, the excavation and water treatment. Solidification/Stabilization: These are immobilization methods, and applied either in situ or ex situ, involving addition of immobilization reagents to bond with the heavy metals and make them insoluble and nonleachable. Bioremediation: Microorganisms are used to remove some heavy metals both in situ and ex situ. This technology is commonly applied in organic/soil remediation. Phytoremediation: This method is also considered a bioremediation technology, except, instead of microorganisms, certain plants are used. The site-specific plantations exhibit hyper-accumulation and transfer of heavy metals from soils to the roots and then to the biomass of the plant, which can then be harvested. However, its limitation seems to be the low depth and destruction of plant after intake. Electrokinetic Treatment: This technology applies a low density current to contaminated soil in order to colonize the metal ions at the electrodes, then recovered as elemental form. The process can be done in situ or ex situ by inserting electrodes into the ground or slurry basin respectively. Capping/Subsurface Barriers: These are isolation methods where the contaminated site is either capped from the surface by impermeable material or combined with vertical and horizontal barrier walls. The cap and barrier materials are engineered so the contaminants, water, and leachate will be prevented from further spread into the surrounding sites or groundwater. Vertification: In this method, the contaminated soil is melted at high temperature (in situ or ex situ), and, upon cooling, the metal contaminants will be immobilized in a uniform glass-like matrix. For ex situ operation, electric current is used by arrays of electrodes. 24 | November 2010

Soil Remediation

More remediation options needed to remove heavy metals from soils By Mike Shiralian


he presence of toxic heavy metals in soils represents a significant health and environmental hazard, and their remediation is very challenging. The soil matrix is a major reservoir for heavy metals, because both soil and heavy metals have rich and diverse binding characteristics. Unlike organic pollutants, metals do not biodegrade and they accumulate in the environment. Although some heavy metals in minor concentrations are essential nutrients (minerals), at higher concentrations they are toxic to the ecosystem and humans. In general, soil can play a major role in transporting or changing the behaviour and characteristics of contaminants. Typical soil consists of a mixture of weathered minerals, varying amounts of organic matter, and water. In general, the soil matrix may adsorb, exchange, oxidize, reduce, catalyze or precipitate metal ions, depending on several factors. These include water content, pH, temperature, the nature of the metal itself (e.g., oxidation state and solubility in water), particle size distribution and clay content (clay particles are usually negatively charged). This composition dictates the solubility, mobility and toxicity of heavy metals in soil. Therefore, customized or site-specific technologies must be selected for their effective, economical and sustainable remediation. Heavy metals (or transition metals) are the group of elements that have a “d or f” orbital in their atomic shells (referred to as d- or f-block elements), which means they can exist in various oxidation states (I to VI) as well as in elemental form (oxidation state 0). More availability of oxidation states brings a greater ability to form a variety of complexes. Heavy metals may bond with soil particles and contaminants in three possible ways: covalent, ionic, or co-ordination (by electron donors or ligands such as chelates).

Soil and groundwater contamination by heavy metals can commonly be the result of spills or direct infiltration of sewage discharges from industrial activities, leachate from mine tailing or industrial waste lagoons, airborne emissions, processed solid wastes/sludge, or purification of metals (e.g., smelting of copper, nuclear wastes, or electroplating for extraction of metals). There are “good” and “bad” heavy metals. So selective methods of extracting them from the solid matrices (soil or ore) are not only good for the environment, but can also be beneficial for the medical, food and agricultural industries, and even profitable (e.g., gold from mine tailings, or radionuclide recovery). Heavy metals occur naturally in the ecosystem with large variations in concentration (e.g., Cr, Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni). Living organisms require varying amounts of some heavy metals as essential micronutrients (Fe, Zn, Mn, Ni, Cu, Mo and Zn), although excessive levels can be damaging to the organism. Other heavy metals such as Hg, Pl, Pb are toxic, and their accumulation over time in the bodies of animals can cause serious illness. Certain elements that are normally toxic are, for certain organisms or under certain conditions, beneficial. Examples include V, W, and Cd. Typical toxic heavy metals on North American sites are Pb, Cr, As, Zn, Cd, Cu and Hg. Gold (Au) is also a heavy metal, and although it exists naturally in elemental form in ores (non-soluble), in soluble form (ionic salts) it is poisonous and will bioaccumulate in ecosystems. Gold wastes, or the sludge from mine tailings, contain both elemental and ion forms. Typically, most sites contaminated with heavy metals also contain organic pollutants. The remediation of organic contaminants from soil (e.g., petroleum and halogenated hydrocarbons) is well continued overleaf...

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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New Technology

New workstations free engineers from the office


ue to the often limited capacity of laptop computers, engineers must use desktop computers. However, according to Eurocom, its mobile workstations can run CAD, GSI, or CDF software. They give engineers the opportunity to receive and process feedback, while being faceto-face with customers, co-developers, final users, and other third parties. A computer in notebook-format allows engineers to adjust their original plans and designs at the place and the time the feedback is received. Compared to the traditional design and develop process, where the engineers travel between the office and customers, Engineering-On-The-Go enables them to shorten the design and development process, decreasing project costs. The Engineering-On-The-Go Consultant form can be applied by any size of engineering company and only requires the purchase of a mobile workstation. The second level is called Engineering-On-The-Go Projects and it uses the concept that Eurocom has defined as RED-Team. RED-Team stands for Rapid Engineering Deployment and allows companies to deploy a complete team of engineers anywhere in the world. In addition to an individual mobile workstation, the team is also equipped with a Eurocom mobile server to contain the master file set, back up data, and provide a network for the team members. With the Engineering-On-The-Go Projects form the company

can decide whether or not they deploy a RED-Team at the customer’s site, depending on whether the customer is willing to pay a surplus for the extra benefits. With the third level of Engineering-On-The-Go, the organization transforms into a RED-Team enterprise and integrates this concept in their competitive strategy. Every project is being completed on location, which makes a head office unnecessary. For more information, visit www.eurocom.com

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Soil Remediation Alternatives


Landfilling (dig and dump)

Contaminants relocated, problem not resolved. Excavation, hauling and long-time monitoring is required.

Soil washing

Mainly effective on metals and less on organics, multi-phase process, mainly used in combination with other methods.


Contaminants immobilized, problem not removed. Continuous monitoring required.

Capping/subsurface barriers

Pollutants are localized/controlled, not removed, continuous risk assessment and monitoring required.

Table 1. Most commonly used alternatives for remediation of soil and water contaminated with heavy metals.

advanced and there are many sustainable alternatives available. However, for heavy metals there are few alternatives, and most involve extensive soil handling, which can be much more expensive than organic remediation. Under normal climate conditions, heavy metals that exist in soil can also enter the groundwater. Therefore, the remediation of heavy metal-contaminated sites almost always involves both the solid-phase matrix and the liquid-phase (organic pollutants and water). Generally, there are five categories of

processes for remediation of soil and water contaminated with heavy metals. A site-specific, or combination of one or more of these processes, can be used for the most effective results: 1. Isolation. 2. Immobilization. 3. Toxicity reduction. 4. Physical separation. 5. Extraction. Some of the available technologies have been demonstrated in full-scale application. The most commonly used alternatives, costing in the range of

The soil matrix is a major reservoir for heavy metals because they both have rich and diverse binding characteristics. 26 | November 2010

$100-$500 per ton, are summarized in Table 1. Considering all the limitations and complexity associated with the remediation of metals from soil, there is a need for alternatives to be developed. The ideal technology should address the following: • Minimum number of processing steps. • Preferably in situ as opposed to ex situ process. • Direct extraction from the soil’s solid matrix. • Minimum washing or liquid-phase handling. • More effective/improved chemical treatment. • Permanent/non-monitoring alternative. • Selective metal recovery in pure/ elemental form. • Improved time- and cost-effective methods, and lower energy requirements. There are currently a few promising emerging technologies, including: vertification, phytoremediation, bioremediation, and electrokinetic treatment. Although they all may be commercially available, they still lack universal application, and are non-selective. Phytoremediation and electrokinetic treatments offer better metal recovery and are most cost-effective in comparison to all other methods described here. Both technologies can remove only metals directly from the soil/water mixture in the presence of all other materials such as organics. However, the yield and rate of recovery, as well as selectivity, require significant improvement. Dr. Mike Shiralian, Ph.D., C.Chem, is with Eco Lands Realty Inc. E-mail: ecorealty@rogers.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 20/11/10 10:25 AM Page 27

IPEX launches newly designed website Earlier this year IPEX Inc., a supplier of PVC pipe and fittings in Canada, launched a brand new customer-focused website. The site is divided into two main sections: Our Products which connects users to the product pages and IPEX Interactive where users will find new product announcements, news and events, on-line training and newsletters. The site is product focused, easy to navigate, with product information reached in just two clicks. Users can obtain the most up-to-date technical information with innovative Online Digital Manuals. Features include: shortcuts to specific chapters, key word search, save and email clippings, download pages as PDFs and zoom to specific content for easy on-screen reading. www.ipexinc.com

Hawaii continues to update its infrastructure

you s e v o m t a th ld? r Can work o w e h t move


UCC S jobs . / E o V g om/ STRI . H hp.c C T


Absolutely At HP, we’re in the business of innovation; helping customers around the world use our technology to improve their lives every second of every day. Across country lines, languages and cultures, our global team applies passion, curiosity and vision to invent solutions that drive the world’s IT revolution. The best minds in the business are drawn to us, energized by the chance to propel their career past ordinary to the realm of extraordinary. If you're looking for a company where your ideas are truly valued, where you’ll be supported to continuously develop and grow, and where you will be a member of a diverse workforce and unique corporate culture, then come to HP Canada – you never know were it might lead. Right now, we are experiencing tremendous growth in our Critical Facilities Services (CFS) group, a consulting engineering team that provides industry leading designs and solutions for Data Centre projects for our enterprise customers across the country. Move the world in one of these rewarding roles:

Senior and Intermediate Electrical and Mechanical Design Engineers In this role, you will be asked to provide design and design support, capacity planning, reliability engineering, environmental compliance and system operational support for Data Center infrastructures. This role will include, and not be limited to:

Mrs. Patricia Coluccio christens the brand new micro tunnel boring machine named in her honor.

Honolulu, Hawaii, is making substantial progress on a three-year construction project that includes replacement of the Beachwalk Force Main. Work was started following a traditional christening ceremony on Thursday October 7, 2010 in Honolulu. During the event, the brand new micro tunnel boring machine, which was named for her, was christened by Mrs. Patricia Coluccio, the matriarch of the contractor’s family. The project’s tunneling operations were scheduled to commence in November 2010 and will continue until 2012. Hobas Pipe is supplying 4,400 linear feet of 78-inch centrifugally cast, fiberglass-reinforced, polymer mortar pressure jacking pipes per ASTM D3754 for the project. The company has supplied opencut, sliplining and microtunneling pipe to projects in Hawaii since 1995. www.hobaspipe.com www.esemag.com

• Building electrical or mechanical systems for Data Centers • Review and/or approval of design document or specifications • Review of building code and regulatory documentation as well as operations and maintenance documentation • Support the project programming, scoping and feasibility study stages of projects This position will also provide supplemental Project Management as appropriate for aspects of large projects or programs during implementation. You will provide quality assurance for large projects during construction process by performing field inspections to assure compliance with design intent and specifications. Qualifications • Bachelor's degree in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering • Senior Positions require ten to fifteen years of directly related professional experience • Intermediate positions require six to ten years of directly related professional experience • Familiarity with Canadian design and building code standards. • Ability to do presentations to varied audiences • Interpersonal communication and team dynamics • Organizational and time management • Some elements of Project Management an asset • Ability to deal with ambiguity • Clear written and verbal skills Please visit www.hp.com/go/jobs and search by job # 455373 for the Senior Electrical, job # 495955 for the Intermediate Mechanical. All applications will be held in strict confidence.

To learn more about what we do, visit www.hp.com/go/cfs ©Copyright 2008 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The Hewlett-Packard Company is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to workforce diversity.

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Specifying water treatment technologies for remote cold climate locations By Jahangir Chowdhury, P.Eng.


electing appropriate treatment technologies for a surface water treatment plant in extreme cold climate regions presents many design challenges and options. The following review is based on findings from the 2007 CFS Alert Water Treatment Options Analysis study that was commissioned by the Department of National Defence, with the support of Defence Construction Canada. Hatch Mott MacDonald was the consultant. In extreme cold climate regions, temperatures may drop as low as –50oC and snow stays on the ground continuously for three to six months. Maintaining adequate temperatures in water supply, distribution, and raw water piping is critically important to ensure that water remains above the freezing temperature at all times and that intakes are ice-free. In order to achieve this, one return pump at the treatment plant will be required to run continuously, delivering water through a heat exchanger and back through the return line to the intakes that are not in service. 28 | November 2010

About 50-60% of the treated heated water is required for return back to the intakes for temperature control. Raw water flow to the treatment plant will be required to be more than twice as high as design year maximum day demand. In order to avoid stagnation and freezing in the distribution main, one highlift pump is required to operate continuously, with a capacity of more than the peak hour flow, in order to return water back to the reservoir at the treatment plant. The capacity of the treatment plant and overall size of the process units (including the on-site reservoir) must be de-

The site for the treatment plant is called a remote location because direct land transportation is not possible from other parts of the country. Transportation options to the remote treatment plant site can be either marine or air transport from the nearest town, which may still be some distance away. Therefore, process options with continuing consumables that would require frequent periodic deliveries, such as chemical treatment, are not desirable. Water quality and treatment Typical raw water can be characterized as having very low turbidity (<0.5 NTU), with moderate hardness, pH and

The degree of automated systems reliability is an important consideration in process design. signed to over twice the size required for design year maximum day demand. The additional equipment required will be a heat exchanger, return pipe to the intake, and return pumps with insulation for all outside pipes and mains.

TDS. Turbidity follows an annual pattern where the first five months of the year exhibit very low values (<0.3 NTU). Increases in turbidity associated with ice breakup and the beginning of overland recharge by snowmelt occur in June (tur-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Water Treatment bidity spikes >1.5 NTU), followed by a gradual diminution of turbidity through the summer and fall seasons. Microbiological quality of the source water is normally good, but run-off water to surface sources may be contaminated by pathogens from wildlife in the area. To comply with the requirements of the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ), it is necessary to provide filtration, primary disinfection, secondary (residual) disinfection, 3-log reduction of Cryptosporidium and Giardia Lamblia, and 4-log reduction of viruses. Treated water turbidity should be <0.1 NTU, and specific water quality parameters must be below the GCDWQ maximum acceptable concentrations. The preferred treatment technology must be compatible with the remote location conditions. To define specific treatment technologies, three filtration processes, cartridge filtration, membrane filtration and reverse osmosis, are considered to meet the multi-barrier protection defined by Health Canada. Alternative disinfectants, such as ozone and ultraviolet (UV) treatment, can be considered an additional barrier, and chlorine (as potassium hypochlorite) can be considered to provide a free chlorine residual in the distribution system. In remote cold climate regions where in-stock delivery, overnight courier service and fast response by manufacturers’ service personnel are not available, the degree of automated systems reliability is an important consideration in process de-


sign. Typically, package water treatment units come with a fairly complete automation system, permitting unattended operation and automated failovers to backup equipment. The final design of the selected option should be based on robust units, with a minimum instrument package and little automation, relying instead on manual valving and motor starters, so that, in the event of a system fault, the failed unit can be manually taken offline and a standby

Ozone generation system.

unit brought into service. Turbidity barrier and disinfection alternatives Cartridge and membrane filtration processes typically produce a backwash stream that averages 5-10% of the process capacity. That wash volume reduces the quantity of water available for return flow by approximately 20%. Increasing the return water temperature should be sufficient to provide the heat required to keep the intake area ice-free. Filter cartridges require periodic inplace wash and flush, and replacement

after 12 months’ use. The operation of this system is simple, but expensive due to the annual replacement cost. Membrane filters require frequent “pulse” and wash operations (which are automated). The waste volume generated is higher than the cartridge operation. Reverse osmosis processes typically generate a reject flow in the order of 30% of process capacity. As such, increasing only the return water temperature would not be sufficient, and would require an additional flow from the raw water system as well as an additional intake pump. UV irradiation is an extremely simple process involving a single device with no moving parts. UV effectiveness depends on transmittance and it provides no residual disinfection. Comparatively, ozone provides some residual disinfection, i.e., the ozonation process continues even after water leaves the reactor, although only for a very limited time. Ozone systems do not need the frequent attention and replacement of components that a UV system requires. Ozonation equipment is mechanically complex with multiple components. A disadvantage to ozonation is that complete adsorption/conversion to oxygen will not occur in the air/water contactor. Also, both the UV and ozone systems are not “instant on,” but typically require 1-2 minutes for UV and 10-15 minutes for an ozone system to come to full strength. Therefore, changing over from one unit to another will need to be continued overleaf...

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Water Treatment sequenced properly to ensure continuous treatment. Cost elements Costs related to each of the process alternatives follow. Costs common to all alternatives are not presented; for example, the operation and maintenance of the raw water supply system and heat exchanger will be unaffected by the choice of the treatment process. 1. Equipment supply, delivery and installation costs - Equipment costs will be solicited from manufacturers and suppliers with F.O.B. pricing at the town nearest the plant site, packaged suitably for marine or air transportation to the remote plant site. Delivery costs are estimated equivalent to $/m3 of package. Based on a review of package sizes to the various options, the following relative assumptions were made, (where ‘x’ and ‘y’ are baseline package size): • UV: Assume ‘x’ m3 package size equipment. • Ozone: Approximately four to five times of UV unit. • Cartridge: Assume ‘y’ m3 package size equipment.

A membrane filtration system.

• Membrane: Approximately seven to eight times of cartridge. • RO: Approximately 10 to 12 times of cartridge. Installation labour and material costs can be estimated on a case-specific basis, with input from both the equipment supplier and a specialist general/mechanical contractor. It can be assumed that installation would be undertaken by a general contractor, supported as necessary by the equipment vendor(s). Client personnel

Engineered for Safety and Reliability SAF-T-FLO chemical injection has what operators need for safe and successful chemical injection. Retractable injection quills Non-retractable injection quills Sampling probes Pressures: 0 -150 psi.,150 - 250 psi., 250+ psi. Materials: PVC, CPVC, Kynar, Stainless Steel, Hastelloy C, Alloy 20, and Titanium (G2) Sizes:

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30 | November 2010

would attend the startup and commissioning and initial overall training period. For UV or ozonation alone, a one-week period on-site is adequate for startup and commissioning, plus operations and maintenance (O&M) training; for the cartridge filter option, two weeks on-site; for the membrane filter option, three weeks on-site; and for the RO option, four weeks on-site. The total capital cost is F.O.B. costs plus delivery (unit cost x package size) plus installation costs. 2. Operating and maintenance labour costs - For the purposes of this analysis, the additional labour requirement for inspection, operation, calibration, maintenance, end-of-life component replacement, etc., for additional process components is assumed to be as follows: • Routine labour: two hours/week for UV and ozone disinfection, four hours/week

Installation labour and material costs can be estimated on a case-specific basis, with input from both the equipment supplier and a specialist general/mechanical contractor. for membrane and RO system, and eight hours/week for cartridge-filtration. • Replacement labour: two hours/year for ozone, eight hours/year for UV, membrane and RO system, and 16 hours/year for cartridge-filtration. In addition to these costs associated with discrete alternatives, observation and calibration labour would be required if the recommended instrumentation upgrades were implemented. 3. Consumables and replacement maintenance costs - Replacement maintenance reflects the reality that some process components may not last the typical 20-year lifecycle. Based on a review from various sources of the life expectancies of equipment and systems, the following assumptions were made: • Routine parts: Annual replacement for

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Water Treatment UV, ozone and cartridge, and five years for membrane and RO system. • Life expectancy for auxiliary equipment: five years for UV, and 10 years for ozone, cartridge, membrane and RO equipment. 4. Power costs - At the remote location, all power required by the treatment processes is generated on-site from diesel generators. For the purposes of the analysis, it is assumed that the power needs for any process can be met without the need to provide any additional power for other purposes. Based on a review of power consumption for the various options, the following assumptions were made (where ‘x’ and ‘y’ are baseline energy required): • UV: Assume ‘x’ kWh/day power required. • Ozone equipment: Approximately 2.5 to 3 times of UV unit. • Cartridge: Assume ‘y’ kWh/day power required. • Membrane: Approximately 20% more of cartridge unit. • RO: Approximately 2.5 to 3 times of cartridge unit. 5. Training costs - Training should be

delivered before personnel are deployed to the remote location. There should always be two people trained in O&M. The plant operator would be fully trained in process operations. A member of the client’s staff would also receive this training (to provide initial remote support or as an emergency short-term replacement). It is assumed that the handover period would be one week for one person every six months, or 80 hours of labour per year, which would be common to each process. It is assumed that the process alternatives for solids removal share a similar degree of complexity and would all require the same length of training time. Since UV irradiation equipment is substantially less complex than ozone disinfection equipment, it is assumed that UV training would require significantly less time than ozone training. This training is purchased from suppliers and delivered to two people every six months. Training is two days/year for UV, three days/year for ozone and four days/year for cartridge, membrane and RO system.

The total training cost is training cost plus handover labour cost. Conclusion All three filtration options and two disinfection options can meet or exceed GCDWQ guidelines and site-specific design considerations. The selection of treatment options is dependent on capital cost, ease of operation and maintenance of the processes systems, and overall lifecycle cost analysis. The RO system is more effective than membrane and cartridge filtration systems in terms of particle removal, but it is the most complex process and has the highest capital and lifecycle cost values. The membrane filtration system is more effective in particle removal and has a lower lifecycle cost than cartridge filtration, but is a more complex process with a higher capital cost. UV irradiation is a significantly less complex process with a lower capital cost, but has a higher lifecycle cost than an ozonation system. Jahangir Chowdhury is with Hatch Mott MacDonald, E-mail: jahangir.chowdhury@hatchmott.com

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www.hoskin.ca www ww w..hoskin.ca November 2010 | 31

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Water Resources

Water risks in the mining sector are difficult to track By Amanda Sauer


his summer, while Americans focused on the BP oil spill, disaster struck at a copper mine in southeastern China. The mine, owned by China’s largest gold producer, Zijin Mining Group, leaked 2.4 million gallons of wastewater laced with acidic copper into the Ting River, killing 2,000 metric tons of fish – enough to feed 72,000 residents for a full year. Just as the Deepwater Horizon disaster reminds us of the underlying risks of offshore oil drilling, the Zijin disaster demonstrates the environmental risks associated with the thousands of hardrock mineral mines in operation around the world. And, as a new paper from the World Resources Institute (WRI) concludes, current reporting practices mean that investors and financial institutions may not be fully aware of these risks, even though they may suffer the consequences. Polymaster™ System Now CSA Listed

The POLYMASTER™ liquid polymer mixing/diluting system now complies with both UL778 and CSA C22.2 No. 108-01 standards. The system thoroughly activates emulsion, dispersion and solution polymers, including new high molecular weight liquid polymers, and can produce dilute solution (0.1% – 2.0%) at rates up to 50 gpm. The patented “Gatlin” is a motorized mixing chamber that segments the polymer into ultra-thin film for maximum activation. This system is unique in that the degree of activation is not affected by fluctuating water pressures. Neptune Chemical Pump Co. Lansdale, PA Tel: 888-3NEPTUNE or 215-699-8700 E-Mail: pump@neptune1.com Web: www.neptune1.com

32 | November 2010

Open pit copper mine.

The water and mining connection A hardrock mine (one that extracts minerals or metals from the earth) relies heavily on water to operate. These mines use water in all steps of the mining process: cooling equipment, separating waste from valuable minerals, controlling dust, and so on. Working with such large volumes of water presents a variety of risks. Overconsumption of local water resources can threaten stressed water supplies. Mining waste can contaminate water supplies, threatening drinking water and aquatic ecosystems. For mining companies, the potential for accidents increases exposure to fines and lawsuits, as well as new regulations and operational disruption. The Zijin Mining Group has already called off a project in Africa in the wake of the Ting River accident. According to a recent report from Bloomberg, “Zijin Mining Group’s plan to make at least two overseas acquisitions this year was hampered by regulatory probes and clean-up for the acid-laced waste leakage.” Unreported risks For investors and financial institutions, these water risks are difficult to track. Traditional environmental impact assessments (EIAs) usually do not con-

sider water quality problems. A study on the accuracy of water quality predictions at hardrock mines in the US found that, although none of the sites’ EIAs predicted water quality problems, 76 percent of sites exceeded water pollution standards. Ninety-three percent of the sites with acid drainage problems had not anticipated this risk in their EIAs.

Many mining companies are ahead of the curve in reporting water data, but a WRI survey found that water disclosure varies widely. Many mining companies are ahead of the curve in reporting water data, but a WRI survey found that water disclosure varies widely, especially in emerging markets. South African and Latin American companies generally report the most water-related data, while most Chinese and Indian mining companies report little or no water-related information. This is

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Water Resources particularly important, since China and India are among the top three largest producers of most non-fuel minerals. WRI’s Mine the Gap paper points out three major shortcomings in current water risk reporting in the mining sector: 1. Reporting the wrong things. While many mining companies are diligent about reporting how much water they consume, the risks their mining activities pose to water quality are either not reported, or not reported with enough detail to be meaningful. 2. Not providing relevant context. A gallon of water is much more valuable in a desert than it is in a rainforest. A mine’s water use data is meaningless without an understanding of the unique characteristics of the watershed it inhabits. 3. Reporting inconsistently. Different mining companies employ different approaches when reporting their water use and water risk, making it difficult to compare performance across the sector. These three factors contribute to a general lack of understanding of the water risks involved in mining, which in turn makes it difficult or impossible for the financial community to manage these

risks. Without understanding risk, investors and financial institutions can be blindsided. Disclosing the true nature of water risk Mine the Gap presents a preliminary framework that the financial community can use to assess water risk, including a series of questions for mining companies about their water use: • What type of mining processes are employed? • What is the environment surrounding the mine? • How does the company measure and track its water use? • How does the company monitor and manage water quality concerns? The framework offers a way to translate the answers to these questions into a more complete understanding of a mine’s exposure to water-related risks, thereby helping investors and financial institutions to make wiser decisions. Going forward, WRI will soon release a prototype Water Risk Index which pulls together various data series to generate maps that highlight where and how water issues can pose financial risks (and op-

portunities) for companies. This will provide an essential geographic-specific context to understand where water risks are greatest. A role for the financial community The mining industry will face increasing risks in the future as water resources become scarcer in many mineral rich regions, competition for water supplies increases, and the industry itself requires greater water withdrawals because of declining ore quality. The financial community has an important role to play to encourage improved water disclosure in this sector. By engaging with mining companies about their practices and supporting broadbased initiatives to improve water disclosure, investors and financial institutions can work with the industry to fully understand and report water risk in the future. Amanda Sauer is a Senior Associate with the ENVEST objective of the Markets and Enterprise Program of the World Resources Institute. E-mail: asauer@wri.org

BIOLAC® Wastewater Treatment System The Biolac System is an innovative activated sludge process using a long sludge age process to create an extremely stable, easily operated system. The capabilities of this unique technology far exceed ordinary extended aeration treatment. The Biolac System offers high BOD removal, complete nitrification and the formation of a very stable waste sludge. The Biolac System’s design ensures the lowest-cost construction and guarantees operational simplicity. With in-ground basin construction, the Biolac System’s various components combine to produce excellent quality effluent at the lowest total plant cost.

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Environmental Compliance

Environmental management of waste and hazardous materials on demolition sites By Muin Husain, Cesare Paolletti, Hassan Katech, Cullum Pakos and Matthew Williams


he engineering industry and the public all understand that demolition can have a profound impact on our environment, but seldom understand its exact impacts, and what can be done to mitigate them. When managing waste on a demolition site, it is of great importance to have a good understanding of the issues that could be at play. A 2004 Statistics Canada survey estimated the amount of non-residential waste, which included industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) and construction/demolition (C&D), sent for disposal, after the diversion of recyclables, at 6.5 million tonnes. The goal of any waste program on a C&D site should be to maximize diversion and minimize environmental impact. There are standard diversion practices in the C&D industry, including the imple-

mentation of a waste reduction work plan for every project. A good goal for any firm involved in C&D is to achieve a minimum 50 percent diversion rate. On demolition sites, this should be even higher. The most common materials diverted on demolition sites include concrete, brick/masonry, and forms of metal (i.e., copper, aluminum, steel, etc.). Relevant regulations It is also important to understand the relevant regulations governing waste at demolition sites. There are two key provincial regulations that affect designated projects in the C&D industry. Ontario Regulation 102/94 requires construction and demolition companies to conduct waste audits and develop and implement waste reduction work plans. Ontario Regulation 103/94 requires source separation (recycling) programs for specified waste.

Another important first step in any waste management plan is to communicate the diversion strategy to all workers and staff involved in the project, and to ensure compliance with regulations. Non-compliance could have significant legal consequences, and affect a firm’s ability to work on demolition assignments in the future. One additional important step that should be adhered to is to make every effort to donate materials. This is a great way to minimize landfill waste and to support charitable organizations. Hazardous materials and toxic substances Hazardous substances present the single greatest risk to the natural environment during demolitions, and also pose the greatest risk to human health. Unfortunately, hazardous substances were commonly used as components in

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the leading biosolids management company in Canada requires as part of its aggressive growth plans across Canada and the USA in the beneficial reuse and bioenergy fields; Business Development Associates/Sales Manager As a result oriented team player, you will work to grow the business through the acquisition of new business and maintenance of existing contracts in both the municipal and industrial sectors. Project management and business development experience are essential.A business degree or diploma and knowledge of the water/wastewater industry are assets. Preferred candidates have 5 years of sales and marketing experience in the environmental or industrial fields and have effective communication skills. Please apply in writing, to Human Resources at: Terratec Environmental, 701 Main Street West, Suite 100, Hamilton, ON L8S 1A2 Fax: (905) 521-9613 or e-mail: jcook@amwater.com

www. amwater.com Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 20/11/10 9:55 AM Page 35

Environmental Compliance The goal of any waste program on a C&D site should be to maximize diversion and minimize environmental impact.

construction materials, building finishes, and in the manufacture of products and goods used in construction. The most common types of hazardous substances encountered during building demolition are: asbestos, lead, mercury, silica, benzene, fuels and waste oil, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons and other refrigerants, and various types of industrial and commercial chemicals. In the case of asbestos, lead, mercury, silica, and benzene, these are some of the 11 “Designated Substances� listed by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. This means that specific regulations are in force for the control of these substances in the workplace. Also, each Designated Substance Regulation outlines a set of required steps to control exposure of workers to the substance. Federal and provincial regulations have been passed in recent years to try to


minimize release of these substances into the environment, and to reduce potential exposure of individuals to these hazardous and toxic substances. Environmental management during demolition The most important step in environmental management is to properly identify hazardous and toxic substances present, and potentially present, prior to any demolition, through visual identification, regulated sampling and analytical techniques. Many Ontario regulations enforce this requirement, prior to the demolition of all, or part, of a structure. Additionally, a diligent intrusive investigation of the building or structure must be conducted by qualified individuals to identify potential hazards which may be concealed. Once identified, every effort should be made to remove these substances in a controlled manner to safeguard the health of the workers and the general public, and to protect the environment by preventing accidental release. Vigilance must also be maintained to identify and mitigate accidental release continued overleaf...

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Environmental Compliance of concealed hazards which are uncovered during demolition. Case histories GENIVAR’s Environmental Management group was recently involved in the demolition of two schools in the Greater Toronto Area, both of which were on environmentally sensitive land. The first assignment involved supervising the abatement of any hazardous materials release during the school’s demolition, and involved extensive public consultation. The group completed the assignment in a fully transparent way, giving the public ample opportunity to voice their concerns, and be fully aware of the project’s progression. The second assignment was conducted in one of the fastest growing communities in the Greater Toronto Area. GENIVAR was retained to conduct an environment survey of the secondary school, which had a building footprint of over 120,000 square feet. The survey found multiple underground storage tanks (still full of fuel), mercury and PCB-containing equipment, lead-containing paint and asbestos-containing

Active work areas that contain hazardous materials are isolated from the external environment by building air-tight enclosures.

HOBO Conductivity Data Logger The HOBO U24 Conductivity Logger is a high-accuracy, cost-effective data logger for measuring conductivity and temperature in streams, lakes, and other freshwater sources.

$755.00 Non-contact sensor reduces sensor drift for easy maintenance Provides easy access to sensor for cleaning and shedding air bubbles HOBOware Pro software enables start/end-point calibration to compensate for any fouling and provides easy conversion to specific conductance and salinity USB optical interface provides high-speed, reliable data offload in wet environments Two ranges - Low Range: 0 to 1,000 uS/cm / High Range: 0 to 10,000 uS/cm for more information see www.myhoskin.com/conductivity

Hoskin Scientific Ltd. 36 | November 2010


building materials used during the building’s construction. GENIVAR was then tasked with designing and managing a “green” demolition that minimized adverse impacts to the community and the environment. One of the key guiding factors throughout the assignment was to adhere to the principles of sustainability. Where possible, suitable materials for recycling from the demolition debris were sorted out. Conclusions Ultimately, demolition comes with considerable risk for all parties, including the public, and it is our industry’s duty to ensure that these risks are minimized to the fullest extent possible. By observing industry best practices, and adhering to regulations, demolition can be conducted safely and efficiently with little to no adverse impact on the environment. Muin Husain, Ph.D, P.Geo,, Cesare Paolletti, P.Eng., Hassan Katech, Cullum Pakos and Matthew Williams are with GENIVAR Consultants. E-mail: matthew.williams@genivar.com Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Wastewater Treatment

Using scientifically engineered wetlands to clean industrial wastewater By Tim Tororey


cientists from the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) are now able to set up man-made wetland treatment systems that are scientifically engineered to clean up harmful waste from water released by industrial processes. This green technology, known as a Constructed Wetland Treatment System, is custom-designed to remove contaminants in the wastewater from certain industrial processes. It is similar to a natural wetland with three components: soil, plants and water. However, a constructed wetland can be scientifically engineered to operate in various climates, including cold climates, to remove selenium, mercury, arsenic, and other harmful wastes. At SRC, Constructed Wetland Treatment Systems are designed by a team of scientists and engineers, in consultation with researchers at Clemson University. The systems work through microbial action by trapping the harmful wastes in the hydrosoils rather than accumulating in plants, as would occur in other wetland systems. The systems are designed to remove various types and amounts of wastes, depending on the end use of the water. This could include recycling it for industrial use, releasing it to the environment, using it for human and animal consumption, or reusing it for farm irrigation. Dr. Monique Haakensen, a research scientist in SRC’s Agriculture, Biotechnology and Food Division, explains that, while other organizations offer wetland construction as a service, SRC is focused on areas and processed waters that are considered difficult to clean up, such as those at mining and milling sites, or in oil and gas processes. In response to Canada’s harsh climate, SRC is working on a wetland treatment system that can continue to function during the freezing winter months. Dr. Haakensen explains that due to the microbial approach taken in these Constructed Wetland Treatment Systems, it is not necessary to have green living plants year round for the system to work. She also points out that the site can be constructed with a hybrid system, for example, with www.esemag.com

ment, and end use of the water, dictate that each scientifically engineered wetland be site-specific. The pilot scale is also useful to demonstrate that it addresses regulatory requirements. This system’s benefits are many. It is a green technology with lower operation and maintenance costs than traditional systems. It also has a long lifespan, often over 30 years. Because chemical or physical (e.g., filtration) water cleaning systems are expensive and have regular input requirements, the wetland treatment system is a cost-effective and long-term solution. In addition, wetland plants are selected to be unattractive to wildlife, therefore animal attraction to the site is minimal.

Testing the capability of a pilot scale wetland to treat copper-contaminated wastewater. Photo courtesy of Dr. Matt Huddleston.

reverse osmosis to remove salts before water is sent to the wetland to remove harmful constituents. A Constructed Wetland Treatment System is generally designed with three components: scientifically engineered soils called hydrosoils, plants in dense concentrations, and water from the industrial plant. These three factors are used to encourage the desired microbial actions within the wetland. Depending on sitespecific requirements, the wetland can be constructed with above ground water flow, or subsurface water flow where only plants show above ground and water remains hidden in a substrate. Before the wetland is constructed, the first step is to analyze what the client wants to use the water for. The next step is to determine how much of each constituent of concern needs to be removed, as different end uses require different water quality levels. This process is then tested at pilot scale at the SRC lab before it is set up on site at the industrial plant. This step is necessary, as various factors such as climate, constituents, regulations, environ-

Tim Tororey is with Saskatchewan Research Council, a provider of applied research and development, and technology commercialization. E-mail: tim.tororey@src.sk.ca

Flow Troubleshooting

Mount the ultrasonic sensor on the outside of metal or plastic pipes and this new PDFM 5.0 Portable Doppler Flow Meter shows flow rate instantly. It is recommended for wastewater, sludge, slurries, chemicals and abrasives. It takes just a few minutes to setup: enter the pipe diameter and the Greyline PDFM 5.0 will display, totalize and data log flow. It includes 4-20mA and USB outputs. The rechargeable NiMH battery powers the unit for at least 24 hours. Tel: 888-473-9546 Fax: 613-938-4857 Email: info@greyline.com Web: www.greyline.com

Greyline Instruments November 2010 | 37

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Infrastructure Renewal

Replacing buried water and wastewater pipe in congested urban areas By Dara Romain and Horia Ispas


he need to renew water and wastewater linear infrastructure is a growing concern in North America. Renewal planning allows utilities to optimize the lifecycle value of their physical infrastructure through programs for maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement of water distribution and wastewater collection systems. Linear infrastructure replacement in urban areas can be complicated by the frequently questionable accuracy of subsurface utility locations and the lack of as-built records. Roadways in urban areas are commonly congested with multiple underground utilities — watermains, sanitary sewers, gas lines, and conduits for electricity and telecommunications — to the extent that an image of tangled spaghetti comes to mind. Navigating this maze of potentially overlapping utilities, without causing disruption during construction, requires accurate subsurface utility investigation. In some cases, inaccurate information can make it both socially upsetting and financially expensive during the construction process. The number one reason for this is the use of inaccurate, or outdated, asbuilt records. Contractors working on rehabilitation projects in older urbanized areas are often frustrated when their daily production of open-cut installations of watermain, sanitary or storm sewers is protracted while excavating in the congested areas of existing utilities. This frustration is also felt

Drill rod clearing underneath exposed sanitary and storm laterals.

by the customer, and other potential stakeholders, when the original construction schedule is extended. Horizontal directional drilling Difficulties encountered with conventional infrastructure installation have encouraged the use of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) which, although a more sophisticated technique, has proven many times to be both faster and more economical. For example, for even short lengths of pipe installation, a small HDD drill such as a Vermeer 2000 may be chosen to install a 200-mm PVC watermain no longer than three sidewalk bays. The traditional open-cut method would require the use of multiple items of construction equipment, such as a CAT 315 excavator for digging, a CAT 950 F front loader for backfilling,

New installed watermain via horizontal directional drilling in conflict with unmarked and unexposed sanitary sewer latera. 38 | November 2010

a CAT 420 IT for conducting the trench compaction, and dump trucks to dispose of the excavated material. HDD for new pipe installation needs minimum preparation. Borehole exposure (daylighting) of existing utilities guides the drill operator in establishing the line and grade of the proposed pipeline and avoids collision of the drill head with existing utilities and services. Once the installation of the pipeline is complete, very little restoration is required. Even though HDD is a very efficient method of construction, there are situations where careful consideration should be given before selecting it over open-cut. Caution should be exercised in areas where geotechnical investigations reveal loosely compacted soil or voids. The best materials for HDD construction are solid rock or sedimentary material. Additionally, in those neighbourhoods where it is known that the landscape of the area has changed over time, i.e., road levels have been raised or buildings have been demolished and reconstructed, one can expect to find buried wooden hydro poles, spent backhoe cables and other debris from previous construction. Obstacles such as cables can potentially disrupt services, as they are dragged along the bore path of the rotating drill head. Case study When dealing with a project with poor as-built records, the potential is high that

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Infrastructure Renewal ducting HDD in fill material, there is the possibility of ground distortion, so that buried asphalt, wood or boulders could be moved around during the back-reaming process, damaging adjacent underground utilities or services. In a recent interview, Peter Horvath of the Town of Markham’s Waterworks Department, noted that the Town has successfully conducted other watermain replacement projects using horizontal directional drilling in older urban areas.

Based on these successes, regardless of the abandoned service problems on Clark Avenue, he said the Town will continue to consider HDD technology as a viable alternative to open-cut excavation for such projects. Dara Romain, M.Sc., P.Eng, and Horia Ispas, P.Eng, are with Cole Engineering Group Ltd. E-mail: dromain@coleengineerng.ca, hispas@coleengineering.ca

An example of a corroded ferrous based watermain.

some existing underground utilities will be broken or damaged during construction. This was the case recently in the Town of Markham, Ontario. Cole Engineering Group Ltd. performed contract administration services for the construction of the Clark Avenue watermain and sanitary sewer replacement from Yonge Street to Sprucewood Drive. This project required the installation of a new watermain using horizontal directional drilling. The contractor conducted all daylighting prior to setting up the drilling plan, and all services and utility locates were exposed. The watermain installation went well, except that, while the contractor was conducting his back-reaming and pipepulling procedure, an existing abandoned live water service was encountered, which was not properly recorded or disconnected at the main. The abandoned service belonged to a house that had been demolished and replaced by a newer home. Additionally, the daylighting crew identified both the storm and sanitary laterals without knowing that there was a third live sanitary nearby. During the HDD process, the watermain cleared the two exposed laterals, but hit the live sanitary lateral, causing the basement of the residence to be flooded. Poor or non-existent as-built records are not the only concern when using HDD. Another important consideration is existing ground conditions. When conwww.esemag.com

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Air Pollution

New health protection air quality by-law introduced in Ontario By Rosanna DiLabio


ntil recently in Canada, emissions to the environment, whether in groundwater or air have been regulated by the provincial levels of government. Recent activity in some municipalities, such as regulation of pesticides for cosmetic purposes, indicates that municipal regulations will increasingly become a concern to industry. A new by-law in Oakville, Ontario, is indicative of this and, although currently only applicable to the Town of Oakville, other municipalities are certainly considering similar regulations. The new by-law will enable the Town of Oakville to track fine particulate matter emissions within its air shed. The bylaw will require commercial, industrial, institutional, municipal, and large residential complexes to report on their emissions of fine particulate matter and precursor pollutants by February 1, 2011, if reporting thresholds are met. Facilities that are deemed significant emitters will be required to submit an approval application to the Town that will be similar to a provincial Certificate of Approval, but with added health risk assessment and considerably more complex atmospheric dispersion modelling requirements. Prior to enacting the Oakville Health Protection Air Quality By-Law 2010-35 in February 2010, the Town researched the health effects of airborne fine particulate matter (FPM), also called PM2.5. FPM is the term used to refer to particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, and is present in the air as a result of industrial, anthro-

Oil refinery in Oakville Ontario which is on Lake Ontario.

pogenic, and natural sources. As well, FPM can form as a result of the mixing and chemical transformation of other pollutants in the atmosphere. These other pollutants, called precursor pollutants, include nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ammonia and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Other than ammonia, these precursor pollutants are typical byproducts of fuel combustion such as natural gas, diesel and oil, and definitely associated with chemical manufacturing, printing, coating, blending and painting operations. Besides industrial operations, another major source of FPM is vehicular traffic, much of which originates from the main highways that traverse Oakville. Following their research, the Town felt that the federal and provincial standards for fine particulate matter emissions were either non-existent or not well defined. In Oakville, at its current levels, research indicates that FPM is a key contributor to poor air quality and negative health ef-

fects such as premature mortality and morbidity. As a result, the Town enacted By-Law 2010-35 to help protect its residents against the negative health effects of FPM. The By-Law was amended on June 1, 2010, to further define those facilities required to report and to modify their reporting time-frame. There are stiff penalties for non-compliance. Fines could be as much as $100,000 for the first offence and up to $10,000/day for every day the offence continues. Noncompliance includes, but is not limited to, failure to provide the Town with reports, failure to apply for an Approval, operating without an Approval, and providing false information to the Town. Emissions reporting and approval thresholds are provided in Table 1. Companies that have previously assessed their reporting requirements to the federal National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) will find that the approval thresholds for the contaminants are the


Negligibility threshold (kg/yr)

Approval threshold (kg/yr)

Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Nitrogen Oxides Sulphur Dioxide Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Ammonia

1 10 10 10 10

300 20,000 20,000 10,000 10,000

Table 1. Emissions reporting and approval thresholds. 40 | November 2010

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Air Pollution Emission Source

Natural Gas Consumption (m3/yr)

Nitrogen Oxides Emissions (kg/yr)

Emissions Report Required

Home (family of 4) Threshold Usage Large Manufacturer

1,000 6,500 12,000,000

1.6 10.4 20,222

No Yes Yes

Approval Required No No Yes

Table 2. By-law reporting and approval requirements based on natural gas usage.

same as those listed in NPRI. Facilities meeting negligible thresholds All facilities meeting the size and contaminant negligibility thresholds for one or more of the contaminants must file a report with the Town, detailing average and maximum annual and daily emissions from each source by February 1, 2011. This requirement applies to all facilities currently holding, or those who should hold, provincial Certificates of Approval (Air & Noise). After February 1, 2011, should a facility obtain a new or amended provincial Certificate of Approval (Air & Noise) or change emission rates, this will trigger the requirement to file an initial or amended report, as the case may be. Facilities meeting approval thresholds Facilities that exceed the approval thresholds for one or more of the contaminants will be deemed significant emitters and will be required to obtain an approval from the Town of Oakville. Those facilities who hold, or should hold, provincial Certificates of Approval (Air and Noise) must obtain approval by February 1, 2011, and all others by February 1, 2012. As of February 1, 2010, when the ByLaw was enacted, proposed facilities requiring an approval are required to obtain that approval prior to beginning construction. The Town is proposing a 120 day turnaround time for approvals. As a condition in granting approvals, the Town will also require, as a minimum, annual reports detailing average and maximum annual and daily emissions from each source for each contaminant. There are about 3,500 businesses in Oakville that include commercial, industrial, institutional and municipal facilities. All businesses that are located on an area of property greater than 10,800 ft2, and all multi-residential buildings such as apartments and condominiums that contain 25 or more residential dwelling units


and emit FPM or any of the precursor pollutants will have to evaluate their emissions and determine if a Town report or an approval is required. (See Table 2). To put these thresholds into perspective, a family of four will burn about 1,000 m3 of natural gas in a year to heat their house, resulting in an emission of 1.6 kg/year of nitrogen oxides. It follows that a very small industrial facility using 6,500 m3 of natural gas annually for comfort heating would trigger the reporting requirement under this By-Law if the facility was located on a lot size of 10,800 ft2. A large industrial facility, such as a cogen plant, that burns 12,500,000 m3 of natural gas, would emit 20,222 kg/year of nitrogen oxides and would require an approval to operate.

The basic requirements of the approval application have been spelled out in the By-Law and will include: modelling of emissions (the Town is currently mandating the use of the CALPUFF software), detailed mapping of the emissions, a health-based risk assessment using Canadian Medical Association software, and, mitigation measures available if there is a potential for adverse health effects resulting from the emissions. It is estimated that very few Oakville businesses will require an approval from the Town, perhaps less than 20. Rosanna DiLabio, M.Sc., P.Eng., is with Pinchin Environmental Ltd. E-mail: rdilabio@pinchin.com

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Greenhouse Gas Reporting

GHG reporting legislation – from planning to practice By Kathy Preston, Russ Lewis and Nicole Vadori, RWDI AIR, Inc.


eporting of greenhouse gas emissions is fast becoming a significant part of doing business for many industrial and resource extraction facilities across Canada. It requires considerable staff time, dedicated reporting systems, the adoption of quality assurance procedures and, in many instances, improvements in the measurement and documentation of emissions and the consumption of fuels that create these emissions. Good planning can make the reporting process, and associated verification audits, go much more smoothly. Alberta, with its export-oriented oil and gas industry, was the first province to institute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions legislation, with the Specified Gas Reporting Regulation 2004 (SGRR) and the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation 2007 (SGER). The former deals with the reporting of GHG emissions, and the latter sets requirements for emissions reduction. Industries emitting 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e), or more, are required to report their emissions, and industries emitting over 100,000 tonnes CO2-e are required to report and fulfill emission reduction obligations. Alberta’s approach to emissions regulation is intensity-based rather than a cap-and-trade system, which is anticipated for British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. For all participants in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a limit, or cap, is set on emissions. Reductions below the cap generate credits, whereas exceedances of the cap require the purchase of credits. In Alberta, about 50% of emissions are from large point sources, many of which are associated with energy and resource development such as in the oil sands. Alberta has implemented legislation and regulations that seek to improve the efficiency of operations that produce significant amounts of GHGs. Efficiency, otherwise known as intensity, is defined as emissions per unit of facility production. In the case of emissions from an oil sands plant, a typical unit would be 42 | November 2010

On-site verification.

tonnes of C02e per m3 of bitumen produced. In an intensity-based system, a baseline is set, usually based on a two or three year period of operation in the case of an existing facility, and targets for reduction of emissions intensity are then established. Typically, reductions of 2% per year are set, extending over a six-year period, so that an ultimate reduction of 12% is achieved. Facilities that exceed their target can generate Emission Performance Credits, which, following a process of verification and registration, can be traded to facilities that have not met their targets. An alternative for facilities that do not meet their emissions performance targets is to pay into a Technology Fund, at the rate of $15/tonne CO2-e. These funds are then primarily used for research into emissions reduction technologies. Whether provinces apply an intensitybased approach as outlined above, or a cap-and-trade system, there are many commonalities in terms of the measuring, reporting and verifying of GHG emissions. Verification is an important issue

because of the financial implications, either through the generation and trading of credits, or determination of amounts payable to the Technology Fund. Verification of GHG emissions in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario is typically required to be in compliance with ISO 14064. 1. Who is involved in the reporting of emissions? Emissions statements must typically be verified by an independent third party verifier. Figure 1 indicates the parties involved and their relationships. Verifiers must be independent of the facility operators. Their responsibility is to provide an opinion to the regulating body as to whether the emissions statement is in compliance with the requirements of the relevant regulations, and regulator guidance documents. It is important for verifiers to have an understanding of the physical and chemical processes employed at a facility. Alberta Environment, the agency responsible for implementation of GHG regulations in Alberta, has found that the most effective verifiers combine both en-

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Greenhouse Gas Reporting

Figure 1: Emission reporting parties and their relationships.

gineering and accounting capabilities in their audits. In Alberta, about 10% of the verifications submitted are re-audited by verifiers working for Alberta Environment. This is

being done to help ensure that the quality of verification work is adequate, as well as to provide a second opinion on the facilities involved. Facilities that do not receive positive findings during these

re-verifications may be required to resubmit their emissions statements, a potentially time-consuming and expensive prospect. 2. What are the main components of a GHG emissions statement? Emissions statements must define the physical extent of the facility involved and clearly indicate all sources of emissions. Conceptual schematics, summarizing a facility’s inputs, physical and chemical processes and outputs, are an essential, though often overlooked, component of a complete emissions statement. Emission points and measurement locations must be indicated. In addition to summarizing the physical operation of a facility, the emissions statement must also clearly present the calculations used to estimate emissions, linking these calculations to the physical processes and measurement locations. Emissions are often calculated through the use of factors, which relate emissions for a particular process to the consumption of a readily measureable input, such as natural gas. All such faccontinued overleaf...


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Greenhouse Gas Reporting tors must be documented. In Alberta, it is also necessary to report facility production, since regulations are intensity-based. Other components of the emissions statement include documentation of staff training and experience, equipment maintenance and calibration, and effective quality assurance measures. Emissions statements, and all supporting information, must be transparent so that verifiers can readily provide assurance that the statements meet regulatory

requirements. Good organization of calculations and supporting documents is a necessity. Facilities can fail verifications as a result of poor organization and inadequate document control. In Alberta, facilities must account for all ‘material’ emissions in their statements. For facilities that annually emit more than 500,000 tonnes of CO2-e, the sum of all unaccounted for emissions must not exceed 2% of the total facility emissions. Emissions statements must

ANIMAL HEALTH STARTS ON THE FARM As a partner in biosecurity, you play a key role in keeping Canada’s animals healthy. Biosecurity refers to the measures we take to prevent the introduction and spread of contagious diseases. Animal diseases are easily transferred by people, equipment, and vehicles. As a service provider and a frequent visitor to farms, it is important for you to participate in biosecurity. Biosecurity is a team effort between agricultural producers and service personnel.

ASK PRODUCERS ABOUT THEIR BIOSECURITY PLAN. Show that you understand and respect these risk-reducing practices.

CONTACT PRODUCERS BEFORE ARRIVING. Make sure that your visits are scheduled at an appropriate time to reduce the risk of introducing or spreading disease.

KNOW THE ON-SITE BIOSECURITY PROTOCOLS. If possible, avoid contact with animals, housing areas, feed and water. Work from clean areas towards dirty ones.

BE DILIGENT. Operate professionally and train your employees accordingly. Ask yourself: • Is this visit necessary? • Where do I park and sign in? • Do I have everything I need to perform my service? • Do I know how to enter production zones? • Am I following effective cleaning measures for equipment and personal wear?

Biosecurity is the best investment we can make to help keep Canada’s animals healthy. 1-800-442-2342 www.inspection.gc.ca/biosecurity

44 | November 2010

provide estimates, necessarily approximate, of emissions that are not included in their statements. 3. What are facilities doing well? Facilities are typically able to effectively deal with aspects of the emissions reporting process that are already a part of their existing systems. Total consumption of large amounts of fuels, such as natural gas or electricity, is likely to be accurate and well-documented through existing measurement, invoicing, and accounting procedures. Verifications at most facilities have also found staff to be sufficiently knowledgeable and forthcoming with appropriate information in support of audits. Also, for the most part, calculations have been found to be acceptably accurate, with few major errors. 4. What are typical areas in which facilities have reporting issues? Problems encountered in the conduct of audits have included inadequate quality assurance, poor organization of materials and documentation of calculations, and an overall lack of transparency. Since it is not appropriate for verifiers to provide coaching, or act as advocates for the facilities they are auditing, poor organization can lead to a negative audit outcome. While spreadsheets may sometimes be convenient tools for emissions calculations, maintaining adequate version control is a common problem. Establishing a clear flow of information from physical measuring points to the calculations has also been found lacking in many audits. Facilities often fail to consider the effects of staff turnover on their ability to respond to audits. A common theme, when facilities have fared poorly in audits, is the lack of an overall facility strategy for the reporting of GHG emissions. Drawing information from a variety of existing data sources and spreadsheets designed for other purposes may seem efficient. However, in the long run, taking the time to develop a set of procedures and tools dedicated to the task of emissions reporting most often proves to be the most effective approach to avoid negative audits. Other areas that are commonly neglected are the required provision of estimates of the amounts of sources deemed, or implied, to be immaterial, and the lack

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Greenhouse Gas Reporting of quality assurance for manually transferred values. 5. What steps can affected facilities take to prepare for reporting and associated audits? Facilities will find it beneficial to develop overall strategies for GHG reporting, rather than providing information from ad hoc sources and systems. Such GHG strategies work best if the significance of GHG reporting to the overall business is effectively communicated throughout the organization involved. The strategy itself need not be highly detailed, but must be comprehensive in its scope. It should identify key staff responsibilities, and should include an overall system for the collection, processing and quality assurance of information used to estimate emissions. As discussed above, GHG reports require verification; the cornerstone of verification is good documentation. The GHG strategy should also identify quality assurance measures for all information, even if such QA is minimal. If a verifier finds that quality assurance is weak in some areas, having a documented QA system creates a better chance of passing the audit than if quality assurance is simply ignored. 6. What training is available to help facilities deal with GHG reporting? Training and certification of verifiers, quantifiers and validators of GHG emissions and emission offset credits is now offered by several training providers such as the Canadian Standards Association and ECO Canada. While facilities may rely on either internal staff or external consultants to prepare GHG reporting statements, staff training is a wise investment that will pay dividends in terms of time saved, efficient use of external consultants, and in the avoidance of issues with regulators. 7. What is the current trend in the standard of audits? The implementation of regulations for the reporting of GHG emissions in Alberta is being phased in. The first years of implementation have required only a ‘limited’ level of assurance from verifiers. Alberta is currently shifting to a higher audit standard referred to as ‘reasonable’ assurance. The auditors must decide whether they can provide a positive statewww.esemag.com

ment regarding the audit, i.e., that they believe the audit to be sufficiently correct to meet the appropriate regulations and standards. Further, the level of tolerance for minor deficiencies in areas such as data quality assurance and overall documentation has been steadily decreased during the initial years of implementation. In Ontario and British Columbia, it appears that the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions will be done at a ‘reasonable’

level from the outset. Facilities in these provinces will need to get up-to-speed quickly. Hopefully, the lessons learned in Alberta will be helpful to those provinces just embarking on their programs for GHG emissions regulation and trading of credits. For more information, E-mail: elaine.farrow@rwdi.com, or visit www.rwdiair.com

LA SANTÉ ANIMALE COMMENCE À LA FERME Comme partenaire, vous jouez un rôle clef en matière de biosécurité lorsque vient le temps de protéger la santé des animaux du Canada. La biosécurité, c’est l’ensemble des mesures prises pour empêcher l’introduction et la propagation de maladies contagieuses. Les maladies animales sont facilement transmises par l’entremise de personnes, d’équipement et de véhicules. Comme fournisseur de service et visiteur fréquent de fermes, votre participation à la biosécurité est importante. La biosécurité est assurée grâce aux efforts collectifs entre les producteurs agricoles et le personnel du secteur des services.

DEMANDEZ AUX PRODUCTEURS DE VOUS PARLER DE LEUR PLAN DE BIOSÉCURITÉ. Montrez-leur que vous comprenez et respectez ces mesures d’atténuation des risques.


Assurez-vous d’organiser vos visites à un moment approprié afin de réduire le risque d’introduction ou de propagation de maladies.


Dans la mesure du possible, évitez tout contact avec les animaux, les bâtiments d’élevage, les aliments du bétail et l’eau. Commencez dans les endroits propres et terminez dans les sales.


Faites preuve de professionnalisme et exigez de même de vos employés. Posez-vous les questions suivantes : • La visite est-elle nécessaire? • Où dois-je stationner et me présenter? • Est-ce que j’ai tout ce qu’il me faut pour offrir mon service? • Est-ce que je sais comment entrer dans les zones de production? • Est-ce que j’applique des mesures efficaces pour nettoyer l’équipement et mes vêtements personnels?

La biosécurité est le meilleur investissement possible pour protéger la santé des animaux du Canada. 1-800-442-2342 www.inspection.gc.ca/biosecurite

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Each year, ES&E invites experts and leaders in environmental consulting to share their opinions, experiences and values with our readers. We continue to be honored every year with erudite responses from some of our leading consulting engineers. Their opinions are based on many years of collective experience in maintaining high standards, while keeping up with the diversity and complexities of environmental engineering and managerial leadership.

By Bill De Angelis, P.Eng., MBA, Vice President and General Manager, Associated Engineering


n a recent conversation with a client, I asked him what sorts of issues and challenges he was facing in his dealings with the consulting community at large. His response brought forth a rant that would have done Rick Mercer proud. If you’ve ever seen his show, you know that Rick Mercer is a comedian with a keen political sense. At the end of every show, he goes into a “rant” about a topical problem or issue, tearing it down to its most basic terms, analyzing every element of it, then developing and presenting a sensible solution. The solution may not always be palatable to the masses, but it is usually practical and achievable. That being the case, I thought “Why not use the Rick Mercer approach as a means to address an engineering dilemma?” So I did. The dilemma underlying the client’s situation relates to a problem we face as an industry. That is the apparent “commoditization of engineers”. As consulting engineers we complain bitterly about this to whoever will listen. But have we ever really thought about why this problem began, and why it seems to continually perpetuate itself in our field? The client complained that he routinely hires consulting engineers to provide direction and solutions to technical problems. More often than not, he noted that he ends up telling his consultants 46 | November 2010

What would Rick Mercer do? what to do. “They seem so narrowly focused on doing something quickly, that they often don’t take the time to properly analyze problems to gain an understanding of underlying issues, before they rush off and implement something. They are happy to be told what to do, then to go and do it.” Clients tell me they hire consulting engineering firms because these companies are supposed to know more than they do. Otherwise they would do the work themselves. They look for specialized skills and external perspectives to develop and deliver high quality and workable solutions. At the same time, they want to use that information to help broaden their own knowledge base through technology transfer to internal engineers. The experience of the client in this instance was that he knew more than most of the engineers retained to assist and direct him. They almost unilaterally lacked the breadth of skills and thought processes required to function effectively as consulting engineers. In dealing with a particular matter, this client wanted someone to listen to his problem, propose solutions, convince him of each solution’s validity through analyses of the merits of each, then come up with a recommendation and related costs to implement the preferred solution. He also wanted convincing that this was indeed a valid path to be going down. Did the client get what he wanted at the end of the day? Not really. There are many contributing factors that caused his experience. How many of

us train our engineers to develop beyond the pure technician level, to be able to properly advise clients on a wide range of topics? How many have highly developed interpersonal skills that enable them to negotiate, advise and convince with authority? How many engineers really want to do any of the above? Are they comfortable doing so, and are they capable of doing it? When engineers start out, they want to fast track progress in their careers. Money and status are very important to them (as they should be). Unfortunately, learning about the real world doesn’t necessarily keep pace with position advancement and financial rewards. This shortfall in learning, and narrowness of vision, can result in the creation of generations of engineers who cannot meet a client’s expectations. Using Professional Engineers Ontario surveys (and similar other documents across the country), we tend to align our employees within categories from A through F+, in order to identify the required education and experience requirements, with associated salary recommendations commensurate with that experience. The higher one climbs up the engineering hierarchy, the greater the scope and breadth of expertise required. We expect our engineers to develop within this type of framework. It seems we may be promoting on the basis of perceived technical considerations and ignoring the other facets that round out a person’s ability to process, sort, collate and communicate.

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If Rick Mercer were really involved in this discussion, his analysis of the issue might look like this: The facts Your clients want advice and you can’t give it to them because they know more than you do. You can’t offer practical solutions to problems, backed up with technical, social and financial justifications. You complain about being commoditized, yet you act like a commodity, providing little innovation or added value. The reality Your industry (consultants, owners, institutions of higher learning, etc.) is collectively responsible for the commoditization of engineers and engineering services. Engineers that are the subject of this problem are not totally at fault; they are the product of your actions. Whose fault is it? The fault lies in a) the education system that ill prepares them for the real world; b) a consulting sector that doesn’t put enough effort into training and mentoring them; and c) a predominance of price-based competition that, by its very nature, disallows innovation in thinking and design. Your way forward as an individual If you, as an engineer, want to be respected, you need to earn that privilege. Listen, learn and think outside the box. Pure technicians are a commodity, while forward thinking engineers are not. Develop a broader suite of interpersonal skills. A good communicator, who can convey difficult concepts in plain language, is a value-added proposition. Spend some time in your clients’ shoes, and think of how you would respond if you were treated the way you treat them. Do good work. You have to balance available dollars with effort, but don’t let the dollars be your only driver. The way forward as a profession Don’t promote too quickly. You don’t do a service to your employees, your firm or your clients, and you undermine the tenets of your professional associations. Get your clients to revisit their consultant selection processes. Rates and fees should be at a sufficient level to support employee development initiatives which will train future generations of engineers. Spend more time mentoring your charges, in more than technical design elwww.esemag.com

ements. Prepare them for the future. Take a critical look at the product your engineering institutions are turning out. Is it what your profession needs and what your clients want? Go back to them and tell them what they need to do. The future Acknowledge that a problem exists and that it has its roots in the schools, consulting firms and client organizations. If you work together, share information, reach consensus, come up with practical plans for implementation, and stick to

your plans, you can improve your engineering resources from commoditization to value-added. If we do all this, the client whose rant got this discussion started will have nothing to rant about. That Rick Mercer is one cool guy. I wonder if he is an engineer. Contact: deangelisb@ae.ca

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By G. Zukovs, M.Eng., D.WRE., P.Eng., President, XCG Consultants, and Jacinta O’Brien, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., FEC, Principal, Strategic Alternatives


n March 31, 2011, one of the largest infrastructure funding programs will come to an end. In 2009, the federal government established its $4 billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to provide funding for the rehabilitation or construction of provincial, territorial, municipal and community infrastructure projects. The fund was part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan and was set up to contribute 50 percent of the cost of provincial and territorial projects, and up to 33 percent of the cost of municipal projects. It had a two-year lifespan, targeting projects that could begin quickly and be built during the 2009 and 2010 construction seasons.

48 | November 2010

Environmental consulting after the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund era. What now? Of the applications that were funded, the highest number was for water and wastewater projects at 1,273. The total value of these will amount to more than $2.7 billion once all the bills have been paid. Environmental consultants were also beneficiaries of the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. While most funds were directed toward actual construction or rehabilitation costs, consultants have been involved, conducting environmental assessments, designing the water and wastewater systems, obtaining environmental approvals, overseeing contractors, and commissioning the new and refurbished infrastructure. Assuming ten per cent of total water and wastewater project value, Ontario consultants probably enjoyed in the order of $100 million in fees over the past couple of years. The focus of Infrastructure Stimulus Fund projects on rehabilitation or retrofit of existing infrastructure assets, or the

construction of new infrastructure assets, fit neatly within the environmental consulting ‘comfort zone’. This is the type of work many environmental consultants have been doing, and doing well, for a long time. The project regulatory requirements and accepted procedures – including Municipal Class Environmental Assessments – are known and understood. All of this familiarity brings a certain level of predictability to projects, in terms of bidding on them and working on them. But that may be about to change. Now, with a considerable amount of new infrastructure in place and existing infrastructure revitalized, an increasing number of municipalities are moving away from simply designing and building water and wastewater facilities, and are moving forward with plans and proposals to make better and more efficient use of the resources and assets they have. The recent confluence of the economic downturn, pressures from continued population growth, and rising consciousness about the value of environmentally healthy living conditions, are all factors that appear to be contributing to a heightened awareness among municipalities about the need to manage what they have within their means. The trend now is to focus on sustainability of water and wastewater infrastructure and services. In Ontario, one of the first municipalities to embark on a sustainable approach to management of water and wastewater works and services was the Regional Municipality of York, one of the fastest growing areas in Canada. In 2008, recognizing the need to proactively manage its assets and the delivery of its services, York Region developed a Water and Wastewater Sustainability Strategy. Other municipalities are following suit. In response to the trend and to provide assistance to municipalities, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario published a Sustainability Planning Toolkit for Municipalities in Ontario. The Toolkit provides “practical tools to enable any municipality to identify where it lies along a “sustainability continuum” and to choose the specific tools that are most ap-

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propriate to its unique circumstances, to realize tangible progress towards greater sustainability”. A key feature of the sustainability initiatives is the institutionalization of sustainability policies and practices in areas that extend beyond the environment. One notable area is procurement. Although this is a relatively new phenomenon, more and more municipalities are incorporating sustainability criteria into procurement processes and policies, and tender documents and requests for proposals. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, sustainable procurement is an “acquisition process whereby organizations meet their requirements for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole of life basis, in terms of generating benefits not only to the organization, but also to society and the economy, whilst minimizing its impact on the environment.” In Canada, Nova Scotia became the first jurisdiction to adopt a sustainable procurement policy, in order to become “one of the cleanest environments and sustainable economies in the world by 2020”. All departments are now required to consider sustainable criteria in all procurement decisions by integrating economic, environmental, and social considerations into the procurement process. In western Canada, the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba have

a long tradition of supporting sustainable development and green procurement. Other western cities, including Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler, have all embarked on sustainable procurement initiatives, or have already adopted formal policies and procedures. For the environmental consulting industry, the push toward sustainability represents a new and better way of looking at issues and challenges, and of doing business. And that’s a good thing. The traditional approach to water and wastewater infrastructure and servicing typically involved identifying a problem such as lack of servicing, looking at options to address the problem, analysing the technical feasibility and costs associated with each option, and then selecting a preferred solution. Lifecycle costing, rather than being a separate analysis of capital and then operating costs, is starting to become an integral component of sustainable municipal servicing. And consultation is not simply an added pre-requisite to project approval, but a fundamental thread that runs throughout. Responding effectively to sustainable water and wastewater projects will require a shift in team skills and composition. The historical overweighting of engineering and technology will need to be rebalanced to emphasize planning expertise. Companies will need to integrate professionals who can foster collaboration, open communication, and public involvement.

In terms of sustainable procurement practices, environmental consultants have long possessed the ability and perspective to respond knowledgably to these new practices. Anyone who has conducted an environmental assessment as a prelude to designing a new water system or rehabilitating a wastewater treatment plant would agree. That’s because environmental consulting work demands not only an understanding of the science and technology needed to solve problems, but also an understanding and appreciation for the social impacts of different strategies and options, and the full costs to build, operate, maintain, and renew different options. Environmental consultants who can leverage their inherent skill set and demonstrate commitment to sustainability in their own operations will be best positioned to respond and thrive in the water and wastewater industry under the new sustainability regime - at least until the next round of federal infrastructure funding is announced. Contact: GeorgeZ@XCG.com

Just another engineering job?

©2010.Black & Veatch.





At Black & Veatch, you’ll think bigger, reach higher and go further. With us, you’ll gain the rewards of success and, most importantly, make a difference on some of the largest and most advanced projects in the world. For a list of current openings, visit bv.com/careers, or contact us at makeadifference@bv.com.





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Canadian consultants can make it happen By Bruce Tucker, M.Sc., P.Eng., Senior Vice President, Infrastructure and Environmental Division, Tetra Tech


anada’s consulting engineers are widely respected for their client focus, research, and innovation. Similarly, they have a global reputation for utilizing their collective capabilities to create sustainable technologies that move us all forward. John M. Richardson, Jr., the American academic who currently serves as a Professor of International Development, stated that "when it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened." I believe that Canada will always ‘make it happen’ in terms of continued growth and impact on the global stage. I see three distinct trends emerging for us in Canada over the next five to ten years: globalization, consolidation, and local focus. In my opinion, each of these trends will help to shape the consulting

50 | November 2010

engineering marketplace in Canada for the foreseeable future. Globalization Canada is a strong player in today’s global economy. With our open market reputation, our focus on education and our stable financial system, we’ve become a very attractive place to do business. Additionally, our collective industry expertise in infrastructure, natural resources, and industrial development has proven to be a true differentiator in the global marketplace. Most importantly, Canadian consulting engineering firms are home to talented staff from all over the world. This symbiotic relationship allows us to engage in new opportunities in emerging markets. Canada is a key player on the global stage, and for us to maintain this status, we will need to adapt our focus to world-

wide opportunities. Success in this day and age requires a global workforce with global capabilities. Globalization has placed Canada in a position to ‘make it happen’ in the years ahead. Consolidation According to 2009 Government of Canada statistics, Canada is the thirdlargest exporter of engineering services. These services employ more than 85,000 workers, and have annual operating revenues of more than $13 billion. Canada has an excellent international reputation for the quality of its engineering services, with particular strengths in resource extraction, energy, telecommunications, transportation and infrastructure. Internationally-controlled firms have been a major source of growth in recent years, and now represent over 35 percent of Canadian head office and management operations. The past three to five years

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have been among the most active in terms of consolidation in the Canadian consulting engineering marketplace. I’m suggesting that this is a trend that will likely continue. Canada’s geographical location and sound business practices make it a favourite near shoring/outsourcing destination for investors. Competitive operating costs, strong clusters of people with

tend to be larger firms. In fact, recent trends suggest that smaller firms will need to join larger firms to respond to this specific market condition. I see this as a trend that will continue in the near-term. Local focus Globalization and consolidation would appear to be diametrically opposed to the idea that ‘local’ firms can remain a factor

The reality is that projects are becoming significantly more complex and risk-based, which in turn has created an evolution for our Canadian marketplace. specialized skills, and an expertise in business services are all factors in the influx of new players into our market. More specifically, the reality is that projects are becoming significantly more complex and risk-based, which in turn has created an evolution for our Canadian marketplace. The firms that seek to have a role on larger projects, with significantly more project scope and risk, will

in our marketplace. I disagree. For several reasons, local firms will always have a place in the market, including cost-competitiveness, the appeal of buying services “close to home”, and the popularity of the “underdog” succeeding against the bigger and more capital-driven competitors. Consulting engineering in Canada has changed in terms of the size of the companies competing, but what has not

changed is the ever-present need to respond directly and efficiently to client needs. What also must be noted is a shift from relationship-based delivery to relationship-based delivery in conjunction with value-driven expertise. In today’s marketplace, it is not enough to have strong client relationships. Clients today, and into the future, will look for strong relationships that are supplemented by value-added, solution-based companies. The local focus will continue but it will continue with extra expectations. I see a consulting engineering marketplace in Canada that will continue to evolve, travelling down a winding path of globalization, consolidation, and local focus. Our future will be one based on a simple precept - ‘make it happen’ – and we will. Contact: bruce.tucker@tetratech.com



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Values and client service will see you through


he year 2011 is showing signs of being more challenging for the consulting industry in general. Firms having a diverse client base, or focused primarily on public sector clientele, were largely buffered from the impacts of the recession, thanks primarily to the stimulus program. Despite the worst of the recession being over, many key economic indicators remain flat. The federal government, handcuffed by a record deficit, has been quite clear that no new stimulus measures will be initiated, and that extension of the current program is largely in doubt. A rebound in the private sector has been slow to take hold, and the prospect of many municipalities advancing capital projects to take advantage of stimulus funding 2011, clearly appears more uncertain. As was observed in previous economic downturns, we have recently seen more firms who have traditionally competed only for private sector work, now

competing for public sector projects. In addition, we have also experienced competition from US firms on larger capital projects. This was certainly expected, given the past investments that were made by these firms in the consolidation of local firms through acquisition. With more firms seemingly competing for a smaller piece of the public sector pie, the pressure on client bases and fee pricing or margin is expected to increase. In our experience, there is no panacea that somehow makes these challenges magically disappear. Hard work, knowing who you are, and adhering to your values, will see you through the challenging times. The period coming out of the recession of the early 1990s was particularly challenging for Burnside, as it was for the industry as a whole. While our diversity had carried us through that recession very well, in comparison to some of our competitors, we were faced with similar challenges.

By Ian Drever, Senior Vice President, R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited We persevered through these challenges, learning all the way, but, hindsight being what it is, we are certain that there were a few decisions we should have taken differently - and it all comes back to values. I recently came across a memorandum, some 15 years old, in my office. We had invited two clients to come in and do a presentation on what good client service meant to them. Looking at it now, it is funny that the more things change, the more they stay the same, as far as clients are concerned. They spoke of responsiveness, integrity, and providing value. They noted that the world in which we work can be particularly challenging, and so a



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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Good client service must be a mindset right through the whole value chain.

positive, friendly attitude really makes a difference. All of these are the hallmarks of good service. It seems so simple, yet difficult to practice in a consistent manner. In my daily work I am constantly surprised at just how poor service levels can be. When

I sit with clients - if they happen to speak of other consultants - it is always about service, either good or bad. It is that critical, and greatly accentuated in a challenging economy. Good client service does not just rest with vice presidents, client leaders and

project managers. Good client service must be a mindset right through the whole value chain – from president to CADD technician, from preliminary design through contract management and field services. Investing in people and maintaining a consistent message perhaps does not always ensure success, but this will certainly improve the odds. Yes, 2011 will be a challenge. In any given year, many things will change, be it procurement processes, advances in technology, staffing, or client needs. Every firm needs to adapt to these everchanging variables, but we would suggest that staying true to your values and giving clients the best service possible, are the constants for success under any economic circumstances. Contact: ian.drever@rjburnside.com

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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.

The importance of safety and design for fuel tanks


atural disasters, acts of vandalism and terrorism, fires and explosions are all major concerns for building and facility owners storing fuel on site. For above ground storage tanks, the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 2085 listing has long been recognized as the “gold standard” for design safety. UL 2085listed tanks provide fire protection (they have been fire tested at 2000 degrees for two hours), secondary containment, and protection from vehicle and projectile impact. But are the performance standards in this listing an adequate benchmark for what may happen in the real world? Two recent incidents highlight the importance of having added protection and security. Both events took place at Department of Homeland Security facilities in the US. In each case a ConVault tank helped guard against catastrophic losses of property or life. Tank explosion at US border patrol New Mexico has seen three recent explosions within fuel tanks involving low sulfur diesel fuel. On June 28, 2010, a static spark produced an internal explosion within a 6,000 gallon ConVault tank containing low sulfur diesel fuel at the US Border Patrol in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Two people were close to the tank, one sustained very minor injuries and the other person was not injured at all. 54 | November 2010

ConVault tank prevents catastrophic loss of life at US Border Patrol.

Fire destroys US Coast Guard boathouse In July 2010, a huge fire completely destroyed a pier, boats, a service truck and a US Coast Guard boathouse at Menemsha Harbor on Martha’s Vineyard. The fire was only a few feet away from the marina fueling system, which included 500 and 1,000 gallon ConVault tanks. The thermal protection of the concrete as well as the shutoff and fusible link valve prevented this fire from becoming an

even larger catastrophe. Additional testing ConVault ASTs carry the UL 2085 label but they step beyond the UL 2085 industry standard by offering added protection and performance verified by third party testing. They are designed with six inches of reinforced concrete protecting both the primary and secondary containment. In addition, they are designed with reinforcing rebar surrounding both the primary and secondary containment.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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ConVault tanks unharmed in huge fire at US Coast Guard station.

Blast effects analysis ConVault tanks have also been the subject of a Blast Effects Analysis designed to determine the inherent blast resistance of the tank design. Karagozian & Case conducted this

analysis in which three different threat scenarios were investigated to determine the inherent blast resistance of the tanks. Scenarios were chosen to reflect blast safety distances recommended in FEMA’s Reference Manual to Mitigate Potential

Terrorist Attacks against Buildings. The scenarios investigated were: a) a blast from a vapor cloud such as might accumulate at a refinery; b) a blast from 50 lbs of High Explosive (HE) TNT as might be carried by a typical suicide bomber; and c) a blast from 500 lbs of High Explosive (HE) TNT representing a typical car bomb. The tank passed all three tests. Overall, the Blast Effects Analysis indicated that the ConVault AST is very resistant to the effects of the blast loads considered. The reinforced concrete vault is a key design feature. The mass provided by the concrete outer shell protects the steel tank and greatly enhances the resistance to all blasts. For more information, contact info@core-es.com

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Spill containment for tanker truck unloading at water and wastewater plants By Kirk Worounig


nvironment Canada has reported that there are an estimated 20,000 spills per year during tanker truck unloading. Although most of them are minor and have a marginal impact on the environment, it is always important to carefully consider the location of a tanker truck unloading area, and to choose an area that will minimize environmental damage should a spill occur. A key factor is where a spill would flow. A spilled substance will always flow to the lowest point in the area. Depending on the location of the unloading area, it may flow to a nearby swale leading to a catch basin and then to a creek. If an appropriate containment preventive design has been implemented, a spill may be retained on the site for professional clean-up. The appropriate spill containment de-

Spill containment box for tanker truck unloading.

signs, procedures, equipment and training should be put into place to minimize any environmental impact. Choosing the location of a tanker truck unloading station should be done during the design stage of

a facility, because it presents the best opportunity to minimize the effects of a spill and to contain it fully. Chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite, or diesel fuel, are typically delivered

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by tanker truck and pumped by the truck to the storage tanks located within the facility. If the liquid level in the tank is higher than the unloading point, then the driver will be required to pump the liquid and then blow low-pressure air to empty the truck hose and the fill pipe to the tank. If the driver fails to do this before disconnecting the hose, all of the liquid in the pipes will come flooding out and a spill of many litres will occur. Even if the proper procedures are followed, smaller spills may still occur when the hose is disconnected. Spills can range from a few drops to a few litres. It is not at all unusual, when examining any tanker truck loading area, to find evidence of past spills. In addition, catastrophic spills may occur when the equipment, such as the hose, coupling or pump, fails. Although designers of the receiving station cannot prevent all spills from happening, ensuring that proper spill containment devices and procedures are in place will minimize environmental impact when a spill does occur. The first thing that should be considered is the substance being unloaded. Typical substances that are delivered to a water treatment plant by tanker truck include diesel fuel, alum, hydrofluosilicic acid and sodium hypochlorite. A qualitative risk analysis should also be undertaken. Among the key considerations are the frequency of unloading, likelihood of spills both small and large, and what the environmental impact would be if a minor or major spill were to occur. If it is determined that even a small spill may occur, the next step in the analysis is to review the site topography to determine what the impact of a spill would be and what steps need to be taken to mitigate the environmental damage. Bearing all this in mind, a well-designed tanker truck unloading system can be put into place. The position of the tanker truck during the unloading process and what would happen if a spill were to occur are critical elements to consider in designing an effective spill containment plan. A review of the site drainage is important and, insofar as it is possible, manholes and either storm or sanitary sewers should not be located in the potential path of a spill. If manholes, either proposed or existing, are located in the path of a spill, it is www.esemag.com

important to install appropriate devices to minimize the ingress of a spill, such as a watertight, bolted down and gasketed type of manhole cover detailed as an Ontario Provincial Standard Drawing (OPSD) 401.03. Special equipment Depending on the site drainage and the chemical being unloaded, an oil grit separator device may be used. Oil grit separators (OGS) work well to capture hydrocarbons, such as gasoline or diesel fuel, that have a specific gravity of 0.85,

but not substances such as sodium hypochlorite that have a specific gravity of 1.2. An OGS may look like a regular catch basin from above, but it is designed to settle sand and grit, while allowing the lighter-weight contaminant, such as oil, to float and accumulate on the top.


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Yearly maintenance is recommended to remove floatables and sand from the system and to ensure that such devices work as expected. OGS are also designed according to expected rainfall events and desired oil retention. They can be located anywhere on the property, but to be effective a containment system should contain the spill as quickly as possible. So it is best to locate the OGS at the expected spill point, or before the storm sewer exits the property. Another device that can be used for spill containment is a specially designed catchbasin for truck unloading areas. These catchbasins have a drain pipe that contains a motorized valve, which closes when a tanker truck is present. The volume of the catchment area and catch basin is sized to accommodate a large spill and possibly even the whole truck. When a tanker truck begins its unload-

ing process, the valve in the chamber closes, thereby preventing any spill from entering the drainage system. This can be done automatically or manually, but generally it is better to remove the human element from the equation. When the truck has completed its unloading, the valve is either allowed to reopen or remain closed if a spill occurred during the unloading process. For diesel fuel, the surface should be constructed of concrete, which is inert. Asphalt will quickly dissolve and allow the spill to enter the surface below. A well-designed tanker truck unloading station also includes remote tank level readouts. These are gauges that show the level of liquid in the facility’s storage tank. They should be located within sight of the truck driver so he never has to leave the truck unloading area to check on the tank level. This is critical in order to reduce the likelihood of a catastrophic spill. Since the majority of spills occur in small volumes, one of the most effective devices is one that captures the spill at the source. In order to mitigate the most common spills, which occur when the hose of the tanker truck is being connected to and

disconnected from the storage tank or from the fill coupling, it is recommended that the coupling for the hose be installed in a wall-mounted box with a shutoff valve. This box needs to be protected from vandalism and should be locked. It should be made from a material suitable for the chemicals being handled. For example, a stainless steel box would be appropriate for diesel fuel and a fiberglass-reinforced plastic box for sodium hypochlorite. The bottom of the box should be leak-tight and drained to the inside of the building, and preferably to the containment area of the in-house bulk tank. Having a properly-designed containment box will ensure that all spills will be fully contained within this box and safely drained inside the building. For large facilities, a vestibule within the building can accommodate the fill point. Here, the truck operator connects his hose to the building’s system, which is located within the building. This vestibule would be self-contained and capture all spills related to the connection and disconnection from the storage tank piping.

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It is not unusual in tank unloading areas to find evidence of past spills.

Another good spill mitigation device is a “spill alarm” button located close to the unloading area, possibly as part of the local tank level readout panel. This alarm can be activated by the tanker truck driver

to notify the relevant facility personnel within the building or the local SCADA system that a spill has occurred and help is urgently needed. Other commonly used spill contain-

ment devices include spill kits, which contain key spill control devices such as absorbent socks, pads, mats and sacks of absorbent material. However, in order for these spill kits to be effective, they should contain sufficient quantities of the materials, and employees should receive proper training in using them safely. Remember not to throw out the spill-absorptive material into the garbage, as it is considered a registered waste and its disposal must be manifested. Through the proper design of the tanker truck unloading site, as well as proper spill containment procedures, equipment and training of relevant staff, the negative environmental impact of a spill can be minimized. Kirk Worounig, P.Eng., is with R.V. Anderson Associates Ltd. E-mail: kworounig@RVAnderson.com

Appointment P.J. (Jim) Halliday, V.P. of O & M Problem Solving Services OWOTC/WWOTC President Doug Cooper is pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Halliday to the position of Vice President of our new “O & M Problem Solving” services department. Jim’s 38 years of industry experience, his accumulated operational credentials, and his positive personal attributes are all indicators of the value he adds to our team. Our Problem Solvers are seasoned veterans who are knowledgeable and experienced in the day-to-day challenges of operating and maintaining water and wastewater systems. Working with your operators, our role is to provide the tools to optimize your existing process streams, improving performance, reducing costs and ensuring due diligence in meeting regulatory requirements. Call our offices soon for a complete list of services that Jim’s department can offer. 1-866-622-6535 www.owotc.com


November 2010 | 59

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World Trade Center contractors switch tanks to avoid fuel spills


hen Hank Berberat arrives at a typical construction site, he doesn’t usually find bystanders trying to enter the gates right behind him, to sneak a peek at what’s going on inside. But when the construction project in question is New York City’s World Trade Center (WTC) Memorial, it’s understandable that the general public may have an above-average level of curiosity. The process of fueling excavators, dozers and other construction vehicles at the WTC Memorial site is not as simple as driving up to a pump at the local gas

a more reliable option for fuel storage and transport. They needed a tank that was legally certified to be lifted with fuel inside. They contacted Hank Berberat, the owner of Berco Tank, a Watertown, Connecticut-based company specializing in fuel storage tank rentals and sales. It had been only a month earlier that Berberat had successfully located such a solution. When he founded Berco Tank in September 2008, he was looking for a unique line of fuel tanks and his search led him to Western International Inc. and its line of Transcube fuel transportation tanks.

Traditional diesel storage tanks are not designed to be moved while full of fuel. As a result, many contractors will hire local welding shops, or bring in their own fabricators to modify the tanks with eye hooks, or other features station, as many of these machines are performing excavation and foundation work in a hole 85 feet deep. These logistics leave only one viable option for equipment fueling — using cranes to lower fuel tanks from grade level down to the bottom of the hole. Traditional diesel storage tanks are not designed to be moved while full of fuel. As a result, many contractors will hire local welding shops, or bring in their own fabricators to modify the tanks with eye hooks, or other features, that enable the tanks to be hoisted by crane. That was done with several tanks at the WTC site and nine out of 10 times a modified tank would work well. Unfortunately, in October 2008, possibly due to inadequately spaced eye hooks or some similar engineering failure, a modified tank on the site was unable to contain a fuel surge as it was being moved, causing a significant amount of diesel fuel to be spilled. This incident immediately brought some serious environmental and safety concerns to light. These concerns would be critical under any circumstances, but even more so at a job under as much scrutiny as the WTC Memorial. Feeling that they were on the hot seat, various contractors at the site sought out 60 | November 2010

Featuring internal baffling to minimize fuel surge while in transit, Transcube tanks are UL 142-approved and compliant with US Department of Transportation (DOT) standards for road transport of diesel fuel. The units are designed around the concept of preventing any fuel spillage or leakage, and are built with an inner tank completely enclosed within an outer wall structure that provides 110% secondary containment. “Being able to transport a container while it still has fuel in it is a significant advantage,” said Berberat. “Standard tanks have to be emptied, but sometimes even with good planning there’s fuel left over. In one instance a local fuel company was delivering one of my rental Transcubes full of diesel to a jobsite every day. Because of site constraints and safety concerns, the contractors did not want the tank sitting there while they worked, so the fuel company immediately took it off site after it had fueled the equipment. The Transcube made that arrangement possible.” As the name implies, Transcube tanks are rectangular in shape, like a box. This shape allows them to be stacked on top of one another to save space in rental yards or cramped jobsites.

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When the construction project in question is New York City’s World Trade Center (WTC) Memorial, it’s understandable that the general public may have an above-average level of curiosity.

In addition to the basic product qualifications, Berberat was able to provide contractors at the WTC Memorial with ratings testing information that further satisfied officials monitoring the site. Contractors also had a chance to view demonstration images of a Transcube being lifted and dropped without incident, another key selling point on a jobsite where cranes were constantly lifting tanks up and out of a deep hole. Berco Tank has now supplied 16 fuel storage tanks to 10 companies on site. Eight units are currently out on rental on the project and eight more have been purchased to this point. Among the 16 Transcube tanks, three different models have been utilized, offering capacities of 132, 264 and 528 gallons. The tanks have full-load eye hooks on all four corners and forklift pockets on all four sides, meaning the tanks can be moved to and from almost any position on the jobsite. Contractors have also been able to use a tank’s fuel pump while simultaneously using feed and return lines to provide fuel to generators and heaters. Furthermore, the pump and line connections are all located within a lockable cabinet. In addition to providing security against fuel theft, the cabinet keeps everything protected from the outside weather. “Handling fuels is typically a messy scenario when you’re taking hoses on and off”, said Berberat. “With Transcube everything is contained within the cabiwww.esemag.com

net so you have a much cleaner situation.” Most of Berco’s Transcube units are expected to remain on duty for the duration of the WTC Memorial project, which is slated for completion by 2013. By then the tanks will have long since

stopped going down into a hole, and instead will be traveling upward, as the buildings on site grow storey by storey. For more information, E-mail: tnunn@transcube.us.com


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New system contains spills through doorway openings


he National Fire Code requires that all industrial buildings storing, or handling, hazardous substances have a Fire Safety Plan. This includes directing any overflow of spilled liquids and firefighting water away from the following areas: • buildings • isolation valves controlling processes or fire protection systems • a means of egress • adjoining property • fire department access routes • a water supply used for firefighting Companies often struggle with the cost and downtime of constructing barriers, or sloping floors, to prevent spills of flammable or combustible liquids cross-

62 | November 2010

ing door openings. Some attempt to meet the Fire Code by using poly liners and spill pallets, which may melt and fail to contain a spill when exposed to fire. These systems may not be designed to withstand forces released during a flammable liquid vapor explosion. Some may fail, due to wear and tear from routine daily material handling activities. There is a relatively new system on the market, which is designed to operate automatically, or manually, to contain spills at doorway openings. Door Spill Barriers are constructed from heavy gauge stainless steel, and rest flush to the doorway floor. They eliminate the need for ramps, or dikes, which allows for easy access for personnel and material handling equip-

ment. These barriers rise into place as spilled liquid fills the built in sump, activating the door closure mechanism. Door Spill Barriers are designed to activate only in the event of a spill large enough to require containment. According to the manufacturer, they provide a liquid tight barrier, require low maintenance, and only periodic inspection. The barriers can be installed in new or existing door openings. They can safely contain spills and firefighting water, until steps can be taken to recover or remove them. For more information, E-mail: paradisp@quatrex.ca

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Choosing the right storage tank for your needs – and your budget By Mark Eklund


f your organization is in the market to buy a new storage tank, your short list of considerations probably includes cost and longevity – in that order. However, some other factors will affect the level of satisfaction with your tank purchase. Canadian environmental regulations and tough public opinion dictate that companies pay attention to the environment when choosing all equipment, and that includes storage tanks. For the company in the market to purchase a new tank or silo, some guidelines for reviewing tanks are imperative to ensure it gets the best storage tank for the cost. Whatever material you’re planning to store, each product has its own unique characteristics and it is those characteristics, coupled with the specific requirements for the tank, that will help determine what features you need (and don’t need). Commonly used construction materials for tanks include reinforced concrete, and carbon or stainless steel. Concrete tanks were commonly used in the past because they accommodate exceptionally large volumes of storage. Because concrete is porous, a liquid leak tolerance up to .005% per day is expected and acceptable. However, small leaks make an impact during freeze-thaw cycles by causing cracks and exposing reinforced walls to corrosion. Acid rain can also cause the slow deterioration of concrete, particularly on the exterior of the tank. Carbon and stainless steel tanks come in three common designs: field welded, factory welded, and field bolted. Field welded tanks are often used to accommodate exceptionally large storage capacities. They require certified welders on-site and longer construction cycles to accommodate weld inspections and interior and exterior coating application in the field. The application of the air-cured coatings in the field requires good weather and environmental conditions, such as proper temperature and humidity. Special precautions are also necessary to contain paint overspray during field application. Some welded tanks may receive their 64 | November 2010

Does your project necessitate that tank construction occur during cold winter months?

coating at the factory and be shipped ready to install. However, these tanks often are restricted to smaller sizes (often 15’ in diameter), in order to be shipped by truck and railcar. A third choice is bolted tanks. Their panels are coated and cured at the factory and erected in the field with hardware and gaskets. Bolted tanks that incorporate a durable flange panel design perform well, both for liquid and dry bulk material storage, due to their specially engineered design. Bolted designs offer a very long lifespan, and they require low maintenance. Choosing a bolted tank can also compress the construction cycle because they may be simply erected on-site and put into service. They do not require skilled labor for erection, nor certified inspectors, because there are no welds. Bolted tanks may be erected year-round in any environmental conditions, because their coatings are applied at the factory. The individual job or project will dictate the capacity needed for each storage tank. The end use of the tank will be most important for determining proper design. Consider available space. Tanks may be designed as tall and slender (stovepipes) or short and wide, depending on ground area available. Environmental conditions,

such as high winds or strong seismic activity, should be taken into consideration, as the tank will need to be of shorter height and wider width. Does your project necessitate that tank construction occur during cold winter months? Be aware that weather and environmental conditions will affect construction and coating of reinforced concrete and field welded tanks, but will have less of an impact on factory welded and bolted tank construction. If the facility being built may require future expansion, plan for that possibility now. Building a new tank is more expensive and makes a larger footprint than expanding an existing one (think upward!). Incorporate expansion into the original design by including a foundation and choosing a design that is certified to accommodate additional volume. Choose construction materials that are easily expandable, such as bolted panel tanks which may be expanded in rings upward. Welded tanks may be expanded, but will require recoating of the full interior tank surface to ensure a smooth, consistent coat. Concrete tanks are not readily expandable. All liquids – potable water, wastewater, chemicals – are aggressive toward tank coatings. Down the road, corrosion

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 25/11/10 6:03 PM Page 65

could cause significant environmental concerns. Two important considerations for fighting corrosion are the coating used on the interior surface of the tank, and the tank’s long-term maintenance requirements. Actually, these two issues go hand in hand. The better the quality of the coating found on the interior of the tank, the less the possibility of corrosion and the need to repair or recoat the tank in the future. The key to tank coatings lies in their application. Coatings applied at the factory are delivered through a more consistent coating system, and, therefore, offer better corrosion and abrasion resistance for the long term. Coatings that are thermally cured at the factory are even better, as the coating quality is not subject to adverse environmental conditions. Coatings applied in the field are subject to inconsistencies or small missed spots, and the application process may cause unregulated emissions of chemicals into the air. During the lifecycle of the tank, maintenance will be a key issue. Because corrosion is the principal enemy of the tank, a poor quality coating or application process will necessitate time-consuming


Building a new tank is more expensive and makes a larger footprint than expanding an existing one (think upward!)

maintenance and recoating, usually in 8-12 years. If not treated properly, corrosion may cause contamination of the product being stored and damage the integrity of the tank wall, shortening its life.

Ask tank vendors whether their products have been awarded the industry standard API certification, or whether their manufacturing process is ISO Quality Certified. Be cautious of vendors that claim manufacturing “to API standards,� because, if they do not hold the industry certification, there is no assurance they manufacture to those standards. Consider requesting job histories or client references to verify experience in an industry. Finally, consider odor control. If the product to be stored requires a roof, ask the tank vendor about dome or roofing systems available to fit their tanks or silos. Some companies offer their own proprietary roofing systems, which work well with specific products or environmental conditions. Mark Eklund, P.E., is with Columbian TecTank. E-mail: meklund@columbiantectank.com

November 2010 | 65

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New system provides a nonpenetrating solution to securing antennas to water towers


n response to the boom in mounting cell phone antennas to municipal water towers, the Metal & Cable Corporation recently introduced its non-penetrating Magnemount Cable/ Cable Tray Holding System. This new patent-pending system provides an option to welding and epoxy attachment methods. Ultimately, the system provides a non-penetrating solution to securely carry cables across and down the curvatures of steel water tanks. The design originated with a client who wanted a cable mounting system that could work with, or independently from, the company’s original Magnemount antenna mounting system. This was accomplished using two magnets attached to a length of 304 grade stainless steel “Unistrut”®. Whereas traditional welding methods present a permanent solution, the invasive nature of welding requires recoating the steel on the inside and outside of the water tower tank. This may involve draining and refilling the tank, along with other time-consuming and costly operations. Epoxy mounting solutions are less invasive, but many factors can influence the reliability of this method as a longterm solution. Because the Magnemount mounting system is a high-capacity magnetic solu-

Magnemount Cable/ Cable Tray Holding System.

tion, it does not damage the water tank’s interior/exterior surface, provides fast, “clean”, on-site installation, requires no maintenance, and can be removed easily. Additionally, it provides cell phone companies with an option to present water municipalities who are averse to welding on their tanks. The Magnemount system has been designed to withstand winds up to 150 mph. The system passed stringent seismic and mechanical tests during independent testing. It conforms to the varying curvature of steel water towers, thus allowing un-

It conforms to the varying curvature of steel water towers. 66 | November 2010

limited placement possibilities. To achieve this, a specific combination of hardware and neoprene washers is incorporated. The design of the independently mounted magnets allows the cable tray mounts to be placed on steel water towers or legs with as little as a four foot diameter. When the cable tray holders are placed on the tower, it takes no more than one minute to make adjustments, if necessary. One option for attaching cable is to use the 304 grade Unistrut clamps. Another option is to attach the cable/cable tray mounts directly to the cable tray – one on each end of each tray. Three to five inch bolts are used with cable trays. These longer bolts accommodate surface painting under the system on the water tower tanks. A key benefit of the cable tray holding system is its quick, clean installation. All that’s required is to unload the framing system, place the supports, and attach and secure the brackets. The cable trays can be assembled on the ground and hoisted up. Upon final tank-top installation, each magnet is oriented to its curve, one magnet on each side of the cable tray, regardless of length. For more information, visit www.metal-cable.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Introduction of NEW 2- and 3-Way Valves

Introduction of NEW Low Power Valves


Introduction of NEW Modular Gas Valves


Introduction of NEW Steam & Hot Water Valves



Introduction of Angle Body Piston Valves



For product information: ASCO Valve Canada | www.ascovalve.ca Tel: e (519) 758-2700 | ascomail@asco.ca a

November 2010 | 67

Storage/Containment & Spills Product Showcase

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 20/11/10 10:03 AM Page 68

Quality tanks

Cover systems for tanks and lagoons

At Alberta Wilbert Sales we sell, service and deliver Alberta’s largest tanks, with capacities as high as 10,000 gallons, and back them with a 20-year warranty. Four key manufacturing processes make our tanks superior: custom-designed moulds, quality controlled concrete, special pour techniques and careful handling. Tel: 800-232-7385, Fax: 780-447-1984 Web: www.wilbert.ca

Geomembrane Technologies Inc. (GTI) designs, fabricates and installs cover systems on tanks and lagoons worldwide. Wastewater and water plants use GTI covers to control odours, block sunlight, collect gas, or reduce heat loss.

Alberta Wilbert Sales

Geomembrane Technologies Inc.

Water reservoir & tank mixer

The patented Hexa-Cover® system can be used on all kinds of liquids. It is the ideal solution for eliminating: • Evaporation • Organic growth • Emission • Odour The unique design makes the elements interlock by wind pressure and ensure that the Hexa-Cover tiles mechanically constitute a coherent cover. Tel: 519-469-8169, Fax: 519-469-8157 E-mail: sales@greatario.com Web: www.greatario.com

Web: www.gticovers.com

Clear span buildings

Greatario Engineered Storage Systems

Specialist training Practical Hands-on Progressive Formats

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: michael@h2flow.com Web: www.h2flow.com

Every square foot of space is profitable in a MegaDome building. Ranging from 30’ to 125’ wide and with no limitation to its length, MegaDome provides a production or storage area built in accordance with all building codes in your area. Tel: 888-427-6647, Fax: 450-756-8389 E-mail: info@harnois.com Web: www.megadomebuildings.com

Tel: 905-578-9666, Fax: 905-578-6644 E-mail: contact@spillmanagement.ca Web: www.spillmanagement.ca

H2Flow Tanks & Systems

MegaDome/Harnois Industries

Spill Management

Onsite water and sewage solutions


Packaged Treatment Plants and concrete storage systems up to 500,000 litres. Tel: 780-472-8265, Toll Free: 800-661-5667 E-mail: sales@tanks-a-lot.com Web: www.tanks-a-lot.com Tanks-A-Lot

68 | November 2010

Spill containment systems

Underground tanks

To avoid any major reoccuring expenses like oil/water filtration, shoveling snow and debris, or incurring tainted water disposal costs, Transport Environmental Systems offers open collector pan models and closeable lid models to help avoid collecting snow, rainwater and debris. Also available are roll-under spill collector pans and other products for train/tanker truck loading, unloading and spill containment. Tel: 252-571-0092, Fax: 252-489-2060 E-mail: info@transenvsys.com Web: www.transenvsys.com

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.

Transport Environmental Systems

Tel: 1-800-661-8265 Web: www.zcl.com ZCL Composites

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 20/11/10 10:04 AM Page 69

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: sales@acgtechnology.com Web: www.acgtechnology.com ACG Technology

University courses online

Coalescing oil/water separators 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: sales@acgtechnology.com Web: www.acgtechnology.com ACG Technology

Products for wastewater treatment now available Alberta Wilbert Sales offers a full range of Orenco® products, from effluent filters and pump packages to complete AdvanTex® Treatment Systems, at all three locations serving Alberta. It is a very environmentally sound method to treat wastewater with the lowest overall power consumption. Tel: 800-232-7385, Fax: 780-447-1984 E-mail: info@wilbert.ca Web: www.wilbert.ca Alberta Wilbert Sales

BTU analyzer

Ground tent

Control Instruments’ standalone CalorVal BTU Analyzer optimizes burner efficiencies through measuring and controlling blended gas mixtures. Key features include: fast response time < 4 seconds; continuous, full range of measurement from 0 to 1300 BTU/ft³; and uniform response to many complex combustibles.

American Public University offers more than 70 affordable online degrees, including Environmental Sciences, with concentrations in Environmental Planning, Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Technology & Management, Global Environmental Management, and more. Classes start monthly with flexible weekly schedules. Learn more at www.studyatapu.com/enviro. Tel: 877-777-9081, Fax: 304-724-3780 E-mail: info@apus.edu Web: studyatAPU.com/enviro

Tel: 888-965-4700 E-mail: info@avensys.com Web: www.avensyssolutions.com

The Pelsue ground tents are in one piece, including all poles (integrated into the shell), and they set up in seconds. Used for protection from the elements during equipment repairs, they can also be used as portable shelters, haz-mat decon, field offices and rest areas. Manufactured from flame retardant 250 denier polyester, a 10’ by 10’ tent weighs only 48 lbs. Tel: 800-265-0182, Fax: 905-272-1866 E-mail: info@cdnsafety.com Web: www.cdnsafety.com

American Public University

Avensys Solutions

Canadian Safety

New rain logger

Denso Petrolatum Tapes

Corrosion protection

Telog’s new RG-32 lowcost, wireless, battery-powered rain logger works with most tipping bucket rain gauges. Rainfall data is wirelessly delivered to a password-protected website for you to view. It is small, easy to install, with up to a 5 year battery life. Tel: 905-829-0030, Fax: 905-829-4701 E-mail: support@can-am.net Web: www.can-am.net

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: blair@densona.com Web: www.densona.com Denso

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

Can-Am Instruments


November 2010 | 69

Product & Service Showcase

Package Treatment System

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 20/11/10 10:05 AM Page 70

Confined space rescue

High angle standby rescue

Another world first

Is the safety of your employees a priority? EHS Canada Inc. can provide your company with a team of highly trained and experienced confined space rescue specialists that can assist you in all your safety and rescue needs. Tel: 905-643-3343 E-mail: info@ehscanada.ca Web: www.ehscanada.ca

Do your employees need to work from elevated platforms? Protect them with the best on-site high angle standby rescue services. EHS Canada Inc. can assist you in your safety needs while you concentrate on the task at hand. Tel: 905-643-3343 E-mail: info@ehscanada.ca Web: www.ehscanada.ca

Endress+Hauser has developed the first real two-wire Coriolis mass flow meter, with a full 4 to 20mA measuring range. Two-wire devices are in high demand in the chemical, petrochemical, utility, and oil and gas industries, as intrinsic safety is extremely important. The new Promass flow meter meets all of the relevant standards in process industries such as NAMUR, HART and SIL. Tel: 800-668-3199, Fax: 905-681-9444 E-mail: info@ca.endress.com Web: www.ca.endress.com

EHS Canada

EHS Canada


Product & Service Showcase

New water sampler The new CSF48 from Endress+ Hauser isn’t just a sampler but a compact water quality monitoring solution. With the capability to handle two digital sensor inputs while running one main and up to 24 sub-sampling programs simultaneously, the CSF48 delivers much more than a conventional water sampler. Tel: 800-668-3199, Fax: 905-681-9444 E-mail: info@ca.endress.com Web: www.ca.endress.com


Hand-held DO meter The YSI ProODOTM handheld DO meter provides extreme durability for the measurement of optical, luminescent-based dissolved oxygen for any field application. Web: www.hoskin.ca

Hoskin Scientific 70 | November 2010

GPS mapping

Geneq Inc. have integrated a DGPS Beacon receiver inside their SXBlue II GPS product. The SXBlue II-B GPS expands the sub-meter GPS mapping performance to over 38 countries around the world, wherever a DGPS beacon transmitter is broadcasting. It is compact and rugged for optimal field use, requiring no backpack nor external batteries. Tel: 1-800-463-4363 E-mail: rparise@geneq.com Web: www.sxbluegps.com Geneq

Gas detection The Instrument Power Supply, with battery power, provides uninterrupted 24 VDC for standard monitoring equipment like the Jupiter and Satellite gas detection systems. The three stage battery charger, powered by 115/230 VAC at 50 to 60 hertz, maintains the 12 VDC battery at peak performance levels. Tel: 877-476-4222, Fax: 949-261-5033 Web: www.halogenvalve.com Halogen Valve Systems

Multiparameter meter

New jet aerators

The YSI Professional Plus handheld multiparameter meter provides extreme flexibility for the measurement of a variety of combinations for dissolved oxygen, conductivity, specific conductance, salinity, resistivity, total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, ORP, pH/ORP combination, ammonium (ammonia), nitrate, chloride and temperature. Web: www.hoskin.ca

Based on the clogfree Flygt Npumps, the new Flygt jet aerator from ITT Water & Wastewater has become easier to install and maintain. The major changes in the new generation jet aerators are: an improved lift in, lift out structure, and a strengthened stand equipped with rubber dampers. Available with up to three ejectors, the Flygt jet aerator is a flexible aeration solution for small- and mediumsized tanks. Tel: 514-695-0100, Fax: 514-697-0602 Web: www.ittwww.com ITT Water & Wastewater

Hoskin Scientific

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 20/11/10 10:05 AM Page 71

pH/ORP sensors

WEDECO Ozone Generators from ITT Water & Wastewater eliminate pollutants, coloured substances, odours and micro-organisms 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

Fluid Engineering’s automatic strainers are used to protect a wide variety of applications including: membrane filtration systems, reverse osmosis systems, UV systems, ozone systems, chlorination systems, effluent water, and nozzle protection. This product is distributed by Peacock, a division of Kinecor. Tel: 800-313-3103 E-mail: sales@peacock.ca Web: www.peacock.ca

SensoLyt® Sensors are specifically suited for continuous pH/ORP measurement, under the difficult conditions often found in sewage treatment. The sensors consist of a submersible housing with a builtin preamplifier and the appropriate combination pH or ORP electrode. With our high-performance monitors, the sensors constitute an integrated, extremely reliable pH/ORP measuring system. Tel: 905-738-2355, Fax: 905-738-5520 E-mail: metcon@metconeng.com Web: www.metconeng.com

ITT Water and Wastewater


Metcon Sales & Engineering

Water reuse systems go Green Orival, Inc. now provides complete water filtration systems, designed for specific municipal and industrial applications. These systems include filters, manifold, valves and control. Orival ORG and OR series of Automatic SelfCleaning Filters are available from ¾” to 24” and filtration degrees from 5 to 3000 microns. Tel: 800-567-9767, 201-568-3311 E-mail: filters@orival.com Web: www.orival.com Orival

Odour control system

Vertical shaft mixer

Parkson’s OHxyPhogg™ odour control system uses patented air atomizing threefluid nozzles for efficient fogging results. It eliminates scrubbers or significantly reduces scrubber load, requires no chemicals, and is easy to install. There is minimal start-up cost.

The Invent Hyperclassic® Mixer is a vertical shaft mixer with a hyperboloidshaped FRP mixer body. The mixer rotates slowly, does not foul, uses half the energy of conventional mixers, and there are no submerged motors or parts. It is routinely installed in mixing/blending water, wastewater and industrial process waters. Tel: 973-571-2223, Fax: 973-571-2474 E-mail: info@invent-et.com Web: www.invent-et.com

Tel: 800-249-2140, Fax: 954-252-4085 E-mail: odor@parkson.com Web: www.parkson.com Parkson

Pro Aqua

Metering pump

Metering pumps

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: sales@prominent.ca Web: www.prominent.ca/delta

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: sales@prominent.ca Web: www.prominent.ca

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 is 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: gkline@saftflo.com Web: www.saftflo.com

ProMinent Fluid Controls

ProMinent Fluid Controls

SAF-T-FLO Chemical Injection


Chemical injection equipment

November 2010 | 71

Product & Service Showcase

Automatic strainers

Chemical-free water treatment

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 20/11/10 10:05 AM Page 72

Membrane bioreactor

Long-term water supply

AC motors

Sanitherm 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!

SEW-Eurodrives’s new DR series of AC motors meets the new NRCAN regulations on motor efficiency levels. Along with the 7 series gearing provides efficiency as well as performance. Energy savings and cost savings are together at last.

Tel: 604-986-9168, Fax: 604-986-5377 E-mail: information@sanitherm.com Web: www.sanibrane.com

The book Aquifer Storage and Recovery and Managed Aquifer Recharge Using Wells: Planning, Hydrogeology, Design, and Operation provides an overview of ASR and MAR technologies that use wells to recharge aquifers. The lessons learned from existing ASR systems are presented to provide guidance for successful future implementation of the technologies. For more information, visit www.slb.com/mwre-book2. E-mail: mbubel@slb.com Web: www.water.slb.com

Sanitherm Inc.

Schlumberger Water Services

SEW-Eurodrive Company of Canada

Product & Service Showcase

Remote data manager

The new remote data manager from Siemens, SITRANS RD500, integrates web access, alarm event handling and data capture and is suitable for the management and monitoring of remote installed process instruments, including flow, level, pressure, temperature and weighing. The user is able to monitor equipment from anywhere using a standard web browser by computer, PDA or smart phone. Web: www.siemens.com/sitransrd500 Siemens

NEW portable optical dissolved oxygen measurement system The Aquaread AquaPlus™ system is the only portable Optical DO system available which includes direct EC measurement for accurate salinity compensation. Automatic temperature and barometric pressure compensation are also included. Tel: 905-238-5242, Fax: 905-238-5704 E-mail: sales@waterra.com Web: www.waterra.com Waterra Pumps 72 | November 2010

Tel: 905-791-1553, Fax: 905-791-2999 Web: www.sew-eurodrive.ca

Wastewater Pump Stations Energy-saving Smith & Loveless wastewater pump stations are ideal for collection system and WWTP influent pumping. S&L stations arrive at the jobsite completely built and thoroughly factory-tested. Now available with expanded pump sizing: 4" - 12" piping (100-300 mm); horsepower: 1.5 to 300 HP; capacity: up to 50,000 GMP (3155 lps). Tel: 913-888-5201, Fax: 913-888-2173 E-mail: answers@smithandloveless.com Web: www.smithandloveless.com Smith & Loveless

Submersible pumps

Access remote water data instantly using the Solinst STS Gold Telemetry System. Built for Solinst Leveloggers, the system provides reliable remote site data collection using radio, landline, cellular or satellite communication. Intuitive software makes for simple setup, operation, and data management. Tel: 905-873-2255, Fax: 905-873-1992 E-mail: instruments@solinst.com Web: www.solinst.com Solinst

Submersible mixing

As a leader in submersible pumping station technology, Wilo offers a unique solution for grit and solid removal by pre-filtering the bigger solids to effectively eradicate the possibility of a pump blockage and to reduce power consumption. For more information, please send your request to info@wilo-canada.com Tel: 866-WILO-CDN, Fax: 403-277-9456 E-mail: info@wilo-canada.com Web: www.wilo-canada.com WILO Canada Sanitherm Inc.

Remote water level monitoring

Wilo’s mixers for water and wastewater applications are known for their durability and for the functionality of the propellers in slow, medium and high-speed applications. For more information, please send your request to info@wilocanada.com Tel: 866-WILO-CDN, Fax: 403-277-9456 E-mail: info@wilo-canada.com Web: www.wilo-canada.com WILO Canada

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 20/11/10 10:05 AM Page 73

Regina to host National Infrastructure Summit The City of Regina will play host to the National Infrastructure Summit, which will be held January 26-28, 2011. The three-day event, targeted towards private sector companies, municipal, provincial and federal government administrators, political leaders, and those involved in delivering infrastructure, will feature five themes: defining the need, citizen engagement, financing opportunities, program models, and innovation. The Summit is the first organized event of its kind, in which all orders of government and the private sector are invited and encouraged to engage in discussions and interactive workshops from leaders and experts in various fields on global best practices and new approaches to planning, building and maintaining infrastructure. www.nisummit2011.ca

Acoustic Panels, Enclosures & Products WE WELCOME YOUR INQUIRIES

Email: info@acousticproductsales.com Web: www.acousticproductsales.com Tel: (613) 551-6100

Water strategy adopted by environment ministers Federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers are moving forward with a three-year national water strategy to better protect human health and the environment. The strategy was adopted at the recent meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment in Saint John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Work on the five strategic goals of the Water Action Plan will begin next January. The plan includes developing a national framework for sustainable management of groundwater, developing documents on sharing of ground and surface water data, climate change vulnerability assessments for watersheds, national principles for Integrated Water Resource Management, and sharing best management practices. The environment ministers also adopted an air quality management approach to improve air quality in Canada. The proposed new air quality management system will include stronger air quality standards and consistent industrial emissions standards across the country. Ministers announced the completion of a new national standard for compostable products and packaging. Under this voluntary program, manufacturers will be able to use a special “comwww.esemag.com

• ANTHRACITE • QUALITY FILTER SAND & GRAVEL • CARBON • GARNET ILMENITE • REMOVAL & INSTALLATION 20 Sharp Road, Brantford, Ontario N3T 5L8 • Tel: (519) 751-1080 • Fax: (519) 751-0617 E-mail: swildey@anthrafilter.net • Web: www.anthrafilter.net

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6 6 6 6 6

Recover dissolved metals Remove sulphate Improve water re-use Comply with regulations Lower life cycle costs for water treatment November 2010 | 73

Nov10_ES&E_D4_ES&E 20/11/10 10:06 AM Page 74

postable” logo on their products to indicate they can be composted in participating municipal or industrial facilities. The standard sets out criteria that products and packaging must meet to prove the material is compostable.

MARKHAM, ONTARIO 905-747-8506 weknowwater@bv.com www.bv.com

Canada signs agreement with China

Specialists in a comprehensive range of Municipal, Environmental, Structural, Building, Water Resources, Transportation and Municipal Engineering Collingwood


Email: info@cctatham.com



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30+ Years of Water and Wastewater Solutions Wastewater Collection/Treatment Water Supply/Treatment/Storage/Distribution Environmental Site Assessment/Remediation Hydrogeological Investigations/Modelling Watershed/Stormwater Management Information Technology/Data Management

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Canada's Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, and China's Minister of Environmental Protection, Zhou Shengxian, recently signed a renewed memorandum of understanding (MOU) on environmental cooperation. The signing ceremony took place in Beijing. The Canada-China MOU on environmental cooperation will facilitate collaborative work and the exchange of scientific information between Environment Canada and China's Ministry of Environmental Protection. Of particular interest to Canada are cooperative activities related to biodiversity, water, mercury emissions, environmental emergencies and environmental industries. Minister Prentice stressed the tremendous opportunities that exist for both China and Canada to cooperate in other areas, including national parks, protected areas, and environmental assessment and monitoring related to heavy oil developments. Both countries have agreed to develop and implement a joint action plan for cooperation and Minister Prentice invited Minister Zhou Shengxian to visit Canada in mid-November to sign the action plan.

Latest water utility labour compensation survey now available




Phone: 905-777-9494 E: info@hydrologic.ca W: www.hydrologic.ca

74 | November 2010


The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has released the 2010 AWWA Water Utility Compensation Survey. Now in its 15th year, the survey provides an extensive study of salaries, salary ranges and compensation practices in the water utility industry. For the first time, the 2010 survey is available in two versions to more accurately reflect competitive labour markets: small and medium-sized utilities with less than 100,000 customers, and large utilities with more than 100,000 customers. The Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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survey includes information from 544 utilities who supplied data for nearly 13,000 employees. Salary data are organized by type of ownership or management, population size, average gallons managed, and total number of employees. Minimum, mid-range, and maximum salaries are given for each position, as well as 50th percentile, company weighted average pay, and employee weighted average pay. www.awwa.org

Innovative business model for Manitoba Recently, the Town of Neepawa, Manitoba, commissioned a new industrial wastewater treatment plant. The town and the Springhill Farms pork processing plant used an innovative business model to create a jointly-owned corporation, called R3 Innovations, that holds the title to the new wastewater treatment facility. Springhill Farms is responsible for the costs of operation and a facility management committee, appointed by the Town. The company oversees the management and operations of the wastewater treatment facility. The facility was built to support economic growth in the region and strengthen the productive agricultural sector. The project received $5.4 million of funding under the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement, and $6.4 million under the Community Development Trust program.

Modernizing BCʼs water laws BC’s Water Act Modernization Report on Engagement summarizes months of public input into water planning and decisionmaking as the British Columbia government responds to the impacts of climate change, population growth and increasing demands on the water supply. First Nations organizations, stakeholder groups and individual residents responded with nearly 1,000 submissions to the call for public input, and about 600 people attended workshops across the province earlier this year. Their input will affect how the government takes action on the four key goals of modernizing BC’s

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continued overleaf... www.esemag.com

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NEWS Water Act: 1) protecting stream health and aquatic environments; 2) improving water governance; 3) increasing flexibility and efficiency in the water allocation system; and 4) regulating groundwater use in priority areas and for large withdrawals. www.gov.bc.ca

Communities added to Wellfield Protected Area

10 Alden Road Markham, Ontario Canada L3R 2S1 Tel: 905-475-1545 Fax: 905-475-2021 www.napier-reid.com

Package Wastewater Treatment Plants/SBR/MBR/RBC/EA/DAF

10 Alden Road Markham, Ontario Canada L3R 2S1 Tel: 905-475-1545 Fax: 905-475-2021 www.napier-reid.com

The areas supplying Woodstock, Edmundston and Drummond with drinking water have been designated as protected under New Brunswick’s Wellfield Protected Area Designation Order – Clean Water Act. The Wellfield Protected Area Designation Order, established in 2000, provides appropriate standards for land use within wellfield recharge areas. The designation order places varying controls on the storage of petroleum fuels, persistent solvents (e.g., degreasers and dry cleaning solvents), pesticides, fertilizer, road salt and manure. Varying levels of control are placed on manure application, mining and aggregate removal, new sewerage systems, forestry activities, groundwater extraction and groundwater heat pumps. To date, 34 wellfields have been designated under the Wellfield Protected Area Designation Order.

NF to establish paint recycling program

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76 | November 2010


tel: +1.705.434.9563 fax: +1.705.434.0419

The Newfoundland and Labrador government has implemented amendments to the Waste Management Regulations, under the Environmental Protection Act, in order to introduce a paint recycling program targeting waste paint products. These changes will allow producers to play the primary role in managing the end-of-life treatment of their products through the development, funding, and management of a recycling program for most types of residential and commercial paints. The program will take an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) approach, meaning that paint producers will be responsible for the paint from the point of production through to post consumer recycling. This will be the first EPR-based recycling program for the province. www.mmsb.nl.ca Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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The “Chief Drinking Water Inspector's 5th Annual Report” provides an overview of the state of Ontario's drinking water, including quality tests, inspection and performance. The report's findings show that over 99 per cent of drinking water tests met Ontario's strict water quality standards, including: • 99.87 per cent of tests reported at municipal drinking water systems. • 99.38 per cent of the tests at systems serving designated facilities such as day cares, schools or health care centres. • 99.40 per cent of the tests at private systems serving residential developments and mobile home parks.





Report released by Chief Drinking Water Inspector

Syncrude to pay $3M for wildlife deaths Syncrude Canada has been convicted of one offence under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and one count under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The charges are related to the deaths of 1606 migratory waterfowl. Charges stemmed from a joint investigation that was initiated after a large number of dead and dying migratory birds were found in Syncrude's Aurora Settling Basin, located north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, on April 28, 2008. The investigation was conducted by Environment Canada, Alberta Environment, and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development enforcement officers.

Fines for improper wastewater disposal Dyno Nobel Canada Inc. was recently fined $110,000, plus a victim fine surcharge, for depositing waste into land or land covered by water in an open pit that was not approved as a waste disposal site. Also, two of its employees were fined a total of $6,000, plus victim fine surcharges, for violations under the Environmental Protection Act. The Sudbury, Ontario company manufactures and distributes commercial explosives for the mining and construction continued overleaf... www.esemag.com

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Municipal Engineering Environmental Assessments dƌĂŶƐƉŽƌƚĂƟŽŶ ^ƚƌƵĐƚƵƌĞƐ Transit Planning and Engineering Roundabouts ϭϭϬ ^ĐŽƟĂ ŽƵƌƚ͕ hŶŝƚ ϰϭ͕ tŚŝƚďLJ͕ KE͕ >ϭE ϴzϳ WŚŽŶĞ͗ ϵϬϱ͘ϲϴϲ͘ϲϰϬϮ &Ădž͗ ϵϬϱ͘ϰϯϮ͘ϳϴϳϳ ͲDĂŝů͗ ŝŶĨŽΛƐƌŵĂƐƐŽĐŝĂƚĞƐ͘ŽƌŐ Žƌ sŝƐŝƚ hƐ KŶͲ>ŝŶĞ͗ www.srmassociates.org DĞŵďĞƌ ŽĨ dŚĞ ^ĞƌŶĂƐ 'ƌŽƵƉ /ŶĐ͘

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industries. On October 17, 2008, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment received a complaint that company employees were illegally disposing wastewater into a property adjacent to the company’s site. The open pit was not a waste disposal site for which a Certificate of Approval had been issued.

WERF offers over $1M for wastewater research The Water Environment Research Foundation recently announced that is it will provide funding for “Innovation and Research for Water Infrastructure for the 21st Century”. More than $1 million in total funding is available for research that will generate innovative technologies,

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techniques, and tools to assist or improve sustainable management, operations and maintenance, and replacement of aging infrastructure in the wastewater and stormwater sectors. WERF accepted research proposals in four broad areas: • Condition assessment of wastewater conveyance systems to determine the structural, operational, and performance status of the pipes and related assets, as well as remaining life. • Rehabilitation of wastewater conveyance systems research, which will help in rehabilitation, repair, replacement, and decision making. • Advanced design and engineering concepts that explore the use of innovative infrastructure designs, including green

• Hazardous Site Clean-up & Remediation • Decommissioning and Demolition • Asbestos and Mould Abatement • Contaminated Soil Removal • On-site Water Treatment

infrastructure and low impact development approaches, to manage combined sewer overflows and pollutant loadings. Compatibility with existing infrastructure is critical. • Innovative treatment technologies research that investigates emerging innovative biological and physical-chemical treatment technologies. www.werf.org

Premier Tech honoured Premier Tech Aqua recently won the Prix d’excellence en affaires Québec-France 2010 for its partnership with the French company Groupe Purflo. The award was given to Premier Tech principally for the success of the partnership which led to the acquisition of Groupe Purflo, which is involved in the fields of decentralized wastewater treatment, water storage and rainwater harvesting. For ten years, the French chamber of commerce has awarded the Prix d’excellence en affaires Québec-France (PEAQF) to highlight the economic and commercial relations between France and Québec. It is bestowed on a French or Québécois company noted for its dynamism and economic success in the French or Québécois market, in a context of partnership. www.premiertech.com

Metcon to represent UV Pure

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Metcon Sales and Engineering Ltd. has been appointed the exclusive municipal representative for UV Pure in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. UV Pure manufactures UV water purification technology for commercial, industrial and municipal water treatment. www.metconeng.com

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Oil re-refinery expanded Safety-Kleen Canada Inc., Canada's largest collector and re-refiner of used motor oil, has broken ground on a $26 million expansion of its Breslau, Ontario, used oil re-refinery. The expansion will increase the facility's processing capacity by 25 percent, from 152 million to 191 million litres of used oil annually. This increase in re-refining capacity

78 | November 2010

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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will allow the used oil generated by the equivalent of 130,000 engine oil changes a day to be re-refined back into high quality lubricating oils. This will help reduce Ontario's dependency on crude oil from foreign sources or tar sands for the production of lubricants. Once the Breslau refinery expansion is completed, more than 13 percent of all base lubricants produced in Ontario will be derived from rerefining. www.safety-kleen.com

New monitoring tool for WFP Water For People has introduced a visual, open-source mobile-based data monitoring and mapping tool called Field Level Operations Watch (FLOW). This new mobile application baseline and monitoring tool allows the organization to capture, report and analyze real time and historical data on water-point and sanitation-project status in developing countries over time. “It’s not enough to install a water point and celebrate the number of people with access to clean water on that particular day. We need to be accountable for the projects we put in place and ensure that they are operating for at least 10 years,” said Ned Breslin, CEO, Water For People. According to the International Water and Sanitation Centre in the Netherlands, of the 600,000 to 800,000 hand pumps installed in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 years, approximately one third failed prematurely, resulting in a wasted investment of more than $1 billion. FLOW provides the technology needed to transparently and accurately assess the status of programs to avoid future unsuccessful commitments. www.waterforpeople.org

Industry awards presented The 2010 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards were presented recently in Ottawa. Since 1985, lifetime contributors to the advancement of the profession and industry have been given the Beaubien Award. This year it was presented to two individuals - Dave Chalcroft and Andrew Steeves. During a 37-year career with UMA Engineering Ltd., Dave Chalcroft, P.Eng., managed engineering teams that tackled www.esemag.com

challenges such as Syncrude's water supply system, Edmonton's LRT tunnels, and the Dickson and Oldman River Dams. Andrew Steeves, P.Eng., has been part of the ADI Group of Companies for over 30 years, and is currently Strategic Senior Advisor with Trow ADI. The Tree for Life Award was presented to a firm for a project that has distinguished itself by its commitment to the environment. It was awarded to CH2M HILL, Calgary, Alberta, for the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Awards for Water Resources were given to CBCL Limited, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, for the Tatamagouche Water Treatment Plant, and to J.L. Richards & Associates Limited, Kingston, Ontario, for the Ravensview Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades. The Environmental award was presented to MTE Consultants Inc., Kitchener, Ontario, for the Joseph and Gaukel Streets Road Reconstruction and Environmental Remediation.

WRF releases compendium of best practices This compendium of best practices for water infrastructure asset management was commissioned by the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC). There are many definitions and drivers of asset management, and for the purposes of this compendium, the editor used a broad definition. Asset management is an integrated process of decision-making, planning, and control over the acquisition, use, safeguarding, and disposal of assets to maximize their service delivery potential and benefits, and to minimize their related risks and costs over their entire life. Applying asset management principles in the global water industry is of particular interest due to pressures from governments, regulators, shareholders, and consumer groups to provide cost-effective and sustainable water services, at least cost to customers and the environment. Water supply and wastewater utilities must manage physical infrastructure assets to achieve their business objectives and provide effective service delivery. Water and wastewater infrastructure is increasingly challenged by growing demand

due to urbanization, problems related to aging and sometimes disintegration of the existing infrastructure, and the impact of climate change. The Foundation’s goal was to develop five case studies representing best or innovative asset management practices by drinking water utilities in North America. The GWRC goal was to compile a compendium of asset management case studies from drinking water and wastewater utilities representing six research organizations and seven countries. Interested GWRC members supplied case studies of asset management practices by drinking water or wastewater utilities. Some of the case studies were written by asset managers or engineers from the utilities. The Foundation hired HDR, Inc. to develop five case studies of North American Foundation subscribers illustrating innovation in asset management. The Foundation decided to focus on innovative practices or technological applications rather than determine a best practice. The case studies demonstrate the advancements and progress being made in applying innovative and novel techniques and processes in the management of water and sanitation infrastructure. The studies highlight examples in the different countries on strategic initiatives at the highest level, including the development of policy and legislation to ensure that asset management becomes a legal requirement for all water services providers; innovative techniques for infrastructure risk assessment; decision-making techniques for capital investments; studies on the implementation of asset management in utility practice; the use of GIS and IT technology; and other techniques such as meter replacement, pressure management, continuous leak detection, and rehabilitation of infrastructure. This collection of practices from around the globe demonstrates the giant strides the sector is taking in ensuring that the good principles of strategic asset management are implemented, applied, and built upon. For more information, visit www.waterresearchfoundation.org

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Guest Comment

Soil sampling - the weak link in environmental site assessment By Dr. George Duncan


he familiar statement that follows almost every poll result, “this poll is accurate within three percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty”, may be annoying to some and meaningless to others. However, it is an honest attempt by the pollster to let us all know just how reliable (accurate) the poll’s findings are. It gives me an assurance that the pollster took a large enough sample to enable him/her to make the statement in the first place and let’s me know the poll results are reliable within very acceptable limits. I wish the same were true of the lab results for the soil samples collected from a site under investigation! Not that I’m questioning the lab’s ability to produce accurate results; as a former owner of an environmental laboratory, I know that CALA-accredited labs work under strictly controlled conditions, but they are simply not set up to answer the question: “How reliable is the lab result in relation to the actual conditions in the field?” In other words, is the sample sent to the lab going to produce a result that is truly representative of the conditions in the field? Is that result going to be true “within three percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty”? Unfortunately, for soil analysis the answer is very often “no” and the failure has nothing to do with the lab’s capabilities. Given the current pass/fail system for deciding a site’s condition, there is some serious money riding on the lab results. If it falls below the allowable limits, no clean-up is necessary; if it doesn’t, even by the slightest margin, clean it up! Anyone who has ever put a shovel in the ground will agree that soils can vary widely in texture, particle size, types of materials present, etc., not just over an entire site but often within the same shovelfull. This creates a serious sampling problem which, if not addressed, will result in a largely meaningless interpretation of the site’s condition, no matter how accurate the lab analysis may be. An unrepresentative sample sent to the lab cannot be turned into a representative sample simply by analysing it mul80 | November 2010

Soils can vary widely in texture, particle size, types of materials present, etc., not just over an entire site but often within the same shovel-full.

tiple times, no matter how accurate the analysis. Ontario’s Brownfields Regulation 153/04 specifies that “representative samples” must be collected, but nowhere does it explain just how to achieve this. Thus, consultants continue to scoop 100 grams or so of soil into a jar, or a few

grams of soil into VOC vials and send them off to the lab for analyses, without asking whether this jar or vial is representative of the soil in this area of the site. Worse still, the consultant is often unaware that the lab takes only a few grams of the 100 grams of soil in the jar for continued overleaf...

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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November 2010 | 81

Use this information to contact our advertisers directly

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Guest Comment chemical analysis. For most inorganic parameters such as toxic metals, the only sample pre-treatment before analysis is to dry it and screen it through a 2 mm screen to remove twigs, pebbles, etc., then shake or tumble the jar to mix the contents before withdrawing the sub-sample for analysis. No attempt is made, before withdrawing the sub-sample, to homogenise the soil particles, by grinding them to a very fine powder. For organic analysis, pre-grinding the sample to a powder would be impractical since it would lose any VOCs in the soil and smear many other organic contaminants all over the grinding equipment. So there are good analytical reasons for the approach taken, but they ignore the statistical problems with the samples! Sample representativeness is well recognised and highly respected in the mineral exploration and chemical manufacturing industries. They would be astonished at the sampling approaches currently accepted by the environmental industry. The gold assay industry routinely analyzes some of the largest sample sizes in the chemical analysis industry (typically 20 to 40 g samples and up to several kilograms if using cyanide leach methods rather than fire assay). Samples are preground to a powder with the consistency of fine flour, but, even at gold levels of only a few milligrams per kilogram (ppm), the “nugget effect” as it is called, can still come into play and skew assay results. To get round this problem, thousands of samples are analysed before developing a mine. In the environmental assessment industry, laboratory samples are much smaller, much fewer (more spaced out) and much less processed before analysis. Therefore, statistically, they are much less reliable. However, the results are still used to describe the site’s condition and millions of clean-up dollars are spent based on these sometimes dubious results. That’s bad enough but it only gets worse when you consider that the 100 gram lab sample is typically taken to represent several tons of soil on the site. This means the 100 gram field sample sent to the lab is supposed to be representative of several million grams of soil from the site! Put another way, the lab sample 82 | November 2010

Is the sample to the lab going to produce a result that is truly representive of the conditions in the field?

amounts to a mere 0.003 % of a total population of, say, 3 tonnes of soil. If the distribution of the contaminant in the soil is uneven (and invisible to the eye or nose), what kind of reliance can be placed on the lab result from the 100 g sent in the soil jar (remember only ~1-2 g is analysed)? Averaging multiple analyses results from the lab will solve the problem for the 100 g in the jar but it won’t do a thing for the thousands of tons in the site being assessed and the client won’t pay you for those multiple analyses at the lab. Current quality control rules for field sampling require at least one duplicate sample be submitted per ten or so collected, but what constitutes “acceptable agreement” between duplicates and what do you do if they don’t agree? Disagreements of 50 to 100% and higher are not uncommon in analysing soils for lowlevel VOCs. Contaminants in soil are rarely distributed uniformly throughout the soil and much more commonly, especially with solid contaminants, occur as discrete particulates within the soil, often in layers at various depths. A request for proposal recently came across my desk for an assessment of the level of lead contamination in the soil at a shooting range which has been in use for over forty years. This is a classic “nugget effect” site and, if the sampling program doesn’t take this into serious consideration, the soil analysis results will be as scattered as a shot-gun blast. Think of a 100 g soil sample sent to the lab, containing three or four shot-gun pel-

lets and a spent bullet. The lab technician, following the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), screens the sample through a 10-mesh screen and throws away the bullet. The lab analyst carefully dries the sample and weighs out a 1.0000 + 0.00001 g sample for acid digestion and ICP metal analysis but, unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on whether you are buying or selling the site), fails to pick up any of the three pellets. The lab certificate records the result as less than detection limit (i.e., zero lead). The real result (for the lab sample) should be more like 20,000 mg/kg, but what the “real” result for the whole site is, is anyone’s guess, because only a few dozen samples are going to be analysed. This example is not as extreme as it looks and, to a lesser degree, is happening on many sites today. As governments continue to reduce allowable limits, more and more sites will be misinterpreted simply because the field sample and analytical sub-samples are too small to be representative. The solution is not going to be easy but it would be a great beginning to have some hard data on just how statistically reliable the current field sampling methods are. Then we can take steps to improve them, or find a different way of assessing the level of a contaminant in a site. Dr. George Duncan is with A&A Environmental Consultants. E-mail: gduncan@aaenvironmental.ca

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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