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Contents ISSN-0835-605X • May/June 2011 Vol. 24 No. 3 • Issued June 2011 Editor and Publisher STEVE DAVEY E-mail: email@example.com Consulting Editor
Sales Director PENNY DAVEY E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Representative DENISE SIMPSON E-mail: email@example.com Accounting SANDRA DAVEY E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Circulation Manager DARLANN PASSFIELD E-mail: email@example.com Production Manager CHRIS MAC DONALD E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistant PETER DAVEY
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 Peter Laughton P.Eng. 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 email@example.com.
6 8 10 12 16 20 22 24 36 39 40 42 46 48 51
Is the waterworks industry prepared for public concern over tank mounted cell phone antennas? Competition rising for skilled environmental professionals BC lodge builds on the benefits of renewable energy New Brunswick promotes sustainable community development Securing public water supplies from deliberate contamination Saskatoon WWTP bridges the gap between odour and grit removal A new approach to water supply management Costco constructs stormwater storage structure with standard concrete pipe SBR system treats remote Hydro-Québec worker camp wastewater
Renovating the Silvretta water reservoir in Austria’s Alps Wet well cleaning project completed at Toronto’s Ashbridges Bay WWTP Examining options for treating oily wastewaters New flat-panel membrane bioreactor cuts WWTP costs In-situ remediation project cleans contaminated bedrock in only three months
Using a handheld X-ray fluorescence device for soil screening saves time and money 55 Total water management is a new and necessary paradigm 57 Design and engineering technologies for water resource management in the 21st century 59 How will Canada’s new wastewater regulatory framework affect WWTPs? 72 Lagoon based wastewater treatment process is implemented in Glencoe, Ontario
Product Showcase . . . . . 62-65 Environmental News . . . 66-71 Professional Cards . . . . . 66-71 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
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
26 Side mount antenna system increases revenue potential for water tank owners 28 Continuous mixing in water tanks improves sampling accuracy and water quality 31 Sturgeon Falls installs badly needed water storage tank 32 Spill pallets are an important part of a due diligence strategy 34 Spills management in fractured rock areas is especially important
May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:31 PM Page 5
May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:32 PM Page 6
Comment by Steve Davey
Is the waterworks industry prepared for public concerns over tank mounted antennas?
unicipal water towers have long been used as platforms for microwave-based communications antennas. An article in this issue points out that,“as the cell phone industry continues to grow, the congestion among carrier antennas on top of water tower tanks will increase as well. Space is becoming limited on most tower-tops and handrails as carriers compete for optimal signal positioning....” For owners, this is a great way to offset construction and maintenance costs. Reports show that carriers will pay between $2,400 and $60,000 per year to place an antenna atop a municipal water tower. In fact, for some towers, there is no more space on top, so side-mounted positions are now being sought after. However, the waterworks industry should take notice of the recent public backlash to wind farm development, a seemingly benign source of renewable electricity. In this case, public health concerns about the electromagnetic field and vibration from wind turbines, have caused the Ontario government to halt wind farm development on the Great Lakes. As well, numerous citizens groups have formed, vehemently opposing their construction, even in rural areas. While public opposition to cell phone antennas on municipal water towers, has been fairly mute, there have been localized cases where citizens, citing health concerns, have sought to have them removed. In 2006, several residents of Simcoe, Ontario, petitioned council to have a cell phone antenna removed from a water tower, even though it could cost the county an estimated $300,000. In an article published in the Brantford Expositor, an environmental scientist at Trent University told council that “studies show an increased risk of cancer, as well as symptoms such as headaches, insomnia and nausea, in people living within 400 metres of a cell tower.” 6 | May 2011
Last year, the Bayville Residents Against Cell Towers (BRACT), a citizens group in Bayville, Long Island, New York, took steps to file a federal civil rights lawsuit to force the village to remove 50 antennas attached to a municipal water tower, as it was located across the street from a school. According to the BRACT website, “Bayville residents are mad. Their children have to go to school across the street from a water tower covered with cell phone antennas. Parents are distraught. It is believed that as much as 30% of the teachers, staff and employees have some type of illness, cancer, leukemia, etc.” The village is said to receive $200,000 per year in revenues for allowing the antennas to be placed on the water tower. The property on which the water tower sits was donated with a deed that limits use of the property. The property cannot be used for any commercial enterprise or in any manner which would be “obnoxious, dangerous or offensive” to homeowners situated within one mile of the property. Homeowners were requesting that a judge declare that Sec 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which limits government’s rights to restrict antennas on health or environmental grounds, does not preempt enforcement of their private property rights. The health effects of direct expo-
sure to electromagnetic radiation are only one area of concern. Others are wondering about the effects of such microwave energy on the drinking water inside the towers. In 2008, Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, an Honorary Lecturer in Biology at Imperial College, London, presented a paper entitled “The Cell Phone and the Cell”. Dr. Goldsworthy wrote that cell phone base station antennas on water towers “carry a hidden risk, because the radiation they emit may also ‘condition’ the water to make it biologically active. This could have adverse effects on public health. Because the conditioning effect on water can last several days, it allows ample time for it to be distributed widely through the water mains.” He concluded that this water “conditioning” may present an even greater threat to public health than direct exposure to EM transmission from antennas. Following the tragic events in Walkerton over a decade ago, Canada’s waterworks industry worked hard to regain public trust in municipal water supply systems. This trust was recently demonstrated, when a couple of regions in Ontario voted to continue their long-standing practice of adding fluoride to drinking water, to promote oral health. To my knowledge, public concerns over these announcements were negligible. However, as more antennas become visible on water towers, the waterworks industry needs to be prepared for increased public concern about their possible health effects. As it has had to do in the past with public concern about E.coli, lead, pesticides, etc., the industry needs to be ready with research and strategies, to provide answers and assurances for such emerging concerns.
Steve Davey is Editor of ES&E Magazine. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:32 PM Page 7
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Competition rising for skilled environmental professionals
recent study conducted by Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) Canada revealed that competition for skilled environmental professionals is on the rise. From 2009 to 2010, 40% of employers lost environmental staff to competing companies who offered better benefits, higher income, better work-life balance, or better career opportunities. Environmental jobs on the rise Over the next few years, the environmental sector’s annual growth is expected to rise above Canada’s economic GDP and to reach from 4.7% to 7.7%. This is a direct result of 1) demand for environmental products and services from consumers, and 2) stronger government regulations which require businesses to invest more capital in environmental endeavors. “What we are seeing is a shift, where existing jobs are moving into new areas of environmental employment that include ‘green jobs’ as well as work in the low carbon economy or ‘clean tech’ jobs. So this expansion is not the result of different positions emerging, it is more of a redistribution and reallocation of environmental skills and knowledge to a broader sector of the economy. This is happening not just in Canada but worldwide,” says Grant Trump, CEO of ECO Canada. In addition, 14% of the environmental workforce will reach the age of retirement within the next decade, creating over 100,000 vacancies. As a result, nearly half of Canadian environmental companies will be looking for employees over the next two years, and will be working on developing recruitment strategies and improving employee retention. Understanding what workers want In a recent survey conducted by ECO Canada, employers reported that successful recruiting in the sector depended on methods which build upon existing relationships with workers, and on making use of employee and professional networks as well as online networks, such as LinkedIn. These existing networks were 8 | May 2011
Creating a positive workplace environment is a vital component of attracting and retaining talented professionals. Grant Trump (right), CEO of ECO Canada, presents Cindy Coutts, President SIMS Recycling Solutions, with the 2011 Large Business Environmental Employer of the Year Award.
viewed by almost half of environmental employers as critical to the success of their recruiting programs. Other top rated methods for recruiting include: internal recruitment, referrals, and co-op programs. The reputation of an environmental employer as an ‘Employer of Choice’ was seen as the most important factor affecting the ability to successfully recruit highly qualified and engaged workers. As Canada’s environmental sector council for nearly twenty years, ECO Canada has been committed to developing programs that encourage and maintain the sector’s growth; these include the nation’s largest environmental job board, professional networking events, online managerial training, and an ‘environmental employer of the year’ contest. Their latest development is a tool to monitor compensation standards. “Our members have told us that they want reliable information on the salaries and benefits of critical positions within the environmental industry,” says Michael Kerford, VP of ECO Canada. “While there are a number of factors in employee engagement, fair and competi-
tive compensation will always be an important consideration and this information will provide an important backdrop to employer/employee discussions.” Benchmarking industry compensation With an ever-changing and diverse sector such as the environmental, a proper comparison of compensation was difficult to find. As a result, compensation and research experts worked with ECO to come up with a method to provide small- and medium-sized employers with national metrics on specialized occupations which are continually evolving. Data on salaries, and retirement, vacation and other benefits, for over 60 environmental professions are contributed anonymously by employers throughout the year. The first report will be available to the sector in November 2011. The compensation centre is open to all environmental industry employers, including consultants, service providers, contractors, emitters, and government. It is one of a variety of tools being built in order to support the environmental sector. For more information, visit www.eco.ca
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:35 PM Page 10
Building on the benefits of renewable energy By Ruben Arellano and Richard Siegenthaler
enewable energy is a valuable resource that is being continuously replenished by abundant and naturally-available sources. In comparison to the diminishing supply of fossil fuels that are escalating in price, today’s renewable energy can provide many benefits, including impressive economic and environmental returns on investment. Buildings that are well suited for solar energy include aquatic centres, fire halls, hotels, and multi-residential buildings, primarily due their vast hot water heating needs. Geoexchange (or geothermal heat pump) energy is well suited to a variety of buildings, both stand-alone and multibuilding (neighbourhood-scale), due to its adaptability and scaleability to heating and cooling demands. Making good financial sense Renewable energy systems are engineered to save dollars over a long lifetime. For both existing and new buildings, operations and maintenance costs are reduced by up to 90%, compared to the cost of oil and gas counterparts. For new buildings, renewable energy technologies can be incorporated right from the start, at less than 1% of a project’s capital cost. As part of their energy reduction programs, governments and utilities have implemented programs to reward those who take renewable energy initiatives. Readily available grants can help reduce initial project investment by up to 60%. There are also several programs available to assist with feasibility studies, options evaluations, and building audits. Conventional energy costs are likely to rise over time as energy demands continue to increase, but buildings and communities that are powered by renewable energy sources are resilient to these price fluctuations. A research study published in The Appraisal Journal indicated that buildings equipped with renewable energy technology had a higher market re-sale value. The Green Value Report, a multi-party collaborative effort, also indicated a strong positive correlation between market value and the renewable energy features of a building. 10 | May 2011
Clubhouse at the Northlands Golf Course, located in North Vancouver.
The high, ongoing energy savings that renewable energy systems provide can make a strong business case for a safe long-term investment of cash reserves. This can result in better returns than traditional low-interest bearing investments, while providing numerous other environmental and social benefits. During times of economic uncertainty and environmental concern, planning ahead and making investments in renewable energy provide long-term security both financially and environmentally. Reducing environmental impacts Applying renewable energy solutions can lower your ecological footprint by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For instance, if a building has renewable energy technologies installed, its GHG emissions could be lowered by up to 97%. Provincial and local governments are emphasizing the importance of reducing carbon emissions, and British Columbia’s Climate Action Plan has inspired local environmental planning in our communities. Earlier this year, Hemmera was retained for the design and installation of a solar hot water system at the District of North Vancouver’s Northlands Golf Course. This is one of the first solar hot water installations on a golf clubhouse in British Columbia, and will involve heating a restaurant and clubhouse facilities
that annually attract over 20,000 patrons. Promoting community leadership Community leaders are creating higher standards for healthier communities. Owners and operators of buildings with renewable energy can use their proven experience to position themselves as ‘thought leaders’. Their front-running environmental stewardship can act as a model for other communities and organizations. One leadership example includes Whistler and its Whistler2020 sustainability plan, which, among other initiatives, had a geoexchange and solar hot water retrofit carried out at its Meadow Park Sports Centre. Another leading community is the District of North Vancouver which, aside from being a SolarBC-recognized Solar Community, is undertaking a number of significant improvements to its building stock, policies, and awareness programs. It is looking into reducing energy consumption in 60 of its buildings. Opting for renewable energy is a step forward in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and produces long-term savings. Using specialized and experienced consultants can maximize the benefits. Ruben Arellano and Richard Siegenthaler are with Hemmera. E-mail: email@example.com
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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New Brunswick is trying to encourage sustainable community development By Daniel Savard
ost communities in Canada are probably not as sustainable as they should be, and many of us wonder if it will ever be possible to build one that is. The first step, however, is to build sustainable subdivisions. We often hear people say that “green” buildings are the way to build sustainable communities and solve climate change challenges. But, what is the good of a green building that is located 50 km from where people work, or conduct their daily activities? What is the good of destroying the surrounding natural environment in order to construct a green building? The concept of “conservation subdivision” is popular in the United States. Here in Canada, it is starting to be better known, but is not as mainstream as it should be, in light of all the benefits. The government of New Brunswick is
12 | May 2011
promoting Sustainable Community Design (SCD) for subdivisions, with seven projects at different stages of implementation. One of them, Le Village en Haut du Ruisseau (LeV) in Dieppe, near Moncton, is already in the first phase of construction. About 75% of the 12.5hectare property will be protected, and close to 200 units of different types of residential housing will be built (see Figure 1). What is Sustainable Community Design? The SCD concept is very simple. It can be summarized by likening it to a golf course subdivision, with the golf course replaced by the area to be preserved (e.g., wetlands, flood-prone areas, unsuitable areas for building) and by significant features that the community would like to keep with the property (e.g., mature trees, cultural sites, agricultural or scenic
areas). The developer builds around the areas to be preserved, or conserved, without losing a single unit allowed under the zoning provisions. One of the main characteristics of a SCD project is that at least 50% of the area that would normally be used for building in a conventional way is protected in a natural way (see Figure 2). From an environmental point of view, the LeV project is unique in Canada, because all the wetlands and 30-m buffer zones, the creek area, the mature trees, and the most ecologically valuable features of the site are protected. In addition, the project will include best management practices for stormwater management, instead of conventional piping of runoff. One of the main objectives of the project has been that any drop of rain that falls on the site is to be treated naturally, before being released into the environment. It is
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:41 PM Page 13
Figure 1 - Plan proposed by developer.
important that the City of Dieppeâ€™s Engineering Department support the practices promoted by the project, such as the construction of a detention pond and rain gardens for all runoff from the area. The project is an environmental success. At first, people and developers alike were surprised that a more sustainable project would be less expensive to build than a conventional one. However, the
Figure 2 - Comparison of designs.
LeV project cost less to build with the SCD concept, simply because the footprint is smaller and the infrastructure less invasive. The SCD process Comparing the costs of the conventional approach for the LeV project against SCD would have been difficult because the City did not allow the same number of units to be built with the con-
ventional approach. Initially, the developer was told that only five units could be built in a conventional way because of the â€œenvironmental constraintsâ€? on the property. As expected, the developer perceived this density to be very low for the size of the property (initially 10 hectares). However, the City was ready to allow a higher continued overleaf...
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Sustainability density for a more sustainable project that would follow the principles of the SCD concept. Usually, the conventional method of approaching subdivisions requires that all environmental constraints from regulations/by-laws that apply on a developer’s property be determined, and it is assumed
the three zones on a property map (i.e., the unbuildable areas, the important features, and the area recommended for building), traffic light analogy is used. The red zone represents the area where no building or infrastructure should be located. The yellow zone represents the area where certain types of infrastructures
The environmental benefits of building with the SCD concept are obvious. More land will be preserved, or protected, than the mere 8–10% required under a provincial planning act. that development will occur around them. In a SCD project, the developer and a group of professionals will walk the site to determine areas that are unbuildable (wetlands, flood-prone areas, sink hole areas), and those that have important features that the community wants to preserve (areas that are sensitive environmentally, significant historically or culturally, or scenic). In New Brunswick, in order to remove any technical confusion in determining
are permitted but no house should be built. The green zone is the area where it makes sense to build all the units that are allowed under the zoning provisions. When the three coloured zones are determined, it is time to work on the design of the subdivision. The first step is to locate all units that can take advantage of the “green” assets of the property and all the natural features that are part of the site. In all SCD projects, it is recommended that the four-step design process
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described by Randall Arendt, the noted landscape planner, in his books be followed sequentially: 1. Designate the open space; 2. Locate the house sites; 3. Determine the layout of streets and roads; and, 4. Trace the lot lines. This process is the exact reverse of the sequence that developers usually follow with conventional subdivisions. Benefits of building with SCD The environmental benefits of building with the SCD concept are obvious. More land will be preserved, or protected, than the mere 8–10% required under a provincial planning act. This land can be devoted to wildlife habitats, or vegetation that will help filter stormwater and runoff from residential developments, or help recharge the underground aquifer. Studies of conservation subdivisions have shown that residents may experience social benefits, such as more opportunities for neighbours to meet and talk, and a stronger sense of community pride. As good as all these benefits are for the community and the residents, some
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Sustainability developers would not be inclined to implement the concept if there were no visible financial advantages as well. Study after study has shown that green space sells, and sells very well. â€œTrails, according to a National Association of Homebuilders study in the New York Times, are the number one amenity potential homeowners cite when they are looking at moving into a new community.â€? A property value increase of up to 35% can be calculated for residences close to a clean open space that is preserved. For the LeV project, a comparison was made between the expected sales revenue from building in a conventional manner with only five units, and building close to 200 units with the SCD project. Revenue from sales would be 16 times higher for the developer with the SCD concept, with roughly the same increase in the Cityâ€™s tax revenue. How to encourage SCD projects How can we explain why so few SCD projects exist in Canada? As with anything that is perceived to be new or out of the ordinary, there are major obstacles that communities and builders have to face when implementing a SCD concept. For example, the regulations/by-laws in place in municipalities do not necessarily promote a communityâ€™s sustainability, but are designed to fit the requirements of federal, provincial or local government departments. Administration of regulations/by-laws becomes more important than the goal of a communityâ€™s sustainability. Another obstacle can be the existing system for allowing capital funding of projects by major banks, which promotes building sprawl, or big lots, rather than preserving the environment. Finally, the lack of knowledge, or interest about the SCD concept, among developers, builders, real estate agents, bankers, community officials, urban and community planners and decision-makers, makes implementation of the concept practically impossible in certain cases. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With global climate change, citizens now support sustainable practices such as compact subdivisions, that encourage mixed-use development and are designed on a human scale. They want transportation options, creation of neighbourhood identity, building of vibrant www.esemag.com
public spaces and of walkable communities that are close to transportation nodes and aesthetically pleasing. Finally, they want their communities to protect the environment. The SCD concept can help communities meet these commendable objectives. Education is the key to getting broader support. For this reason, the Province of New Brunswick offers a free five-hour online seminar on the SCD concept. In addition, the Province offers workshops
to help people practice implementation of SCD principles. Citizens and communities can approach the building of subdivisions in a more sustainable way, than has been the norm to date. Daniel Savard is with the Province of New Brunswick. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org References are available upon request.
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Protecting public water supplies from deliberate contamination By James McGowan
or many, confidence in the safety and security of their drinking water systems changed after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Established after 9/11, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had the same concerns and quickly made it a priority to reduce any risks of deliberate contamination to drinking water supply systems. In the United States, roughly 84% of the population receives drinking water from approximately 165,000 public water systems. According to government statistics, there are also at least 16,000 publiclyowned wastewater treatment systems in the US. Under the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, the DHS gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) full responsibility for developing a comprehensive plan to protect and reduce risks to the water sector, which includes community drinking water and wastewater utilities. Through collaboration with public and private water utilities, state governments and national water sector associations, the EPA established vulnerability assessment guidelines to help water utilities evaluate their susceptibility to vandalism and sabotage. Case Study: Collier County The Collier County Water Department provides drinking water service to more than 160,000 permanent and approximately 200,000 seasonal customers in the unincorporated areas of the county outside the City of Naples, Florida. The department maintains an entire water system, from pumping the water out of the ground, to delivering it to customers’ homes. The water supply system covers roughly 240 square miles and includes two hybrid water treatment plants, three water storage re-pumping facilities, three well fields and one aquifer storage and recovery well. With 103 wells spread out over a large area, the department operates two raw water booster re-pump stations. When it conducted its EPA vulnerability assessment in 2002, the department determined that its public water supply system needed security enhancements in 16 | May 2011
Collier County Water Department.
order to meet the new DHS critical infrastructure guidelines. After assessing the more immediate risks, Collier’s management team considered the most effective way to control access to the well fields and other remote sites. While researching their options, they determined that the CyberLock system of electronic lock cylinders, electronic padlocks, and programmable keys met their requirements. The department first implemented the CyberLock system in 2004. The system has continued to grow as new wells have been brought on line and facilities expanded. To date, more than 600 electronic locks have been installed. Five different types of electronic lock cylinders are used in the lock hardware on administrative office doors, re-pump stations, and in the deadbolts on well house doors. There are also electronic padlocks on facility gates and underground sample stations. Electronic lock system Collier County uses the electronic lock system to its fullest capability. This includes the software’s e-mail warning system, on-demand audit reports, and running the program on laptop computers. The audit reporting ensures that em-
ployees are doing their jobs, water samples are being pulled at the right times and locations, and scheduled security checks are being made throughout the well fields. “The system’s auditing capabilities are of great importance to us,” James Price, the department’s technical support professional, explains. “The electronic locks and keys audit lock openings, including exceptions such as unauthorized attempts to enter. The system sends us email notifications of denied access, employee access to the facility after hours, and specific door openings at the water treatment plant. It also keeps us informed when someone is accessing a particular area of our facility.” The department has a network of CyberKey authorizer keyports and hubs throughout its facilities. They are installed at entrances to the break rooms, control rooms, supervisor office areas and main entrances. The keyports have a display, PIN keypad and connection for employee keys. Employees receive their access permissions and entry authorization daily by inserting an electronic key in one of the keyports. At the same time, a record of their activities is downloaded continued overleaf...
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:42 PM Page 18
CyberLock padlock on a gate.
and sent via the hub to network PCs. “We have contractors that cut the grass around our water treatment plants and wells. We issue an electronic key to each contractor so they can access the main gate. We let them know that any lock they open is being audited so we can confirm their activity while at a Collier County Water Department location. We explain the consequences if they try to access a lock that they are not authorized to open,” says Price. The department uses electronic bar bell padlocks on its sample stations.
CyberLock padlock on office door lock.
Physical access to the stations is awkward and there is only a very small area to work in. The bar bell padlock is ergonomically designed for this type of application. The underground stations are extremely wet and the bar bells are highly water-resistant. Laboratory employees collect samples from various areas of the water distribution system daily, following a mandatory route they must take for collecting samples. “The audit report from the electronic padlocks and each lab employee’s key should confirm that the employee is
checking each sample at the location they indicate in their log,” says Price. Meeting environmental protection regulations The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the primary regulatory agency for the Collier County Water Department. “They ensure we meet Homeland Security measures that have been put in place,” Price says. “We have to demonstrate that we are performing at certain levels of security to keep our risks as low as possible. CyberLock provides a system of checks and balances to docu-
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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Water Treatment ment that we are staying in compliance and can respond effectively to any decrease in water quality from malevolent actions.â€? The water department audits employees who are responsible for carrying out security inspections at pump stations and in the well fields. A pump station can have as many as 10 electronic locks on it. When the employee performs a security check, they use their electronic key to open the locks on all the doors and panels. The audit trail that is downloaded from their key should confirm that they have checked everything at that pump station and it is secure. Management can run audit reports to make sure employees are inspecting doors on well houses and checking inground wells that are in vaults. The vaults can have as many as four electronic locks on them. Along with the CyberLock system, the department has strengthened its perimeter security system at the two water treatment plants by installing additional CCTV cameras. The Collier County Water Department
Electronic bar bell padlock.
has made great strides towards meeting the level of threat that faces water utilities today. It has integrated up-to-date security technology, implemented access control processes, educated its employees on the importance of security awareness, and developed sound, cost-effective security procedures. Assessing potential risks and developing ways to manage and reduce
those risks are ongoing. As EPA standards evolve and new security threats emerge, the department is in a strong position to respond quickly and decisively to protect the publicâ€™s water supply. James McGowan is with Videx. For more information, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Saskatoon WWTP bridges the gap between odour and grit removal
The H.M. Weir Wastewater Treatment Plant.
askatoon is known throughout Canada as the “Bridge City” due to the seven bridges that cross the South Saskatchewan River in the city’s downtown district. Several kilometres to the north sits the H.M. Weir Wastewater Treatment Plant, located between a residential area and the river’s left bank. Constructed in 1971, it has a design daily flow of 120 ml/d (90 ml/d actual), and a peak flow of 300 ml/d. The plant utilized two rolling aerated grit chambers, complete with a clamshell crane removal mechanism. Raw sewage was split between the two chambers, while air was used to roll sewage and promote settling of the grit. Every six weeks, grit was removed using the clam shell and trucked to an on-site disposal area. Once a year, the tanks required draining and cleaning, which proved to be a labour intensive and time-consuming 20 | May 2011
task. College students from the local university were recruited each summer to help with cleaning the basins and many other “dirty” jobs around the plant. Not only was the system time-consuming to clean, it was also inefficient. The traditional design had grit removal upstream of the influent screens, which caused rags and other materials to build up in the grit chambers. The increased grit load was filling the plant’s digester and fermenters with sand to the point that it was noticeably reducing process capacity. However, the biggest problem with the old grit removal system was the odour. Grit was taken by the clam shell, then trucked and buried in a hill behind the plant. Air from the grit removal building was not scrubbed for odours which led to frequent complaints from nearby residents. In 2004, the City began working with
Stantec Consulting Ltd. to implement a better alternative for this site. Following evaluation of a number of options, in 2005 the recommendation was made for a system from Hydro International. The plant’s new grit removal system consists of four Eutek HeadCells®, four Eutek SlurryCups™ and two Eutek Grit Snails®. Following raw influent screening, raw sewage is split into one of the four HeadCells, where grit is separated. The concentrated grit slurry captured in the bottom of the Eutek HeadCell is then pumped to the Eutek SlurryCup, where the organics are washed away and sent back to the biological treatment process. The concentrated grit is then directed into the Eutek Grit Snail, which dewaters and elevates the grit into a solids receptacle. The Eutek HeadCell is a modular, multiple-tray grit concentrator that removes grit as small as 75 microns with
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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The plant’s new grit removal system consists of four Eutek HeadCells®, four Eutek SlurryCups™ and two Eutek Grit Snails®.
minimal headloss. The high-efficiency flow distribution header evenly distributes influent over multiple conical trays. Tangential feed establishes a vortex flow pattern, where solids settle into a boundary layer on each tray, and are swept down to the centre underflow collection
chamber. These settled solids are continuously pumped to a Eutek SlurryCup washing and classification system and then delivered to a Eutek Grit Snail dewatering system. The Eutek SlurryCup uses a combination of an open free vortex and the boundary layer effect to capture, classify, and remove fine grit, sugar sand, and high density fixed solids from grit slurries. The effects of the free vortex and boundary layer retain even fine grit particles, while directing organics back to the biological process, where they belong. The Eutek Grit Snail captures fine grit and abrasives by providing sufficient clarifier area to retain 75-micron particles. A slow-moving, cleated belt gently lifts grit from the clarifier pool without re-suspending captured fine grit particles, which would allow them to escape with the clarifier overflow. In addition to the high level of grit removal efficiency, the system is effective over a wide flow variation, easily expandable by adding trays, and energy efficient. Stantec was also able to retrofit the new removal system into the existing aerated grit chambers. This included relocation of influent screening to upstream of the grit handling facility. Through bypass of the plant influent during construction, the upgraded system was modified into the existing inlet/outlet channels, and housed within the existing headworks footprint. Installation was completed in the spring of 2009. Since installing the new grit removal system, the plant has not had to clean out the fermenters, a significant
improvement over the yearly cleaning the old system required. And, since the upgrade, there have been no summer complaints about odours. For more information, E-mail: email@example.com
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The water soft path - a new approach to ensuring adequate water supplies By Laura Brandes
he traditional approach to urban water management is being challenged. Population growth, habitat loss, pollution, climate change, and a growing sensibility to sustainability are heralding the emergence of a new model — and a new era — of water management. Rooted in efficiency, conservation and ecological values, this model, the water soft path, strives to move society towards a water-sustainable future. In short, it turns the thousands of years-old, supplyside approach to water management on its head. The conventional approach to increased water demand has always been to increase water supply. This is known as supply-side management. The increase in supply is traditionally achieved by expanding physical infrastructure through any variety of water collection and channelling techniques: pipes, pumps, dams, reservoirs, wells, cisterns or canals. Supply-side management has certainly provided huge and undeniable benefits throughout history. It has allowed societies to produce quality drinking water for large populations, substantial irrigation water for farmers, volumes of water for industry, and “recreational” supplies for filling swimming pools, washing cars and gardening. But, in today’s world, the time has come to reconsider this approach. Water supplies are not endless, and planning tools need to start embedding environmental consideration at every level, from water policy and program development to implementation. Growing up with familiar images of glacial-fed rivers, the Great Lakes, voluminous waterfalls, and Canada’s innumerable northern lakes, it is no wonder that many Canadians tend to have a distorted perception of the state of our natural resources. It is true that Canada is home to a huge amount, nearly 7%, of the world’s renewable fresh water supply, but only a small portion of this water is available for our needs. The bulk flows northward, while the majority of the population lives along the southern border of the country. 22 | May 2011
With increasing urban populations, regular summer droughts and the uncertainty of climate change, Canada is by no means immune to problems of water scarcity. Environment Canada has stated that one-quarter of Canadian municipalities face ongoing water supply problems. If no changes are made to the conventional approach to water management, further problems, such as shortages, scarcity, and stress, are inevitable. How can societies ensure the sustainability of their water resources while maintaining economic prosperity and a high quality of life? The challenge lies in shifting our perspective and changing our policies to work toward a sustainable future. Water demand management and the soft path One partial solution lies in water demand management. Unlike the supplyside approach of “increased demand-increased supply,” this well-known method reduces demand through cost-effective efficiency measures. Common measures include the installation of devices, such as water-efficient appliances and lowflow taps, showerheads and toilets. As demand management programs become more detailed and longer in term, they can be reshaped and refined into a more comprehensive water soft path approach. The water soft path concept emerged in the United States in the 1990s when a number of international water experts began considering water conservation as a holistic concept. The idea is based on the “soft energy path,” a sustainable approach to energy planning developed in the 1970s. Like demand management, water soft paths strive for efficiency. But efficiency only scratches the surface of what this planning tool offers. The water soft path departs from demand management by challenging our social behaviour: water use habits, technologies and practices. It takes into consideration the complex interactions that occur between the natural environment and human activity. In this way, water soft paths work within ecological limits and also promote community
and citizen involvement in water management. The key difference between demand management and the water soft path can be explained with two simple questions: how and why? Demand management asks the question, how? How can we carry out a task, for example, toilet-flushing, irrigation or dishwashing, with less water? The water soft path, on the other hand, asks, why? Why are we using water to accomplish these tasks in the first place? Is there another, more sustainable approach? By asking why, water soft paths are better able to incorporate not only efficiency but also conservation. The soft path approach is also designed to match the quality of water supplied to that required by a specific end use. This allows wastewater from one activity to become the input for another activity. It is a novel idea in our society, where litre upon litre of drinking water is flushed down toilets every day. To conserve water and match quality, a household might, for example, incorporate a water flow cycle from rainwater capture to the washing machine, or the garden. Implementing a water soft path strategy For a community to implement a water soft path strategy, the first step is to have a vision of its desired, sustainable future. Conventional planning starts from the present and extrapolates into the future. Backcasting, a technique central to the soft path approach, does just the opposite. With backcasting, a community first identifies its desired future of water use and supply, usually looking 20 to 50 years ahead. Then it works backwards to identify policies and programs that will allow the identified future to be successfully achieved. Once this initial framework is in place, decision-makers can revisit the plan every five to 10 years for reassessment. Backcasting for a sustainable water future has been proposed or adopted in a number of communities across Canada, including Calgary, York Region and
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Water Supply Guelph. In 2006, the Capital Regional District in Victoria moved to include water conservation backcasts to the year 2050 as an element of all future strategic water planning initiatives. Moving the water soft path from theory to implementation is a core area of focus at the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. David B. Brooks, soft path research director, and Oliver M. Brandes, water sustainability project leader, recently authored an article on the water soft path in the International Journal of Water Resources Development. This summarizes the first applications of water soft path analytics to specific geographic areas in Canada. It also offers steps to improve recognition of the water soft path as a planning tool, that can move management and policies towards economic, ecological and social sustainability. The article comes on the heels of Making the Most of the Water We Have: The Soft Path Approach to Water Management (Earthscan, 2009), the first book to comprehensively present and apply this approach, both nationally and internationally. In 2011, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project will be releasing a new water soft path strategy for Fergus/Elora, Ontario. Through its ongoing pilot project program, the organization works with local leaders and governments to develop tailored strategies for Canadian communities. Full-scale strategies have already been developed for Oliver, Salt Spring Island and Abbotsford/Mission, British Columbia. Each report provides detailed background about the community’s hydrology, geography and water management and governance to date. Based on current water use data and future projections, the reports then outline a selection of future water use scenarios. The “no new water” scenario incorporates all the elements of a water soft path. After the strategies are developed, the challenge is implementation. But the scenarios are designed to be feasible, and communities have shown success. Since the release of the Salt Spring Island report in February 2010, the community has started working towards adopting the “no new water” strategy for the island. Peeling Back the Pavement: Reinventwww.esemag.com
Water supplies are not endless, and planning tools need to start embedding environmental consideration at every level. Photo courtesy Brad Hornick.
ing Rainwater Management in Canada's Cities, also scheduled for release early in 2011, will be the newest addition to the POLIS handbook series. Developed in partnership with the University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre, Peeling Back draws on the water soft path to demonstrate that rainwater is a drastically underutilized piece of the urban water cycle. The handbook is targeted at local governments and community leaders, who want to take action to reform stormwater governance. It is based on academic and community-based research on the best practices of stormwater management.
Applying elements of the water soft path, it outlines the elements of a modern, “build with nature” approach to rainwater management. The time has come to challenge the traditional approach to urban water management, and the water soft path offers a viable and exciting alternative. As evidenced by pioneering communities across the country, it is possible and it is happening. Laura Brandes is with the POLIS Water Sustainability Project. E-mail: email@example.com
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Costco’s stormwater storage structure constructed from standard concrete pipe By Stewart Totten
ecause of limited sewer access, flooding, and policies to intensify urban development, there is an increasing need to store stormwater on developed sites. Stormwater management ponds are not always the best choice because of concerns such as liability costs and the high cost of land. The option to store stormwater below ground is of increasing interest to private developers and contractors who recognize there are savings with precast concrete structures. In addition, construction permits are not difficult to obtain when using standard products and commonly-used design specifications. In the City of Saint John, New Brunswick’s Storm Drainage Design Criteria Manual, there is a requirement for zero net change in stormwater runoff, if downstream flooding will occur, or existing flooding is aggravated. The quantity of
Concrete pipe on-site management system will store and slowly release almost 1,000 cubic metres of stormwater.
runoff from the site cannot be any worse after development than it was prior to development. In the case of the City of Saint John, these calculations must be based on the 1:100 year return storm. The Glen Falls area of Saint John is close to sea level and has experienced flooding for decades. During major storm events, streets have been closed, homes and businesses flooded, and everyday life for residents and business owners affected. To compound the situation, the most popular commercial development area of Saint John is on the east side of the city, draining into the Glen Falls basin. When Costco decided to build a store in east Saint John, runoff from their paved parking lot and roof was a concern, and had to be addressed by designers. Since the new development has such a large hard surface, and covers what was once grassed and treed ground, Costco was required to store and slowly release almost 1,000 cubic metres into the local storm sewer system, to achieve “zero net increase”. The designers chose concrete pipe for the on-site stormwater management system. The local producer, Strescon Lim24 | May 2011
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Stormwater storage structure lies below paved parking lot of Costco development.
ited, supplied nearly 400 pieces of 1,200mm diameter pipe, six concrete Ts, and four 2,100mm diameter manholes to the contractor, Debly Enterprises. These products were used in a typical concrete pipeline and header installation with one manhole at each of the four corners, connecting storage pipe between them. The storage device was completed in approximately two weeks. Access structures were pre-benched, ensuring a smooth flow through the system. Using the 1,200mm diameter pipe for larger structures makes it easy for a pump truck to vacuum the system when maintenance is required. Reinforced concrete pipe is a good choice for stormwater storage. It does not float, rust, or burn in the event of petroleum spills and wildfires, and is not affected by standard pollutants in stormwater or most chemical spills. Joints can be gasketed and made water tight, or non-gasketed to allow for ground water infiltration, or stormwater exfiltration. Joints can be grouted, if the designer and contractor prefer. Reinforced concrete pipe comes in standard 8-ft or 2.5m sections, so there are more options without cutting when installing the product. It is produced with locally obtained materials which is important, if a project is looking for LEED certification. If there is any damage to the product during installation, it is usually cosmetic and can be repaired using standard construction practices and materials. By using the standard installations recommended by the pipe suppliers, and inwww.esemag.com
cluded in the Canadian Bridge Design Code, local aggregates and excavated material can be used for backfilling, thereby saving a significant amount on importing backfill and hauling away excavated material. Concrete pipe is produced in a temperature and weather-controlled facility, where it is designed to withstand earth and impact loading.
Most likely, shoppers at Costco will have no idea they are driving over a structure that could be holding stored water equivalent to half the volume of an Olympic-size swimming pool. Stewart Totten is with Strescon Limited. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 2011 | 25
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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.
Side mount antenna system increases revenue potential for water tank owners
s the cell phone industry continues to grow, the congestion among carrier antennas on top of water tower tanks will increase as well. Space is becoming limited on most tower-tops and handrails as carriers compete for optimal signal positioning and more viable options are being sought out. This was the case recently with wireless carrier T-Mobile. For an antenna installation on its 131 ft high tank, one city mandated that they find an alternative way to mount their antennas on the four side sectors of the tower. Space issues notwithstanding, the city also desired a less obtrusive solution that would appeal to the local population. In addition to finding a suitable mounting solution, T-Mobile and its contractor were also faced with other difficulties. Welding was ruled out as an option, as it could cause problems with the tank’s membrane seals and could involve costly and time-consuming draining of the tank. Epoxy mounting was also eliminated due to questions about the durability of the bond under winter’s extreme elements. Additionally, capacitor discharge (CD) welding was dismissed as time-consuming because of the amount required. T-Mobile contacted Metal & Cable Corp., who had developed a patented, 26 | May 2011
A horizontal Magnemount system.
non-invasive, high-capacity magnetic solution called the Magnemount Antenna System. Engineered with a series of permanent magnets, combined with an independently suspended mounting system, the Magnemount system provides a noninvasive solution to adhering to the steel surfaces and varying curvatures of water towers, including the side sectors. Entirely magnetic, it requires no epoxy coating or invasive welding which could adversely affect a water tank’s protective surface coatings and bladder seals.
Metal & Cable Corp. was able to provide T-Mobile with a viable option to install 12 antenna mounts within a rigid deadline. It is comprised of: • 12 Total M-STM: 6 base-plates on four water tank sectors, holding three antennas each. • 90◦ Center Mast/Base Plate (24" x 24” square footprint - uses up to 120 magnets). • 300 grade stainless steel and anodized aluminum construction. • 150 MPH wind speed capacity – 5.5 ft2
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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wind surface area. The M-STMs offer a quick, clean installation which does not require welders, painters, or special tools. Assembly begins on the ground as each base plate is mounted to a horizontal shank; this is attached to the vertical mast with U-bolts which are tightened to securely hold the final antenna pipe and assembly. After a swift hoist up the water tower, installers simply pick a desired surface location and place the base plate. The magnets are then loosened to automatically orient themselves to their maximum capacity. The lock-nuts on each magnet need only one turn with a hand wrench to secure the mount in place. Once secured, the antenna is mounted and the installation is completed, typically in less than one hour. Ultimately, all 12 of the M-STM antennas took only one day to install. Factoring in the additional civil and electrical work (i.e., cell infrastructure, coaxial cable feeds, magnetic supports to the mounts, etc.) the T-Mobile tank installation project was completed in approximately two weeks.
Magnemount side tank mounting system.
Reports show that cell phone carriers are paying between $2,400 to $60,000 per year to place an antenna atop municipal water towers. As such, renting antenna space is becoming a very lucrative revenue stream for municipalities, mak-
ing side tower installation an attractive way to increase their customer base. For more information, visit www.metal-cable.com
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6 -3mh ik^o^gm aZsZk]hnl kng h__l 6$ng]^klmZg]F MegaDome is the affordable solution to keep waste and recycling management operations protected from the elements. Designed with function and safety in mind, MegaDome structures come with heavy-duty options, to sustain years of use, even in corrosive environments.
MegaDome is: • Designed and manufactured by a Canadian company, pioneer in membrane covered steel structures • Made of structural steel and oval tubing for superior resistance and load capacity • National Building Code compliant and CSA A660 certiﬁed
May 2011 | 27
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Continuous mixing improves sampling accuracy and water quality in storage tanks By Joel Bleth
here are thousands of municipal water systems in Canada, many of which rely on water towers and above- and belowground storage tanks to store treated potable water. Drinking water treated with either chlorine or chloramines will normally remain stable and safe for a few days in storage. As such, municipal water system operators have tended to rely on normal cycling of water in and out of the tank to keep the water mixed in order to limit aging and deterioration of disinfectant chemicals. However, this reliance on â€œpassive mixingâ€? is often not enough to prevent thermal stratification that can lead to a drop in residual chlorine and the resultant growth of bacteria. When bacteria contamination occurs, a common practice is to drain and flush the tank, and refill it. This practice wastes water and raises costs of labour and chemicals.
Figure 1: When passive mixing is insufficient, potable water tanks can stratify, stranding warmer water near the top of the tank, where residual disinfectants begin to dissipate.
When continuous mechanical mixing is combined with frequent sampling and periodic chlorine boosting as needed, water quality is maintained and less disinfectant is needed overall, due to elimi-
nation of sampling inconsistencies. New, near-laminar-flow, active mixing technologies have been developed to completely mix storage tanks with up to 100 million gallons of potable water, vir-
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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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tually eliminating sampling inconsistencies and thermal stratification. These technologies have the additional benefits of reducing labour and chemical costs, as well as providing a way of complying with regulations. Thermal stratification Thermal stratification promotes deterioration of water quality, especially in the upper part of the tank. When water warms and stratifies, newly treated cold water coming into the tank may not mix well with the existing water, and tends to stay near the bottom. This cold water is also the first to exit the tank, essentially short-circuiting or stranding the bulk of the warmer, stratified water above. Thermal stratification can start to occur with temperature gradients as small as 0.1째C. If stratification persists for as little as five days, disinfection chemicals may begin to dissipate in the warmer, upper layers, allowing bacterial growth and an overall decrease in water quality. Stratification also introduces sampling inconsistencies that can lead to over- or under-boosting of chemical disinfectant. Since water quality testing is based on sampling from selected locations within a tank, these testing points may not reflect the real health of the entire tank if it is stratified. A fully mixed storage system provides a means for true sampling of water temperature and residual disinfectant from any sampling point. Mixing technologies A variety of mixing technologies are used in potable water storage tanks, including passive mixing, periodic active mixing and continuous, active mixing. 1. Passive mixing. This practice relies on the inflow of new water into the tank to mix with older water and promote the uniform distribution of disinfectants. The effectiveness of this method depends on the inlet/outlet location and the rate of water usage. When water usage rates are moderate to low, passive mixing is often not effective in preventing thermal stratification (Figure 1). 2. Short-distance turbulent mixing. Mechanical mixing is sometimes used when adding chemicals to a water storage tank to promote even distribution of the disinfectants. These types of mechanical mixers utilize an impeller turning at high rpm to create turbulence in the water and promote mixing in much the same way that a handheld cake mixer does. www.esemag.com
While these mixers do thoroughly blend the water in the vicinity of the impeller, the energetic turbulence that is generated prevents the water from either traveling out too far from the mixer or being drawn in from any significant distance (see Figure 2). As a result, mixers that rely on turbulence may not effectively disperse the chemicals to the sides and bottom of the tank, where biofilms tend to form. 3. Continuous, long-distance mixing. New solar-powered, near-laminar-
flow, continuous, active mixers were developed for solving water quality problems in lakes and raw water reservoirs. They can circulate water out to a radius of 800 ft (246 m) and to depths of more than 100 ft (30 m). They are also widely used for maintaining water quality in potable storage tanks. Instead of creating turbulence in the water, the near-laminar-flow mixer floats on top of the water and gently draws the water up from below. Exiting the mixer continued overleaf...
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Leveloader Gold The Leveloader Gold is a rugged data transfer device dedicated to the Levelogger Series. It stores up to 1.39 million datapoints, allows Levelogger re-programming, and viewing of real-time data in the field. High Quality Groundwater and Surface Water Monitoring Instrumentation Solinst Canada Ltd., 35 Todd Road, Georgetown, ON L7G 4R8 Tel: +1 (905) 873-2255; (800) 661-2023 Fax: +1 (905) 873-1992; (800) 516-9081 Visit our website: www.solinst.com E-mail: email@example.com
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without turbulence, the surface water travels a long distance because it is essentially powered by gravity and experiences little resistance. This feature makes it possible to mix the water throughout the entire water column, from the bottom of the tank to the outer walls and everywhere in between. While these near-laminar-flow mixers can circulate up to 10,000 gal (38,000 L) per minute, they require very little power due to the minimal head, or lift, in the upflow pump design and they can be driven by an electronically controlled DC motor. The low power requirement allows them to be powered by 80- to 300watt solar photovoltaic arrays, combined with a deep-cycle storage battery, to allow 24/7 operation. With the near-laminar-flow mixer floating in the water tank and a solar power source installed on the tank roof, the equipment can operate around the clock, completely mixing the tank to provide consistent disinfectant residual, and eliminate thermal stratification and deterioration (see Figure 3). Mixing in chloraminated systems While approximately 70% of municipal water systems use chlorine as their primary disinfectant, a growing number have switched to chloramines. Continuous, active mixing is beneficial with both types of disinfectants, but is especially important in chloraminated systems. If chloraminated water is allowed to
Figure 2: Turbulent, high-horsepower mixers agitate the water in the vicinity of the blades but often do a poor job of homogenizing the water along the outer walls and bottom of the tank where biofilms form.
stratify and age too long due to poor mixing, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) may convert free ammonia to nitrites. The American Water Works Association has noted that nearly two-thirds or more of tanks with chloraminated water experience unwanted nitrification and a loss of residual disinfectant, especially when water temperatures rise during warm weather. When the temperature of chloraminated water rises above 15째C, AOB, which are 13 times more resistant to chlorine than most bacteria, begin to grow rapidly, especially on the floor and walls of the tank. Therefore, it is critical that the mixing scheme circulates water along the walls and bottom of the tank and exposes AOB to disinfection chemicals. Trihalomethanes control Mixing can help with other water quality problems as well. In water systems with natural organic matter (NOM) con-
Figure 3: With a continuous, active, near-laminar-flow mixer, water is drawn from the bottom of the tank and flows up and outward toward the outer walls and back down, eliminating stratification. 30 | May 2011
tent, chlorine added at the treatment facility will react with NOM to form disinfection byproducts called trihalomethanes (THMs). Formation of THMs is a concern because of potential health risks. The current limit is 80 ppb, but this will be lowered to 60 ppb over the next few years. As newly treated water flows into the tank from the water treatment plant, it tends to have its highest levels of THMs. In poorly mixed storage tanks, the new high-THM water tends to be the last in and first out, short-circuiting the older, stratified water above it. THMs naturally dissipate over time, so this older water usually has fewer THMs. By homogenizing water in the tank, continuous, active mixing distributes and dilutes THMs throughout in the entire water column and minimizes the concentration of them in the effluent water. Quality monitoring While active mixing with a near-laminar-flow mixer can provide consistent disinfectant residual, eliminate thermal stratification, and ensure that all of the water in the tank is of a uniform age, water quality still has to be monitored on a regular basis to ensure that it meets requirements. With active mixing, there will be much higher confidence in the sampling results due to the elimination of stratification. As a result, when testing reveals that the residual disinfectant level is low, the correct amount of chlorine can be added to boost the level of disinfectant. Joel Bleth is with SolarBee, Inc. For more information, visit www.solarbee.com.
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Sturgeon Falls installs badly needed water storage tank
estled in the town of Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, stands a new, 46 m tall, 652,000 litre capacity composite elevated tank (CET) system, which represents a town transitioning from one era to the next. The former paper mill town, located in West Nipissing, is now primarily a tourist haven for fishing and wildlife. It was in dire need of a new water storage tank for some 8,000 residents as its old one was deteriorating rapidly. "The access ladder on the old tower was in very poor shape, and it was strongly recommended by a consulting firm to condemn the tower," says Peter Ming, Manager of West Nipissingâ€™s Water and Wastewater Operations. "Leaks, due to corrosion, occurred numerous times and we had to get a welder to spot weld them. The only way to do this was to borrow a bucket lift from the City of Greater Sudbury. It cost us $10,000 each time we needed to use it." After the old water tower was deemed inaccessible in 2009, the Municipality was awarded a $2 million grant from the Canadian government's Community Adjustment Fund Program. It required that the replacement tank had to be finished within budget and by a firm deadline of March 31, 2011. Otherwise funding could be revoked. With such stringent stipulations, Mr. Ming contacted AECOM's Sudbury office to help find a system that fit within the grant's parameters. The two technologies selected for the request for proposal were a glass-fused-to-steel Aquastore tank, supplied by Greatario Engineered Storage Systems, and a welded-steel elevated storage tank. Due to lower capital and maintenance costs, the Greatario system was the one chosen. Greatario and AECOM focused on a design that would make the construction aesthetically pleasing. The team specified a pedestal configuration that offered a different appearance to other Greatario
CET constructions, while still remaining within budget. "With glass-fused-to-steel, there is no extra cost or time for sandblasting or painting in the field, which means shorter construction timelines," says Scott Burn, Vice President of Greatario. "There was also concern about excessive noise and sprays that could potentially be harmful to the adjacent residential neighborhood. These do not occur with a factory-coated tank." Mr. Ming was also familiar with Aquastore glass-fused-to-steel tanks, being a
Greatario and AECOM focused on a design that would make the construction aesthetically pleasing. former employee of a Sturgeon Falls area paper mill. "I was charged with treating industrial wastewater at the mill. We used anaerobic digesters with tanks supplied by Greatario for the treatment, so I knew the
tank would hold up for this purpose. We were also looking for something that would minimize maintenance costs 20 or 30 years from now," says Mr. Ming. With initial construction beginning in April 2010, it was anticipated that the majority of the tank portion of the construction would have to be done in unfavorable working conditions. Construction of the concrete pedestal was completed one week ahead of schedule. Then, glassfused-to-steel panels were raised one-byone and were assembled, using jacks directly on top of the pedestal. Workers stood on a walkway less than one metre wide and successfully built the tank, while weathering the dangerous seasonal wind gusts off Lake Nipissing. According to Chris Cecchetto, Project Manager of AECOM, building a welded steel CET construction during inclement weather conditions would have been very costly and present a longer construction time. "All glass-fused-to-steel panels are manufactured in a controlled environment in an off-site factory, and they've all been QA (Quality Assured) and QC (Quality Control) tested before being shipped. We're basically just bolting panels together. Welding and painting during early spring months, with frequent low temperature conditions, poses some significant challenges. Glass-fused-to-steel can be assembled in any sort of weather conditions." In spite of the obstacles, the new Aquastore CET was fully operational in November 2010 and has serviced customers with no complications. According to Mr. Ming, the Canadian government was satisfied with the timeliness of the construction. Only minor site restoration remains, which will be completed after the grant deadline. All remaining costs are fully covered by the Municipality. For more information, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
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Spill pallets are an important part of due diligence planning
any safety and environmental managers prefer spill pallets and containment devices that are constructed of steel. This is not because they like to spend more on steel containment, but rather because users need to be ready for the annual insurance underwriter inspections that force “total compliance” to the “minimum standards” of the fire code, occupational health and safety (OH&S) regulations, and environmental protection regulations. It is also, to a lesser degree, because environmentally minded managers are aware of the recycling options that are readily available for scrap metals at the end of a product’s life cycle. In Canada, industrial users are required to meet the requirements for spill control and/or secondary containment outlined in Subsection 4.1.6 and Subsec-
tion 4.3.7 respectively of the fire code. Part 4 of the National Fire Code of Canada, 2005 edition, deals with minimum requirements for flammable and combustible liquid use, storage, handling and control. It includes Clause 22.214.171.124.(1) Spill Control, which comes with two objectives and three functional statements affecting the selection and design of “spill pallets.” The first objective is to limit the probability that a person will be exposed to an unacceptable risk of injury, and the second is to limit the probability that, as a result of specific circumstances, the building or facility will be exposed to an unacceptable risk of damage due to fire. The functional statements are directed at preventing spills from flowing outside the “spill area.” Article 4.1.6 Spill Control and Drainage Systems applies to incidental storage, as well as indoor individual
storage areas, rooms for flammable liquids storage, and outdoor storage areas. It states that “a spill of flammable liquids or combustible liquids shall be prevented from flowing outside the spill area and from reaching waterways, sewer systems and potable water sources by construction of a noncombustible barrier capable of containing the spill.” A noncombustible spill pallet must not be “capable of igniting and burning,” where burning is defined as “a process in which a substance reacts with oxygen to give heat and light.” A polypropylene, polyethylene, or light-gauge metallic product, may not meet this definition of “noncombustible.” Users need to know if their spill pallets meet the fire code’s objectives and functional statements and will not melt or fail when subject to heat loads of up to 2,000ºF, or fail from material handling ac-
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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
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Quatrex-four drum pallet.
tivities. If the spill pallet cannot prevent materials from flowing outside the spill area, it does not meet the condition to act as a spill barrier. For this reason, it would, in most cases fail to meet the objective and functional statements of the fire code. Meeting fire code requirements How do users determine if their products will not melt or fail from live loads, fire exposure and/or heat exposure? Currently, there is no test protocol or recognized standards document adopted by the National Fire Code of Canada to refer to.
Therefore, users are left with the responsibility and incurred liability of establishing an internal standard that their owners and boards of directors need to review, approve and adopt. This approach leads to the dilemma experienced at industrial establishments today. If users are not well versed in the regulatory requirements governing storage of hazardous substances, dangerous goods and/or hazardous materials (which include flammable and combustible liquids), then the owner and/or directors assume the liability for corporate policies and the resulting purchasing decisions. The acts, regulations, codes, standards, guidelines and standard industry practices in Canada all state that it is the ownerâ€™s first responsibility to hire a competent, responsible and qualified person to meet all regulatory requirements in the workplace. There are no provisions to protect owners or board members when they permit an uninformed/unqualified person to procure a spill pallet or containment device that does not meet all regulatory requirements. So how does the average user make an
informed decision? Talk to suppliers about the physical properties of their products. What will the product withstand? Have they fire-tested the product? How and when will the product fail? Does the product create a toxicity level above that allowed by the OH&S requirements due to chemical spills, or when the spill pallet is subject to fire exposure? Can the product withstand material handling activities? How will the product hold up in cold weather? Will the product crack if liquid freezes in the bottom? What can they provide to validate the productâ€™s performance? How long can liquids be immersed in the containment before the coatings or poly product fail? This article has only addressed the limited scope of Subsection 4.1.6 of the fire code. However, there are many other regulatory requirements that also affect the proper use of spill pallets, noncombustible barriers and secondary containment. For more information, contact Quatrex Environmental Inc. E-mail: email@example.com
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Prevention of spills especially important in fractured rock areas By Cliff Holland and Tom Kennedy
any chemical process companies, tank-farm operators, farmers and home owners in southern Ontario are not aware of the liabilities incurred when spills pass through top soil and enter the sedimentary conditions found in the Great Lakes – St Lawrence Lowlands. These extend west from Windsor to Cornwall, on to Quebec City, and north to Tobermory and Ottawa. This stratified limestone, which may be a few inches below ground-cover soil, can allow spills to travel unchecked and undetected into rural drinking water-tables, through sensitive wetlands and eventually into the Great Lakes. Today’s cost to respond, remediate and restore a site can far outweigh the cost of being proactive with engineered structures that will keep spills in check. Spill Management Inc. demonstrated the vulnerability of sedimentary limestone during a training course at an industrial site built on a limestone rock formation on the shores of Lake Ontario in the Kingston area. The site was within 200 metres and uphill from the shoreline. The purpose of this site-specific training exercise was to flood 1,000 gallons of water into a limestone containment area. The instructor, Cliff Holland, distracted the group, while water migrated into the limestone base. As one participant mentioned that training was over, another exclaimed that the water was pouring out of the side of the rock cut and travelling to the lake. The company had engineered secondary containment for the storage tanks, but were not adequately prepared for spill containment during fuel delivery, onsite traffic accidents, unplanned events such as pump, line and hose failures. Any spill, migrating through top soil into porous, sedimentary limestone, requires a permanent fix with custom-designed and approved engineered practices. Remediation of limestone bedrock can involve rock blasting, purging of contamination, as well as removing and replacing
34 | May 2011
This stratified limestone, which may be a few inches below ground-cover soil, can allow spills to travel unchecked.
large amounts of materials to meet acceptable environmental restoration criteria. Approved environmental spill prevention systems can be designed to meet the chemical properties, volumes, soil and subsoil conditions for sites throughout Ontario. Case Study One chemical facility in Southern Ontario is located within the “lake effect” region. In such regions, rain storms can be lengthy, as warmer lake water helps sustain them. This can contribute to rain amounts that escalate environmental damage as spills travel undetected underground, through the limestone rock formation. Unprotected chemical storage areas, transfer sites and chemical process plants located in limestone areas, where the topsoil is typically less than 12 inches deep, run the risk of spills impacting the environment. Fractured limestone allows liquids to pass between slates and travel undetected. The natural flow in the area will draw water to any nearby creeks, marshes and ponds and eventually into to
Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. This particular plant location posed a great threat to the environment, should there be a release of significant size, given the toxicity of the chemicals being produced there. The cost for clean up could potentially be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The site is a general site; there are some storage tanks outdoors that are within a containment area, as per regulations set out by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE). There is no containment for the loading and unloading zones, however. The area around the facility is paved where there is vehicular traffic; however, there are cracks in places that go the entire depth of the asphalt. Also, there are trench-like depressions in the asphalt. The slope of the pavement running from the unloading zone to the edge of the property is significant. There were no permanent safety measures to prevent spills from leaving the property. continued on page 61...
Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine
Aboveground storage tanks Convault aboveground storage tanks are the ultimate in safety. They are UL 2085 listed, certified by CARB and meet NFPA 30/30A, UFC, BOCA and SBCCI. They feature ballistic and impact protection, a low maintenance exterior, and are shipped complete with accessories to minimize on-site expenses. Tel: 800-628-5502, Fax: 703-563-0320 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.core-es.com ConVault
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: email@example.com Web: www.greatario.com Greatario Engineered Storage Systems
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.densona.com Denso
Cover systems for tanks and lagoons
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. Web: www.gticovers.com Geomembrane Technologies Inc.
Water reservoir & tank mixer
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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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.megadomebuildings.com
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The T.F. Warren Group is your single source for liquid and dry storage containment. The company offers engineering, coating and lining, fabrication, maintenance, and erection. They can undertake any size project. Tel: 519-754-3731 Web: www.tfwarren.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.transenvsys.com
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May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:45 PM Page 35
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SBR system treats remote Hydro-Québec worker camp wastewater By Mohamad Ghosn
The second phase of the Romaine River Complex was installed in August 2010.
y favouring hydroelectricity, a source of renewable energy, Hydro-Québec meets the needs of the present, while making sure it preserves Québec’s environmental heritage and the energy supply of future generations. The La Romaine hydropower complex is the largest infrastructure project underway in Canada. Located about 55 km from Havre-Saint-Pierre, over 2,000 workers are living on the premises. Accommodations comprise dormitories, offices, cafeterias, leisure centre, bar and a convenience store. To be in sync with its sustainable development vision, HydroQuébec had to ensure optimal treatment of the wastewater produced by its camp to comply with stringent discharge standards. Moreover, the wastewater treatment equipment had to be demobilized after use. Hydro-Québec decided to choose a wastewater treatment system that could both achieve the treatment performance required and offer a transitional and tem36 | May 2011
porary structure option in order to preserve the natural environment.
Wastewater treatment in remote locations is challenging.
A scientific design approach Wastewater treatment in remote and isolated locations is a significant challenge. The La Romaine River wastewater
treatment project was implemented in two phases. The first phase had to treat 68,000 gal per day, the wastewater generated by approximately 900 workers. The consultant AXOR studied the possibility of reusing the EcoprocessTM Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) system, which had been installed in 2004 by Premier Tech Aqua (PTA) at Hydro-Québec’s Peribonka Camp. After verification, the system was refurbished and installed at the Romaine River site in March 2010 and PTA proceeded with start-up of the first phase. The second phase of the Romaine River complex, that was installed in August 2010, involved two activities: 1. The employment of the two SBRs of the first phase as equalization tank. 2. The addition of four reservoirs to be used as an SBR – two for each train. The two treatment trains are completely independent. A pumping station located before the treatment system serves to intercept the camp’s wastewater and evenly feeds the BioSepara-
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Figure 1. Flow trend of a single train of the Ecoprocess SBR system.
torsTM (primary decanters) of the two treatment trains. The Ecoprocess SBR is preceded by a BioSeparator, which acts as both a primary decanter and secondary sludge storage basin.This type of SBR is continuous filling with intermittent discharge. The current treatment chain is designed for an average daily flow of 508 m3/d and a peak flow of 72 m3/h. The BioSeparators con-
Figure 2. Sequence trend of the Ecoprocess SBR system.
tribute to reducing suspended solids and some of the particulate BOD. Oils and greases that float easily are also retained, and the SBRâ€™s secondary sludge can be removed when needed. The BioSeparator also protects the BioSequencer from variations in organic loads and, to a certain extent, variations in temperature, pH and toxicity. The treatment chain also includes two equalization
units that partially reduce the hydraulic load on the SBR. The advantage of treating wastewater with a BioSequencer is its flexibility to select the number of cycles and adjust operational levels. Also, filling, mixing and aeration, as well as sedimentation and settling, are carried out according to an adjustable sequence. Settled (evacuated) water from the SBR is carried continued overleaf...
s MEASURES 4EMPERATURE P( /20 /PTICAL $/ %# 4URBIDITY s M M M EXTENSION CABLES AVAILABLE s $/ READINGS ARE AUTOMATICALLY COMPENSATED FOR TEMPERATURE SALINITY ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE s PROBE DIMENSIONS MM X MM X