Environmental Science and Engineering Magazine May-June 2011

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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: 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 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 steve@esemag.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

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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 steve@esemag.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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HR Management

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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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: rarellano@hemmera.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

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Figure 1 - Plan proposed by developer.

important that the City of Dieppe’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 “environmental constraints� 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. “Trails, 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.� 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 City’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 community’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 community’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: daniel.savard@gnb.ca References are available upon request.

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Water Treatment

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

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:42 PM Page 17

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Water Treatment

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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Water Treatment ment that we are staying in compliance and can respond effectively to any decrease in water quality from malevolent actions.� 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 public’s water supply. James McGowan is with Videx. For more information, E-mail: kathleen@videx.com

May 2011 | 19

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Wastewater Treatment

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

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 11-06-04 12:03 AM Page 21

Wastewater Treatment

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: bpaetel@eutek.com


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Water Supply

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

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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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: communications@polisproject.org

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May2011_ES&E_4_2010 11-06-04 4:34 AM Page 24

Stormwater Management

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

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:43 PM Page 25

Stormwater Management

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: totten.stewart@strescon.com

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

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:43 PM Page 27

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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May2011_ES&E_4_2010 11-06-04 12:03 AM Page 28

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 “passive mixing� 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

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:43 PM Page 29

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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Dependable Water Level Datalogger Maintenance Free Design Lifetime Calibration Backwards Compatible 3 Year Warranty Real-Time View The Levelogger Gold is a self contained water level datalogger, which is completely designed, developed and manufactured in-house, in the tradition of all Solinst high quality products. The Levelogger Gold uses infra-red data transfer, providing the flexibility of installing by use of a simple wireline or by using a Direct Read Cable to surface. The Levelogger Gold includes a pressure transducer, temperature thermistor, 10 year lithium battery (based on 1 reading per minute), and internal datalogger with a capacity of 40,000 temperature and water level datapoints.

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LTC Levelogger Junior Level Temperature and Conductivity NEW LTC Levelogger Junior from Solinst combines temperature and conductivity sensors, pressure transducer, datalogger, memory for 16,000 sets of readings, and a 5-year battery, in a small waterproof housing. It is compatible with Levelogger Gold software, accessories and telemetry. Ideal for salinity studies and a general indication of contamination levels. Low cost !

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: instruments@solinst.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 Nipissing’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:info@greatario.com

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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 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-

Reliable Water Storage Water is valuable. Many products on the market today, such as excavation liners or various concrete products, don’t have the reliable, water-tight, 30-year track record that ZCL fibreglass tanks offer.

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32 | May 2011

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 owner’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 product’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: info@quatrex.ca

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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: info@core-es.com 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: sales@greatario.com Web: www.greatario.com Greatario Engineered Storage Systems

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Corrosion protection

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

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

Clear span buildings

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

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Spill containment systems

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

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: info@transenvsys.com Web: www.transenvsys.com

Spill Management

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Practical Hands-on Progressive Formats


Transport Environmental Systems

Storage/Containment & Spills Product Showcase

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:45 PM Page 35

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Wastewater Treatment

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-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Wastewater Treatment

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 SBR’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...





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Wastewater Treatment by gravity towards the UV treatment system located in the mechanical room. The size of the SBR is based on a complete weight assessment which takes biodegradable and non-biodegradable organic fractions as well as inert solids into consideration. This approach, based on proven biokinetic models, makes it

possible to evaluate the production of generated sludge with precision and guarantees the SBR functions within optimal conditions. Ecoprocess Sequencing Batch Reactors are horizontal cylinder-shaped tanks, 15 metres long and 3.66 metres in diameter. They are equipped with level sensors

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

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38 | May 2011


and level detection floats, and also include SwingCanterTM decanters. In order to eliminate any maintenance or risk of breakage in the aeration system, AirOmegaTM coarse bubble air diffusers, made of stainless steel 304, are installed in the Phase 2 SBR at the La Romaine complex. In the mechanical rooms, each unit has a control panel with control interface, air blowers, motorized air control gates, sludge purging pump, and a UV system, as well as heat, light and a ventilation system. Each train has a control panel with a programmable logic controller (PLC) and an operator interface. The control panel includes some pilot lamps for local equipment (e.g., gates). The PLC controls the SBR and equalization basin, and alarms. It detects and indicates any malfunction and will take the necessary measures to make sure the station keeps operating optimally, using equipment still available. The operator interface provides data on the status of the process and makes it possible to adjust some of the control parameters. Results The flow trend of a single train of the Ecoprocess SBR system, over three consecutive days, is shown in Figure 1. Figure 2 shows the sequence trend of the system. Mohamad Ghosn, Eng., is with Premier Tech Aqua. E-mail: ghom@premiertech.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Water Supply

Renovating a water reservoir high in the Alps presents many engineering challenges


ith construction of new reservoirs in the European Alps no longer possible, existing ones are being extended to increase their storage capacity, or renovated to increase their lifespan. One of these projects is on the Austria-Switzerland border, at the Silvretta reservoir. Here, the water-side faces of two of the three aged retaining walls (the main-wall and the side-wall) needed to be renovated. Sealing in stages The main reservoir wall is 80 metres high and 432 metres wide, while the smaller side-wall is 32 metres high and 140 metres wide. The lake extends over an area of 1.31 km² and contains almost 38.6 million m³ of water. A new sealing system was installed to provide protection for both concrete walls, which were built in 1938. The sealing system for the mainwall is being completed in two stages. The smaller side-walls, and two thirds of the main-wall, have already been sealed. The lower third of the main wall was scheduled to be finished this spring, after the Silvretta lake has been drained. Three-layer-system ensures success The project is being planned and managed by Carpi Tech SA from Chiasso, Switzerland. With their three-layer sealing system, a plastic mesh grid is bolted directly onto the concrete wall to act as a drainage layer. They then fix a polyester fleece to counteract any unevenness. The actual sealing layer, a 2.5 mm thick and 2.2 metre wide PVC membrane, is then welded on. To help hold the entire assembly in place, two-piece aluminum profiles are fitted every four metres, over the PVC membrane. Finally, the aluminum profiles are covered with PVC strips, which are welded to the membrane. According to the company, its three-layer system ensures complete waterproofing. Challenges for man and material Installing a sealing system of this size at a height of 2,030 metres above sea level presents a considerable challenge, both for those installing the system, and for the equipment being used to make the welds. www.esemag.com

The main reservoir wall is 80 metres high and 432 metres wide.

All the plastic sealing strips were overlap welded using the reliable TRIAC S hand tool.

The individual strips were welded by using a TRIAC S hot air, hand tool from Leister. Installation was carried out with two operators standing on a suspended platform, welding individual strips in parallel. Using this strategy, four teams completed approximately 18,000 metres of welds within a few weeks. The TRIAC S hand welder features a digital display PID electronic control system, which ensures temperature is precisely regulated, no matter what the line voltage, or ambient temperature. The long-term view This 30 million Euro construction project will mean that the Lake Silvretta reservoir will last for many more decades and that precious glacier water flowing into it will continue to provide fresh water and electricity. Leister is represented in Canada by StanMech Technologies. For more information, please visit www.stanmech.com

Bird's eye view of Lake Silvretta. Bottom right – the 80 m high main wall, above it the 31 m high ancillary wall.

Working on the side wall. The individual strips are welded in parallel. May 2010 | 39

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 11-06-04 12:04 AM Page 40

WWTP Operations

Large wet well cleaning project recently completed at Toronto’s Ashbridges Bay WWTP


n March 2011, Accuworx Inc. was contracted by the City of Toronto to clean the wet well at the Coxwell Street pumping station as several pumps were out of commission and were submerged in solidified sewage. The Coxwell Street pumping station was built in 1970. The wet well was constructed with a vertical shaft depth of 30 metres and equipped with five pumps, each rated at 50,000 USgpm, at 82 ft total dynamic head. The well needed to be cleaned out before crews could gain access and remove the pumps that needed to be sent out and rebuilt. Only two of the six pumps were working, and the conduits to three pumps were completely plugged. These conduits needed to be cleaned before the working pumps could be taken out of service. Once the pumps had stopped working, each conduit had become submerged in

E. terratecsales@amwater.com 40 | May 2011

Accuworx had to use a 6,400 CFM vacuum truck to pull material up through the 8 inch hosing.

W. www.terratec.amwater.com

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WWTP Operations

The wet well was constructed with a vertical shaft depth of 30 metres and equipped with five pumps, each rated at 50,000 USgpm, at 82 ft total dynamic head.

several tons of solidified sewage waste. What made the job challenging was that the pumps were at the bottom of a 100 ft shaft and the work area was a confined space. Cleaning was accomplished by using high pressure (20,000 psi) water jetting, to cut up the accumulated sediment and residue which had formed inside the well. Once this was achieved, the challenge was how to vacuum the material up from the bottom of the well. The 100 ft vertical lift meant that Accuworx had to use a 6,400 CFM vacuum truck to pull material up through the 8 inch hosing.

Cleaning the Ashbridges Bay wet well posed a number of safety challenges. First of all, entry into the wet well was accomplished following extensive locking and tagging to ensure that there was limited, to no, introduction of wastewater into the wet well while workers were present. Access into the wet well was not possible by conventional methods. The size and orientation of the access hole was such that a mobile 120 ton crane, stationed outside of the building, had to be used. The crane operator, who was in constant radio communication with a

An engineered and certified man basket was used to lower workers into the wet well. www.esemag.com

worker inside the building, dropped his cable through the roof of the building. The crane was then hooked up to an engineered and certified man basket used to lower workers into the wet well. In order to ensure that workers were able to tie-off, davit arms and retrieval blocks were mounted to the floor of the building. Workers were required to properly attach their fall protection, prior to entering the man basket. The davit arms and retrieval blocks were also the method of non-entry rescue that would have been used in the event of an emergency. A worker on the outside of the confined space was in communication both visually and through use of a radio with a worker inside the confined space. In turn, this worker was in constant visual and verbal communication with those conducting cleaning tasks in the wet well.

Because of the length of time required to get the workers in and out of the wet well, a cascade unit was used. All those entering the wet well were required to use a breathing air apparatus. Because of the length of time required to get the workers in and out of the wet well, a cascade unit was used. This was located outside of the confined space and was monitored by an additional worker. It was not possible to use breathing air packs, as they would not have allowed enough time for workers to complete any tasks prior to coming back out of the confined space to change air bottles. Workers were, however, in possession of escape packs in case the primary air source malfunctioned. Due to the nature of the material in the wet well, extra attention had to be given to ensure that exposure to it was eliminated. Workers were provided with waterproof chemical suits and rain suits. For more information, E-mail: jrosset@accuworx.ca May 2011 | 41

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Wastewater Treatment

Examining options for treating oily wastewaters By Jega Jeganathan


ood-processing industries such as meat factories, dairy industries, restaurants, vegetable oil industries, and slaughterhouses produce enormous quantities of wastewater, which are characterized by a complex combination of organic matter in either a soluble or volatile suspended form. On the other hand, substances like butter, lard, margarine and vegetable fats and oils from houses and other commercial places contribute oil and grease (O&G) to the domestic wastewater (Tchobanoglous et al., 2003). Characteristics of oily wastewater vary considerably with the source of wastewater. However, in general, oily wastewater from the above-mentioned sources has very high chemical oxygen demand (COD) (1-200 g/L), high total suspended solids (TSS) (1-100 g/L), and high O&G (1-100 g/L). In particular, effluent from the soybean-

Meat factories produce enormous quantities of wastewater.

•T urn K Turn Key ey Package, Package, Pre-Wired Pre-Wired and Pre-Tested Pre-Te ested •C omplete h Complete hydration ydration o off polymer (4 zzones) ones) •V iisua inspection Visual isual inspection o off the wetting wetting o off polymer TM T M

•P ossip tion vvolumetric osipor olumetric fe eed Posiportion feeder eeder ain • Sta Stainless steel tank tankss •P ane and controls a anels controls specialised specialissed to to customer customer Panels requirements $UJHQWLD 5RDG $UJHQWLD 5RDG 3 OD]D ,9 6XLWH 3OD]D ,9 6XLWH 0 LVVLVVDXJD 21 0LVVLVVDXJD 21 / 1 : / 1 : Z ZZZ MRKQPHXQLHU FRP ZZ MRKQPHXQLHU FRP 7 7 LLQVWUXPHQWDWLRQ#MRKQPHXQLHU FRP QVWUXPHQWDWLRQ#MRKQPHXQLHU FRP ) )

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Wastewater Treatment curd production process contains approximately 22 g/L of unfiltered COD, 7 g/L (as COD) of protein and 6 g/L (as COD) lipid. Relatively high concentrations of minerals (K: 451, Ca: 436, Mg: 267 mg/L) are also present in this soybean-curd wastewater (Tagawa et al., 2002). Wool-scouring wastewater is characterized by an extremely high organic content (COD of 60–100 g/L), high lipid content (15–20 g /L) and a large proportion of solids (Becker et al., 1999). About 75% of the total organic matter is soluble; therefore, chemical and biological treatments are a suitable treatment method. Conventional methods to treat oily wastewater have included physico-chemical processes, aerobic processes, anaerobic processes, and a combination of these processes. Physico-chemical treatment reduces the organic load by precipitation or flotation prior to biological processes. There are several conventional physico-chemical methods: dissolved air flotation (DAF), gravity separation and skimming, membrane filtration, and coagulation and flocculation. DAF units are widely used


There are many conventional methods of treating oily wastewater.

to treat oily wastewater and to recover oil. Collected oils can either be reused or disposed of by landfill or incineration. The application of DAF for the treatment of meat-processing wastewater was studied by Wasowski (1995) with different physical parameters (amount of air, saturation

pressure, recycling ratio, etc.) and different coagulants. It was concluded that the DAF process mainly depends on the amount of air, type of coagulant, and layout of the DAF unit. Gravity separation, followed by skimming, is another method for removing free oil from wastewater (Cheryan and Rajagopalan, 1998). These processes, however, are not effective in removing smaller oil droplets and emulsions. Lime, aluminum sulfate, and ferric chloride could be used to break the fat emulsion and to coagulate the fat particles, which could then be removed by flotation or sedimentation (Cammarota and Freire, 2006). However, due to the cost of reagents, lower removal efficiency, and problematic sludge production, the use of the coagulation-flocculation method is not prominent. In oily wastewater treatment, aerobic processes can biodegrade the O&G into fatty acids and then to biomass, carbon dioxide and water, thus reducing the residue. Many studies on aerobic treatment of oily wastewater have been recontinued overleaf...

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Wastewater Treatment ported (Becker et al., 1999; Tano-Debrah et al., 1999; Chiang et al., 2001; Bohdziewicz et al., 2002; Chen and Lo, 2003). Under thermophilic conditions, the change in physical properties of hydrophobic O&G made the conditions favorable for microorganisms. Becker et al. (1999) studied the biodegradation of olive oil and the treatment of the lipid-rich wool-scouring wastewater under aerobic, thermophilic (65oC) conditions and observed a severe growth inhibition when the initial olive oil concentration was increased to more than 4 g/L. At an olive oil concentration of 2 g/L and an hydraulic retension time (HRT) of two hours, more than 90% of the O&G was removed. However, O&G removal efficiencies from wool-scouring wastewater (COD of 77 g/L and O&G of 17 g/L) were only about 20 to 30% at an HRT of 10–20 hours. Lower treatment efficiency of wool-scouring wastewater is due to its different physical and chemical properties compared to edible oils and fats such as olive oil. The high content of non-saponifiable compounds, the high degree of saturated, branched fatty acids, and the complex cyclic structure of the al-

cohols involved account for the poor biodegradability of wool grease compared to olive oil. Anaerobic treatment has attracted more attention than the other treatment systems because it produces a valuable by-product, biogas, and produces less biomass. Anaerobic processes are applicable for both very high COD and very low COD wastewater. High-rate anaerobic reactors, such as upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) (Tagawa et al., 2002; Cammarota et al., 2001; Del Nery et al., 2001; Hwu et al., 1998), hybrid UASB reactors (Kim et al., 2004), and expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactors (Petruy and Lettinga, 1997; Rinzema et al., 1993), are widely used for treating oily wastewaters. Treatment of complex (inhibitory/insoluble) wastewaters (e.g., containing long chain fatty acids) in high-rate reactors causes operational problems and in some cases even failure (Rinzema et al., 1989; Hwu et al., 1998). Also, most of these studies were conducted with synthetic wastewater or lowstrength wastewater with synthetically added fats to avoid the complexity and

heterogeneity of O&G. Del Poso et al. (2002) demonstrated a pilot-scale anaerobic fixed film reactor (AFFR) with vertically arranged PVC tubes as a biomass carrier for treating poultry slaughterhouse wastewater (COD of 1.4 g/L and O&G of 0.12 g/L). The experiment was conducted at low temperature (20–24oC) and the start-up period was 74 days. Efficiencies of 57% in total COD removal were obtained for an organic loading rate (OLR) of 2.7 kg COD/m3d during the maturation phase, which makes the reactor an appropriate pre-treatment system for oily wastewater. Combination of UASB and rotational biological contactor (RBC) could also be used to treat oily wastewater (Wahaab and El-Awady, 1999). In their study, anaerobic pre-treatment (UASB) followed by aerobic post-treatment (RBC) was employed for treating meat-processing wastewater (COD of 1,544 mg/L and O&G of 144 mg/L). The overall efficiency of COD, TSS, and O&G was 91.5%, 96%, and 91%, respectively. However, the levels of O&G did not comply with the regulatory discharge standards for industrial wastewater into

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www.sanibrane.com 44 | May 2011

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Wastewater Treatment the sewage network. Since acidogenic and methanogenic microorganisms require different environmental conditions, two-phase anaerobic digestion is considered to be a better option for treating oily wastewater (Ince, 1998). Specifically, high suspended solid wastewater can be degraded to volatile fatty acid (VFA) in the first reactor by hydrolytic bacteria and acid-forming bacteria and then converted into biogas by methanogens in the second reactor. In the case of domestic wastewater treatment systems, O&G tend to clog drainpipes and sewer lines, which causes odour and sewer corrosion under anaerobic conditions. When O&G reach the municipal wastewater treatment plant in large quantities, they float as a layer on top of the water, stick onto pipes and walls, and consequently block strainers and filters. Hence the treatment efficiency of the plant declines drastically. Since O&G remain persistent during the treatment process, they end up in the sludge at the end of treatment. Their presence as a viscous and waxy ingredient makes the handling of sludge extremely difficult, in addition to greatly reducing its dewater-

ability (Stoll and Gupta, 1997). As discussed previously, physicochemical processes are usually expensive due to chemical and operating costs, along with lower removal efficiency. Moreover, current physico-chemical technologies such as flotation and sedimentation are often insufficient and extremely problematic sludges are produced when using flocculating agents like polyelectrolytes or salts (Becker et al., 1999). Also, dissolved and/or emulsified oil and grease are not retained in these units and enter into the biological treatment system, which complicates further treatment (Masse et al., 2001). In aerobic processes, O&G have a detrimental impact on oxygen transfer by the formation of lipid coat around the floc (Chao and Yang, 1981). In particular, during activated sludge processes the amount of O&G present could be related to the occurrence of the filamentous actinomycete Nocardia amarae known to be involved in the formation of scum and stable foams (Becker et al., 1999). For anaerobic biological processes, the characteristics of oily wastewater cause many challenges. Sludges with

poor settling characteristics and poor activity can develop and float on the surface of the water. This may cause loss of biomass with effluent, decreasing its quantity within the reactor and decreasing the efficiency of the treatment. Furthermore, O&G adsorbed on the surface of the anaerobic sludge may limit the transport of soluble substrates to the biomass and consequently reduce the rate of substrate conversion. Fats may solidify at lower temperatures and cause operational problems because of clogging and development of unpleasant odors (Cammarota et al., 2001). In addition, long-chain fatty acids, the primary hydrolysis products of O&G, have been demonstrated to lead to severe inhibition of the biomass (Rinzema et al., 1994) and sludge flotation/washout (Hwu, et al., 1998) in anaerobic treatment processes. Jega Jeganathan is with R.V. Anderson Associates Limited. For more information, E-mail: jjeganathan@rvanderson.com



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Wastewater Treatment

New flat-panel membrane biological reactor cuts WWTP costs By Eduardo Jimenez, Archis Ambulkar and Stephen N. Zeller

MBR system in operation.


rinjac Engineering Inc. has designed a new sanitary collection and conveyance sewer system, and a centralized new wastewater treatment plant, for the Portland Borough, in Pennsylvania. Prior to the new system, all developed properties were serviced by on-site wastewater systems. The new sewer system consists of approximately 16,800 ft of gravity sewer, 4,800 ft of small diameter force main, 68 manholes, 16 grinder pumps, one pump station, and 2,800 ft of force main. Average domestic flow of 0.073 MGD was estimated based on a population survey, per capita daily flow estimates, and growth and expected infiltration/inflow. Flow from an industrial park was projected up to 0.032 MGD, resulting in a total 0.105 MGD sewage flow. All wastewater was to be conveyed to the centralized wastewater treatment plant, with treated effluent discharged to the Delaware River. Stringent discharge limits were set for the new wastewater 46 | May 2011

treatment plant, including biological oxygen demand, suspended solids and nutrients concentrations. Initially, plant design was based on conventional technology, such as combined headworks for solids and grit removal, an extended aeration system, clarifiers, a tertiary sand filter for effluent solids polishing, a re-aeration basin and a disinfection system. Aerobic digestion was proposed for sludge treatment, with reed beds for ultimate disposal. However, state regulations required full redundancy for the treatment plant, which made the proposed conventional system cost-prohibitive. Consequently, Brinjac advised the borough to examine flat-panel membrane bioreactor technology (MBR) With in situ installation, this technology could provide the desired redundancy, without additional footage. Also, it can perform high quality biological nutrient removal treatment in a smaller footprint than conventional technologies, because of high mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentrations

of 10,000 - 15,000 mg/L. It can remove pathogenic bacteria and viruses, generate stable biosolids, and is relatively simple to operate. Various MBR technologies were evaluated, and the Kubota process was chosen. The original plant design was modified to incorporate this. The only part of the original design which was specifically preserved was the sludge treatment train. The cast-in-place headworks, aeration tanks, cylindrical clarifiers, and tertiary sand filter were eliminated and replaced by three simpler precast post-tensed concrete basins. The final design comprised influent mechanical screening, one anoxic basin, two aerated reactors with membranes, a control room, chemical injection system and one re-aeration basin. Influent fine bar screens, mixer and recirculation pumps are located in the anoxic basin. Flat panel membrane assemblies are in the aerated reactors. Permeate pumps, aeration blowers and UV disinfection are located in the control room. The aerobic

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Wastewater Treatment After start-up, performance results have been monitored on a regular basis. All the effluent parameters recorded were well below the limits set in the permit. Operational cost is one of the paramount considerations for designing new wastewater treatment facilities. Similarly, the number of treatment stages and amount of equipment involved is directly proportional to maintenance costs. The new Portland WWTP design is able to reduce operational and maintenance costs, because using MBR technology eliminated the aerators, final clarifier tank and mechanisms, and tertiary sand filters needed in conventional designs. Even though the cost of membrane replacement constitutes a significant maintenance investment, it is compensated for by the elimination of conventional process equipment, reduced energy consumption and lower overall plant maintenance costs.

MBR modules.

biosolids digester and reed beds, proposed in the initial design, were also constucted. The MBR system included a twin set of 3.0 mm screens to capture large solids, an anoxic basin for receiving treatment

plant inflow and recycling mixed liquor flow, a set of twin flat panel membrane reactors with around 12,000 mg/l MLSS concentrations, blowers and permeate pumps, a re-aeration basin and disinfection system.

Eduardo Jimenez, Archis Ambulkar and Stephen N. Zeller are with Brinjac Engineering Inc. E-mail: szeller@brinjac.com

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D D’Aqua ’Aqua T Technologies echnologies Inc. Inc. 6-1500 6-1500 Upper Upper Middle Middle Rd. Rd. W. W. Suite Suite 229 229 Oakville, Oakville, ON ON L6M L6M 0C2 0C2 Phone: Phone: 905-465-9261 905-465-9261 Email: Email: s.silva@hydrovision.de s.silva@hydrovision.de Sylvia Sylvia Silva, Silva, Hydrovision Hydrovision North North American American Sales Sales Manager Manager

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Site Remediation

In situ project cleans contaminated bedrock in only three months


furnace oil spill is devastating to all parties involved. To the property owner, it is not only a disruption of day-today life, but also a financial burden. For the insurance company, a spill represents a potentially significant expenditure that can continue for many years before being resolved, if ever. And, to the environmental consultants and contractors, it poses a host of challenges. Traditionally, the industry has relied on a demolition, dig-and-dump, backfill reconstruction model to address a furnace oil spill. This approach comes at a high price for everyone involved as no two sites are the same. But, there is an alternative method that is more cost-effective and less intrusive, while still meeting MOE standards. The challenge of remediating a site underlain with fractured bedrock was presented to Golden Services Inc. in late May 2010. A spill of approximately 600 litres of furnace oil escaped to the natural environment at a residential property in Brockville, Ontario. The oil flowed into

Five stage mobile treatment unit.

Outcrop of the underlying bedrock.

the homeowners’ drilled water well from an above-ground storage tank, located at the base of a stairwell adjacent to a garage. The following day, the owners first detected the spill when fuel appeared in their taps and toilet.

“After the spill, we were under the impression from the various regulatory agencies and others involved that the house might need to be removed from its foundation and then brought back once the clean-up was completed,” said the homeowners. They added: “It was quite a relief when the Golden Services representative informed us that uprooting from our home would not be necessary.” Emergency action plan After reporting the spill to the appropriate regulatory agencies and the insurance company, Golden was given approval to proceed with its in situ remediation solution. An emergency action plan was implemented, which included removing the storage tank, cleaning the surficial spill area, and arranging an alternative temporary water supply for the homeowners. A Phase II environmental site assessment was conducted by an environmental engineering firm assigned by the insurance company. Nine boreholes were completed outdoors and indoors, which delineated the area of impairment. Because the site is predominately bedrock, there was no soil impairment; only the groundwater was affected by the spill. Three of the monitoring wells were developed as monitoring/injection wells. continued overleaf...

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Site Remediation process. They sent a mobile treatment unit to the site under the firm’s mobile certificate of approval, in accordance with Section 53 of the Ontario Water Resources Act. The water, which discharged from the existing well at a flow rate of 4 gpm (suppressing the water table), was governed by a flow volume controller into a 4,000

L equalization tank (non-baffled). This tank acts as a buffer to the filtration system, and as an oil/water separation system, should raw product be discharged from the groundwater supply (infiltration well). A submersible transfer pump repressurizes the water, discharging to the organo-clay via a bag filter at 6 US gpm. continued overleaf...

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Golden then co-ordinated local trades and retained the expertise of two other companies to remediate the site, using alterative remediation technologies. Insitu Contractors provided groundwater consulting services. The company installed a dewatering system in the spill area in order to contain the spill and subsequently enhance the chemical oxidation

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Site Remediation Water was then polished through two carbon filtration units before being discharged onto the surface of the ground at the back of the property. The flow rate/day was controlled at 2,450 US gallons, with flow rate range (when running) of 4 US gpm and a well recovery flow rate of 4.5 gpm. Oxy Teknologies Inc. provided formulated chemical oxidation services. Its hydrogen peroxide product, Oxy Tek-L, was specifically formulated to address the heating oil component, taking into consideration the geology and hydrogeology at the site. The process involved introducing hydrogen peroxide product into three injection wells (in locations directed by the environmental engineer), followed by recirculating the product that was being drawn to the existing well and acting as an infiltration gallery. There are three steps in the OxyTek process: application, oxidation and bioremediation. It is a fully integrated biological/oxidation process that destroys organic contaminants at a neutral pH, at an ambient temperature, and in a short period of time. The injection wells were constructed

specifically to handle fractured bedrock, and wellheads were fitted for direct injection. OxyTek product was stored on the project site in polyethylene totes. A conventional chemical pump was used to inject the wells under moderate pressure to deliver product to the contaminated plume. The process uses a Fenton-like oxidation chemistry without the off-gases and soil damage. The controlled oxidation of OxyTek generates oxygenated organic molecules such as alcohols that aid in the desorption of contaminants from soil. This process greatly supports the oxidation process by bringing the contaminants into solution. For this site, the hydrogen peroxide product was injected into the bedrock and flowed along the fractures of the original spill channels, releasing the hydrocarbons trapped in the bedrock. The chemical oxidation process rapidly degraded hydrocarbon molecules. During the oxidation phase of the process, any product not consumed as a chemical oxidizer is converted to molecular oxygen. Results of the remediation strategy The Golden strategy was accepted by the homeowners, as well as the insurance

company. In total, 13,000 litres of OxyTek-L were used during three injection events to remediate the site. Throughout the process, OxyTek personnel were on site to provide application expertise and direct Golden technicians. Remediation was completed within three months, from the date of the first injection, to meeting Table II of Ontario MOE Regulation 153. The homeowners were very supportive of the remediation process. They said that, overall, the filtering of the oil-ridden well water through the mobile treatment unit, and then the use of hydrogen peroxide injections, did not lead to significant problems with daily life when considering the alternative choice of having to rebuild their home. In this project, the homeowners remained in their home with minimal disruption to their daily routine, and the insurance company saved over $1.5 million. For more information, E-mail: gary@goldenenviro.ca.

Huber Technology, Inc. names Dana Hicks President. Mr. Hicks comes to Huber with an expansive background in global business development. Throughout his career, he has been involved in the growth and strategic initiatives for companies with an emphasis on global markets and industries. He has experience in all aspects of the business environment including sales, marketing, strategic planning, operations, analysis and process improvements. In his prior position as Managing Director of Perlitz Strategy Group, he established their U.S. subsidiary office and provided consulting services to a variety of foreign companies starting and developing business in North America. As Director of US Municipal Sales, North America for Wedeco UV Technologies, Inc., he gained direct experience in the potable water and wastewater municipal market. In addition, Mr. Hicks brings a broad range of experience in management positions with other notable global manufacturers. He has numerous professional affiliations and is well known in the Charlotte area as a Chamber of Commerce Business First Ambassador and past Chairman of the Export Advisory Council. As Honorary Canadian Consul, Mr. Hicks speaks frequently on Canada-U.S. trade and investment. He is well versed in the trade and investment opportunities for U.S. companies in Canadian markets. He is a long-time member of the North Carolina District Export Council, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The NCDEC is a group of successful exporters, that assists and supports NC companies to grow exports to international markets. He is involved with the Charlotte World Trade Association, the Charlotte World Affairs Council, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, and serves on the advisory boards for CPCC and Johnson C. Smith University.

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Using a handheld X-ray fluorescence device for soil screening saves time and money By Kimberley A. Russell


t is well established that lead (Pb) poses potential health hazards, especially at elevated levels and particularly to children. Consumer protection agencies try to regulate Pb content in products that children come in contact with, but there is still a risk if the ground they play on, or the soil their food is grown in, contains high levels. Soils with elevated Pb levels are frequently found in the proximity of landfills, old orchards and animal farms, industries involving lead, heavy traffic, or pre-1978 lead-based painted structures. Regulated limits of Pb in community and residential soils vary from country to country, district to district, city to city. Testing laboratories are well equipped with advanced instrumentation to analyze soil samples at very low levels of Pb, to confirm, or refute, regulatory compliance. However, the efficacy of highly accurate and precise lab results is limited by the high per-sample cost, the extended length of time to get results, and less than optimal “sampling� of the site. Consequently, there is a need for rapid, on-site screening of soil for dangerously high levels of Pb and for optimal soil sampling, should subsequent lab analysis be requested. Handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a commercially available field tool that detects Pb, as well as mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), and other metals in soil, at ppm or weight % levels on-site, without damaging or compromising the property. This technique allows data collection for up to 25 elements in a single measurement. Should handheld XRF screening deem that Pb or other hazardous metals are present at or near regulated or dangerous levels, it can be used to determine clean-up action, legal enforcement, and to collect representative soil samples for subsequent laboratory analysis if desired. Case Studies 1. Sports ground contaminated with Pb. Researchers from the National University of Ireland in Galway used handheld XRF to analyze the distribution of heavy metal pollution in the topsoil of a www.esemag.com

Spatial distribution of lead (Pb) at sports field atop former landfill site.

sports ground that was built atop a former municipal and industrial waste landfill. They took rapid, in situ measurements of the topsoil at 200 sampling points on the large 20 x 20 metre site. Dangerously high levels of Pb, Zinc (Zn), Cu and As were found, with maximum values of 10,297 ppm, 24,716 ppm, 2,224 ppm and 744 ppm respectively. Researchers used the XRF data in conjunction with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to create spatial distribution maps of the hazardous pollutants. They compared the median value of the metals in the park to Galway urban soils, the Upper crust, and Northern European soils, with Pb at 328 ppm, 58 ppm, and 17 ppm. They recommended immediate remediation to safeguard the health of children who played at the sports ground, particularly in the areas where industrial waste in organic-rich soils was poorly covered by topsoil. They concluded that their study demonstrates the efficacy of using portable XRF and GIS for mapping con-

taminated soils. The complete survey of 200 grid locations was completed within five days of fieldwork, with resultant data available immediately. 2. Residential development of former orchard and sheep farm contaminated with Pb. Researchers from Geo & Hydro – K8 Ltd. used handheld XRF to reduce costs during the assessment, remediation and validation of a residential development on a contaminated former orchard and sheep farm in New Zealand. In the past, orchards were sprayed with pesticides, including lead arsenate, and sheep were dipped in or sprayed with toxic metal containing pesticides in or near spray sheds. Along with testing for dangerous levels of Pb, other elements of interest were As, Cu, Cr and Zn. A primary objective of this work was to contain costs for the owner, while complying with the strict guidelines and audits of the regulators. This was compounded further by restriccontinued overleaf... May 2011 | 51

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Handheld X-ray fluorescence is a field tool that detects metals in soil, without damaging or compromising the property.

tions on disposal of contaminated soils in New Zealand. A particular concern to all was to improve the certainty of detecting small “hot spots� on the property. Many of the hotspots were found at tree stumps, and some hotspots near spray sheds were as high as 100,000 ppm As.

The handheld XRF was first used to perform a rapid survey of the property, measuring 100 sample areas in an hour to determine the range and variability of contaminant concentrations. In order to fully characterize the site within regulatory compliance and ascertain hot spots, thousand of samples were analyzed. This allowed for a full, on-site view of the contaminant distribution in three dimensions. Once assessment and remediation were complete, the XRF was used, in conjunction with complementary lab analysis, to validate the clean-up. 3. Life-threatening levels of Pb in rural residences in developing countries. Technical experts from Blacksmith Institute used handheld XRF in their efforts to clean up a Dominican Republic community near an abandoned lead-acid battery recycling smelter. An estimated 30,000 people were poisoned by lead from the site, with visible disabilities among the children. The recycling facility was about an acre in size and located on the top of a hill. Three sides of the hill were bordered by rural, dirt-floor residences. Rainwater runoff and dust contaminated the com-

munity, the river and the bay. Lead levels in the soil reached 60% in some areas. The experts surveyed the site with the handheld XRF and developed a remediation plan for safely removing the contaminated soils. Over 6,000 m3 of contaminated soil was removed from the site and transferred for containment to a specially constructed and lined pit at a nearby industrial site. 4. Potential Pb contamination in periurban farming. With the growing demand for more food sources, peri-urban farming is becoming more commonplace. However, farming in areas adjacent to industrial and other urban facilities raises questions about the safety of food crops grown in soil or irrigated with polluted water. Elevated levels of As, Hg, Cu, Cd, Cr, Zn and Pb are commonly found on the outskirts of metallurgical, electroplating and steel-making industries, as well as petrochemical refineries, foundries, ammunition plants and shipbuilding facilities. These can seep into the soil, vegetation and groundwater of adjacent peri-urban gardens. Additionally, heavily traveled roadways typically have elevated

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Elevated levels of metals are commonly found on the outskirts of metallurgical, electroplating and steel-making industries, as well as petrochemical refineries, foundries, ammunition plants and shipbuilding facilities.

levels of Pb, manganese (Mn) and Zn which also seep into the soil of adjacent gardens. The concentrations and mobility of these pollutants can be affected by the soil parent material and indigenous fauna, as well as by modifications brought on by climate changes, natural developments and human activity. These modifications include variations in dissolved organic carbon, the acidity of the soil and underground water, as well as in nutrients and fertilizers. Many investigators, such as the research teams at the Louisiana State University AgCenter and the University of Wisconsin, have demonstrated that handheld XRF is an integral tool for the quality assessment of peri-urban agriculture. Real-time integration of GIS/GPS data with XRF data and the correlation with Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Emission Spectroscopy selective extraction methods, enhances agriculture management. This encompasses irrigation sources, as well as pesticide and nutrient use in soils for healthy and profitable continued overleaf...



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May 2011 | 53

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Instrumentation food crops. Olympus Innov-X has actively sponsored research to help shed more light on this situation in the United States, China and Eastern Europe. Handheld XRF technology Handheld XRF testing methods utilize X-ray energy to determine what elements or metals an object contains and how much of those elements or metals are present. Handheld XRF units incorporate a miniature X-ray tube, detector and filters, along with full data processing and presentation capabilities. The analyzer window is placed on the object and the trigger is pressed to deliver enough energy to eject electrons of the inner atomic orbitals out of their resting place. When electrons from the outer orbitals replace the ejected inner orbital electrons, they give off energies that essentially are signatures of the elements or metals in the object. For instance, if Pb is in an object, it will show up at 10.55 and 12.61 keV, which is its energy signature. The intensity of the signal at the signature energy determines how much of the element, or metal, is contained in the object.

Schematic of Innov-X Handheld Analyzer.

Conclusion The goal of using handheld XRF systems in the field is to quickly, accurately and cost-effectively screen soil for elemental pollutants. This helps to determine safe and appropriate land use, characterize for compliance, approve of land use, recommend remediation plans, and monitor remediation processes. US EPA Method 6200 affords a stan-

dard field portable XRF method to improve data quality and offer cost-effective and analytical benefits of more and better field testing. Kimberley A. Russell is with Olympus Innov-X, in Woburn, MA. E-mail: kimberley.russell@olympusndt.com References are available on request.

Polymaster™ System Now CSA Listed

The POLYMASTER™ liquid polymer mixing/diluting system 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. North Wales, PA Tel: 888-3NEPTUNE or 215-699-8700 E-Mail: pump@neptune1.com www.neptune1.com

54 | May 2011

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Water Supply

Total water management – a new and necessary paradigm By Jon Fennell


lthough Canada is waterrich, stresses and potential shortages do exist in some areas as a result of competing interests, over-use, over-allocation, and changing water balances due to land use change and climate variability. The government of Alberta, for example, made a first-time decision to close a number of basins in the southern half of the province due to concerns regarding sufficient quantities of water for ecosystem needs. This moratorium on licensing was applied to both surface water supplies and groundwater under the direct influence of surface water (i.e., near surface alluvial aquifers). This has led to conflicts and litigation between communities and industries relying on these supply sources. Another water-stressed situation is occurring in the oil sands sector, where significant amounts of fresh water are being diverted from the Athabasca River to facilitate processing of the oil sands deposits. Meanwhile, the assimilation of wastes into the aquatic environment, due to releases from waste management facilities and water treatment plants, is leading to significant concerns about water quality and downstream effects on ecosystems and humans. These challenges have led some provinces to develop water management strategies predicated on the concept of sustainable resource development. In Alberta, for example, the Water for Life Strategy (implemented in 2003) embodies the following goals: • Safe secure drinking water supply; • Healthy aquatic ecosystems; and • Reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy. British Columbia is following suit with the development of a Water Sustainability Act, based on the principles of risk management, addressing competing demands and scarcity, and enabling an integrated area-based approach to water management by developing enforceable standards and policies. Across Canada, management of water www.esemag.com

Figure 1. Cumulative effects assessment process.

in each province and territory is the responsibility of the provincial governments. Water is not owned by the residents or businesses, but access is granted through a traditional approach of allocation and licensing. The challenge to date is that sometimes this system of allocation and licensing does not consider the cumulative effects that diversions may have on the water balance of a basin. To address the water management challenge, sufficient knowledge of volumes available for development (inventory), supply and demand aspects, external forces such as land use changes and climate variability and the resulting effects on the water balance is required. WorleyParsons has identified the need for a holistic perspective when setting the context for water challenges, and a way to systematically achieve analysis of cumulative effects. This process is described in Figure 1. It is widely recognized that conservation and efficiency efforts are important to ensuring the best possible use of our water resources. Eliminating wastage or system losses during the delivery of goods and

services is important to ensuring resource sustainability. However, it is also recognized that this approach will only get us so far down the road of prudent resource management. Therefore, integration of management concepts and processes needs to occur, taking into account, also, the potential effects of decisions made. As well, a pragmatic governance system is required. Total Water Management Total Water Management, an approach developed by WorleyParsons’ Water Solutions team, is the integration and use of practical engineering and scientific approaches during the project delivery process; these enhance economic outcomes, yet respect the social values of water and its role in maintaining the integrity of our communities and landscape. Central to this approach are the concepts of risk identification, risk management, and the realization of opportunities to achieve more efficient water use and waste disposal. Included is the concept of using these sound practices to inform the governance process so that efficient, continued overleaf... May 2011 | 55

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Water Supply achievable and pragmatic policies can be developed for the allocation, licensing and use of our water. Often, challenges to water solutions are approached from a fragmented perspective where the hydrologists, aquatic ecologists, groundwater scientists and wastewater engineers work in isolation. This can lead to lost opportunities with respect to novel approaches regarding supply, treatment needs and resulting waste disposal options. Therefore, integration of the various activities associated with each discipline is key to the success of the Total Water Management concept and related planning initiatives. Other aspects of Total Water Management, that factor into the process of resource analysis and integrated planning, include long-range development plans and how water is utilized to support these activities. Another important consideration is the effects of climate variability and climate change. In most cases with water supply allocation, volumes are typically allocated based on an assessment of median or average flow or volume condi-

tions. In many places, both locally and globally, variability in water supplies is anything but average, with conditions varying from one extreme to the other (i.e., drought versus flood). In such cases, the risk of over-allocation, or lack of sufficient storage to accommodate short- or

and approaches to reduce, re-use and recycle water. The concept of water scarcity is a somewhat defeatist view, and is often just a resource management challenge. Nevertheless, there are limits to water resources that need to be addressed based

The concept of water scarcity is a somewhat defeatist view, and is often just a resource management challenge. Nevertheless, there are limits to water resources. long-term deficit conditions, can lead to unnecessary strain on water supplies, conflicts, and cumulative impacts that require drastic measures to ameliorate. Optimally, application of a Total Water Management approach at the initial planning stage of a project provides the most benefit; however, opportunities will likely exist within ongoing projects. The basis of such an approach is predicated on identifying opportunities for improved efficiency at all stages of a project and the implementation of integrated technology

on a sound understanding of the supply and demand cycles and how they influence the overall water balance of a watershed or region. Through the appropriate application of technology and resources planning, challenges associated with water management can be positively addressed. Jon Fennell is with WorleyParsons. E-mail: jon.fennell@worleyparsons.com

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www.muellercanada.com 56 | May 2011

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Infrastructure Design

Design and engineering technologies for water resource management in the 21st century By Geoff Zeiss


imes have certainly been tough, but the worldwide economic downturn may have a silver lining. In some of the major global economies, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of improving the reliability of electric power infrastructure, eliminating sewer overflows, improving access to clean water, and reducing reliance on carbonbased fuels. However, it has only been as a result of the recession that governments have moved to inject massive amounts of investment into water infrastructure. In 2000, Canada’s water consumption was more than double that of the average of the 16-country Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is excessive due to the lack of widespread water conservation practices and because of pricing that does not promote efficiency. For more than a decade, Environment Canada has warned that, without increasing the price of water, the country’s delivery infrastructure is at risk of deteriorating to the point of being unusable. In Ontario, the Ministry of Environment has reported that raw, or undertreated, sewage was dumped more than 1,000 times by municipalities in both 2006 and 2007. In 2007, the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association released a report stating that crumbling underground pipes in some areas had resulted in leakage rates as high as 30%, costing ratepayers an estimated $160 million, or more, per year. In 2010, the federal environment minister released a draft of proposed regulations for municipal wastewater effluent, designed to set standards for discharge from the country’s 4,000 wastewater treatment facilities. Owners across Canada have seen the writing on the wall and are increasing investments to reduce sanitary sewer overflows and combined sewer overflows. Information technology to the rescue It has become a worldwide priority to improve the reliability of water and wastewater networks by making them www.esemag.com

Architects, engineers and contractors are turning to a model-bsed approach to design.

smarter. Utilities have long struggled to get by with relatively low quality infrastructure data. Managing and operating new, more intelligent networks involves as much as 1,000 times more data, requiring nothing less than “100% accurate, real-time data”. Just as utilities are facing increased workloads to accommodate renewable energy, smart grids and clean water, they are also facing a major workforce challenge. The average age of workers in some Canadian utilities is close to 60. Within 10 years, up to 45% of experienced workers will retire. In response, utilities are seeking to improve productivity through new technologies, all without an increase in their workforce. The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry contributes approximately 10% of the world’s GDP. Key technical advances are transforming it to help reduce costs and improve quality. These include model-based design, building information modeling (BIM), location awareness and 3D visualization. The convergence of such technologies breaks down information, like computer-

aided design (CAD) and geographic information system (GIS), to enable a more holistic approach to designing the world’s infrastructure. 1. Model-driven design. The traditional CAD approach produces paper drawings from which contractors can build infrastructure. But architects, engineers and construction firms are finding that a CAD-based process is prone to budget and schedule over-runs. Consequently, they are turning to a model-based approach to design, such as BIM, and creating intelligent 3D representations of their projects. AutoCAD Civil 3D software can be used to model a facility’s infrastructure features, creating digital prototypes of all the underground utilities and enabling contractors to walk virtually through existing infrastructure before physically breaking ground on the project. 2. 3D visualization. Once the preserve of entertainment, 3D simulation technology is now an important tool for architects and engineers, enabling them to digitally visualize buildings, bridges, infrastruccontinued overleaf... May 2011 | 57

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Infrastructure Design

Top: Underground sewer networks. Bottom: View of underground utilities at a treatment plant. (Imagery courtesy of Sundt Construction)

ture and other structures. With this technology, AEC design teams can collaborate more effectively and earlier in the design process, significantly reducing the risk of major modifications to built structures and enabling greater optimization of buildings and infrastructure for sustainability. Autodesk Navisworks software can create an informative 3D model for review by stakeholders, who can visualize very early on during design how the project will look when completed. 3. Smarter design. The challenge of an aging workforce has motivated an interest in smarter design applications to help experienced workers be more productive, while enabling new workers to get up to speed more quickly. Systems are available that include engineering analytics to minimize under-engineering and over-engineering by driving standards and processes, as well as automating tasks such as bills of material generation and job estimating, helping to save time and costs. 4. Location awareness. In 2005, Google Maps and Google Earth were released, enabling millions of people previously unaware of GIS to begin using geospatial tools. Software such as Autodesk’s AutoCAD Civil 3D helps integrate geospatial and civil engineering design. 5. Physical network modeling. The abil58 | May 2011

ity to analyze and simulate network behavior more effectively during the planning and design process helps water and wastewater network designers improve productivity and the quality of designs. Software tools can help water utility designers conduct hydraulic analyses to assess the performance of storm and sanitary sewers, including urban and highway drainage systems, sanitary sewers, combined sewers and other wastewater infrastructure. 6. Streamlining utility workflows. The quality of some water and wastewater utility network facility databases in North America is low. One symptom of this problem is an as-built backlog, which can stretch from several months to years. Another symptom is poor field staff productivity, which is exacerbated by unreliable records and by slow, laborious, paperbased business processes. These can discourage field workers from sending valuable information back to the records department. To address the issue of data quality, utilities are taking an holistic view of critical business workflows, following how facilities information flows through different divisions, with the objective of optimizing the entire workflow for data quality and efficiency. For example, by enabling designers and planners to store their design drawings in a shared, spa-

tially enabled, relational database, these drawings are accessible to records staff, who no longer have to redigitize the same information from paper as-builts, helping eliminate backlogs. Convergence Convergence is about integrating technologies to break down barriers and provide a high-quality visual and analytical framework, enabling seamless access to architectural and engineering designs; geospatial imagery, such as laser scanning and high-resolution photogrammetry; and transportation, utility and telecommunications network facilities data. Modeling entire urban environments Tools that integrate technologies and enable users to analyze and simulate the increasingly complex built environment are required to meet 21st century challenges such as the rapidly increasing demand for energy and clean water, climate change and increasing water shortages. Many of these challenges result from the ever-growing world population. Technical advances are now making the integration of engineering design data, utility, transportation and communications networks, traditional GIS data, and data captured using high-resolution photogrammetry and laser scanning, available to a much broader range of users to create and deploy urban models on the desktop and across the web. For example, Project Galileo is a conceptual design tool for infrastructure projects that is currently available as a technology preview on Autodesk Labs. It helps develop infrastructure models from BIM, CAD and geospatial data, including point clouds, imagery and other data sources. Proposed conceptual design alternatives can be visualized and analyzed in their external environment to investigate the potential impact of infrastructure projects, early in the design process. The coincidence of technical advances and massive investment in infrastructure renewal creates an exciting opportunity to develop intelligent, precision, digital infrastructure for planning, designing, building and operating sustainable structures, as well as transportation and communications infrastructure networks. Geoff Zeiss is with Autodesk, Inc. For more information, visit www.autodesk.com.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:49 PM Page 59

Wastewater Treatment

How will the new wastewater regulatory framework affect WWTPs? By Karen Phillipps and Gordon Brown


ecognizing that municipal wastewater discharge represents a large pollution source in Canada as a whole, several steps have recently been made to improve the quality of wastewater discharges in order to reduce their impact on human and environmental health. In 2009, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) developed a Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent. Within this strategy are requirements for effluent characterization, testing and management that are intended to apply to all areas of Canada. In 2010, Environment Canada released the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations, in draft form. The following is a general overview of some of the key aspects of the 2009 CCME and the draft 2010 Environment Canada regulations. Canada-wide Strategy for Municipal Wastewater With the release of the CCME strategy in 2009, several municipalities are making efforts to become compliant, under the direction of local regulatory authorities. New and upgraded facilities, as well as existing high-risk facilities, are the initial focus, with the intention that all discharges must eventually be in compliance. General highlights include: • National performance standards proposed for carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, total residual chlorine and un-ionized ammonia (as nitrogen). These standards refer to the effluent quality standards within Environment Canada regulations, under the Fisheries Act, and therefore are not distinct CCME standards. • Sampling and testing requirements. One year of wastewater characterization is required to identify substances of potential concern. Testing parameters include chemicals (inorganic and organic), general nutrients, and microbes. The testing parameters vary with the facility size, with more requirements being necessary for larger, continuous discharge systems. www.esemag.com

The new regulations fall under the jurisdiction of the federal Fisheries Act and apply to all facilities that release treated wastewater.

Monitoring frequencies for the various parameters also differ according to facility size. Aquatic toxicity assays are required for some types of discharge, and vary with facility characteristics. • Environmental risk assessments. Results from the initial characterization should be used in a site-specific risk assessment that includes both human and aquatic receptors. Both the wastewater and the receiving environment should be considered. As part of the risk assessment, the most appropriate environmental quality objectives should be selected for the discharge. Municipalities, government stakeholders and communities were already demonstrating an increasing interest in the health of people and the environment. They had begun requiring environmental health risk assessment work related to treated municipal discharges to be completed before the release of the CCME strategy. • Determination of relevant environmental quality objectives (EQOs). EQOs represent concentrations of substances in

water that are considered to be protective of human and aquatic life. The 2009 guidance notes that the CCME Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines represent generic values that may be used. • Site-specific environmental discharge objective (EDO) derivation. Facility EDOs represent “end-of-pipe” concentrations, such that the effluent concentrations at the edge of the mixing zone meet the selected EQOs, or other values of interest. These values can take into account the risk assessment results, as well as any aquatic field or mixing studies. Environment Canada wastewater regulations The new regulations, released in draft form in March 2010, fall under the jurisdiction of the federal Fisheries Act and apply to all facilities that release treated wastewater (derived from sewage). As currently written in the draft, the regulations will capture any facilities that release wastewater at quantities greater continued overleaf... May 2011 | 59

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Wastewater Treatment than 10 m3, including municipal and industrial facilities with wastewater treatment systems. The many benefits of the new regulations include improved ecosystem health, improved recreational and commercial fisheries, potentially reduced health risks, higher land values, and lower water supply costs. However, affected municipalities and industrial facilities have expressed concerns about the timeline for implementing the regulations, along with the associated burden of cost for future compliance. In general, these regulations will apply to all wastewater systems discharging effluent to surface water at a volume of more than 10 m3/day that contains a deleterious substance. The proposed effluent quality standards (referred to by the 2009 CCME documents as National Performance Standards) focus on four substances that are defined as deleterious by the Fisheries Act: biochemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, total residual chlorine and un-ionized ammonia. Specifically, these standards are as follows: • Average carbonaceous biological oxygen demand of the effluent of < 25 mg/L. • Average concentration of suspended solids of < 25 mg/L. • Average concentration of total residual chlorine in the effluent of < 0.02 mg/L. • Maximum concentration of un-ionized ammonia (as nitrogen) in the effluent of 1.25 mg/L at 15oC +1oC. The average concentrations noted above represent quarterly or monthly averages, depending on the annual average of daily effluent discharge from the final discharge point on the wastewater system into the receiving environment. For systems with an annual average daily discharge of < 17,500 m3, quarterly averages are to be used. For those systems with an annual average daily discharge of more than 17,500 m3, monthly averages are to be used. In addition to the substances regulated by these standards, the regulations also indicate that other parameters be monitored in association with wastewater discharges, such as temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, total ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, total phosphorus, alkylphenol ethoxylates, ethinylestradiol, 17- β-estradiol and estrone. The last four substances do not have water quality standards available for comparison purposes. The wastewater regulations also outline a number of biological effects monitoring requirements, primarily for the preservation of fish habitat. In general, the required biological monitoring consists of: • Benthic invertebrate community studies within the receiving water body, including studies of benthic density, taxa richness, evenness and similarity. • Studies of fish population, based upon the findings of the benthic invertebrate studies, examining characteristics such as growth, reproduction, health, survival, body weight, age, etc. Based on the biological monitoring results, the monitoring requirements may range from two consecutive monitoring cycles to 13 years. Based upon the endpoints being monitored, it is feasible that biological monitoring results will vary with effluent streams and receiving water bodies, so the timelines may vary. As biological assessments are being completed, regular communication with the designated official acting on behalf of Environment Canada must take place. A number of reporting requirements and timelines are set forth within the regulations. 60 | May 2011

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Wastewater Treatment Compliance The CCME recommends that initial wastewater characterization and environmental risk assessments be completed within the next eight years. Within Technical Supplement 2 of CCME (2009), a point-based risk calculation framework is laid out that takes into account a number of different factors, such as facility size, receiving environment, ammonia, and CBOD-to-TSS ratios. High-risk facilities classified under this scoring system should be in compliance with the CCME strategy within 10 years, “medium-risk” within 20 years, and “low-risk” within 30 years. In contrast, Environment Canada regulations have a more aggressive timeline in the short term. Once released in their final form, facilities will have 24 months to demonstrate compliance with the effluent quality standards or other limits agreed to under a transitional authorization. Transitional authorization under the Environment Canada regulations can be negotiated for some facilities, setting some conditions while allowing them time to become fully compliant. All facilities designated as “high-risk” by Envi-

ronment Canada must be in compliance within 10 years, “medium-risk” within 20 years, and “low-risk” within 30 years. Implications for wastewater operations Currently, the Environment Canada regulations are in draft form in Canada Gazette I (www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/ 2010/2010-03-20/html/reg1-eng. html). Once the wastewater regulations and associated effluent quality standards are published in Canada Gazette II in final form, there will be an immediate need for municipalities and wastewater plant operators to evaluate whether their systems are compliant and, if not, how they can come into compliance. Regulatory jurisdictions in Canada have already started to implement the CCME strategy as part of the municipal approvals process, and further development in this area is anticipated. Compliance with CCME and Environment Canada regulations will require advance planning for environmental monitoring, given the one-year initial characterization requirement from the CCME. In the event that any wastewater parameters exceed standards, time to discuss strate-

gies with regulatory stakeholders will be needed to find the best path forward for any given facility. These requirements will necessarily require planning in advance of regulatory approval applications for both new and upgrading facilities, as time for environmental sampling and analysis, and additional discussion with regulatory stakeholders should be built into the regulatory application process. At present, minimal guidance exists about the new regulatory requirements. In addition, it is important that local stakeholders’ knowledge and concerns be identified through a legitimate public consultation process. The completion of risk assessments in association with the other requirements set forth by the CCME strategy and the proposed Environment Canada regulations will provide regulators with valuable information to help in decision-making about municipal wastewater approvals. Karen A. Phillipps and Gordon L. Brown are with Intrinsik Environmental Sciences Inc, E-mail: kphillipps@intrinsikscience.com or gbrown@intrinsikscience.com

Prevention of spills especially important in fractured rock areas (Cont. from page 34) The following recommendations were made for the site: • Renovate, or replace, pavement surfaces to reseal and maintain integrity in the event of any unplanned releases, or spills. • Consider a military style bunker or recessed pit system to create an inexpensive secondary containment zone or system. Tank trucks can be loaded and unloaded in a recessed zone, or secured area, typically 8 to 10 feet below grade. • An isolated trench and/or pit system with open top grates at ground level was another option that was recommended. This would allow tank trucks to drive onto a flat concrete pad, or unloading surface. Inexpensive grating could be installed around the parked area of the tanker. Or, open grating can be installed in specific locations to address connect and disconnect procedures, as well as sloped drainage issues. Trench and pit containment areas can be cleaned mechanically, or discharges can be directed towards internal holding tanks and waste treatment systems. • Strategically planted mounds of flower-gardens could help direct rain water and deflect major uncontrolled spills on certain areas of the plant property, as well as slow the advance of spills migrating off site. A site run-off system would still be needed. With each recommendation, if there was a small leak, or a major spill, the facility would be in a better position to demonstrate due diligence for spill prevention and preparedness. Also, their cost for response, as well as product recovery and site remediation, would be significantly reduced. It was estimated that the cost of implementing the above recommendations would be less than the cost of one uncontrolled spill. Cliff Holland is with Spill Management Inc. Tom Kennedy is a recent university graduate. For more information, E-mail: contact@spillmanagement.ca.


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High-efficiency sampler Teledyne Isco’s 4700, a corrosion-proof, high-efficiency refrigerated sampler, provides accurate, reliable, and cost-effective sampling for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants. User-friendly controls include straightforward programming; a unique slide-out bottle rack; and fast, tool-free pump tubing replacement.

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Sludge scraper

Brentwood tube settlers offer an inexpensive method of upgrading existing water treatment plant clarifiers and sedimentation basins to improve performance. They can also reduce the tankage/footprint of new installations, or improve the performance of existing settling basins by reducing the solids loading on downstream filters. Tel: 705-725-9377, Fax: 705-725-8279 E-mail: info@cmeti.com Web: www.cmeti.com

With over 3,000 installations worldwide, WesTech Engineering’s ZICKERT Shark™ Sludge Scraper is ideal for wastewater treatment plants, drinking-water purification plants and industrial processes. It provides complete sludge transport, leaving no dead zones and creating no turbulence. Tel: 705-725-9377, Fax: 705-725-8279 E-mail: info@cmeti.com Web: www.cmeti.com

C&M Environmental Technologies

C&M Environmental Technologies

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:50 PM Page 63

The new Pelican 9440 remote area lighting system is a portable, battery-operated, maintenance free, LED light array with 2400 lumens of brightness (on high). It has a fully extendable mast up to 7’ with a 360º rotating head and a 120º beam spread. The 9440 is recharged with an integrated 110 VAC charger and can provide up to 3-6 (highlow) hours of light between charges. Tel: 1-800-265-0182, 905-949-2741, Fax: 905-272-1866 E-mail: info@cdnsafety.com Web: www.cdnsafety.com Canadian Safety Equipment

Vortex mixing system

The JetMix Vortex Mixing System can be used for sludge mixing, anaerobic digester mixing, and aerobic digester mixing. Among the advantages of the system are: minimal tank obstructions; easy cleaning, loading/unloading; ideal for varying liquid levels; simplified maintenance; easy retrofitting; and, finally, its ‘as needed operation’. Tel: 519-469-8169, Fax: 519-469-8157 E-mail: Sales@greatario.com Web: www.greatario.com Greatario Engineered Storage Systems

Multiparameter meter

Corrosion protection

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

New differential level controller The new Greyline DLT 2.0 differential level controller can measure both differential level at a barscreen, plus open channel flow through a flume. It works with two non-contacting ultrasonic sensors. One sensor is installed upstream from the barscreen and a second sensor downstream for differential level control. Or you can install the second sensor in a flume to control and transmit differential level control plus flow. Tel: 888-473-9546 E-mail: info@greyline.com Web: www.greyline.com Greyline Instruments

Hand-held DO meter

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 Hoskin Scientific


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

Next generation water sampler The new CSF48 water sampler from Endress+Hauser sets the benchmark in water quality monitoring. Choose between vacuum or peristaltic pumping, and multiple sampling routines. Opt for the two industrial digital sensors (expanding to eight in future) and connect to the SCADA with the latest communications protocols. This is a complete monitoring and collection solution for today’s industrial requirements. Tel: 905-681-9292, Fax: 905-681-9444 E-mail: info@ca.endress.com Web: www.ca.endress.com Endress + Hauser

Data logger

The Heron dipperLog is a low cost data logger with many features of higher priced models. It provides 32,000 readings of level and 32,000 readings of temperature between downloads. Automatic elevation and barometric compensation are available with the Heron barLog. Remote downloading and reprogramming are an option with the Heron dipperWave system. Tel: 1-800-331-2032, 905-634-4449, Fax: 905-634-9657 E-mail: info@heroninstruments.com Web: www.heroninstruments.com Heron Instruments

Inclined screw press

The RoS3Q Inclined Screw Press from Huber Technology provides high performance sludge dewatering in a compact, entirely enclosed machine. It provides efficient and reliable operation with minimal operator attendance. The slow rotational design is simple and energy-efficient. Tel: 541-929-9387, Fax: 541-929-9487 E-mail: trgregg@hhusa.net Web: www.huber-technology.com Huber Technology

May 2011 | 63

Product & Service Showcase

Remote area lighting system

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 11-06-04 12:04 AM Page 64

Inline sludge screen

P roduct & Service Showcase

With more than 700 installations, Huber Technology’s Strainpress® Inline Sludge Screen is designed to effectively screen sludge in pressurized lines. It reduces maintenance costs and increases the operating reliability of downstream sludge treatment systems. The Strainpress is precision manufactured of stainless steel. Tel: 541-929-9387, Fax: 541-929-9487 E-mail: trgregg@hhusa.net Web: www.huber-technology.com Huber Technology

Imbrium Systems

Grit removal

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

John Meunier have redeveloped the design of the MECTAN® 360 grit removal system with 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD). This provides improved grit removal efficiency across the board and surpasses similar designs in the difficult removal of grit in the 140 mesh range. Tel: 1-888-MEUNIER E-mail: sales@johnmeunier.com Web: www.johnmeunier.com

ITT Water and Wastewater

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The Suspended Solids Density Meter from Markland eliminates unnecessary pumping, reduces water, material and energy costs, and optimizes water/wastewater treatment and industrial processes. It is easily installed and calibrated in tanks/pipelines and requires no approvals. Samples are tested free-ofcharge. Tel: 1-855-873-7791, Fax: 905-873-6012 E-mail: markland@sludgecontrols.com Web: www.sludgecontrols.com

Markland Specialty Engineering

64 | May 2011

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

The Jellyfish® Filter is a hi-flo membrane filtration system that effectively treats stormwater runoff down to 2 microns, while providing maximum protection to the environment. The Jellyfish Filter removes 85% of TSS, 60% TP and 55% TN. It has a small footprint and low life-cycle costs; its light-weight cartridges are passively backwashed to extend their life and provide easy maintenance. Tel: 888-279-8826 E-mail: dwilson@imbriumsystems.com Web: www.imbriumsystems.com

Chemical-free water treatment

Solids density meter

New jet aerators

Stormwater filtration

New sludge grinder The new in-line Sludge Monster® grinder protects sludge pumps, heat exchangers, centrifuges and other dewatering equipment from clogging with rags and debris. It uses the same low speed, high-torque design as the bigger Muffin Monster®, but in a compact and economical package. The Sludge Monster is also energy efficient, using 27% less energy than a typical high speed macerator. Tel: 800-331-2277, Fax: 949-833-8858 E-mail: jwce@jwce.com Web: www.jwce.com JWC Environmental

Safety hatch

Certified welding

The MSU MG Safety Hatch offers the best in fall-thru protection. It is manufactured and welded right here in Canada. Safety features include a flush design which eliminates tripping; it can withstand pedestrian and occasional traffic loads; a flush lifting handle; and stainless hinges with tamper-proof hardware. Tel: 800-268-5336, Fax: 888-220-2213 Web: www.msumississauga.com

CSA certified welding assures quality and safety in all welded products, so only use companies certified to CSA W47.1 and W47.2. Search for certified companies on the MSU website www.msumississauga.com/content/welding. Tel: 800-268-5336, Fax: 888-220-2213 Web: www.msumississauga.com

MSU Mississauga

MSU Mississauga

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:50 PM Page 65

Metering pump

Metering pumps

Orival, Inc. now provides complete Water Filtration Systems designed for specific municipal and industrial applications. These include filters, manifold, valves and control. ORIVAL ORG and OR Series of Automatic Self-Cleaning Filters are designed to withstand the rigors of POTWs. A wide range of filters are available from ¾” to 24”, and filtration degrees from 5 to 3,000 microns. Tel: 201-568-3311, 800-567-9767 E-mail: filters@orival.com Web: www.orival.com

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.


ProMinent Fluid Controls

ProMinent Fluid Controls

Membrane bioreactor 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!

AC motors

Wastewater Pump Stations

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.

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

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

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Profiling temperature and conductivity Now with tapes available to 300 metres (1,000 ft), you can profile water temperature and conductivity to greater depths with a Solinst TLC Meter. Tape is accurately marked every mm or 1/100 ft. Range is 0-80,000 μS/cm. Probe diameter is 19 mm (3/4"). Tel: 905-873-2255, 800-661-2023 Fax: 905-872-1992, 800-516-9081 E-mail: instruments@solinst.com Web: www.solinst.com

Solinst Canada


Tel: 888-709-9933, Fax: 519-836-5226 E-mail: sales@prominent.ca Web: www.prominent.ca

NEW affordable optical dissolved oxygen measurement system The new AquaPlus™ Meter, together with the AquaPlus Probe, provides an affordable optical dissolved oxygen measurement system. It can record up to 3,000 data sets, including DO, EC, temperature and barometric pressure. The AquaPlus system retails for $1,425.00. Tel: 905-238-5242, Fax: 905-238-5704 E-mail: sales@waterra.com Web: www.waterra.com Waterra Pumps

Smith & Loveless

Self-contained sampling station The Pegasus Alexis® Peristaltic Pump from Waterra is a self-contained sampling station that includes all the best features of these devices. Packaged in the rugged Pelican™ 1430 case and incorporating its own power supply and charger, this pump will keep you sampling in the field all day long. Tel: 905-238-5242, Fax: 905-238-5704 E-mail: sales@waterra.com Web: www.waterra.com

Waterra Pumps

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Water filtration systems

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Oil sands water monitoring plan announced

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In March, Environment Minister Peter Kent presented Environment Canada's plan for a new Lower Athabasca Water Quality Monitoring Program. The plan, developed in collaboration with Alberta, is in response to the Federal Oil Sands Advisory Panel report. The Panel, struck in September 2010 to review the environmental monitoring systems of the Athabasca River Basin, presented its findings in December 2010. The plan for the Lower Athabasca Water Quality Monitoring Program highlights the need for water quality measurements to be taken more frequently, and in more places, which will ensure there is sufficient data available to track possible changes. In order to monitor long-term changes and maintain environmental quality within defined levels, it will assess the cumulative effects of oil sands activities. It also highlights that the water monitoring program needs to link with other monitoring systems, such as air quality and biodiversity to ensure a holistic view of environmental quality. To that end, work is underway to develop monitoring approaches for air quality and biodiversity as well.

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www.bioteq.ca 66 | May 2011

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Alberta’s draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan is woefully inadequate and will not protect the region against the cumulative effects of industrial development, according to the environmental group, Ecojustice. “The plan’s management framework is riddled with significant gaps and it gives far too much discretion to government decision-makers,” said Barry Robinson, Ecojustice staff lawyer. “Until those gaps are addressed and a better regulatory system is installed, the Alberta government shouldn’t approve any further oil sands developments in the area.” The group added that the draft’s air quality framework fails to include a management plan for CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, even though they are a major by-product of oil sands operations. Also, biological diversity, land disturbances, tailings management and surface Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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water quantity frameworks have yet to be developed, rendering the draft plan incomplete. Ecojustice also feels that the draft itself can be viewed as too little, too late, since much of the region is already allocated to oil sands and timber development. www.ecojustice.ca

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

Ontario to fund water and wastewater upgrades in rural areas Eighty-five small rural and northern communities in Ontario will get additional help in order to ensure access to clean, safe, reliable water and affordable wastewater services. To modernize and improve aging infrastructure in smaller communities, the province will support them in fixing leaking pipes to help with water conservation and to launch projects to improve water efficiency. In total, Ontario will provide $50 million, over four years. Municipalities, conservation authorities and Aboriginal organizations can now apply for Showcasing Water Innovation funding to support community projects that effectively manage drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems. Since 2003, Ontario has committed about $1.8 billion for municipal water and wastewater infrastructure through a range of programs.

SaskWater releases latest annual report In early April, SaskWater tabled its 2010 Annual Report. The agency reported a net income of $224,000 which is the third time a surplus has been earned since being re-mandated as a commercial Crown Corporation in 2002. Last year SaskWater spent a record $24.4 million in capital projects and supplied 20.7 billion litres of water. In addition to providing water and wastewater services, the corporation also offers certified operations and maintenance, project management, operator training to Saskatchewan First Nations, water leak detection, and remote monitoring of systems. SaskWater currently serves 57 Saskatchewan communities, seven rural continued overleaf... www.esemag.com

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The Québec government recently announced the reaching of an agreement with the Cree Nation, formalizing the creation of a new protected area - the Assinica national park reserve. This agreement allows a territory of 3193 km2, located approximately 20 km north of the Cree village of Oujé-Bougoumou, to be protected from any and all industrial activity. Assinica national park will be one of the largest in Québec’s park network. It will contribute directly to achieving the government’s target objective of reserving 50% of Plan Nord territory for non-industrial purposes. In so doing, it is protecting vast tracts of boreal forest and many lakes and rivers. The agreement leading to the creation of the Assinica national park reserve stipulates that the management of the future national park’s operations, activities and services be entrusted to the OujéBougoumou Crees through discussions defining specific management and operating terms and conditions. It also provides for discussions related to a future expansion of the Assinica national park.

Melting permafrost a threat to Yukon highways The Yukon government will provide funding to repair a degraded section of the north Alaska Highway between Destruction Bay and the Alaska border. Climate change has added a new layer of uncertainty and risks for Yukon highways, which rely on ice properties for long-term stability. The warmer conditions through the winter months have resulted in more melting permafrost during the summer season. Permafrost is defined as ground that remains at or below 0º Celsius for two or more years. Temperature increases cause permafrost to melt and the roads to heave and sink. These effects of melting permafrost are evident along parts of the northern highway corridors. In addition to immediate rehabilitation Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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work, the Department of Highways and Public Works, in conjunction with the State of Alaska, the United States Federal Highways Administration, Transport Canada, Laval University, and the Alaska University Transportation Centre, have embarked on a long-term permafrost testing project. The test site is along the Alaska Highway located near Beaver Creek. The information derived from this unique project will help develop strategies to mitigate the effects of melting permafrost.

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Water consumption to be cut in Québec Québecers are some of the biggest wasters of water in the world and the highest consumers in Canada. The province will start making municipalities more accountable on water consumption, starting next year, and it will reward municipalities who make an effort to reduce consumption. Québec’s Municipal Affairs Minister Laurent Lessard says the province could save $2 billion over 20 years with a new strategy. Under the plan, the average consumption of drinking water per person will be cut by 20% by 2017. Otherwise, water meters will be installed for non-residential customers, and “adequate” pricing will be introduced for homes.

CN Rail to pay fine for diesel spill In March, the Canadian National Railway Company was convicted in British Columbia Provincial court of an offence under the Fisheries Act. The company was sentenced to pay a total of $75,000 for depositing diesel fuel into waters frequented by fish. A total of $70,000 of these penalties is being directed to projects related to the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat in the waters of the Fraser River and its tributaries. On January 5, 2009, Environment Canada was notified of a diesel slick near the confluence of Barker Creek and the Fraser River. A subsequent investigation confirmed that a fuel pumping station, found on the CN Rail Thornton Yards property, was the source of the release.

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May 2011 | 69

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Community Justice Forum used Teck Metals Ltd. has agreed to pay $325,000 for depositing mercury into the Columbia River, in British Columbia, and allowing leachate to overflow into Stoney Creek. This action is in response to two chemical spills that took place in 2010.

On Sept. 13, 2010, Environment Canada was notified that contaminated groundwater from the Teck Metals Ltd. facility was leaking into Stoney Creek, which flows directly into the Columbia River. On Oct. 7, 2010, the agency was notified of a mercury spill into the Columbia River from one of the outfalls from the Teck Metals Ltd. facility. Investigations re-

vealed that potential violations under the Fisheries Act had taken place during these instances. In consultation with Teck Metals Ltd., a decision was made to pursue an alternative measure known as a Community Justice Forum. During the Forum, which was held May 10-11, 2011, Teck Metals Ltd. also agreed to implement various measures to better protect the environment, including reviewing plans, increasing inspections and monitoring, and restricting site access. This is the first time Environment Canada has used the Community Justice Forum process in an enforcement matter. As a result, Environment Canada has had direct input into changes within Teck Metals Ltd. that will reduce the risk of similar spills in the future.

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A report, presented recently by Scott Vaughan, Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, found that Environment Canada’s Fresh Water Quality Monitoring Program has significant gaps in its coverage, most notably on First Nations reserves, where monitoring stations exist on only 12 of the roughly 3,000 reserves in Canada. The same report also contained a case study on the program’s monitoring of Lake Winnipeg, which it said may have begun later than it should have – it didn’t start until 2006 – and might still be inadequate. In addition to Environment Canada, other organizations monitor water quality in Lake Winnipeg, but the value of being part of a standardized, cross-Canada system like the Fresh Water Quality Monitoring Program might be lost when the testing is done by a variety of groups.

White Rockʼs drinking water now chlorinated EPCOR provides drinking water to White Rock, British Columbia’s 20,000 residents from the Sunnyside Uplands aquifer, through six wells and three reservoirs. E. coli was found in the City’s water supply last summer, prompting a boil water advisory that lasted nearly two weeks. There were no reports of illness related to the contamination, which was likely Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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caused by bird droppings entering the reservoir through a small gap in a neoprene hatch seal. The roof structures of all three reservoirs were upgraded in December. Water in White Rock, near the affected reservoir, has been chlorinated since the incident in August. White Rock water was also found to contain arsenic, which hovers near the Health Canada recommended level, and manganese, which some studies say is harmful. The recommendations will be put forward in a more comprehensive plan, which will require approval from the Fraser Health Authority and the Comptroller of Water Rights.

mentability of the many WERF research products and tools. WERF wants to recognize the accomplishments of the wastewater utilities, stormwater utilities, consulting firms, industrial firms, equipment manufacturers, universities, and nonprofit organizations that use WERF research to improve the water quality field. Example improvements might include:

improved effluent water quality, improved biosolids management, significant reduction in facility operating costs or capital expenses, or any other measurable improvement that benefits customers or the environment. For more information, visit www.werf.org

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Calgary’s drinking water comes from the headwaters of the Bow River, which flows through Lake Louise and Banff. The wastewater treatment plants in Lake Louise and Banff have been overhauled after elevated phosphorus levels were found in the Bow River, leading to abnormally high levels of aquatic vegetation. Parks Canada and Environment Canada have been monitoring the water quality monthly since 1975. $4 million were spent to overhaul the Lake Louise Wastewater Treatment Plant and $14 million to fix up the Banff facility.

WERF to recognize efforts to move research into practice The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) is offering a new award to recognize organizations that have made improvements to wastewater and stormwater collection, storage or treatment operations, facilities, or processes by applying WERF research. The Award for Excellence in Innovation is also a celebration of the implewww.esemag.com

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Wastewater Treatment

Lagoon based wastewater treatment process provides nitrification in Glencoe, Ontario By Ken Musyoka, Merle Kroeker and Byron Heppner


he Southwest Middlesex wastewater treatment facility in Glencoe, Ontario, was constructed in 1974-1975, with a rated capacity of 946 m3/day. This system comprised two facultative lagoons operating in parallel, with discharge into the nearby Newbiggen Creek in early spring and late fall. As of 2005, data showed that the facility was operating at maximum hydraulic capacity. In March 2011, Nelson Environmental’s OPTAER™ wastewater treatment system, with a SAGR® (Submerged Attached Growth Reactor) for nitrification, was commissioned. Overall system process design was a collaborative effort between Nelson Environmental Inc. (NEI) and Genivar, Southwest Middlesex’s consulting engineering firm. With a design flow

of 1,742 m3/day, the upgraded system has nearly twice the maximum hydraulic capacity of the previous design. This increase will meet future demands based on a 30-year design life. The added plant capacity also means that surrounding communities, including the hamlets of Appin and Melbourne, can tie into the system. In order to attain this increased capacity without constructing additional lagoons, the process was converted from seasonal to continuous discharge, which required that the effluent quality meet permit requirements on a year-round basis. To protect the receiving stream, the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex wanted to do more than merely meet the discharge effluent quality limits set by

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment (MOE). The MOE required a year-round effluent total ammonia limit of 3 mg/L, 13.7 mg/L BOD/TSS, and 0.55 mg/L total phosphorus. Effluent objectives selected for the project were 1 mg/L total ammonia, 7 mg/L BOD/TSS, and 0.3 mg/L total phosphorus. Neither the limits, nor the effluent objectives, would be attainable with conventional lagoonbased treatment. BOD, TSS and total phosphorus are commonly regulated effluent parameters. Total ammonia (as nitrogen), or TAN, is a measure of the sum of free (NH3) and ionized (NH4+) ammonia concentrations in treated and untreated wastewater. The relative proportions of each are pH- and temperature-dependent. At high pH, the ionized form (free ammonia) predomi-

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Hoskin Scientific Ltd. 72 | May 2011

www.hoskin.ca www ww w.hoskin.ca . Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 01/06/11 10:52 PM Page 73

Wastewater Treatment


Glencoe wastewater treatment plant process diagram.






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nates, while at low pH the un-ionized is favoured. The ionized form of total ammonia predominates in municipal wastewater, which is typically in the neutral pH range. Free ammonia in aquatic ecosystems is toxic to fish in low concentrations. To protect receiving waters from ammonia’s toxic effects, wastewater treatment plants typically utilize nitrifying bacteria to reduce total ammonia through the biological nitrification process. Secondary treatment – aerated lagoons In order to meet the effluent quality objectives, Glencoe’s existing eastern facultative cell was taken offline, leaving it for use as a storage facility when needed (e.g., for maintenance or bypass of the western treatment cell). The western cell was divided into three cells, using geomembrane floating baffle curtains to divert flow and effectively maximize the hydraulic retention time by preventing short-circuiting. NEI’s fine bubble diffused aeration system was implemented in the partitioned cells to achieve improved year-round BOD and TSS removal, through bacterial degradation and solids settling. The lagoon aeration diffusers are suspended near the bottom of the cells. They provide oxygen and mixing through the rising action of small air bubbles released in the water. The aeration system also eliminates odour, caused by spring turnover, by maintaining aerobic conditions and mixing throughout the winter. Tertiary treatment – nitrification Lagoon-based treatment systems provide some ammonia removal (nitrification) capacity during the summer months, but are generally incapable of meeting low ammonia limits during prolonged periods of low water temperatures. The SAGR tertiary treatment system with FBAŽ LINEAR Aeration was developed to address this issue without abandoning current lagoon treatment infrastructure. It can be constructed within existing lagoon basins, or as an additional treatment module following a lagoon. The Glencoe system, consisting of two SAGR beds, was constructed following the three-cell secondary aerated lagoons to facilitate year-round nitrification. Performance parameters and sizing for the process were based on extensive

Figure 1: Steinbach SAGR influent and effluent cBOD5 and TAN concentrations (mg/L) and water temperature. The detection limit of the cBOD5 analysis is <2 mg/L. Therefore all results reported as <2 are recorded as 1.9 mg/L in this data set. The detection limit of the TAN analysis is <0.05 mg/L. Therefore all results reported as <0.05 mg/L are recorded as 0.04 mg/L.

testing performed on post-lagoon demonstration systems located in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, and Steinbach, Manitoba. These sites generated an equivalent total of nine years of effluent data, showing the capability of the process to consistently meet ammonia effluent levels of <1.0 mg/L in summer, and <2.0 mg/L in winter with influent water temperatures as low as 0.5oC (see Figure 1). In addition to an increased capacity and improved effluent quality, the overall footprint of the Glencoe process was reduced, leaving 50% of the existing lagoon capacity for future expansion.

Treatment process The SAGR process can be used for nitrification, following any secondary treatment including aerated or facultative lagoons. It is a clean gravel bed with a horizontal flow distribution chamber at the front end to distribute the influent wastewater across the width of the entire cell. The gravel provides the necessary surface area for growth and attachment of a nitrifying biomass within the bed. It is sized to optimize bacterial growth and hydraulic flow. A horizontal effluent collection chamcontinued overleaf... May 2011 | 73

May2011_ES&E_4_2010 11-06-04 12:04 AM Page 74

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Wastewater Treatment

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Glencoe’s completed SAGR with insulating woodchips at grade.

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ber at the back end collects all the treated effluent and channels it to the discharge structure. Sizing of the bed is based on influent loading rates and temperature, as well as the required rate of nitrification. For optimal performance, it is preferable (though not limiting) for the influent cBOD5 to be less than 40 mg/L. To ensure robustness in SAGR system operation, stress-testing was performed on the demonstration system in Steinbach, to simulate possible operational challenges: 1. Flow through the SAGR was stopped for 11 weeks in summer (during the third year of operation) to simulate a fully nitrifying lagoon preceding the process. The objective was to determine biomass resiliency within the reactor bed. Reactor aeration was kept on during the entire period. When 100% design flow was resumed, effluent ammonia levels recovered to below detection by the first weekly sample. This indicates that nitrifiers within the bed remain viable during extended periods with no loading. This is typical of lagoon systems that have sufficient retention time to nitrify during the warm summer months. 2. The upper bounds of hydraulic and mass loading were tested by 200% of design flow throughput. The system was fed at twice the design flow rate for approximately 10 months (beginning June 2009). The observed effluent ammonia was still

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below detection at twice the design flow rate for much of the year, and excellent nitrification was observed throughout the winter. This indicates that the SAGR is capable of handling surges in flow and mass loading. 3. A simulated power failure provided information on system recovery in the event of a blackout. Blowers providing air to the SAGR process were shut off for 24 hours during the winter, when water temperatures were below 0.5oC. Effluent ammonia during the simulated power outage approximately matched the influent ammonia concentration, as expected, confirming that, at extremely low or no dissolved oxygen, the nitrification process completely stops. When the aeration system was restarted, effluent ammonia levels dropped to below detection by the first weekly effluent sample. The components and design approach for the Glencoe wastewater treatment process demonstrate the ability to increase hydraulic capacity and provide nutrient removal, while maximizing the use of existing lagoon infrastructure. The system also maintains simplicity of operation, with low O&M costs. Ken Musyoka, Merle Kroeker and Byron Heppner are with Nelson Environmental Inc. E-mail: kmusyoka@nelsonenvironmental.com

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