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Water For People is dedicated to creating reliable access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs in Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America. It’s not enough to help some but not others. In the regions where we work, we are committed to providing access to every person–today and in the future–and we monitor our work for at least 10 years post-implementation to guarantee its impact.

Water For People–Canada De L’eau Pour Tous–Canada

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Contents ISSN-0835-605X • Nov/Dec 2011 Vol. 24 No. 6 • Issued Dec 2011 Editor and Publisher STEVE DAVEY E-mail: steve@esemag.com Consulting Editor

TOM DAVEY

Sales Director PENNY DAVEY E-mail: penny@esemag.com

FEATURES 6

Engineers, suppliers and contractors take heart - we still need you!- Comment by Steve Davey

8

Engaging stakeholders is vital to biosolids land application process

Sales Representative DENISE SIMPSON E-mail: denise@esemag.com Accounting SANDRA DAVEY E-mail: sandra@esemag.com

DEPARTMENTS Product Showcase . . . . . . . . 70-74 Environmental News . . . . . 75-82 Professional Cards . . . . . . . . 75-80 Ad Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

Circulation Manager DARLANN PASSFIELD E-mail: darlann@esemag.com

10 How water systems can cope with declining residential water usage

Production Manager CHRIS MAC DONALD E-mail: chris@esemag.com

12 The impact of desalination pretreatment on membrane fouling

Editorial Assistant PETER DAVEY E-mail: peter@esemag.com

Technical Advisory Board Jim Bishop Stantec Consulting Ltd., Ontario Bill Borlase, P.Eng. City of Winnipeg, Manitoba Bill DeAngelis, P.Eng. Associated Engineering, Ontario Peter Laughton P.Eng. Consulting Engineer, Ontario Marie Meunier John Meunier Inc., Québec Peter J. Paine Environment Canada

16 New water metering system solves a myriad of problems for Pelham 20 Increasing the service life of concrete water and wastewater structures 22 How climate change is affecting the Great Lakes 24 Contaminant levels - how safe is safe? 26 Self-cleaning screen filters help increase potable water supply in northern Alberta 28 Ozone based technology designed for treatment and disposal of biowastes 32 Using new precast concrete products for stormwater management 34 Mobile treatment allows different approach to brownfield management 36 Corrugated steel pipe has a long history of shelter use 38 SNAPS help integrate infrastructure renewal with community needs 42 Reducing activated sludge solids generation and disposal costs

Environmental Science & Engineering is a bi-monthly business publication of Environmental Science & Engineering Publications Inc. An all Canadian publication, ES&E provides authoritative editorial coverage of Canada's municipal and industrial environmental control systems and drinking water treatment and distribution. Readers include consulting engineers, industrial plant managers and engineers, key municipal, provincial and federal environmental officials, water and wastewater plant operators and contractors. Information contained in ES&E has been compiled from sources believed to be correct. ES&E cannot be responsible for the accuracy of articles or other editorial matter. Articles in this magazine are intended to provide information rather than give legal or other professional advice. Articles being submitted for review should be e-mailed to steve@esemag.com. Canadian Publications Mail Sales Second Class Mail Product Agreement No. 40065446 Registration No. 7750 Undeliverable copies, advertising space orders, copy, artwork, proofs, etc., should be sent to: Environmental Science & Engineering, 220 Industrial Pkwy. S., Unit 30, Aurora, Ontario, Canada, L4G 3V6, Tel: (905)727-4666, Fax: (905) 841-7271, Web site: www.esemag.com

PAGES 44-57 • Is there still opportunity for Canada’s consulting engineers? • What are the prospects for the environment under Ontario’s new minority government? • How PEO is enhancing accessibility and mobility in the engineering profession? • If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both • Developing structured training programs for new engineers • How being a thought-leader boosts your career performance • Opportunities abound for Canadian consultants who can apply their skill sets offshore

PAGES 58-69 • New guide published on storage tank regulations and compliance • Unique system solves Lunenburg's need for potable water disinfection and storage • Why you should specify certified storage tanks • Bolted steel tanks replace failing reservoir in Nipawin, SK • Improving the performance of polyethylene storage tanks • Geosynthetics help Slave Lake rebuild after unprecedented wildfire damage


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GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. LOCAL FOCUS.


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Comment by Steve Davey

Engineers, suppliers and contractors take heart - we still need you!

C

anada’s consulting engineers, equipment suppliers and contractors, like everyone else have been affected by the 2008-09 global recession and the excrutiatingly slow recovery since then. However, those in the infrastructure sector were somewhat insulated from the economic storm when the federal government announced its $35 billion Economic Action Plan in January 2009. Under this two year plan, almost $12 billion was allocated to new infrastructure projects. While this program has now ended, those providing wastewater goods and services can take heart in opportunities sure to result from Canada’s now gazetted Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations. This is in addition to an estimated $51 billion needed to be spent on upgrading existing systems and building new systems. In an article published in ES&E’s May 2011 issue, Karen Phillipps and Gordon Brown of Intrinsik Environmental Sciences outlined how this new framework will affect Canada’s 3,700 wastewater treatment plants. As part of the federal Fisheries Act, the new regulations will apply to all municipal and industrial treatment facilities that capture or release more than 10 m3 per day of wastewater. The proposed effluent quality 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. In addition, the regulations will require monitoring of temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, total ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, total phosphorus, alkylphenol ethoxylates, ethinylestradiol, 17- β-estradiol and estrone. They also outline a number of other monitoring requirements for the preservation of fish habitat. So who is affected and when? According to Phillips and Brown, once the wastewater regulations and associated effluent quality standards 6 | November 2011

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 become so. Facilities will have 24 months to demonstrate compliance with the effluent quality standards or other limits agreed to under a transitional authorization. This time-frame may be negotiated for some facilities, allowing them time to become fully compliant. However, all facilities designated as “high-risk” must be in compliance within 10 years, “medium-risk” within 20 years, and “low-risk” within 30 years. How much will it all cost? At the very least, these new regulations will require facilities to provide secondary level of wastewater treatment. According to some sources, Environment Canada had estimated the cost of compliance to be approximately $6 billion. But the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) thinks it will be significantly more, as does the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Whatever the actual costs are of complying with the new effluent regulations, they will be still relatively low in relation to the overall amounts needed to be spent. According to a 2007 Statistics Canada report, at least $31 billion was needed to maintain Canada’s water and wastewater systems. The current deficit facing wastewater and stormwater systems alone was estimated at almost $20 billion. New water and wastewater infrastructure needs are estimated to be another $20.9 billion. Who will pay? Municipalities own, operate, and have jurisdictional control over almost all of Canada’s wastewater facilities. CUPE believes that they should not be financially penalized for assuming this role, and that federal legislation should not be used as a means to offload costs and federal responsi-

bility to support these facilities. While larger cities and towns will be better able to cope with raising sufficient funds, small communities with a lower population and property tax base may not generate sufficient revenue to support the necessary facility upgrades. These communities also face other problems, such as recruiting and retaining qualified wastewater operators. CUPE also believes it is misleading to suggest that current funding available from federal infrastructure programs will sufficiently support municipalities implementing these regulations. Funds currently supporting wastewater infrastructure include the $1 billion Green Infrastructure Fund and the $8.8 billion Building Canada Fund (BCF). While both of these support wastewater projects, they are not exclusive, and both end in 2014. As wastewater treatment is a service provided for the common good, CUPE says it is the role of all levels of government to provide support. This includes financial support for infrastructure and facility upgrades and wastewater operator training/certification needs. Who will benefit? Canada’s consulting engineers, equipment suppliers and contractors will certainly benefit from the almost $60 billion that will needed to be spent on wastewater systems over the next several years. No matter what the funding strategies, or levels of government involved, taxpayers will ultimately foot the bill. However, as we are also the ones who will benefit from safe and reliable water and wastewater systems, improved public health and a cleaner environment, to me it’s a great deal for all. Steve Davey is Editor of ES&E Magazine. E-mail comments to steve@esemag.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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From ITT comes Xylem. Xylem is a world leader in the design, manufacturing and application of highly engineered technologies for the water industry. We are 12,000 people uniďŹ ed in a common purpose: creating innovative solutions to global water challenges. We know this is only achieved when partnering closely with our customers. We are committed to continuing the product innovation and forward thinking you’ve come to expect from the collection of market-leading brands in the Xylem portfolio. For more information on what this transformative shift can mean to your business, go to xyleminc.com.


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Biosolids Management

Engaging stakeholders is vital to biosolids land application process

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he long-term success of biosolids land application programs depends on the ability of biosolids’ professionals to continually earn their “license” to operate. Every day, their stakeholders, including the people in the communities where biosolids are produced and applied, make decisions about the acceptability of biosolids. Effective communication is essential to earning and sustaining that license to operate. Furthermore, the costs of ineffective communication can be very high, potentially resulting in problems such as: • the irreplaceable loss of the land applier’s credibility • unnecessary, bitter, and prolonged public disputes on projects, • costly delays • burdensome regulation • critical and unsupportive employees • loss of commercial opportunities. The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and its subscribers recognize the need for biosolids professionals to more proactively and effectively communicate with community members and engage them in dialogue about the beneficial use of biosolids. WERF’s Research Challenge, Applying Advances in Pathogen Risk Assessment and Communicating the Results, provides biosolids professionals with valuable hands-on tools and guidance to help them better communicate with stakeholders in their communities. Over the course of this work, researchers had the opportunity to listen to and learn from biosolids professionals, regulators, health officials, and community members. Research showed that biosolids professionals want to communicate more effectively with people in their communities, but may lack the skills and tools to do so with confidence. It also showed that community members want to learn more about local biosolids use and want the opportunity to discuss their interests, priorities, and questions with biosolids professionals. They are willing to support local land ap8 | November 2011

Community members are willing to support local land application, but they want their questions and concerns about odour, safety, and fairness to be adequately addressed. (Photo courtesy Terratec Environmental Limited)

plication, but they want their questions and concerns about odour, safety, and fairness to be adequately addressed. Communications tool for biosolids professionals A key outcome of this project is the science-based Strategic Risk Communications Process for Outreach and Dialogue on Biosolids. The process, originally developed for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, was modified to fit the unique (and often unmet) communications needs of biosolids professionals. The process, described in the researchers’ report, was designed to be an integral part of effective risk assessment and management processes. It provides a set of integrated procedures and supporting tools, which can be readily scaled to fit the needs of a specific biosolids program and its host communities. It can be used to address topics of interest to specific stakeholders; to develop and adopt best practices in biosolids risk management and communication; and advance innovative biosolids use projects. The research team developed a Primer for Biosolids Professionals to enable them to design and conduct outreach and dialogue. It offers step-by-step guidance

on how to adapt and implement the Strategic Risk Communications Process for Outreach and Dialogue on Biosolids. Applying the process The Strategic Risk Communications Process for Outreach and Dialogue on Biosolids was adapted and validated through collaboration with the City of Tulsa Public Works Department and the Virginia Biosolids Council. WERF investigators worked with each team to identify the opportunities for outreach and dialogue. Then they conducted research to learn first-hand their community stakeholders’ interests, priorities, and communications needs, regarding biosolids land application. Plans were developed and communications materials tested, based on research findings and needs of the specific biosolids programs. These materials included a dialogue presentation for use at community meetings, a brochure tailored to meet the needs of local community members, and draft templates for on-site signage. To order Strategic Risk Communications Process for Outreach and Dialogue on Biosolids, visit www.werf.org.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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Water Treatment

Residential water usage continues to decline

H

ousehold water usage is declining slowly but steadily, a trend that is expected to continue for at least the next 15 years. This is good news in light of the challenges some areas face in managing this essential resource. At the same time, it presents a challenge to water utilities, which must adapt their systems and rates to reduced consumption trends, in order to cover fixed costs and maintain reliable service. A 2010 study by the Water Research Foundation concluded that “a pervasive decline in household consumption has been determined at the national and regional levels.” As reported in Journal AWWA, the study, which tracked trends in household water use in North America over the past 30 years, found that “a household in the 2008 billing year used 11,678 gallons less water annually (13%) than an identical household did in 1978.” This finding is supported by the experience of American Water, which serves approximately 15 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. In its 2010 annual report, the company reported a declining trend in residential water usage for all of its regulated states, in the range of 0.5–2% annually over the last 10 years. Monthly analyses of residential sales across its largest state subsidiaries from 2001 to 2010 reveal an annual decrease of 1–2% (based on gallons/customer/month). These subsidiaries service a wide range of household demographics in climates that span from arid to water-rich, providing a broad base by which to assess water usage trends. The results held true when American Water limited its analysis to winter-only consumption in service areas in the northern portions of the United States. Because varying weather conditions in summer months can cause large fluctuations in outdoor water needs (lawn and garden watering, for instance, increases during hot, dry periods and is lower in cooler, wetter summers), it is particularly useful to study winter-only trends, when outdoor water usage is at a minimum. The consistency of findings in both the Water Research Foundation study and 10 | November 2011

American Water’s own research indicates that several strong underlying factors are driving indoor residential usage patterns. Driving the decline According to the Water Research Foundation, the primary forces behind this drop are the increased use of water-efficient appliances and a decrease in the number of occupants per household. Others factors to consider are price elasticity, a growing conservation ethic among consumers, and conservation programs implemented by utilities and other organizations. Technological advances continue to improve the water efficiency of household appliances, driven by government mandates. For example, toilets manufactured after 1994 use 1.6 gallons, or less, per flush, compared to the 3.5 to 7 gallons used by older ones. Dishwashers manufactured after 2009 and clothes washers after 2010 are held to water efficiency requirements that could reduce usage by 54% and 30%, respectively. What’s more, fixtures and appliances that surpass these requirements are increasingly prevalent in the marketplace, thanks to consumer demand. These improvements correspond to a 35% decrease in water usage by a typical residential household in a new home constructed in 2011, compared to the same household in a non-retrofitted home built before 1994.

Non-essential outdoor water usage — from irrigation to car washing and swimming pools — is more responsive to water and sewer rate increases than indoor water usage, which is primarily for consumption and hygiene. However, there is some price elasticity there as well, as households are more vigilant about fixing leaks under higher rates. A recent industry study investigating the sensitivity of residential water demand to water price found that a 10% increase in price led to a 3.3% decline in customer demand. Whether as a cost-cutting measure, or because of growing environmental awareness, consumers are increasingly conscientious about conserving household water. Utilities, too, have been educating their customers about the importance of preserving the world’s water supply. Benefits of reduced usage A decline in per-household water usage is crucial to meet the water needs of a growing population. The water industry also reaps certain benefits from this trend. Less water use means less need to divert water from supply sources, leaving more for passing flows, or drought reserve. It leads to reduced power consumption, chemical usage and waste disposal, which not only lowers operating costs, but also provides environmental benefits, such as reduced carbon footprint and

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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Water Treatment waste streams. At times of declining customer usage, operators can seize the opportunity to optimize management of existing water supplies, treatment facilities and pump stations. For systems that rely on multiple sources of supply, this may translate into operational cost savings by minimizing use of water from higher-cost sources. Other opportunities include more efficient and effective pumping and treatment. More available storage means operators can schedule more pumping at off-peak times, thus reducing electricity demand charges. Less demand also means less strain on certain process equipment, allowing operators to stretch out scheduled maintenance. Utility planners need to base capital projects on the most current information and consider downsizing or postponing supply development projects when customer demand projections reflect an anticipated decline in usage. At the same time, they must continue to factor in peak-day demand, which, driven by hot, dry weather spells and other short-term events, may or may not follow the same declining trend

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as average-day consumption. Because it is peak-day demand that determines capital infrastructure needs such as treatment and pumping capacity, it is essential that utilities understand their own peak usage patterns. Challenges for water utilities The downside for the water utility industry is that reduced usage creates a revenue decline, while a number of fixed costs continue to rise. These costs range from water utility capital needs ― infrastructure renewal, reliability and regulatory projects, for instance ― to operating costs such as plant maintenance, customer services needs, IT support and security. Despite financial challenges presented by the declining usage trend, water utilities are wise not just to accept it but to embrace it, if simply because it’s the right thing to do. Investor-owned water utilities also need to work with regulators for a more progressive rate structure, so that revenues are not entirely dependent on fluctuations in sales. Revenue balancing, where rates provide for surcharges or re-

funds based on fluctuations in sales, is one tool to consider. Another is to increase the fixed charge on the customers’ utility bill to recover a greater portion of the utility’s fixed costs, thereby reducing exposure to sales volatility. For utilities operating on a basis of decoupled revenue streams, water saved through conservation can be viewed as more cost-effective than adding capacity via expansion of water delivery infrastructure. Based on the average life expectancy of appliances, it is estimated that the replacement of old fixtures with new, more efficient models will continue to affect water usage trends for another 10 to 15 years. Other drivers are likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Looking ahead, water utility managers and operators will need to adapt their business planning to accommodate the historic declining trend of 1–2% annually, while also watching for signs of its leveling off. For more information, visit www.amwater.com

November 2011 | 11


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Cover Story

The impact of desalination pretreatment on membrane fouling By Orren D. Schneider, Lauren Weinrich, Mark W. LeChevallier and Eugenio Giraldo

P

retreatment for seawater desalination typically focuses on removal of particles, but many of the problems with membrane fouling are due to natural organic matter. Fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes is one of the major concerns in the desalination industry. High fouling rates lead to either increased pressure to maintain a permeate flux set-point or decreased specific flux, which in turn lead to higher capital and operations and maintenance costs. To reduce fouling, many desalination facilities include coagulation as a pretreatment step to remove particulates and organic matter and limit biological growth in the membrane systems. However, little literature exists about how these pretreatment processes are optimized for reducing foulants. At present, the main tool that is used for evaluation of RO membrane fouling is the silt density index (SDI), or the modified fouling index (MFI). However, the SDI (or MFI) is based on the plugging of a 0.45-micron (¾m) membrane over a defined time interval (often 15 minutes) and is not truly representative of RO membranes’ characteristics and properties. Nor do the SDI or MFI tests account for biological growth on membranes, membrane systems, or adsorption of organic matter onto membrane surfaces. The main causes of membrane fouling on surfaces or inside pores are biological growth, deposition of existing or precipitated particles, and adsorption of organic matter. Although micro/ultrafiltration membranes are being used more commonly as pretreatment for reverse osmosis and nanofiltration membranes, submicron particles and dissolved organic matter can still pass through the pretreatment membranes and act as foulants on the RO membranes. Removal of the foulants can be improved by optimization of coagulation as a pretreatment. For surface waters, tools to evaluate coagulation and biogrowth potential have been developed and used for design and 12 | November 2011

Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant.

treatment optimization. However, for technical and economic reasons these same diagnostic approaches have not been used in the design/operations of desalination facilities. Traditional particle surface charge analyzers often do not reliably operate in high-ionic-strength water and traditional AOC methods can cost over $400 per sample. Therefore, reliable operation of coagulation resulting in stable, high quality feed water, for reverse osmosis membranes, has been very difficult to achieve. The fate of organic carbon in desalination American Water conducted a study to evaluate the fate of organic carbon in desalination pretreatment processes, specifically the removal of assimilable organic carbon (AOC) and total organic carbon during desalination pretreatment. To accomplish this objective, the research followed several distinct but interrelated tasks. The first was development and refinement of a method to measure assimilable organic carbon (AOC) in salt water to enable more timely evaluations of biofouling potential. This method was developed using a naturally occurring marine bacterium (Vibrio harveyi), and was refined in the lab using both natural and model waters. A model for the fate of AOC and its

impact on fouling was then created using operational data from the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Facility, a plant operated by American Water that has faced increased fouling rates. Because this was the first time that AOC has been measured in seawater using natural conditions and organisms, some context was needed to understand the results. To provide this, samples were collected from various points in the treatment trains from seven desalination plants with a wide geographical range. Several of these plants had been identified as being subject to biofouling. These samples were analyzed for AOC and total organic carbon (TOC) to examine the fate of organic matter through these plants. The last major task was a series of jar tests designed to identify coagulation conditions (coagulant type, dose and pH) that could be used to improve organic removal in the pretreatment step of two desalination plants. These were the Tampa Bay facility and a pilot plant on California’s Monterey Bay, operated by California American Water. When these tests showed that the plants were achieving maximum organic removal for feasible operations and for their design, additional jar tests were conducted to examine what continued overleaf...

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Kinecor and Peacock are now proud to be Wajax Industrial Components We are a nationwide distributor of industrial components providing technical solutions and services to all major industries across Canada. Over the years our company has forged itself through the contributions of numerous businesses, resulting in our present-day expertise. Kinecor, one of Wajax Corporation’s three divisions, will now share the Wajax name. The Wajax company has existed for over 150 years and is largely recognized within the industrial sector of the Canadian economy. Kinecor and Peacock will begin operating under the Wajax Industrial Components name on December 31st, 2011. Only the QDPHRIRXUIDFLOLWLHV¹KHDGRI¿FHGLVWULEXWLRQFHQWUHVDQGEUDQFKHV¹ will change; their locations will remain the same.

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Cover Story

Operator changes the reverse osmosis filters.

design and/or operating conditions would be required to achieve substantially higher results. An analytical method was developed that is useful for measuring AOC in saline waters. It uses V. harveyi, a marine organism that can utilize a diverse range of organic substrates. Additionally, development of the method has shown that the emitted light in the luminescence-based test was directly proportional to the biomass of the AOC organism in a sample. This new method can provide a lowercost alternative to monitoring biomass through traditional plate count methods. Because the test equipment can be automated to read the luminescence of multiple samples, the method provides both the maximum growth potential in the 14 | November 2011

water sample and the substrate uptake rate of the organic matter in the water. The test showed applicability to a wide range of raw and treated saline water sources. The utility of the marine AOC test was apparent when conducting both inter- and intrafacility testing, where this assay allowed comparisons of AOC across treatment trains, to examine the fate of AOC in different treatment processes. A mathematical model was developed for the Tampa Bay facility to examine factors that lead to increased pressure drops along the pressure vessels. The model included elements to account for flow rates, AOC concentration and substrate utilization rates. Using data from a single train of the plant (representative of the entire plant),

the model was calibrated to match existing operational data. Development of this model showed that increased pressures in the pressure vessels can be almost entirely explained by bacterial growth (biofouling). This points to the importance of AOC control through pretreatment. However, no direct correlations have been made between AOC concentrations and fouling rates. Test results Samples were collected from nine pilot or full-scale desalination facilities around the world. Based on these field samples, it was observed that the range of AOC and TOC in saline source waters varies widely. AOC in the raw waters ranged from <5 µg/L to nearly 500 µg/L. TOC in raw water ranged from <1 mg/L to >10 mg/L. Results from this study indicated that plants that use beach wells had lower raw water organic levels, i.e., AOC and TOC, than plants that use open water intakes. Consistent reductions in both AOC and AOC substrate utilization rates after the beach wells indicated higher-quality water and a reduced potential for biological fouling. Pretreatment at these desalination plants was found to be generally effective at removing AOC. Removal of TOC by pretreatment was generally poor (<10%). The one plant that achieved significant TOC removal uses brackish river water as the source, so the raw water has significantly lower salinity than at the other plants examined. Jar testing of plant inlet water from both Tampa Bay and Monterey Bay has shown that, under coagulation conditions used for control of SDI, little TOC removal was achieved. When applying “extreme” coagulation conditions in jar tests (ferric chloride doses up to 100 mg/L, oxidation with ozone up to 2 mg/mg TOC, or coagulation at pH 5), organic removal was increased. However, the benefits of increased organic removal on membrane fouling would have to be weighed against increased chemical costs and sludge production. It was found during the jar testing that the untreated seawater tested contained a substantial number of positively charged particles, unlike fresh waters, which contain virtually none. This seems to indicate that, although they were electrodynami-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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Cover Story 140

120

500 mg/L NaCl

500 mg/L Seawater

5,000 mg/L NaCl

5,000 mg/L Seawater

25,000 mg/L NaCl

25,000 mg/L Seawater

% TOC Removal

100

80

60

40

20

0 10

20

30 Ferric Chloride Dose (mg/L)

40

50

How the salt concentration harms organic removal. Source: Schneider et al. Š2011. Investigation of Organic Matter Removal in Saline Water By Pretreatment. Water Research Foundation. Reprinted with permission.

cally unstable, the particles were nonetheless stable in suspension. This was likely due to steric stabilization, probably caused by organic matter adsorbing to particle surfaces and preventing the particles from getting close enough for attractive van der Waals forces to dominate. Investigations using model waters showed that, as the salt concentration of water increased, the zeta potential of particles became less negative. When sodium chloride (NaCl) was used, no positive colloids were formed, even at NaCl concentrations of 25,000 mg/L (ap-

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proximately equal to the total dissolved solids of estuary water). When a commercially available seawater mix was used, positive colloids were found at high salt concentrations (25,000 mg/L). This seems to indicate that polyvalent cations (mostly magnesium and calcium) played an important role in the formation of these positive charges, probably due to complexation of the cations by organic functional groups. Jar testing with model waters showed that when sodium chloride was used as the background ionic matrix, higher salt

concentrations substantially increased coagulation performance by reducing the coagulant dose required for removal of turbidity and organic carbon. When the artificial seawater was used, low (500 mg/L) and moderate (5,000 mg/L) salt levels improved turbidity and organic carbon removal. However, at salt concentrations that approximated seawater (25,000 mg/L), organic carbon removal was retarded, compared to the lower-salt and no-salt conditions. When comparing TOC removal in the model waters at all coagulant doses tested, the percent removal of TOC was lower when the artificial seawater was used, than when sodium chloride was used as the ionic matrix. Results of these studies suggest that when terrestrial organic matter enters highly saline water, it undergoes complexation by magnesium and/or calcium to form soluble complexes that control its subsequent surface chemistry. When absorbed onto silts, these complexes become difficult to remove by charge neutralization, and may require separation by enmeshment. This will require high coagulant doses or coagulation at extremes of pH that affect the surface charge and allow for removal. Orren D. Schneider, Ph.D., P.E., Lauren Weinrich, Mark W. LeChevallier, Ph.D., and Eugenio Giraldo, Ph.D., are with American Water. For more information, E-mail: Julie.Scharle@amwater.com

November 2011 | 15


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Instrumentation

New water metering system solves a myriad of problems for Pelham

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he Town of Pelham is located between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in the heart of Ontario’s Niagara Region. Leading up to the summer of 2010, the Town faced issues that are familiar to many water utilities across Canada. Specifically, issues related to water billing and customer service were mounting, due to an antiquated water meter system. Billing and customer service functions rely on the accuracy of meter reading data. The Town’s issues stemmed from a mix of outdated technologies and failing meters. Meter reading errors and process inefficiencies, related to old direct read and pulser-based technologies, resulted in inaccurate data, an abundance of estimated bills, customer billing disputes, billing adjustments, and large sums of money being written off. Town staff planned to replace the old meters over a two year period but, despite their efforts, the target was impossible to meet. They knew the system needed a complete overhaul. Concerned that the existing program could take up to eight years to complete using only in-house staff, the Town opted for a an alternate approach. A time for change An upgrade of the existing system to radio frequency Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology was proposed to council. A Request for Proposal was issued in November 2009 for supply and installation services to replace 3,100 meters and to implement a new AMR system that would meet the Town’s current and future needs, including: • Timely and accurate billing; • Addressing the revenue loss factors in the billing system; • Addressing incorrect meter installations, illegal by-passes, inadequate plumbing, and resolving the issue of customers not accounted for in the billing system; • Moving from a reactive data entry role to a proactive customer service approach. Neptune Technology Group (Canada) was selected as the preferred vendor to provide complete turnkey project man16 | November 2011

Figure 1. The percentage of accounts to the days of leak, based on a Town of Pelham’s recent reading cycle.

agement services for the supply and installation of E-Coder)R900i meters. The Town valued Neptune’s single-source integrated service approach which included project management, installation services, appointment setting and call centre services, public communication, data management, and meter reading system integration. The project began in April 2010 and was completed on time. With the new E-Coder)R900i meters fully operational, the benefits were immediate: 1. Addressing water loss - The meter replacement program has resulted in the discovery of significant water losses. The Town is now collecting all of the revenue that it is entitled to bill for. The AMR system improved accountability as reading accuracy issues, caused by discrepancies between the outside visual remote versus the inside meter register, have now been eliminated. The water loss factor was around 20% prior to the program; post replacement, these levels have already been reduced by 10%. 2. Reading and billing efficiencies - All meters are now read by radio frequency. Using only one reader, Town staff can obtain all residential readings in less than a day by simply driving through subdivisions with the meter reading equipment. In comparison, the previous meter read-

ing process took over 15 days and contract fees were paid to an outside consultant for the service. The Town now has the ability to read as often as it wants, and has chosen to bill every two months instead of quarterly. The data entry process prior to the upgrade took a full week. Currently, the water meter readings are stored in Neptune’s software system, ARB® N_SIGHT™ Mobile, and are automatically uploaded to the Town’s accounting system. This facilitates faster delivery of reading and billing services and reduces costs. 3. Proactive customer service - With the E-Coder)R900i, the Town can now use mobile radio frequency based technology to access the features and benefits that could otherwise only be offered by an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system. One of the objectives was to increase the value of the service provided to residents by transitioning the Town’s role, from a position of reactive data entry, to one of proactive customer service. When selecting an AMR system, the Town valued the advanced meter information provided by the E-Coder)R900i meter including its ability to provide leak, backflow, and tamper detection. The Town now has the ability to easily generate a report that flags leaks, backflow, and continued overleaf...

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:15 PM Page 17

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Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:15 PM Page 18

Instrumentation

Figure 2. The percentage of accounts to the leak status.

no flow on a per account basis. 4. Days of leak. - Based on a recent reading cycle of 4,230 accounts, the Days of Leak status flag indicated that 6.0% of the accounts were showing a continuous or intermittent leak for the last 35 days (equivalent to 258 accounts). Additionally,

18 | November 2011

45% of the accounts reported no form of a leak, indicating that the remaining 2,314 accounts developed a leak with varying degrees of severity. (Figure 1) The “leak status in the last 24 hour period” for all 4,230 accounts indicated that 15% (603 accounts) developed either an

intermittent leak or a continuous leak. (Figure 2) It is the Town’s goal to use the valueadded information provided by the ECoder flags to proactively communicate with residents. The Town is considering options such as mass voicemail to alert customers with potential leaks. In the cases of flags that indicate a potential meter tamper or a backflow occurrence, the Town now has the information to initiate an investigation and corrective action, if necessary. Value of system is growing As meter technology evolves and the expectations of utility customers increase, the value and impact of the meter reading system continues to grow. In some cases, as in Pelham, finance and customer service are driving these types of programs forward and directly impacting the type of information required from the metered system to better service the end-customer. For more information, E-mail: dmcnichol@neptunetg.com

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Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-12-02 7:35 PM Page 19

January/February 2012 issue INCLUDES DIRECTOR & BUYERSY ’ GUIDE Get your marketing plans off to a great start by advertising in ES&E's January/February 2012 issue. This issue will include our 24th annual Directory & Buyers' Guide. It is acknowledged by key specifiers as the most comprehensive and useful reference source of its kind in Canada. ES&E's Directory has a long shelf-life as a reference source, so advertising in it is a cost-effective way to reach Canada's environmental professionals for a full twelve months. As a bonus, advertisers taking a one-quarter page colour ad – or more – receive a free Product & Service Showcase item, as well as a logo and 50 word description with their free directory listing. These bonuses are worth almost $700.00!

ES&E's Directory and Buyers' Guide is Canada's largest and most comprehensive reference source of its kind for environmental specifiers. • Directory of environmental consulting engineers. • Directory of manufacturers and suppliers. • Directory of laboratories serving the environmental field. • Itemized lists of environmental products, equipment and services. This valuable reference source makes the issue a 'keeper' and unquestionably your best advertising buy of the year.

Bonus Circulation at: Globe 2012

• Biosolids management • Confined space entry • Coping with water-borne diseases • Environmental law • Greenhouse gases • Groundwater remediation • Hazardous waste management • Industrial wastewater • Infrastructure rehabilitation • Instrumentation • Sewer use control programs • Stormwater management • Taste and odour control • Water and wastewater plant optimization • Water reuse programs

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Contact us to reserve ad space, or for further details. Penny Davey Ext. 26 E-mail: penny@esemag.com

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Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:15 PM Page 20

Infrastructure

Increasing the service life of concrete water and wastewater structures By Les Faure

C

oncrete is the world’s most widely used building material for a variety of applications, including wastewater treatment systems. This makes economic and environmental sense, as long as the concrete is protected from deterioration. Then, the wastewater treatment system, including concrete pipes and manholes, enjoys a longer service life. Despite all the advantages concrete offers, its porous nature renders it permeable to liquids and gases. Consequently, it is susceptible to deterioration by water penetration and by acid produced by hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) in sewer pipes. A time-tested waterproofing solution by Xypex® Chemical Corp., in Vancouver, for both new and existing concrete, is crystalline technology, which has been used in thousands of projects in more than 70 countries. Crystalline technology is permanent, easy to use and economical. With crystalline technology, water is used in the capillary tracts as a diffusing medium to carry waterproofing chemicals into the concrete. These chemicals migrate through the waterways of the saturated pore network, where they react and grow insoluble, needle-like crystals that plug the pores. Within a few weeks of crystal growth, liquids can no longer pass through and the transmission of gases is restricted. The effect is permanent. In fact, the technology self-seals new micro-cracks if and when they occur, even years after the original application. Crystalline waterproofing can be easily introduced into new concrete as an admixture, a dry-shake product or a surface-applied coating. For existing (i.e., cured) concrete, surface-applied coatings are used. The technology is non-toxic, contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and is NSF 61-approved for potable water by NSF International. H2S – the Achilles heel The Achilles heel for concrete structures in sanitary sewers and wastewater treatment plants is H2S gas, which not only causes a “rotten egg” odour, but also 20 | November 2011

Crystalline technology has been used in thousands of projects in more than 70 countries.

results in chemical attack and corrosion. Control of H2S is a major concern for managers of wastewater collection systems, especially in warm climates, or in systems with low velocity. If a concrete sewer is only partially full, the damp surface above the water line is an open invitation to aerobic bacteria that oxidize the H2S and produce sulphuric acid. This acid attacks the calcium hydroxide and calcium silicate hydrate in concrete. Corrosion is most severe at the crown of the pipe, where the acid collects. This leads to a weakening of the pipe and, if left unattended, can also cause a collapse. The key is low water permeability and keeping out bacteria that cause the problem. The chemical formulations of crystalline waterproofing products are a manufacturer’s trade secret, but, in all cases, these materials react with the byproducts of cement hydration such as calcium hydroxide, (lime), and other minerals within the cement matrix. Growth of waterproofing crystals is a

gradual process, requiring two to three weeks to reach maturity. The result is the formation of a microscopic, mesh-like barrier as the crystals grow across the diameter of the concrete’s pores, plugging them against the flow of liquids, and even against extreme hydrostatic pressure. Although crystal formation largely matures in two to three weeks, the process can continue virtually as long as there is water in the concrete. Cessation usually occurs due to natural drying of the concrete. The reaction effectively never runs out of lime, meaning that, if water re-enters the concrete years later, it automatically reactivates the waterproofing chemicals, and new crystallization begins. Testing for effectiveness The effectiveness of crystalline waterproofing in the field is backed up by extensive independent laboratory testing for

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-12-02 7:35 PM Page 21

Infrastructure permeability, crack-sealing and chemical resistance. Permeability testing in accordance with US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) CRD C-48-73, Permeability of Concrete, demonstrated that crystallinetreated concrete could withstand up to 123 m of head pressure, or 1.2 MPa (megapascals), which was the limit of the testing apparatus. At the micro-level, shrinkage-cracking from drying potentially creates passageways for moisture infiltration. If they occur while crystals are still forming, micro-cracks up to 0.4 mm can be bridged. If they occur later and allow water infiltration, the water reactivates the waterproofing chemicals, making the concrete self-healing on a microscale. Crystalline admixtures require no expertise or additional labour on the part of the contractor, as they are added to the ready-mix truck at the batch plant. Curing of the concrete is simultaneous with that of the waterproofing application. Dosage is generally in the range of 1–3% of cement content by weight. Concrete with crystalline waterproofing can achieve higher compressive strength than similar “standard” mixes. Results vary with the dosage. The dry-shake method is installed on new slabs after the concrete reaches initial set. Powder is applied onto the wet surface and then trowelled in evenly. Surface-applied coating is appropriate for new concrete and is the only method available for existing concrete. For new concrete, it is preferable to apply it as soon as forms are stripped. If the surface is dry, it must be re-wetted before application (to use water as the delivery system to introduce the crystalline chemicals into the concrete). In Canada, crystalline waterproofing products have been used extensively in water and wastewater construction. Some recent examples are projects such as the $430-million Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Calgary, which can treat up to 100 megalitres of wastewater per day, and the Seymour-Capilano Water Filtration Plant in Metro Vancouver.

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www.esemag.com

November 2011 | 21


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 2:14 PM Page 22

Ecosystems

How climate change is affecting the Great Lakes By Dr. Elaine MacDonald

M

ore than 35 million people in the US and Canada rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water. The lakes also support fishing, shipping and other industries. It is well known that they have suffered under the stress of excessive pollution, invasive species and industrial development. Binational efforts to restore the Great Lakes to their former glory have yielded some improvements over the past few decades. But climate change may change that, according to former US vice-president Al Gore, during an address to the International Joint Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement biennial meeting. Gore told how climate change is warming the water and bringing more frequent heavy rainfall, aggravating existing problems in the Great Lakes. The intensity of these storms overwhelms our municipal infrastructure, leading to increased overflows that spill sewage and other contaminants into our water. Intense storms also lead to greater runoff, which carries fertilizers containing phosphorus into the Great Lakes. We're beginning to see the impacts. A blue green algae bloom has formed on parts of Lake Erie and is visible from space. What does this mean? Blue green algae produces multiple toxins, including some that are unsafe for animals, fish and people. Wildlife and pets have died after ingesting the algae. When it breaks down, it releases its toxin into the water and potentially into our drinking water. Floating like a fluorescent green mat on the water, the algae also collects on the shoreline in stinking heaps and makes the beach a dangerous place to walk a dog or let children play. It also depletes oxygen levels in the water, making it impossible for fish to survive and thus harming one of the world's best areas for freshwater fishing. Making progress US President Barack Obama has set aside US$350-million for Great Lakes clean-up in 2012, after budgeting US$225-million for this year. Unfortu22 | November 2011

The Lake Erie commercial fishing industry produces two-thirds of Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total Great Lakes harvest, according to some sources.

View of the toxic algal bloom in Lake Erie from space (NASA).

nately, no similar funding announcements have come from Canada's federal government. What is Ecojustice doing? Ecojustice has worked diligently on Great Lakes issues for many years, including sewage overflows and the use of green infrastructure to reduce runoff, water conservation, industrial wastewater regulation, air pollution discharges, and invasive species prevention. Most recently, we have participated in the long and drawn-out review of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, a 1972 binational plan signed by Canada and the US that sought to protect and re-

store the Great Lakes. We share the agreement's goal for the Great Lakes but feel the review failed to include meaningful public consultation, dismissed important questions, and provided little information about proposed changes to the agreement. Based on the little information available, we are concerned the new agreement won't live up to the needs of the Great Lakes. Dr. MacDonald is a staff scientist with Ecojustice. For more information, visit www.ecojustice.ca

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 2:14 PM Page 23

Ecosystems

Ocean floor data could help predict climate change

N

ew research from the University of Missouri indicates that Atlantic Ocean temperatures during the greenhouse climate of the Late Cretaceous Epoch were influenced by circulation in the deep ocean. “We are examining ocean conditions from several past greenhouse climate intervals so that we can understand better the interactions among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biosphere and climate,” said Kenneth MacLeod, professor of geological sciences in the College of Arts and Science. “The Late Cretaceous Epoch is a textbook example of a greenhouse climate on earth, and we have evidence that a northern water mass expanded southwards while the climate was cooling. At the same time, a warm, salty water mass that had been present throughout the greenhouse interval disappeared from the tropical Atlantic.” The study found that at the end of the Late Cretaceous greenhouse interval, water

sinking around Greenland was replaced by surface water flowing north from the South Atlantic. This change caused the North Atlantic to warm while the rest of the globe cooled. The change started about five million years before the asteroid impact that ended the Cretaceous Period. To track circulation patterns, the researchers focused on “neodymium,” an element that is taken up by fish teeth and bones when a fish dies and falls to the ocean floor. MacLeod said the ratio of two isotopes of neodymium acts as a natural tracking system for water masses. In the area where a water mass forms, the water takes on a neodymium ratio like that in rocks on nearby land. As the water moves through the ocean, though, that ratio changes little. Because the fish take up the neodymium from water at the seafloor, the ratio in the fish fossils reflects the values in the area where the water sank into the deep ocean. Looking at changes through time and at many sites allowed the scientists to track water mass movements. Marathon Marathon Fluid Fluid Systems Systems Ltd. Ltd. 1184 84 Halifax Halifax Street Street M Moncton, oncton, N NB B E E1C 1C 99S2 S2 P Phone: hone: 5506-867-8826 06-867-8826 A Atlantic tlantic P Provinces rovinces

While high atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide caused Late Cretaceous warmth, MacLeod notes that ocean circulation influenced how that warmth was distributed around the globe. Further, ocean circulation patterns changed significantly as the climate warmed and cooled. “Understanding the degree to which climate influences circulation and vice versa is important today because carbon dioxide levels are rapidly approaching levels most recently seen during ancient greenhouse times,” said MacLeod. For more information, visit: http://munews.missouri.edu/ Erratum Two of the authors of the article entitled “Analyzing a complex oil spill at an Ottawa hospital”, which ran in ES&E’s Sept/Oct 2011 issue, were incorrectly shown as working for exp Services Inc. Kathy O’Neill and Philippe Marleau work for the Montfort Hospital in Ottawa. E-mail: dan.mcnicoll@exp.com.

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Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 2:15 PM Page 24

Guest Comment

Contaminant levels - how safe is safe? By Dr. George Duncan

O

ntario’s revisions to Reg. 153/04 came into effect on July 1, and already costs for everything from Phase I Environmental Site Assessments to site cleanups have taken a quantum leap upwards. Consultants, banks, lawyers and cleanup crews are all scrambling to meet the onerous demands of the revised regulation. Perhaps the greatest impact of the revised regulation has been from lowering maximum allowable levels of contaminants in soil and groundwater. Cleanup costs have increased greatly and a switchover to expensive and time-consuming risk assessments has become necessary. Site owners who already had a “Record of Site Condition” (RSC) in place before July 1, 2011, knew that their sites were protected against any demands by the government to clean up to the new standards, so they weren’t worried by the lowered standards. Unfortunately, it appears that no one in the Ontario government thought to check with banks and other financial institutions to see if they would be willing to finance sites that have an “old” RSC that doesn’t meet the new standards. Judging by recent events, it looks like they aren’t. What was a serious concern to many consultants before July 1st has become a troublesome reality. A growing number of development projects have ground to a halt because of an inability to finance the project, unless the site is brought up to July 1st standards. Lending agencies are refusing to lend money on what they consider to be a “contaminated” site, under the new rules. Implications of this impasse are farreaching, because they cast a worrisome shadow over every site that has been assessed and/or cleaned up under the old rules. It doesn’t matter that you spent $2 million cleaning up your site only a few years ago; if it doesn’t meet today’s rules 24 | November 2011

An abandoned Packard automobile factory.

you may not qualify for additional financing. Your only consolation is that, under the new rules, your old RSC will prevent the government from demanding another cleanup; that is, provided no one has found a new contaminant on your site that wasn’t included in your old RSC. In that case, you are back on the hook to meet the new rules! But what if you didn’t bother getting an RSC a few years ago after you had your site cleaned up? Not surprisingly, many site owners, realtors and lawyers are blissfully unaware of what a Record of Site Condition is. An RSC is only legally required when you intend to redevelop a site from a less to a more environmentally sensitive use, such as commercial to residential. Also, you must have one in place before a building permit will be issued. But that’s no comfort to a site owner who faithfully did all their environmental due diligence when they mortgaged the property some years ago and are now being told they can’t sell it without spending more money on another cleanup, due to the new lower maximum allowable levels. That seems grossly unfair! Environmentalists will no doubt protest that “we must do all we can to protect the environment”, but how much of a threat is 150 µg/g of copper in a downtown commercial soil (0.000141%) or 0.06 µg/g of chloroform (0.0000006%)? Both of these exceed current allowable limits and may trigger a cleanup or risk assessment. If you think that’s bad, the allowable levels in

groundwater are 87 µg/L for copper and 2.4 µg/L for chloroform. That translates roughly to 0.000087% for copper and 0.0000024% for chloroform. Compare those with the recommended limits for copper in drinking water, which are 1000 µg/L and up to100 µg/L for chloroform. Therefore, groundwater on your site could be quite fit for drinking, but would fail to meet the allowable site limit. So, you would have to clean it up before you can get financing for redevelopment! One of the major human health factors widely applied in the establishing of limits is an increased cancer risk of not more than one in a million. But, how many people are going to develop cancer on any commercial/industrial site from exposure through contact with, or ingestion of, soil that exceeds this limit. How long do they have to be exposed? We all want to be safe, but how safe is safe and at what cost? Some may say that one cancer is too many, but the same argument could be made for reducing the speed limit on our freeways to 10 km/hr. Have we become so “envirophobic” that we simply accept lower and lower limits in the name of greater and greater environmental purity? Where will we be in another ten years? Lower still, or simply bankrupt? Dr. George Duncan is with A&A Environmental Consultants, E-mail: gduncan@aaenvironmental.ca

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:33 PM Page 25

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Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:16 PM Page 26

Water Treatment

Automatic self-cleaning screen filters help increase potable water supply in northern Alberta By Marcus Alhands

N

orthern Sunrise County is a picturesque municipal district in northern Alberta offering over 21,000 square kilometres of adventure and exploration in a pristine landscape. Located 485 km north of Edmonton, it is a short drive south of Peace River. Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets, museums, hunting, fishing, golfing, camping, early Native American re-enactments, the Harmon Valley Rodeo, many parks and a winter carnival, make this a year-round vacation spot. Steady growth in population, industry and tourism has caused higher demands for potable water in the County, exceeding capacity of the two local water treatment plants. In 2004, the county decided to initiate a program to lower demand on potable water for non-potable uses. One aspect of this program was to discourage the use of potable water by farmers for irrigation, by providing them with a ready source of non-potable irrigation water. For this purpose, 150-micron, manually cleaned strainer baskets were installed in two locations. The problem with the filtered water was that it was still not clean enough. To conserve water, irrigation systems in use today have micro-spray emitters close to the ground that spray a fine mist of water onto crops. This method increases irrigation efficiency by directing most of the water onto the ground right around the plants, to cover the root zone, while minimizing drift and evaporation losses. Because these micro-spray emitters have such small orifices, water must be free of all solid particles that could cause clogging. Throughout Northern Sunrise County, stormwater and spring runoff is collected in ponds and basins, called dugouts. This water picks up sand, grit and wind-blown debris, making it unfit for modern waterconserving irrigation systems. Some farmers may soon start using drip irrigation technology, which is more efficient than micro-spray emitters, but is even more dependent on high water quality. If the water provided to farmers by the 26 | November 2011

Figure 1. ORIVAL ORG-040-LS pilot filter.

County is not clean enough, they will simply go back to using potable water for irrigation purposes, increasing the strain on the public water supplies. A better filtration system was needed, but only highquality filtration equipment can remove both heavy solids such as sand and lighter organics like algae. The solution Orival Inc. was contacted for an automatic self-cleaning filtration solution. The A.R. Thomson Group, the western Canada representative for Orival, became involved right away providing design and service assistance to the County. An ORG/A-040-LS Automatic SelfCleaning Filter, with a 50-micron weavewire stainless steel screen, was installed as a pilot filter to determine feasibility. Figure 1 shows the pilot filter after installation. Farmers simply pull up to a dugout with their tanker trucks and fill up with water to haul back to their fields for irrigation. The filtration system sits between the pump and truck, assuring high water quality for the most stringent irrigation system. Filter operation Water passes into the filter body at the bottom, as shown in Figure 2, and then through the 50-micron cylindrical screen element from inside out. Suspended solids larger than 50 micron are retained on the screen surface and soon build up a layer called a filter cake. The openings between particles in this filter cake are

smaller than 50 microns, so the filter cake acts as a filter medium capturing smaller and smaller particles. When a differential pressure switch senses a sustained pressure drop of 7 psi across the filter, it signals the controller to initiate a rinse cycle. A rinse valve (1â&#x20AC;? on this filter model) opens the internal rinse chamber to atmosphere, dropping the pressure in the chamber. Water wants to move from the high-pressure filtering chamber to the rinse chamber, but can only do so by passing into nozzles on the dirt collector and out the hydraulic motor in the rinse chamber. This water movement causes the hydraulic motor to rotate the dirt collector. Nozzle openings are so close to the screen element, that water rushes backwards through the screen (from clean side to dirty side) in a very small area at high velocity. This pulls filter cake off the screen, into the nozzles, through the dirt collector, into the rinse chamber and out the rinse valve to a convenient drain. A piston on top of the filter is normally pressurized by water pressure, holding the dirt collector down to its lowest position. During the rinse cycle this pressure is bled off, allowing the dirt collector to be slowly pushed upward by pressure in the filter chamber. The combination of rotation and upward linear movement causes the nozzles to pass every square inch of screen area, assuring a clean screen. After about 12 seconds, the cleaning cycle is complete and the rinse valve closes. The dirt collector stops rotating and the piston is re-pressurized to place the dirt collector back into its lower starting position. While all this is happening, the filter continues to supply clean filtered water downstream to the truck without interruption. The results Samples are taken to conduct water quality analyses, in order to assure farmers of trouble-free water. Water coming out of the filter tested at 1.1 NTU, which is just over the Alberta drinking water

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:16 PM Page 27

Water Treatment standard by 0.1 NTU with no chemical treatment. The results of this pilot test have been so convincing that a second Orival filter was purchased and set up as a fully automatic self-cleaning filtration system requiring no operator intervention. The pilot unit will be incorporated into the local treated water reservoir building, with a new submersible pump that has sufficient output to make the unit fully automatic as well. Supply at the pilot location is from two dug-outs formerly feeding the small drinking water plant. A heated building and large supply means this site could remain open year-round for industrial and firefighting use. The rural dug-out location will be seasonal only. More automatic filters are to be purchased as the program expands, and the county is considering a by-law that will require all agricultural water to come from filtered dugouts. Marcus Allhands, Ph.D., P.E., is with Orival Inc. E-mail:ma@orival.com

Figure 2. ORIVAL ORG cutaway.

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Terratec Environmental Ltd. is pleased to announce the appointment of Graham Wathen to the position of Business Development Manager. Graham has 13 years of experience in the industrial and municipal wastewater marketplace in European and N. American markets. He has been involved in project and operational management as well as senior business development roles. He will be an integral part of Terratec’s business development strategies in Canada and USA as well as the company’s work in the bioenergy market. Terratec, one of Canada’s largest biosolids management companies, provides environmentally sustainable, economical and reliable solutions for municipal and industrial residuals, including land application, mineland and quarry rehabilitation, nursery application, pelletizing, nutrient management plan development and biogas purification and reuse.

To learn more,

Call: (905)544-0444, or E-mail: graham.wathen@amwater.com

www.terratec.amwater.com November 2011 | 27


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Biowaste Management

Ozone based technology designed for the treatment and disposal of biohazardous waste By John Treleaven

D

isposal of biohazardous material has long been a serious and costly problem for hospitals, clinics, research institutes, bio-industries, airports, ports and other generators of biohazardous and regulated medical waste. Until now, incineration, heat, steam or dangerous chemicals have been the only way to treat many of these wastes. Not only are these processes costly, but they leave a high carbon footprint. A new, ozone-based technology called Ozonator NG-1000 solves many of these problems while reducing the costs and environmental impact of disposing of medical and biohazardous waste, with “zero” emissions. Ozone, the triatomic form of oxygen (O3), has been used as a sterilizing agent for more than 100 years. Unlike breathable diatomic oxygen (O2), ozone is very unstable, and decays back into O2 within about 30 minutes under normal atmospheric conditions. Ozone is able to oxidize a number of molecules, including metals, nitrogen oxides, carbon, ammonia and sulphides. It is effective in killing essentially all known pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and prions. It does not promote resistance and leaves no residues. Ozone is of particular value as a disinfectant, as it is able to promote the oxidation of carbon-carbon double bonds (C=C), which are found in many biological molecules and in other types of organic compounds, most notably pharmaceuticals. The Ozonator NG-1000, developed by Peter Klaptchuk, president of Ozonator Industries Ltd., based in Regina, Saskatchewan, is a complete, standalone technology that is said to be simple to install, operate and maintain. Klaptchuk, who has been in the biohazardous waste business for more than 30 years, explains how it works: “The Ozonator NG-1000 is a self-contained processing system that produces ozone by extracting oxygen from ambient air to sterilize medical and biohazardous 28 | November 2011

The Ozonator NG-1000.

waste. In addition, the system shreds the waste to reduce volume by up to 90%. This ensures optimal exposure to the high concentration of ozone that is injected into the treatment chamber, and any residual ozone is converted back to oxygen. “The system is certified 6 log10 reduction (99.9999%), cost-effective, zeroemission, energy-efficient and an environmentally sustainable waste treatment technology for medical and other biohazardous waste, including airport and quarantine waste. Each cycle, which lasts 15 minutes, can process up to 200 kg (440 lb) or 27 cu ft of waste. The system can operate continuously and uninterrupted, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.” The NG-1000 processing unit requires a space of 12 ft by 43 ft and a height of 17.5 ft (the size of a typical trash compactor), a small amount of electricity (8 kWh per cycle), pure water (less than 2 litres per hour) and compressed air to process up to 800 kg of waste per hour. The Ozonator NG-1000 can be used effectively with the following types of waste: • Cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biological waste. • Liquid human and animal waste, including blood and blood products and body fluids.

• • • • •

Pathological waste. Contaminated waste from animals. Sharps. Anatomical waste. Quarantined waste (airports and border protection). • General waste (hospital ward or kitchen waste, etc.). Asked if there are there any types of waste that cannot be treated by this system, Klaptchuk replies that, “the Ozonator is designed to treat medical and biohazardous waste. Other hazardous wastes (chemicals and flammables) should still be handled by an approved recycling waste stream.” Dr. Colin D. Rasmussen, who has a Ph.D. in cell biology, participated in the Ozonator project by reviewing the technology and then facilitating the application for world patents. In his review, Dr. Rasmussen stated that, “the Ozonator system will provide an automated method of treating and disposing of biomedical waste. As handling is minimized, so is the risk of infection to workers. Ozone is not only effective against prions, but against conventional pathogens like bacteria and viruses as well. The finished treated material will be safer to handle than waste treatment by conventional methods. In addition, as

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Biowaste Management ozone dissipates into the atmosphere where it naturally transforms back to oxygen, its use does not pose an environmental risk.â&#x20AC;? Ease of operation Staff can be trained to operate the unit in less than 60 minutes through the fully automated touch screen control. No specialized training or technical qualifications are required. The on-board monitoring system is self-calibrating, and the programmable logic control (PLC) unit monitors all functions and records and saves the data. Through the display panel, all functions can be monitored in real time. The process is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;closedâ&#x20AC;? system, so exposure and risk to the operator and the environment is very low. Without the use of pressure, heat, steam or dangerous chemicals, with no waste to drain, no emissions and no odour, the process is clean and safe. So, the technology can be installed in hospital settings, transfer stations, airports, correctional facilities and other locations. It can be used as an onsite solution or as part of a commercial service or even a regional solution for generators of biohazardous, quarantined and regulated medical waste. An integrated security system ensures that only authorized staff can operate the unit. Data loggers record information on the operator, time of day, load weight and any other parameters that may be required, into the on-board computer for later use or retrieval via the Internet. According to Klaptchuk, the system requires very little maintenance. Weekly routine inspection and cleaning takes about one hour, while a more in-depth inspection is performed every three months. The technology is designed and built for a 20-plus-year service life. Treatment process The Ozonator technology processes biohazardous waste at room temperature. The critical factor in the treatment process is the level of ozone (up to 9,500 ppm) that is injected into the treatment chamber. The built-in PLC unit ensures that the required level of ozone is achieved in the treatment chamber and will not allow a cycle to be completed unless this level is reached and maintained for approximately 10 minutes. Disinfection by ozone occurs through the rupture of the cell wall. An ozone www.esemag.com

nucleic acid core, resulting in damage to the viral RNA. At high concentrations, ozone destroys the capsid or exterior protein shell by oxidation. The Ozonator can process up to 200 kg of waste every 15 minutes, but there is no minimum quantity of waste required to run a cycle. Waste can be processed as it becomes available, thereby reducing the need for storage and refrigeration. Following processing, the treated and

level of only 0.4 ppm for four minutes has been shown to kill any bacteria, virus, mould and fungus. Ozone will inactivate viruses on contact, even at very low residual concentrations. For polio, only 0.012 ppm removes all viral cells in less than 10 seconds. Viruses are small, independent particles, built of crystals and macromolecules. Unlike bacteria, they multiply only within the host cell. Ozone destroys them by diffusing through the protein coat into the

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November 2011 | 29


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:16 PM Page 30

Biowaste Management sterilized waste (compacted and stored in a stainless steel detachable bin) can be transported to municipal landfills as general waste or used as fuel in a waste-toenergy facility. Processed medical waste has a calorific value of 36.4 MJ/kg at about 20% moisture, based on testing re-

monthly basis, biological indicators are used to confirm that the process is achieving sterilization. Requirements for testing may vary by jurisdiction. Safety assurance The Ozonator has been designed using the best engineering practices (ISO

All critical process parameters are continuously monitored using closed-loop control to ensure feedback, and proper sequential process logic is present during the cycle. sults from Cardiff University in Wales. Ozone destruct units incorporated into the design convert any surplus ozone back into diatomic oxygen before venting. The Ozonator incorporates fail-safe devices for measuring and monitoring the operating atmosphere for levels of ozone. Radiation detection can be installed to monitor the raw waste stream entering the processing area to safeguard against the accidental processing of radioactive waste. Daily efficacy testing is carried out using simple chemical indicators. On a

9001-2000) and with safety being a priority at all facets of design and construction. All critical process parameters are continuously monitored using closedloop control to ensure feedback, and proper sequential process logic is present during the cycle. This allows users to see, know and understand exactly what has occurred each step of the way and in every load of waste that is treated. From initiation to completion, each cycle is fully monitored and documented in the background. On the

operator’s screen, a simple message, indicating “cycle process step completed”, ensures that critical data has been recorded and that the waste has been properly treated. Should a leak occur in the primary treatment chamber, the Ozonator has a secondary containment chamber to capture any escaping ozone, which is then destroyed by the on-board ozone destruct unit. Approval for the use of the Ozonator technology as an alternative and safe technology for the treatment of biohazardous waste (including anatomical and pathological waste) has been received within US jurisdictions in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. The process has also been reviewed and approved by ETV Canada, the State of California, and Health Care Without Harm, as well as other regulating authorities and jurisdictions. John Treleaven C.I.T.P. is with the Treleaven Consulting Group. For more information, E-mail: rsheldrick@ozonatorindustries.com

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30 | November 2011

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-12-02 7:35 PM Page 31

Stockholm Water Prize

Nature is the real economy of the world

T

he 2011 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, Professor Stephen R. Carpenter believes that the need to deal with large catastrophic events such as floods and droughts will make us rethink how our landscapes and institutions are built. On August 25, 2011 he received his prize from H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden during a ceremony in Stockholm. He caught everyone’s attention when he said: “Nature is the real economy of the world.” Carpenter is currently Director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stephen Alfred Forbes Professor of Zoology. He is recognized as one of the world’s most influential environmental scientists in the field of ecology. By combining theoretical models and large-scale lake experiments, he has re-framed scientific knowledge of freshwater environments and how lake ecosystems are impacted by humans and the surrounding landscape.

Dr. Carpenter, left received his prize from H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

tering a lake in order to overcome water quality problems, but that one might need to change the composition of the fish community as well. Professor Carpenter’s research has proved to have broad applicability to other ecosystems than lakes. For more information, visit www.siwi.org

Dr. Carpenter is well known for his research on trophic cascades in lakes.

“As a young scientist I was deeply interested in why lakes function the way they do and why questions drive an interdisciplinary view. Limnology brings together physics, chemistry and biology, so it’s naturally interdisciplinary,” he explains. Carpenter is well known for his research on trophic cascades in lakes – a concept which describes how impacts on any species in an ecosystem will cascade down, or up, the food chain. For example, overfishing of large fish in a lake can result in an increase of small fish, thus decreasing the abundance of zooplankton further down the food chain. This would increase the growth of algae and amplify the effects of eutrophication. If large fish are introduced into a lake, the opposite effect will cascade down the food chain. These findings have influenced concrete strategies for dealing with eutrophication in different areas around the world and have provided a practical framework for the management of fresh-water resources. This resulted in the understanding that it might not be enough to reduce the quantity of nutrients enwww.esemag.com

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November 2011 | 31


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Stormwater Management

Using new precast concrete products for stormwater management By A. Grant Lee and Nathalie Lasnier

N

ew opportunities are emerging for concrete pipe and boxes to bridge the technology gap between policy related to climate change and implementation in the form of new legislation, rules and guidelines. It is well understood that management and harvesting of stormwater and snow melt, along with potable water conservation, are fundamental considerations in new development and redevelopment projects. The products and materials used for stormwater management are varied, providing the system designer with a wide range of choice. Consideration of Low Impact Development (LID) devices and systems by municipalities is appearing more frequently in planning for and rehabilitating stormwater management systems. LID may include products like pervious pavement, and integrated tree, soil and rainwater retention systems under roadways and parking lots. Such projects involve some form of drainage. Precast concrete products are ideal for stormwater management, because of the different shapes available for various installations. Performance of low risk concrete systems is reliable, and components that make up the systems can be produced with different strengths. In Canada, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB), made up of senior government executives and experts in government financial reporting, is an integral part of asset management that impacts the design of infrastructure. The outcome of financial reporting for PSAB is an evaluation of the value of urban infrastructure assets. One could argue that PSAB (and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 34 in the US) is partially responsible for greater care in selecting products for sewers and rehabilitation/replacement of old pipelines and culverts. Recharging groundwater supply by allowing stormwater to infiltrate is often a desired solution, but this requires a thorough site investigation. Among other con32 | November 2011

Precast concrete products are ideal for stormwater management, because of the different shapes available for various installations.

siderations, in situ soil percolation rates, impervious soils, or rock levels, have to be identified and characterized. Guidelines for runoff management (using infiltration products) usually recommend a one-metre zone between the bottom of the constructed infiltration system and the recharged groundwater level. Groundwater recharge calculations have characteristics similar to calculations for wastewater leachate field construction. The one-metre zone helps ensure that contaminated stormwater will not be in direct contact with groundwater. Engineered solutions Criteria needed to be incorporated in the typical design of engineered solutions for stormwater management projects are addressed with precast concrete products. Hydraulics and the structural behaviour of concrete pipe and boxes are well documented. Circular concrete pipes are considered smooth walled for calculating

roughness coefficients, and studies have documented their hydraulic capacity. Structural calculations must be undertaken for buried infrastructure. SIDD-type (Standard Installation Direct Design) installations give design engineers a broad range of possibilities, from cost-effective installations with SIDD Type 4 (that rely mostly on the inherent strength of rigid concrete pipe), to the most structural-dependent installation with SIDD Type1 that withstands very high fill heights. The SIDD model considers an embankment or trench installation. Safety factors, and a conservative design approach used in the SIDD model, can provide design engineers with a more than adequate comfort level for performance and durability. Watertight performance is also met with concrete pipe and other precast products. Sealing devices, such as rubber gaskets, can provide the level of water

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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Stormwater Management tightness specified for any runoff management project. Standardized hydrostatic tests performed on circular concrete pipes are undertaken at higher pressures than most competing pipe materials. These tests try to represent less than ideal installations and are conducted with joints opened, or with localized surcharges. Standards used by design engineers should reflect the quality control systems needed to not only meet the standard itself but to meet the performance expectation of the project. Mature standards have been in use for decades, and reviewed periodically. These standards specify, in a very complete way, the materials, dimensions, production processes, testing, tolerances, and marking requirements needed to provide acceptable products. In North America, many standardization bodies exist, and all of them have their own specifications for concrete pipe and precast products. These are published by CSA (Canadian Standards Association), BNQ (Bureau de normalisation du Québec), AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), ACI (American Concrete Institute), and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). Canadian standards for concrete pipe, manholes, materials and construction include CSA A23.4, CSA A257 series, BNQ 2622-126 and BNQ 2622-420. Certification programs are adopted in industry to complement the manufacturing standards, and evaluate quality control systems. For a stormwater management project, a product that is certified to meet a particular standard is an important part of the design, as well as an overall added value to the project. Otherwise, design engineers should specify the acceptable proof of compliance to the specified standard. The certification mark on the product means that compliance to the specified standard is regulated by an industry-wide quality system, and that third party audits are performed. Monitoring installations on-site and following installation standards are important to achieve a century-long service life of a pipeline or culvert. Concrete pipe and precast products offer that extra safety factor by having strength built-in, instead of relying solely on compacted soil and imported select material for www.esemag.com

structure. The shift to so-called “green” products, standards, specifications and best practices has opened the marketplace to new, alternative products and materials for managing runoff. Engineers should be aware of “green claims” and green washing of infrastructure products that by definition have to perform in the ground for generations. As in the distant past, concrete pipe producers are employing new technology, engaging in research and de-

velopment, and developing better standards and specifications to build standard products with service lives well beyond the 100-year mark. A.Grant Lee is manager of the Canadian Concrete Pipe Association. E-mail: glee@ccpa.com Nathalie Lasnier is Directrice générale of Tubécon (association of Québec concrete pipe producers). E-mail: nlasnier@tubecon.qc.ca

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November 2011 | 33


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:17 PM Page 34

Site Remediation

Mobile treatment allows different approach to brownfield management By Chris MacEachern

T

he historical approach to soil remediation for brownfield sites has generally focused on “dig and dump” methods. Industry experience suggests that roughly 10% of environmental projects go to some form of remediation. The general approach of responding to these remediation projects has included excavation and off-site disposal, as well as a number of ex situ and in situ options (bio-piling, product recovery, soil vapour extraction, bioventing and bioremediation, etc.). However, with the introduction of new, more stringent regulations and standards, there has been a shift to considering alternative and innovative remediation technologies that are not only sustainable and cost-effective, but also mobile. In fact, there are “sustainable mobility” solutions that have delivered, and are delivering, leading-edge technology to challenging sites across Canada.

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Alternative sustainable technologies, such as mobile soil washing systems, allow for the recycling of soils for reuse onsite. This can eliminate the need for trucks for both haulage of contaminated product off-site and haulage of clean backfill to the site, thereby reducing the carbon footprint. Water used in the mobile soil washing system is treated and reused in the system. Organic by-products can also be reused as a biofuel. These systems are scalable, with units sized to process various Contaminants of Concern (including semi-volatiles, fuels, heavy metals, VOCs, pesticides, and PCBs) from 5 to over 100 tonnes/hour. What is soil washing? Conventional Soil Washing is a technique for concentrating contaminants through separation, but it does not destroy or immobilize them. It is an ex situ process that treats contaminated soil through the physical separation of particles from each other, based on characteristics such as size, shape, density, and solubility. It operates on the principal that contaminants are associated with certain size fractions of soil particles and that these contaminants can be dissolved or suspended in a wash solution; removed by separating out clay and silt particles from the bulk material matrix; or, separated through physical differences between the contaminant and the soil. Enhanced Soil Washing involves the use of soluble and chemical processes to remove contaminants from the solid phase and convert them into more concentrated forms or less toxic forms in the liquid phase. The liquid phase is then treated and reused in the closed-loop system. Since each site tends to be unique in terms of contamination and site-specific soil characteristics, there is not a “one size Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:17 PM Page 35

Site Remediation www.ifat.de

fits all” solution when applying soil washing. Properties will vary based on the type of contamination present, the weathering effects of contaminants within a particular soil matrix, as well as the soil type present. In July 2010, Waterfront Toronto established the Port Lands Pilot Soil Recycling Facility as part of their soil management strategy and overall commitment to sustainability. The 10,000 m3 soil recycling pilot test, utilizing conventional soil washing as a primary technology, along with the testing of secondary technologies, showed that a “train” of treatment technologies were required to meet the new Ontario 2011 generic soil standards. Waterfront Toronto’s innovative approach to soil remediation and the pilot facility were recognized with a 2010 Canadian Urban Institute Brownie award. Case Study CleanEarth Technologies Inc. utilized sustainable mobility through soil washing on a 6,000 tonne project at a former Halifax Infirmary site. Remediation of the site was part of a demolition project, and as such, the technology had to operate within a small footprint. Metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were treated on site and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) were treated at a fixed facility due to client timing preferences. A processing rate greater than 100 tonnes per hour was achieved. Over 95% of metal and PAH-contaminated soils was treated to residential levels, and 100% of TPH-contaminated soil was treated to residential levels. This eliminated the need for an on-site containment cell for heavy metals. Also, significant trucking costs were saved. How can mobile soil washing benefit you? The ability to utilize multi-site, sustainable mobility solutions is not hindered by size. For larger sites, the technology allows for mobilization of an on-site soil washing treatment system (for example, from 50 to 100+ tonnes/hour). It is possible to reuse cleaned materials for backfilling on- or off-site. For a portfolio of large and small sites, the opportunity exists for larger sites to be the central processing area for the mobile soil washing treatment system. The system would then receive soils from smaller/restricted area sites. Cleaned materials can be reused for backfilling. For smaller/restricted area sites, the solution is a small-scale mobile unit (for example, 5 tonnes/hour). The shift to innovative remediation technologies and sustainable mobility has been significant. However, it should be noted that there are limitations to this innovative approach, including regulations related to the offproperty use of recycled soils; soil inputs with >50% clay content; and inert fill/clean fill guidelines (or lack thereof) versus brownfield soil standards. However, sustainable mobility solutions do exist for brownfield management, that are scalable to the nature of the project and are cost-competitive compared to conventional “dig and dump” methods. Chris MacEachern is with Tetra Tech. E-mail: chris.maceachern@tetratech.com

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November 2011 | 35


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:17 PM Page 36

Emergency Preparedness

Corrugated steel pipe has a long history of shelter use By Dave Penny

M

y old Labrador retriever was afraid of nothing, except storms. She could hear thunder long before I could and would immediately seek shelter. Going underground in a storm or extreme weather is natural for animals. Desert animals seek shelter from extreme heat, while northern species hibernate through the long winter months without freezing. On a recent trip with my grandchildren I found myself in a rented condominium watching an extreme storm approach. The local television station provided details of where tornadoes might touch down. With no basement to run to, we developed a plan to hide in the small, main floor bathroom if things became bad. It was when the local radio announcer said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;all people living in mobile homes get out now and seek shelterâ&#x20AC;?, that I knew there was a serious problem. The question was: Where do you go in the

36 | November 2011

Underground shelters constructed of corrugated steel pipe (CSP) provide immediate protection from storms.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:17 PM Page 37

Emergency Preparedness

In some cases, the corrugated steel pipe is installed vertically as a caisson with a hatch door on top.

middle of the night in the pouring rain? A number of communities, trailer parks, children’s camps and individual homeowners have found a solution. Underground shelters constructed of corrugated steel pipe (CSP) provide immediate protection from storms. CSP has a long history of underground shelter. During World War II, countless lives were spared in backyard bomb shelters and military bunkers. The Cold War

www.esemag.com

encouraged the installation of private bomb shelters. CSP formed a major component of the “Diefenbunker” where members of the Canadian parliament could hide and operate in the event of a nuclear attack. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located near Longyerbyen, Norway, the world’s most northern town. This vault was built to last 10,000 years and contains and protects samples of all the seeds that have ever been grown and collected. While the large vaults are often underground chambers carved deep into rock, the entrances are constructed as long, sloping tunnels or portals of structural plate corrugated steel pipe (SPCSP). These must not only support heavy overburden but also must resist a variety of impact and live loads resulting from earthquakes, storms and war time events. Storm shelters for personal or community use, tend to be smaller. The main chamber, usually consisting of a three metre length of 2,400 mm diameter CSP, is set on a horizontal plane, either underground or on the surface, and is covered by a mound of earth. These structures can easily be expanded, simply by adding ad-

ditional lengths of CSP. As storms develop quickly and often with little warning, attention must be paid to the entrance design and location. It must be easy to find in extreme weather and be accessible to persons of all ages and physical ability. Entrances may vary from a wheelchair accessible full height hinged door to a vertical access hole. Access may be a ramp, stairs, ladder, a fire pole, a tube slide or a combination of these to ensure that everyone can get inside quickly and safely. In some cases, the corrugated steel pipe is installed vertically as a caisson with a hatch door on top. These entrances are accessed by ladder or fabricated stairs. While most shelters are round, pipe-arch shapes are often used to reduce excavation or to fit into a restricted space. It is important to let someone from out of town and your fire department know that you have a storm shelter. They will be looking for you. Dave Penny is with the Corrugated Steel Pipe Institute. E-mail: info@cspi.ca

November 2011 | 37


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:17 PM Page 38

Infrastructure Renewal

SNAPs help integrate infrastructure renewal with community needs By Shannon Logan, Sonya Meek, Hamid Hatami, John Nemeth and David Kellershohn

Y

our municipality has just completed a major strategic level policy, perhaps a green plan or integrated community sustainability plan. Councillors and staff are feeling optimistic about new programs touting increased sustainability and community improvement. It’s time to start putting strategies into practice, but the idea of launching new projects seems overwhelming, given the significant municipal infrastructure challenges you are already experiencing. Furthermore, many of the new directions will require extensive participation by local landowners and a delicate balancing of competing demands for limited land and resources. Municipalities across the country are faced with a similar situation. Road, water and transit infrastructure is aging and neighbourhoods are getting older. A recent Metroland Media report, focusing on the increasing gap in infrastructure investment, noted that approximately 60% of Ontario’s buildings, roads and water systems are upwards of 50 years old. The most recent census indicates that almost 70% of Ontario homes are over 25 years old. At the same time, the public sector is looking for increased efficiency and new ways of funding infrastructure and retro-

A glimpse into key directions for County Court SNAP in Brampton, Ontario.

may not have a pot of gold for your aging infrastructure, but we can share with you a new strategy we’re piloting that may help bring you closer to a made-in-your-town solution. Action plans for neighbourhoods In close collaboration with municipal and community partners, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)

The SNAP aims to quantify performance estimates, including stormwater targets, water re-use potential, urban forest and natural cover increases, ecoservices provided, water and energy savings and food production potential. fit works. Flooding and other climate-related threats to private property and human health are becoming a top priority. Municipalities are also working with conservation authorities and other organizations to protect and restore watersheds and to introduce a system of green infrastructure through investment in urban forests and natural heritage. How to get things moving? Well, we 38 | November 2011

is piloting a series of SNAPs (Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plans). The first three SNAPs are taking place in Brampton, Richmond Hill, and Toronto. Additional SNAPs are starting in Mississauga and Markham. Working on a neighbourhood, or stormwater catchment scale, each SNAP seeks to analyze water, energy and natural heritage retrofit needs within the con-

text of social and economic interests. SNAPs also seek to document current conditions and set a framework of local sustainability targets, so that the change and impact of local actions can be tracked over time. SNAPs seek to integrate multiple infrastructure and community needs. The process allows us to listen to community desires for the neighbourhood, rather than simply dictating the “best engineering” solution. The process can also help identify private infrastructure renewal needs and be a channel for engaging other public or private investment. It can assist in the appropriate sizing of new infrastructure, based on local conditions and actions, and helps build resiliency into a community to brace against extreme weather. New partnerships, innovative projects and funding solutions are key aspects of SNAPs. The concept starts with local and regional municipalities and TRCA coming together to identify a candidate neighbourhood that aligns with planned capital works and watershed regeneration priorities. Then meetings are held

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Infrastructure Renewal with known community leaders, or implementation groups and councilors, to confirm their interest in participating in a SNAP project. The outcome is a tailored retrofit plan that addresses multiple objectives, launches innovative demonstration projects and puts forward a long-term vision with an implementation strategy to get there. The SNAP aims to quantify performance estimates, including stormwater targets, water re-use potential, urban forest and natural cover increases, ecoservices provided, water and energy savings and food production potential. Specific examples of SNAPs The County Court SNAP focuses on the development of a template for sustainable transformation of a 30-year-old suburban neighbourhood in Brampton, Ontario. It was selected primarily due to the need to retrofit the local municipal stormwater facility. An active and multi-faceted approach has been used to engage residents and businesses, to better understand their ideas and activities. In addition to interests in at-home energy conservation and low-maintenance landscaping, we heard there was little connection locally between residents, and that public spaces were underutilized. This has helped shape a SNAP with an overall focus on creating a sense of community and a sense of place, through key public realm enhancements supported by landowner action on private lands. Key directions for the County Court SNAP include: • Retrofit of the aging stormwater pond to address water quality and volume objectives and also serve as a community amenity. • Vegetated bump-outs along the boulevards to complement stormwater filtration and improved streetscape. • A system of neighbourhood rainwater storage, for irrigation of nearby golf clubs and water conservation. • Renewal of County Court Park to better suit recreation needs and integrate environmental education features and community gathering space. • A template for green design at the Court House parking lot. • Habitat restoration along the creek valley and in the golf courses. The Lake Wilcox SNAP for Richmond Hill, Ontario, builds on a long history of local environmental awareness. This SNAP seeks to complement the Town’s ongoing efforts to improve water quality and lake health by focusing on water and landscape management at new and older homes. It also brings attention to the area’s significant natural heritage features. Key directions for the Lake Wilcox SNAP include: • Working closely with the well-established environmental groups in the area to engage homeowners in lot level practices with a stormwater focus for older lots, and naturalization for newer lots. • Private- and public-sector demonstrations, to act as conversation starters and inspiration for property owners. • Increased visitor education and stewardship around problematic invasive species and enhanced care for natural areas. continued overleaf... www.esemag.com

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Infrastructure Renewal • Facilitation of green building and renewable energy features, as part of renovation in older areas. The Black Creek SNAP, located inToronto, seeks to create a collaborative plan that supports the City’s goal to reduce basement flooding through im-

The Lake Wilcox SNAP for Richmond Hill, Ontario, builds on a long history of local environmental awareness. proved stormwater source controls and environmental improvement. Based on an understanding of community interests in job training, income opportunities and increased food security, the partners have been working alongside community groups and green change agents to identify local projects that address multiple socio-economic and environmental issues. Therefore, key directions for the

ES&E editor Steve Davey enjoying a summer sail on Lake Wilcox, which is the largest of several lakes located in Richmond Hill. (Photo Tom Davey)

Black Creek SNAP include: • A residential pilot program for rainwater-fed vegetable gardens tied closely to the City’s downspout disconnection program.

• A community-wide urban agriculture program to increase access to local food production, which incorporates rainwater harvesting and re-use. • Increased revenues through facilitation of community-based power projects on high-rise buildings. • Improved natural heritage and stormwater management through green parking lots and neighbourhood tree planting. It is often difficult to get residents and businesses excited about infrastructure improvements, or basement flooding solutions. That’s why SNAPs go well beyond the standard public consultation process and actively seek out local community interests and explore solutions that complement them. In this way, SNAPs act as a bridge between the goals of a municipality and those of the community. The demographics across the three SNAPs are very different and each requires a tailored approach to community engagement. Activities range from fun, family-oriented events, to more researchoriented activities designed to obtain feed-


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Infrastructure Renewal back from “beyond the converted” members of the community. These include person-on-the-street interviews, online and door-to-door surveys, focus groups, roundtable discussions with interested residents, barbecues in the park, newsletters, interactive workshops for kids, makeover demonstration projects, and SNAP outreach at local events and fairs. Helping residents make changes on their own property is an essential part of a neighbourhood SNAP. Each plan uses community-based social marketing techniques to help with targeted actions, such as sustainable landscaping, tree planting and home renovation. Research surveys and focus groups help to identify and address barriers to change, and allow us to test local strategies for successful implementation. We are finding that using demonstration projects, during plan development, helps build community awareness and excitement about the project. Cornerstone demonstrations include a waterwise garden in the park and a total green makeover of a detached home in County Court, two front-yard landscape trans-

formations in Lake Wilcox, and the Centre for Green Change community hub and green social enterprise in Black Creek. There is still work to be done. Each of the three SNAPs described is currently being refined, with full implementation plans and financing strategies.

holders at the neighbourhood scale and considering multiple objectives, the SNAPs have identified strategic infrastructure options, that we believe make efficient use of land and present opportunities for resource-sharing. To learn more about SNAPs, visit www.sustainableneighbourhoods.ca.

Each of the three SNAPs described is currently being refined, with full implementation plans and financing strategies.

Shannon Logan and Sonya Meek are with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Hamid Hatami is with the City of Brampton. John Nemeth is with the Town of Richmond Hill and David Kellershohn is with the City of Toronto. The authors wish to acknowledge funding from Region of Peel, Region of York, City of Toronto, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Metcalfe Foundation, Enbridge Gas and numerous private-sector partners. They also wish to acknowledge the involvement of Dillon Consulting, Urban Metrics, Aquafor Beech, Planning Alliance, LURA, ARUP, and DuToit Allsopp Hillier.

Even though we’re midway through the process, we feel there is much to learn from these projects. So far, they are demonstrating a positive approach to engaging a diverse set of players in creating a model for renewal of older neighbourhoods. By engaging a broader set of stake-


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Wastewater Treatment

WERF evaluates processes that reduce the generation of activated sludge solids and disposal costs

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he development of sludge minimization technologies continues to advance, both for applications within the liquid treatment process and for digester pretreatment. Most waste activated sludge reduction technologies have full-scale applications for industrial or municipal wastewater in Europe and Australasia, with a much slower implementation rate in North America. The exception to this trend is combination biological processes such as Cannibal®, which was developed in North America and has found wider acceptance. However, many technologies have a limited number of installations (e.g., chemical treatment technologies), and some technologies have shown mixed performance, particularly on applications in North America (e.g., physical pretreatment for digestion). A recent study by the Water Environ-

ment Research Foundation provides valuable insight into cutting-edge research and emerging technologies associated with sludge minimization. Data analysis indicates positive results, although the performance of the same technology is often significantly different at separate facilities. This study improves the understanding of why some sludges are more susceptible to these technologies than others. The success of a technology depends on understanding the mechanisms and process parameters; particular waste stream characteristics and economic conditions; the use of appropriate operational parameters, such as adequate input energy for physical processes; and the economics of heat, sludge disposal, existing infrastructure, equipment, and chemical costs. The technologies that were included in the evaluation, and the mechanistic principle category they represent, were:

• Biological: Combination process – Cannibal® process • Physical: Thermal hydrolysis – Cambi® process • Physical: Pressure release – Crown® Disintegrator • Physical/Chemical: Chemical conditioning and homogenization – MicroSludge® These technologies also provided operating plant information, as well as sludge samples that were used for the laboratory testing program conducted as part of this project. The research team also obtained and evaluated data from a Microsludge® demonstration study conducted at the Des Moines, Iowa, Water Reclamation Facility. One goal of this research was to determine whether there were indicators either in the wastewater constituents, in the biological sludge characteristics, or in the plant operation that would provide

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Wastewater Treatment insight into the potential for solidsreduction technologies to be successful. The second goal of the study was to investigate mechanisms for solids reduction. This was conducted using data from both full-scale facilities as well as laboratory units where sludge reduction technologies could be compared with samples that were not treated or processed. The third goal was to develop a modeling approach that could predict solids reduction if adequate data were provided. This would include distinguishing between processes that increased the rate of degradation and those that increased the extent of degradation. The model would also include processes that increased cell lysis and those that primarily solubilized particulate organic matter. To that end, this project has developed a general framework for simulating waste activated sludge reduction technologies using generally-accepted and used models. Findings and recommendations Sludge reduction mechanisms generally fall into the following three categories: â&#x20AC;˘ Mechanisms that solubilize sludge

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solids and lyse cells, thereby increasing the rate of degradation; â&#x20AC;˘ Mechanisms that render the nondegradable organic fraction degradable, thereby increasing the extent of degradation; â&#x20AC;˘ Mechanisms that result in the generation of less sludge by process modification.

This project has developed a general framework for simulating waste activated sludge reduction technologies using generallyaccepted and used models. Several processes claim to render solids more biodegradable, and most of the vendors of these processes claim that both cell lysis and solubilization of partic-

ulate solids occur. These include: mechanical shear, sonication, pressure release, heating under pressure and chemical oxidation. Most sludge reduction vendors claim to both increase the rate and extent of degradation. However, it is not clear that this is accomplished based on the data available from this study. Data from other investigations have found an increase in both the rate and the extent of degradation, but it is also not clear to what extent cell lysis accounts for increases in solids reduction. Modifiying the activated sludge process, usually at the return sludge recycle stream, can directly reduce solids (e.g., by chemical oxidation) or can solubilize solids in the same manner as the other two mechanisms, resulting in rapid degradation when the recycle stream reenters the aeration basin. To order this report, visit www.werf.org.

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

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

Is the future all gloom and doom, or is there still opportunity?

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hose of us with engineering firms spend a lot of time chasing work to satisfy corporate near-term financial performance targets and mandates. I propose that spending more time on the long-term view would provide greater benefits in terms of company longevity, staff retention and client satisfaction. We need to define the “new reality,” then adjust our current thought processes to position ourselves to flourish in it. Is engineering in decline as a sector? Jim Collins, author of the book, How the Mighty Fall (Harper Collins 2009), was able to capture the five stages of decline of a business or industry. While he may not have been thinking of us specifically, his perspectives are applicable to our sector. The stages are: Stage 1: Hubris born of success Stage 2: Undisciplined pursuit of more Stage 3: Denial of risk and peril Stage 4: Grasping for salvation Stage 5: Capitulation to irrelevance or death The five stages look somewhat like a bell curve as a firm moves through them, not unlike the product life cycle. Stage 1 sees a firm slowly building up its sales (or in our case, its client base). The curve steepens in Stage 2 as success breeds more success, often bringing in work ahead of sufficient resources to deliver it. Stage 3 sees the curve peak and flatten, and the beginnings of a slowing of the market, or expansion efforts, and failure to retune operations to those realities, re44 | November 2011

gardless of the warning signs. By the time we hit Stage 4, we are on the downside of the curve, in a steep downward decline. We start to grasp at anything we think can pull us out, including searching for charismatic leaders, implementation of new and unproven strategies, and strategic acquisitions, all to stop the slide. Collins believes companies can come back from Stage 4. If they hit Stage 5 they are pretty much doomed, having seen a loss in confidence by senior practitioners, erosion of financial strength, and a general loss of hope that leads to a company sale or outright death. The curve flatlines. The implication for consultants is that if we continue to do things as we have done in the past, we will not be sustainable as a sector. We have all witnessed failures of businesses in our personal and professional lives, so this process should come as no surprise. It is presented here not to preach gloom and doom, but rather to show how to identify warning signs and address them — in effect, to stimulate us to move to a new reality. Real acknowledgement of issues will lead to formal dialogue, reviews of strategies, and ultimately reformulation of plans that need long gestation periods to implement and reap the benefits. Current issues that are bandied around make us seem like a broken record, and by “us” I refer to consulting firms, as well as our clients. The more I get around in my role as current chair of Consulting

Engineers of Ontario, the more repetitive the discussions become. They cover many elements, but ultimately come down to three things: money, quality and talent. Money Certainly, the global financial crisis has had an impact on our ability to fund much-needed infrastructure improvements. Looking ahead, I don’t see any near-term relief or opening of the financial floodgates from governments at any level. So money (or lack thereof) is definitely an issue to be dealt with. Is the only answer to the current state of the industry to chase down more money? No, but it is part of the answer. If we had the political will, we could invite external capital to our marketplace to fund the current infrastructure deficit, which is anywhere between $20 billion and over $100 billion, depending on who you talk to. The creation of water boards, commissions and other arm’s-length entities will have some benefit, in that they can borrow money without affecting municipal debt servicing capacity limits. Raising water and sewer rates is something that must occur, as we are still not in full-cost recovery mode in many municipalities. Quantifying critical infrastructure project-related risks to our political masters would help. At the same time, this presents a double-edged sword. We want them to understand the projects that they need to fund to be able to take educated decisions, but at the same time we want

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them to focus on governing, rather than on the capital planning processes that occur in their engineering departments. Better communication between owners’ engineering departments and councils is central to identifying and prioritizing needs, then jointly putting plans in place to address them. There are concerns at the political level about the public’s resistance to rate increases, but I would propose that espousing the benefits of long-term security and safety would go a long way towards gaining that acceptance. Rate increases will occur regardless of any outcry, and we must work continuously with the public to reinforce their near- and long-term benefits. We seem to forget that as a country, we have some of the lowest rates in the world. It doesn’t hurt to bring this up in discussions. Quality Quality is a function of time, talent and experience. It goes without saying that sufficient fees need to be provided to deliver a project. I don’t want to beat the fees argument to death. It is still a contentious issue with many clients and it does shade how we consultants apportion work internally to keep fees down. But, it can ultimately affect the quality of deliverables. How is quality achieved? Through thoughtful design, sufficient internal and external review, and collaborative discussions between contractor, consultant and client owner at all stages of a project. Minimization of project risk is a direct benefit of higher levels of attention, during design and implementation. Where we can fall through the cracks is by delegating increasing amounts of detailed design effort to inexperienced staff to keep overall project fees down. This in itself doesn’t have to be a problem, if senior staff members are available to critique deliverables before they are sent to the clients and contractors. We should consider why litigation against consulting engineering firms is becoming more common today than it was in the past. Something in the industry has changed in recent decades, and I can relate it to quality outcomes born of inexperience. The junior–intermediate–senior balance in project resourcing needs to be reviewed. Talent We are seeing some great talent entering our sector, much of it from countries www.esemag.com

outside North America. Where is homegrown youth? Many of our bright young people complete engineering educations, but for various reasons either don’t go into consulting or, shortly after entering it, decide to leave to pursue other endeavours in different sectors. We are increasingly seeing that an engineering education has become a stepping stone for entry into advanced education programs in preparation for other vocations. Many of them, like law, or teaching, can be more financially lucrative, while also offering a more attractive work/life balance and lower risk profile. Some of this relates to the inability of our education system to turn out people with relevant training. But another factor is the lack of role models and our inability to use social media channels, including television, to influence career choices of youth and direct them to enter technical fields. If you were a young, impressionable teen flicking through television channels at the beginning of the new season, you would see career options from reality shows that include alligator hunter, crab fisherman and antique picker, among others. One sort of positive example of engineers is The Big Bang Theory, although the show conjures up the standard geeky and socially inept stereotype of the scientist and engineer. This is not really representative of our industry today, or of the kind of people we need in the future. What do you want your kids to be when they grow up? I would hope they would be employed in some field that provides a comfortable income, directly benefits their employer (which could be a municipality or consultant) and contributes to the betterment of society. We need to find a way to make engineering more inviting, enticing and exciting to attract our youth. Effecting change How can we address these issues? Do we change the type of work we do? Should we morph into a P3 model where the consultant is a member of the contractor’s team? Should we continue to push design down to suppliers to keep our own costs and, therefore, our client fees down? We can begin to effect change by: • Acknowledging that there has been a decline in service delivery. • Identifying the underlying issues, then

building strategies to address each one. • Accepting that we will probably not soon (if ever) achieve the same level of fees as in the past. • Understanding that clients will continue to tighten project quality and timeline requirements. • Recognizing that new hires will have different work/life priorities. Consulting firms will need to support each other in how they practise engineering. All need to take the long view in establishing growth by hiring young, growing staff internally, and training replacements through formal succession planning exercises. Improved levels of staff retention will help the individual firm and the consulting sector. Firms need to understand that company decisions influence the health of the industry, sometimes to its detriment. Taking the longer-term view of industry survival may affect near-term decision-making, but will be beneficial overall. Getting staff involved with industry organizations is important. Volunteerism can be as simple as joining a Young Professionals group at your firm, all the way to joining an industry-wide association that looks out for the good of us all. We have typically stayed away from government, but cannot afford to do so any longer. Engineers need to move into politics to help drive change in the industry, and our firms need to support those who choose to serve. We have been pushing for engineers to run for political office and the recent election saw eight professional engineers step up. Relevant, meaningful and substantive change occurs mainly at the political level. We can ensure our survival by becoming trusted advisors to politicians, by pushing for fair consideration of social, technical and financial analyses in the decision-making processes related to infrastructure projects. Times are changing. We need to acknowledge this fact and move forward collectively as a sector. The signs are there, the issues have been identified, the outcomes of inaction are known, and the way forward is clear. Contact: deangelisb@ae.ca November 2011 | 45


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George Zukovs

What are the prospects for the environment under Ontario’s minority government? By George Zukovs, M.Eng., D.WRE., P.Eng., President, XCG Consultants and Jacinta O’Brien, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., Principal, Strategic Altematives

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n October 20, 2011, Jim Bradley was sworn in as Ontario’s minister of the environment. It was the second time he had taken on the environment portfolio. The first time was over 25 years ago. During Bradley’s first tenure as environment minister in the 1980s, Ontario had a Liberal majority in power, giving the government the mandate and strength to take the lead among Canadian jurisdictions in proactively addressing environmental issues. From an economic standpoint, the population at the time was increasing at an average rate of almost 11% per year. The economy was booming. Real gross domestic product was growing at an average annual rate of 3.9%, and personal income was increasing by 9.7%. With a healthy economy and growing workforce, the government of the day embarked on ambitious initiatives aimed at solidifying the environment ministry’s lead role in environmental protection. Anyone around at that time will remember: • The Municipal–Industrial Strategy for Abatement, which introduced specific effluent discharge limits for direct dischargers; • Remedial Action Plans, developed for water bodies in and around the Great Lakes that had been identified as “areas of concern”, due to the scope and nature of their degradation; and, • Significant contributions toward development of the Blue Box program through a combination of diversion targets and funding to match financing provided by industry-funded Ontario Multi-Materials Recycling Inc. (OMMRI). A highlight of the initiatives was a group of funding schemes to assist mu46 | November 2011

nicipalities to deliver world-class water and sewage services to their residents. These schemes continued the role of financing, designing and constructing water and sewage works that the ministry inherited from its predecessor, the Ontario Water Resources Commission. In 1987, for example, the provincial government introduced Lifelines, a grant program with the goal of cost-effectively rehabilitating existing water and sewage systems. As it had done in the past, the government favoured smaller municipalities, so those with populations less than 1,000 received as much as 85% of the total cost of planned infrastructure improvements. The Lifelines program was just one in a long tradition of financial assistance programs that provided capital funds for water and sewage infrastructure, a key driver for accommodating population, and hence economic, growth. So what can we expect from Jim Bradley this time around? First of all, he is the environment minister under a minority government. Moving forward with new policies, programs and legislation will likely require more behind-the-scenes negotiations, increasing the time it will take to implement new initiatives. Scrutiny and compromise may become part of the development process for environmental (and all other) proposals, before they become public. Economically, Ontario has done a “180.” In contrast to 1985, Ontario’s GDP growth has dropped significantly and was negative in 2009, declining by 2.5%. At the same time, the provincial budget deficit reached $3.9 billion. As the increasing deficit and declining GDP show, Ontario has not been immune to world economic conditions. This contrasts sharply with the province’s historical role

Jacinta O’Brien as an economic power, accounting for a disproportionately large share of Canada’s economic and demographic growth over the past 25 years. Glimmers of hope Notwithstanding the state of the economy, nor the fact that Ontario has a minority government, there are glimmers of hope for the environment going forward. In the lead-up to the October 2011 election, the main political parties outlined their visions for the coming four years. A look at the various policy documents released by the major parties during the election campaign provides a reasonable basis for guessing how the current government might proceed on the environment. The emphasis in all of the documents was on jobs and the economy. So framing the environment in terms of job creation and Ontario’s economic recovery is a reasonable strategy, and a good place to start is with infrastructure. In June 2011, the previous government announced Building Together, a three-year, $35-billion infrastructure plan, which emphasizes investment in a number of sectors, including transportation and transit, education, information and communications technology, healthcare, and water and other environmental resources. According to the ministry of infrastructure, Building Together is expected to address safety, reliability and sustainability of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems. The plan relies on encouraging municipalities to explore new Ontario water and wastewater technologies. A key foundation for this is the Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act (later abbreviated to the Water

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Opportunities Act), which was introduced a year ago. The Water Opportunities Act focuses on sustainability and encouraging the development and use of made-in-Ontario technologies. It also envisages working with smaller communities that lack the capacity to address water-related infrastructure needs on their own, principally through the Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program. This is a capital program for municipalities and local services boards that own residential drinking water or wastewater systems providing services to 5,000 or fewer people. Visions of the 1987 Lifelines program are sure to be dancing in some people’s heads. The pre-election Liberal policy document, Forward Together, commits to continuing Building Together. The Ontario NDP and the PC Party of Ontario, the two other parties that together hold the balance of power in the legislature, have both vowed to invest $35 billion in infrastructure over three years. Their emphasis may not mirror the goals of the Liberals. For example, the PCs seem to favour transportation. At the same time, northern Ontario, which is home to many communities with smaller populations, is predominantly represented by MPPs from the Ontario NDP. With this in mind, it is not unreasonable to expect support for the Ontario Small Waterworks Assistance Program. Sustainability has recently been the focus for many jurisdictions, and is another key feature of the Liberal policy document, particularly in relation to the

environment. The Water Opportunities Act talks about optimizing systems and improving water conservation. It calls for regulations to be developed to require “municipal water sustainability plans.” Strategies for managing risks associated with the potential impacts of climate change are also expected to be included in the sustainability plans. The Liberal policy document commits $20 million over four years for implementation of the Water Opportunities Act, and the PC Party has stated it will protect all programs that safeguard water quality. So are regulations requiring municipal water sustainability plans on the horizon? That’s hard to say. The PC promise may not be enough for regulations to be realized. One reason is because a regulated requirement might be viewed by the PCs as just more “red tape.” Besides, a number of Ontario municipalities have already developed water and wastewater sustainability strategies, without being required to do so. This might bolster arguments not to regulate the plans. On the other hand, if regulations are promulgated, municipal and environmental consultants could expect opportunities to assist their municipal clients to prepare sustainability plans. It is more likely that the PC Party will direct its efforts at supporting local conservation efforts that protect major Ontario waterways, such as the Thames, Don and French rivers. This is a promise outlined in their pre-election policy document, Change Book. The PC Party and

the Liberals may find common ground on this issue, since the Liberal’s Forward Together sets aside $4 million annually for a proposed Great Lakes Protection Act and a water clean-up fund. This would put Ontario in line with proposed federal US legislation, namely the Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act, which would authorize US funding in the amount of $475 million. These funding initiatives would go a long way to accelerating work that is being done through the Remedial Action Plan process, which started in 1985. After 25 years, it’s time to show that progress is being made and that goals to restore the environment are being met. Even though it’s early days, Bradley may be experiencing a bit of déjà vu. Issues and initiatives that were the focus of the government in the 1980s are still being addressed today. Other issues, like sustainability and climate change, have come forward, while others, like recycling, are no longer a direct focus but have been integrated into the Ontario psyche. The dual factors of working within the confines of a minority government and significant economic pressures will certainly drive the province’s environmental agenda for the next four years. It is time to buckle up and make the best of the ride. Contact: GeorgeZ@XCG.com

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New Act enhances engineers accessibility and mobility By Kim Allen, P.Eng., MBA, FEC, , chief executive officer and registrar of Professional Engineers Ontario

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n the one-year anniversary of the most significant changes to the Professional Engineers Act in over 25 years, the engineering profession in Ontario is now even more accessible, practitioners’ mobility has been enhanced, and Ontario’s manufacturing workers are about to become safer in their workplaces. Last October, Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) welcomed the passage of Bill 68, legislation that included the first major amendments to the Professional Engineers Act since 1984. The Open for Business Act, 2010 is a wide-ranging piece of legislation focusing on economic competitiveness, labour mobility and administrative enhancement. The Act contains more than 100 amendments to

legislation from 10 ministries and creates a more competitive business climate. Changes to the Act affect approximately 10 per cent of the legislation and increase the clarity, transparency, accountability and effectiveness of PEO’s work. One amendment is making a significant difference in the lives of thousands of newcomers to Canada. The requirement to be a citizen, or to have the status of a permanent resident of Canada to obtain a licence to practise professional engineering, has been eliminated. Newcomers are the talent pool for building a skilled and diverse Canadian workforce. Despite PEO having completely eliminated application fees for internationally trained engineering graduates three years ago, some 60 per cent of those who apply for a professional

engineer licence live in Canada for more than three years before they apply. PEO research has shown that a misunderstanding of the now eliminated residency requirement was the primary reason for this. Enabling the profession to issue licences based on technical merit without residency limitations, is an important development. We hope qualified applicants will now arrive in Canada with many of the licensure requirements already met and be ready to enter the engineering workforce. This also means that US citizens may now apply to obtain a professional engineer licence in Ontario. Previously, they could only obtain a project-specific, temporary licence if they wished to practise engineering in the province.

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As a leader among regulators in Canada in assessing the credentials of internationally trained professionals, PEO continues to provide a smooth application process for all and ensures that all qualified applicants are given a fair and equal opportunity to obtain their P.Eng. licence in Ontario. Newcomers to Canada, as well as Canadian engineering graduates, also continue to take advantage of PEOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Engineering Intern Financial Credit Program. Through this program, graduates of engineering programs accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, and international engineering graduates with a bachelor of engineering or applied science degree, may be able to apply for PEOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s professional engineer licence at no cost. Another change to the Professional Engineers Act aims to improve workplace safety. The exception to having to be licensed to carry out an act within the practice of professional engineering, in relation to machinery and equipment to produce products in the facilities of a person's employer, has been repealed. Under the exception in place since

1984, there was no requirement for engineers to design and analyze manufacturersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; production machinery or equipment. The only requirement was for a health and safety review of newly installed or altered equipment or machinery by a professional engineer prior to start-up. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its Regulation 851, if a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review (PSR) found any deficiencies in the setup of the equipment or machinery, the company would have to make the necessary changes and then re-test the machinery for compliance. Even worse was the possibility that a machine deficiency would not be caught in a PSR and a safety incident would occur, harming a worker. With licensed professional engineers in place from the beginning of the process, the safety of Ontario workers will be further assured. At the national level, PEO is leading the effort to create a framework where all Canadian jurisdictions have the same requirements for licensure to best serve the public interest. Through the Open for Business Act, the Professional Engineers Act has adopted the following national

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definition of "professional engineering," which is essential to harmonizing these requirements: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Any act of planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising that requires the application of engineering principles and concerns the safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare or the environment, or the managing of any such act.â&#x20AC;? PEO is committed to a strong engineering profession that can best serve the public and respond to the needs of Ontario businesses and individuals seeking to be licensed. The amendments to the Professional Engineers Act strengthen our governance of the more than 80,000 licence and certificate holders in the province and assist our goal of harmonizing licence and registration requirements for the nearly quarter of a million professional engineers across Canada. Contact: lkolstein@peo.on.ca.

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Focus, focus, focus - If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both! By Dan Meidl, M. Eng., P.Eng., Senior Vice President, Infrastructure & Environmental Division of Tetra Tech

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he one constant for consulting engineers in Canada is change and, in fact, we are part of the process. We are collaborating, partnering, and pushing the pace of change more than ever. We adapt to the uncertainties of domestic and foreign economies. We adjust to staffing trends and alternative project delivery models. We build upon and develop new technologies. Still, the dedication required to stay ahead of, or keep pace with, change in today’s marketplace can be overwhelming. The key, as with many things in life, is focus. One of my favourite quotes puts it best: “If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.” Focus creates the path to responding to change, and importantly, to creating growth amidst significant competition. How can we take this focus and create change? Recognize opportunity Canada represents significant opportunities for growth and collaboration. In November 2011, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, was approved as the new chairman of the Financial Stability Board, and FutureBrand ranked Canada atop its country brand index for the second straight year. FutureBrand is a global brand consulting firm which surveys business and leisure travelers on their image perceptions of various countries in five categories, including good for business, tourism appeal, quality of life, value systems, and heritage and culture. These announcements serve as a validation of the strong reputation of our financial system, as well as our country’s impressive brand awareness. Both of these create potential project opportunities at home and abroad. As a resource-based economy, Canada continues to weather the global economic crisis by focusing on a risk-averse fiscal and regulatory environment. The Federation of Canadian Munici50 | November 2011

palities (FCM) is calling on all levels of government to work together to establish a fully funded, long-term plan to build the quality roads, water systems, community facilities and public transit Canada needs to support families, businesses, and future economic growth. As part of the longterm infrastructure plan, FCM suggests that the federal government take the following actions: 1. Renew the soon-to-expire Building Canada Fund. 2. Index the federal Gas Tax Fund (potential annual investment of $2 billion) to keep up with rising costs and new growth. 3. Pay the federal share of any new infrastructure costs imposed on municipalities, including upgrades to meet new federal wastewater regulations. 4. Dedicate infrastructure funding for rural, remote and northern communities and set appropriate population thresholds. Seek out industry trends and learn how they can affect you Through research and collaboration, industry trends provide a window into the future opportunities for growth. Focus on these and learn how they can impact your business. According to the 2009-2018 “Engineering and Technology Labour Market Study, Final Report,” Engineers Canada and the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technology, May, 2009, three key labour issues have been identified. These include the need to: 1. Address the significant shortage of junior engineers. 2. Better understand the business and specialized skill needs of industry, and reflect those needs in traditional undergraduate and graduate programs. 3. Facilitate the movement of experienced engineers from declining sectors into growing sectors. From industry research, it is apparent that significant capital investments in infrastructure are required. Unfortunately,

revenues are lagging significantly behind these investments. This is leading to alternative project delivery solutions, like design-build and public-private-partnerships that continue to grow in prominence. These larger projects are also being delivered to tighter timelines, requiring significant efficiencies. Over the past five to eight years, the consolidation of engineering firms (and contracting firms, for that matter) has become a recognized trend. With the evolution of this type of competitive landscape, it also appears that clients are parceling out smaller project opportunities to preferred “boutique” firms and larger project opportunities to the relatively larger firms in the market. In addition, because of the weaker global economy, a newer trend is emerging in Canada. Large project opportunities are attracting international interest, which, in the Canadian market, creates exponential competition. Embrace change Our path to growth and evolution in this industry can be directly connected to our ability to embrace change. Change happens every day, especially in our dynamic market and areas of expertise. With due respect shown to what has worked for us historically, we must also be open to the idea that there may be a better way to do it now, and into the future. The bottom line is this: consulting engineers in Canada have plenty of reasons to be optimistic. We operate in a marketplace that continues to provide opportunity. We have increased our efficiencies and productivity through a greater understanding of our clients’ requirements. We embrace change by developing welltrained, passionate professionals who are motivated by success. But, we must remember to chase only one rabbit at a time! Contact: dan.meidl@tetratech.com

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Developing structured training programs for new engineers By Patrick Coleman, Ph.D., P.Eng. is with AECOM

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he competencies required to be a professional engineer are set by engineering associations. In the first four to six years of their careers, graduate engineers try to accumulate the experience necessary to satisfy these requirements. The depth and usefulness of their learning varies, depending on the type of work they are assigned and the quantity and quality of coaching they receive from senior staff. Many companies in Canada see achievement of professional status as the individual’s responsibility, although they support the applicant by reimbursing training and registration costs, and providing work experience. They may also monitor the applicant’s progress through the performance appraisal process. But this approach falls short of the structured process used by chartered institutes in the United Kingdom. This is a lost opportunity. Young engineers with three to 10 years of experience are the resource that drives the future of engineering firms. Adopting a structured training approach that will make staff more productive earlier in their careers is a wise investment. Failing to do so incurs a risk that they will only nominally satisfy their experience requirements, without obtaining all the skills important to their employer. Structured training A formalized training cycle is illustrated in Figure 1. Once the need is identified, the content and delivery method are established. The training is given and the transfer is assessed. Support is provided either through coaching (which focuses on specific skills) or mentoring (which focuses on professional development of the person) to ensure that the person receiving the training effectively applies the new skill. Training may be proactive or reactive. Proactive training occurs when the employer anticipates that the individual needs to acquire a new skill (e.g., introduction of a new expense reporting system). Reactive training occurs when the www.esemag.com

employer observes the individual struggling and realizes they lack the skills to complete a task (e.g., processing shop drawings without additional guidance). Training may be delivered to an individual or a group. Competency-based structured training is a planned coaching program to enable young staff to acquire the skill and knowledge they need over a fixed time period to meet the requirements of their profession and their employer. It consists of individual and group coaching that may occur on-site, at the office, in a class room, on the design floor, or during client meetings. A structured training program does not replace the need for a formal or informal mentoring program. There are three arguments in particular that show why Canadian engineering companies should follow the method used by chartered institutes in the UK: the labour market, professional responsibility, and financial sustainability. 1. The labour market - There is a shortage of experienced engineers to coach and mentor new graduates on an ad hoc basis. A structured training program helps with planning to determine when such professional advisors are required, and how best to use them in the program. Engineering graduates enter the labour market with core technical skills, and employers in Canada are for the most part satisfied with those skills. However, this is not the case with “soft” skills, which include the ability to engage effectively in written and oral communications, contract administration, project management, team work and business case analysis. According to Bill Empey, author of Engineers and Engineering Technicians and Technologists (ETT) Labour Market Tracking System: Labour Market Conditions – 2008 to 2011, “more than onefifth of employers are dissatisfied with the nontechnical skills of experienced engineers and technologists. For recent graduates, the proportion is one-third. By contrast, dissatisfaction with technical skills is much lower — 5% or less for ex-

perienced engineers and technologists.” To progress in their careers, graduates must increase their skill depth (that is, acquire specific industry and technology skills) and their skill breadth (that is, acquire soft skills). In Canada, the primary mechanism for obtaining these skills is through working as part of a team with more experienced engineers. This method of learning is under threat because of the shortage of experienced engineers with the patience and skills to coach and mentor new graduates. One way to offset this trend is to ensure that graduates benefit from the knowledge and experience of senior staff, without having to work on a team with them for protracted periods. To a certain degree this can be accomplished through a structured competency-based training program. 2. Professional responsibility - Universities teach students to think; employers train students to function as professionals. Measures used by universities to assess learning are primarily exams and projects, which are associated with particular courses. Measures used by professional bodies to assess competency may be a mix of exams, reports, interviews and references. “Competencies are characteristics that individuals have and use in appropriate, consistent ways in order to achieve desired performance. These traits include knowledge, skills, aspects of self-image, social motives, traits, thought patterns, mind-sets, and ways of thinking, feeling and acting,” state D.D. Dubois and W.J. Rothwell in Competency-Based Human Resource Management. Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), like other engineering associations, relies on the applicant’s referees and supervisors to attest to the applicant’s character, and assert that each portion of the work experience claimed by the apcontinued overleaf... November 2011 | 51


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plicant qualifies. Structured training provides a record that the applicant has acquired the necessary competencies to practise as a professional engineer. 3. Financial sustainability - For new engineers possessing only the base set of skills acquired from their university education, the ratio of the value of the employees’ time to their salaries is low. Initially, the employer invests in employees to expand the depth and breadth of their skills, until the ratio of the value of their work to their salaries reaches the target value. This period is often followed by an interval when the value of their work increases faster than their salary. This is because most employees progress very quickly in the first three years of their employment. These tend to be employees who come to the workplace with a welldeveloped set of soft skills and a strong work ethic. If an employer concentrates on developing these employees, they can grow

even faster, thereby increasing the value of their time to their employer. This added benefit can then be used to fund graduate training. The best way to reward these high performers is to invest in their careers. Structured training programs also provide a map of how to recover from a situation where an employee is not developing as expected, or has stalled in his or her career. Once the reasons for these problems have been determined, an individual training program can remedy the situation. A sustainable organization is one that develops and retains its staff. Concentrating on assisting staff to deepen and broaden their skills as new graduate hires is more cost-effective than trying to recruit staff with these skills already in place. A structured, competency-based training program is the foundation of this wise investment. Four pillars of consulting A consulting firm has two primary assets: its people and its reputation. Therefore, the focus of a structured training program is to develop and retain new graduates. The spectrum of competencies

this requires is much broader than the array of skills needed to be a professional engineer. The associations are focused on whether an individual can make sound and ethical engineering judgments. A consulting firm is also concerned with whether an individual understands the business of engineering. A consulting firm is built on four functions: • Business development: marketing and sale of engineering services. • Technical work: production of engineering deliverables. • Project management: management of budget, scope and schedule. • General management: management of people, resources, and company systems. New engineers should demonstrate competencies in all four areas by the time they have obtained professional status. As they continue in their careers, they may choose to assume a senior role in one of these four areas. Training There are 12 provincial and territorial licensing bodies in Canada that regulate the engineering profession and license the

  TECHNICALSALESPOSITIONS Paracel Laboratories Ltd. (Paracel) is a wholly Canadian owned scientific company established in 1985 and specializes in the solution of environmental problems as well as providing routine analytical services. ParacelisbasedinOttawawithlocations throughout Ontario.  We currently have positions available for Technical Sales. Primary responsibilities include business development across the GTA and SouthernOntario. Education/Qualifications: University Degree or equivalent qualifications in EnvironmentalScienceorChemistry.

CLEAR SOLUTIONS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Tetra Tech provides clear solutions in consulting, engineering, program management, construction, and technical services across Canada. www.tetratech.com

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Experience: Laboratory client services experience required; familiarity with environmental test methods and regulations is preferred. Environmental consultingexperienceisalsoanasset. AnticipatedStartDate:Immediate Interested parties may forward their resumes directly to Dan Barton at dbarton@paracellabs.com.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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Coach (to enhance specific skills) Identify Need

Support Development

Mentor (to enhance personal developme pment)

Define Requirement

Measure Transfer

Decide on Delivery

Deliver Training

Plan Delivery

Figure 1. Formalized training.

countryโ€™s professional engineers. Seven have mandatory programs for reporting continuing professional development; the other five have voluntary programs. These requirements are coming into force partly to convince legislators that the profession can and should remain self-regulated. As these requirements be-

come more onerous, employees will look to their employers to help them acquire the necessary training (with proof) to satisfy these requirements. Therefore, training will tend to become more formalized than in the past. The establishment of a structured training program is the first step in this evolution.

Structured training program The core competencies for a chartered engineer (UK) and a professional engineer (Ontario) are similar. Both regulating bodies expand on these competencies to clarify what they require of applicants. Engineering firms in the UK base their structured training programs on this expanded list of competencies. Canadian engineering firms should adopt the same approach. A structured training program normally extends over two to four years. This program is โ€œstructuredโ€ in that training is built on a core set of competencies. The training follows the same model shown in Figure 1. The program is expressed as a โ€œtraining matrix,โ€ which consists of the following items: โ€ข Category: business development, technical, project management, management โ€ข Learning activity: description of activity continued overleaf...

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November 2011 | 53


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â&#x20AC;˘ Method of learning: how learning is delivered (e.g. internal course, site placement) â&#x20AC;˘ Learning solutions: details of solution (e.g. place, time required, instructor) â&#x20AC;˘ Assessment: how learning will be assessed (e.g. exam, report, demonstration) â&#x20AC;˘ Competence standards: documentation of those being satisfied by this activity â&#x20AC;˘ Recommended year of training: the program year in which the activity is to take place. The following are some examples of a training program: Example 1: How to prepare design calculations using Microsoft Excel A graduate engineer should be able to lay out design calculations in Excel according to the pertinent quality management system procedure. The training would be delivered by internal staff in the first year of the program. The participants would submit samples of their work for

assessment after the training. Example 2: Geotechnical report literacy A graduate engineer should be able to understand, on a basic level, a geotechnical report. Training would be delivered by internal geotechnical staff in the second or third year of the program. Participants would be given a short exam at the end of the training. Example 3: How to conduct a meeting A graduate engineer should be able to establish an agenda, conduct a meeting and prepare minutes. The training would be delivered in the first year, during working lunch sessions. Participants would be asked to chair and prepare minutes for a meeting in the following six months. Example 4: Site experience In the first and second year, the participant should spend at least one month on-site. Participants would be asked to keep a log book and report on their experience. Example 5: Using a wastewater simulator during design The participants would be sent to attend a vendorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s introductory course in the

second year, and the vendorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advanced course in the last year of the program. The participant must have first demonstrated competency in two areas, wastewater characterization and steady-state design of an activated sludge process, before being sent on to attend the other course. Example 6: Costing a project Participants would be taken through a recent cost estimate for a project over the course of one morning. The participants would then be given a small project to cost. Their spreadsheets would be assessed by the instructor. A competency-based structured training program is an effective tool to retain staff, develop a sustainable organization and ensure that staff are ready to assume their roles as professional engineers. The program pays for itself by retaining employees in an organization that invests in their careers and reaps the benefits of their increased productivity. Contact: pat.coleman2@aecom.com

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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How being a thought-leader boosts your career performance By Carl Friesen, Global Reach Communications Inc.

H

ave you ever seen an article by a colleague, published in a business magazine such as this one, and thought, “I really need to get some articles published”? Have you attended a conference workshop and thought, “why isn’t it me wearing a speaker’s badge? I know more about this topic than the presenter”. Have you heard that someone received the senior-level job you wanted, because their blog helped give them recognition as an “expert”? Professionals in the environmental sector can improve their career prospects, obtain more interesting work and be in position to get their ideas more widely accepted, through a thought-leading program. By developing your message and getting it in front of the right people through writing articles in professional and business magazines, publishing papers, authoring books, blogging, developing your LinkedIn profile, and public speaking, you can help boost your image as the go-to person in your field. It applies whether you’re an employee in a company providing environmental goods and services, running your own company (or thinking about it …), a consultant or other knowledge professional, or in any other career trajectory. It’s a journey, not a destination One of the biggest benefits to a thought-leading program isn’t around influencing others at all. It’s around influencing yourself. Think back to the first time you were brave enough to dive into water head-first. Or ride a bicycle without training wheels. Or making your first speech in elementary school. Remember the thrill of accomplishment, and how you looked at yourself differently? Maybe you walked taller – at least inside your own mind. Thought-leading activities are like that. It’s having someone come up to you to say that they saw your article in a magazine. Or, the look of respect at a conference when they see your nametag indicating you are a Speaker. Your improved self-image comes across in group meetings, in conversations with colleagues, and in interviews for a promotion or a new job. This self-image gives you greater confidence. Your ideas get listened to more, and with greater respect. Another benefit comes from what you learn in the course of your thought-leading activities. Pulling together enough information to write a speech or article, to feed a blog, or write a book, enlarges your personal store of knowledge about your topic. It forces you to keep current with developments in your field. For example, think of the recent developments in geothermal energy, due to the deep-drilling and directional drilling advances originally made in the oil and gas sector, applied to geo-energy. But, perhaps most important, a thought-leading program forces you to reach more deeply inside yourself to do the intellectual heavy lifting needed to develop new concepts and methods. A lot of thought-leading is around creating your own ideas and solutions to common issues. This can mean technical issues such as unclogging ceramic filters in water purification systems, www.esemag.com

or more “soft” issues such as ways to engage communities and gain their support in wind-energy developments. For many people, it’s a hard thing to reach outside their comfort zone and tell the world, “I have something original to say about my area of expertise.” But the fact is that everyone has expertise about something, and a thought-leading program is a great way to find out how much you really know. Just starting out, it may be best to take easy steps first. Instead of making a speech yourself, seek out opportunities to join a panel presentation, where you don’t need to prepare. Or, start with writing an article, which gives you a chance to think through your ideas at leisure, rather than deal with a question from the audience at a speaking event. Contact: carl@showyourexpertise.com

Engineering Career Opportunities in Atlantic Canada CBCL Limited is the leading independently owned multidisciplinary engineering and environmental consulting firm in Atlantic Canada. In business since 1955 we have a staff of over 300, located in nine regional offices. As a firm which is 100% employee-owned, it is no surprise that a cornerstone of culture is caring for our employees as much as our clients. Our employee-centric environment, and focus on work-life balance, were recently recognized when CBCL was named one of Progress Magazine`s Best Places to Work in 2011, as well as an Atlantic Canada Top Employer for 2011 and one of Nova Scotia’s Top Employers for 2012. We currently have a number of exciting and challenging career opportunities available in the fields of transportation, civil and industrial engineering in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador. If you would like to apply, please submit your resume to apply@snowrecruit.com, or to learn more about available opportunities, please contact our recruitment partners, Snow Recruit at 1-888-577-SNOW(7669).

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Opportunities abound for consultants who can apply their skill sets offshore By Debanjan Mookerjea, P.Eng. , Environmental Engineer, R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited

I

t is hard to think of anything more pressing than the current state of global economics. This is a dominant issue, even when considering what the future holds for environmental science and engineering consultants. Stimulus spending by the Canadian federal government has largely come to a close, compounding the effects of slow growth. Many provincial and municipal governments, faced with looming deficits, are cutting budgets and introducing other cost-saving measures. Governments are having trouble operating and maintaining existing infrastructure, let alone finding money to spend on new infrastructure.

56 | November 2011

The ongoing financial troubles of Europe and many other countries, including the United States, and the impact these are having elsewhere are setting off ripples that Canadians are trying to determine how to best navigate. With ongoing disagreements among our governments about how to proceed and the resulting lack of public confidence, it is understandable that many environmental science and engineering consultants may be feeling a little gloomy these days and uncertain about what the future may bring. The idea of working in developing countries provides a much-needed bal-

ance to the gloom, as many engineers who have done just that over the past few years have found. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in times like these that the significant investments in hard cash and human capital that were made when there was so much happening at home actually begin to make great strategic sense. There are a handful of firms within Canada who are now well positioned to continue to develop solutions to environmental problems and to improve lives in parts of the world where infrastructure investments remain a priority. At the turn of this century, 189 member states of the United Nations came together to adopt the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), building on a decade of major conferences and summits. The blueprint agreed to by these countries and leading development and financial institutions has galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poorest. The external financing needed to meet these goals from all funding sources has been estimated to be in excess of US $70 billion per year. The MDGs have specific measurable targets to significantly improve the lives of people by 2015. These are focused on the following: 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. 2. Achieve universal primary education. 3. Promote gender equality and empower women. 4. Reduce child mortality. 5. Improve maternal health. 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. 7. Ensure environmental sustainability. 8. Develop a global partnership for development. It is in meeting objective No. 7 that some environmental science and engineering consultants have found a particularly meaningful way to apply their skill

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sets and experience. The aim to ensure environmental sustainability specifically includes four targets: 1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into a countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s policies and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources. 2. Reduce biodiversity loss. 3. Halve by 2015 the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. 4. Achieve by 2020 a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers. While there is much more work to do to achieve these goals, the efforts to date have already improved the lives of millions around the world, and have revealed and reinforced many of the strengths of our profession. The first and foremost is that the good work we do as environmental science and engineering consultants is fundamental if these targets are to be achieved. With our analytical skills and technical expertise, we are able to understand the complex problems on a scientific level and then

develop practical solutions. Of particular relevance is that we understand best practices and through our experience are able to apply international standards and navigate regulatory requirements. The second strength is that we are getting better at working with others to achieve appropriate and sustainable results. International technical consultants have at times had a reputation in developing countries of generating solutions that may meet needs from a technical standpoint, but do not adequately address local social or economic considerations. More consultants are realizing that solutions must not only be technically responsive but also culturally appropriate in order to be sustainable, so they are working with local governments, nongovernmental organizations and other stakeholders to develop suitable and long-lasting solutions. Many donors in the international development arena are beginning to see tangible returns on their investment through projects that were realized through the involvement of a mix of these professionals. These projects provide an injection of

challenge, global meaning and enthusiasm into our day-to-day routine which, as mentioned earlier, can sometimes be tinged with domestic gloom. We are finding our international projects to be an effective tonic in the development of young professionals and in renewing the enthusiasm of some older ones. Perhaps this is also due to the realization that engineering and people skills honed in project work in the communities and towns where we live are increasingly improving the lives of others in far-off lands. Can you imagine the smile of the woman in a northern city in Mozambique when she turns on the tap at her front door and for the first time clean water flows into her container? Contact: Debanjan.Mookerjea@rjburnside.com

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A diverse range of case histories and new developments is reviewed in ES&Eâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s semi-annual look at tanks, containment systems and spill management.

New guide published on storage tank regulations and compliance

S

torage Tanks in Canada - The Guide to Environmental Regulation and Compliance, by environmental lawyer P. Douglas Petrie, is intended as a primer on how to achieve and maintain compliance with the applicable environmental rules for storage tanks in Ontario, and, by comparison, elsewhere in Canada. It addresses storage tanks situated within Ontario, whether they are under provincial jurisdiction, federal jurisdiction, or both. According to the 1994-1995 Annual Report by the Environmental Commissioner for Ontario, there were an estimated 34,000 storage tanks located in the Province. Environment Canada had estimated that there were over 8,400 federally owned systems and another 4,500 operated by tenants on federal lands across Canada. The majority of large field-erected tanks for bulk storage of flammable and combustible liquids are found at chemical plants, and at petroleum refineries and distribution centres. They are also found at major transportation facilities, such as airports, rail yards, bus terminals, ports, and marinas. More typical storage tank systems are installed at retail gasoline outlets. Often corner convenience stores and donut shops are built on former gas station sites. 58 | November 2011

Through the quirks of municipal zoning by-laws, a number of them were able to change use, without a zoning change and without much attention from the regulatory authorities. As a result, innocent-looking properties may be hiding buried (and potentially leaking) storage tank systems. Any business that operates a fleet of vehicles is likely to have storage tanks. Through subsidy programs, many fleets have converted to natural gas, propane or alternative fuel. However, on-site gasoline or diesel storage tanks may remain. Fleet operators include federal and provincial governments. Municipal public works yards and fire stations often have vehicle refuelling capabilities. Mining and other large-scale natural resource operations usually have storage tanks to fuel their vehicles and machinery at remote locations, where they typically operate. Farms may have fuel storage tanks to run tractors and other machinery. Farm storage tanks were not explicitly regulated in Ontario, until the 1993 version of the Gasoline Handling Code. Many manufacturing operations have flammable liquid storage tanks containing raw materials, such as alcohols and other solvents, as well as waste liquid. Regulation of flammable and combustible liquid storage tanks in Ontario and

in many other jurisdictions is rigorous, and for good reason. Environment Canada estimates that five percent of systems on federal lands leak. The environmental and health and safety consequences have been, at times, alarming, and the remediation costs have invariably been staggering. In a 1994 study, Consulting and Audit Canada estimated potential remediation costs for leaking systems on federal lands to be $294 million. The average cost was $147,000, not including third party claims. Historically, most storage tank systems leaked, or experienced spillage, at the fill pipe or joints in distribution piping. Underground storage tanks cannot be visually inspected and therefore rely on inventory and monitoring regimes to detect such problems. Except for bottom leaks, aboveground system problems can be detected and addressed more readily, often resulting in less extensive environmental consequences. But they are more likely to pose a health and safety risk. Because of significant improvements to tank system design over the past decades, system failures are now more likely to occur in the associated works (piping, pumps, material handling outside the tanks) than in the storage tanks themselves. Problems have been attributed to:

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• Inappropriate deployment of equipment for the circumstances • Improper installation • Poor, or no inspection and maintenance • Poor design, or technology • Negligent manufacturing • Obsolescence • Poor, or no leak detection or monitoring. In this book, environmental regulation means the legislation, as well as the guid-

Primary containment

ance documents developed by regulatory authorities, standard-setting bodies and industry associations that pertain to storage tanks from an environment and safety perspective. Some of the legislation is relevant to storage tanks in a specific context. Other legislation is of general application. The focus of this book is on the rules that govern: • Liquids (as opposed to pressurized materials that are gaseous rather than liquid) kept in aboveground and underground atmospheric-pressure storage tanks • Transfer of the materials into and out of these tanks • Design, installation, operations, maintenance, monitoring, and decommissioning requirements for these tanks (from an environment and safety perspective) • Responses to environmental problems. This book deals with flammable and combustible liquids, as defined in the various codes. These liquids may be raw materials, virgin products, or wastes. As environmental problems associated with storage tanks can lead to lawsuits, prosecutions, and administrative

orders, an overview of the common law causes of action, statutory offences and the range of available defences is provided. Related legislation in the fields of occupational health and safety, land use, and buildings is also discussed. To maximize the utility of this book to facility managers and their professional advisors, every attempt has been made to pull together in one place all of the regulatory requirements and interpretive guidance for a given topic, including installation, operations, decommissioning, and site remediation. It contains information and photographs current to the end of December 2010. Storage Tanks in Canada is available from Templegate Information Services. For more information, or to order a copy, E-mail: publications@templegateinfo.com, or visit www.templegateinfo.com

Secondary containment

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Unusual system solves Lunenburg's need for potable water storage

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he Town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, famous for the schooners Bluenose and Bluenose II, now has a new 95' diameter x 19' high AquastoreÂŽ potable water storage tank, complete with an aluminum geodesic dome. The Lunenburg tank also has a feature that is rare in most water treatment applications. Inside it is a 34' diameter x 19' high fixed-volume chlorine contact tank that continuously disinfects the town's water. As part of a new $7.2 million water treatment facility, the combination tank, constructed by Greatario Engineered Storage Systems, with engineering firm CBCL Limited, proved to be the most economical and timely solution for Lunenburg's upgrade. Prior to the Aquastore installation, the town received its water from an open-air reservoir. Water was pumped through

GREATARIO GR EA ATAR AgeRSystems IO Engineered Storage Syst y ems

flow proportional chlorine equipment that was installed in 1990. According to Marc Belliveau, Lunenburgâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Town Engineer, â&#x20AC;&#x153;because the reservoir was open to the elements, our water was exposed to a variety of hazards that could potentially be harmful to our residents. The new Provincial Surface Water Treatment standards required an enclosed reservoir and water filtration for the town's drinking water, so we had to replace the reservoir with an entirely new water treatment system." The town received funds from three levels of government to upgrade their system to meet the new water quality requirements. The project also included a new water treatment plant, pump house upgrades, a wastewater pumping station, and force main to provide water to the town's 2,500 residents. Because the town had limited space to build two individual

tanks, Steve Gregory, of Greatario, and Brett Pugh, of CBCL, had to develop a water storage and chlorine contact unit that would be cost-effective and require little maintenance. "We came up with a few different ideas, but when it came down to maximizing the space we had to work with, the best alternative was to go with the tank-within-a-tank with fabric baffle design," says Gregory. "It's a unique application; all you see is one tank, but it's actually doing the work of two." A major concern with the design was making sure the inner chlorine contact tank maintained a fixed liquid level. If the liquid content in the chlorine contact tank ever reached below the water level of the outer storage tank, hydrostatic pressure would crush the inner tank. Pugh and his team of engineers determined a way to make sure the inner tank stayed full at all times.

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 7:55 PM Page 61

The Town of Lunenburg received funding from three levels of government to build their new water treatment plant and storage reservoir.

"In an unusual situation where maintenance on the tank is required, we have planned for a bypass to make sure that the water level stays the same at all times," Pugh said.

Construction of the outer storage tank began in the fall of 2009. The tank with its dome was erected using Aquastore's jack-build tank construction system. This allowed building materials for the inner

tank to be stored inside the empty water complex, which was completed at a later date. "What made this project more attractive for everybody was that we were able to maximize the plot of land that we had to work with. We didn't require a lot of excavation or an expensive and time-consuming process of building with reinforced concrete to get the desired results," Pugh said. The water treatment plant officially opened in September 2010 and has been servicing the Lunenburg community with no setbacks. The complete treatment system was awarded the Atlantic Canada Water and Wastewater Association 2010 Small Utility Project of the Year. For more information, visit www.greatario.com.

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Improving the performance of polyethylene storage tanks By Dr. A. Brent Strong

T

he overwhelming consideration in specification and final judgement on any product should be performance in actual use. While other considerations such as processing ease and raw material cost are also important, these are inconsequential if the part will not perform as required. Laboratory tests have been developed to determine the long-term performance of storage tanks constructed with polyethylene. However, these tests should be used in combination with actual performance data as it becomes available, and with an understanding of the molecular behaviour of polymers, so that the nature of failure and survival can be understood and improved. Polymers Polyethylene is a polymer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a material composed of many long molecules that are highly entangled with each other.

Molecules of polyethylene are made up of a backbone or chain of carbon atoms, with hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon on the backbone. Occasionally, short carbon and hydrogen branches can also be attached to some of the backbone carbons. This material, the first type of polyethylene made, is called branched polyethylene. If only a moderate number of branches are present and the branches are relatively short, the polyethylene molecule is called linear polyethylene â&#x20AC;&#x201C; reflecting the general domination of the linear backbone. If the branches are even scarcer, the material is called high-density polyethylene (HDPE), because the molecules form extensive crystalline regions, which increase density. The physical and mechanical properties of polyethylene are overwhelmingly dominated by the interactions, or inter-

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mingling, between the polymer chains. Generally, the greater the interaction, the better the performance. As the polymer chains interact, they are separated less easily, thus making it more difficult for cracks to form between them; the force needed to pull them apart is increased, thus increasing strength and stiffness; and their ability to dissipate impact energies is improved, thus increasing toughness. Other properties are increased as well. To improve performance, polymer resin manufacturers and moulders have consistently worked to increase the amount of interactions between the chains. One method to increase chain interactions is to increase the length of the chain or, in other words, the molecular weight, which simply increases the amount of entanglement between polymers. Early polymer performance was adversely affected by the inability of polymer manufacturers to achieve high molecular weights. Gradually that problem was solved but then it became apparent that, if the molecular weight was increased too much, the polymer could not be processed well. As a result, a compromise was made between property performance and processing capability. For many products, that compromise was acceptable. However, for applications where long-term performance is critical, such as storage tanks, and pipes for irrigation, the compromise caused a serious problem. Long-term exposure to the environment often resulted in massive cracking and total product failure. The polymer chains simply did not have the amount of interaction required to give long-term performance. The problem was to increase polymer interactions, while maintaining processing capabilities. Solving the dilemma A breakthrough in polymer processing provided a solution to the dilemma, which was to crosslink the polymer after the part had been formed. Crosslinking had been known for many years, as a technique to improve properties in thercontinued overleaf...

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:20 PM Page 63

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moset polymers, but was always done during forming, never afterwards. The concept of forming a part, and then crosslinking it, was highly successful. Crosslinking is simply the formation of bonds between the polymer chains. These bonds, equal in strength and stability to the principal bonds along the polymer backbone, tie the polymers together, dramatically increasing molecular weight. The length of the polymer chains and, therefore, the physical properties, are much better than can ever be achieved without crosslinking. Several methods were employed to crosslink the polymer after it was formed. One method was to use peroxides and crosslinking agents, much like the technology used in making high performance aerospace parts and fiberglass reinforced plastics. This method was especially well

64 | November 2011

When long-term storage tank performance is required, using crosslinked resin is recommended.

suited to parts made by rotational moulding and casting. Another method was to crosslink using electron bombardment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a method especially well suited to parts made by extrusion, injection moulding and blow moulding. The advantages of crosslinked polyethylene are evident in the plastic moulding process called rotational moulding or rotomoulding. This process is most common in chemical storage tanks. Combining ro-

tomoulding and crosslinking provides several processing capabilities not possible with linear (HDPE). Product performance testing Laboratory tests showed that crosslinked materials are better than linear materials. The Izod impact toughness is more than five times better in crosslinked materials, when compared to linear. Resistance to crack growth is 10 times better in crosslink than linear. The Environmental Stress Crack Resistance (ESCR) is 20 times better than linear polyethylene. Real world performance of crosslinked materials has been closely monitored for many years and, in general, has confirmed the performance of the product as indicated in laboratory testing. Therefore, when long-term storage tank performance is required, using crosslinked resin is strongly recommended. Dr. A. Brent Strong is with Brigham Young University. This article was prepared on behalf of Poly Processing. For more information in Canada, please contact Metcon Sales & Engineering Ltd., www.metconeng.com/4tanks

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Bolted steel tanks replace failing reservoir in Saskatchewan By Darrin Hopper

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o replace a failing concrete reservoir in the Town of Nipawin, Saskatchewan, H2Flow Tanks & Systems Inc. recently worked with the town and Associated Engineering, in Saskatoon, to supply and erect two Permastore bolted steel tanks. H2Flow acted as the general contractor for the project, and were responsible for below grade piping to within 3 m of the perimeter, excavation, backfill and compaction, concrete works, the tank and dome, insulation, cladding, leak testing and disinfection. Experience has shown that the quality of sub-contractors and the people you get to work with can make or break a project. Working in a remote area and not knowing the local contractors, H2Flow had to rely on the advice of local businessmen and the town office. The effort paid off, and they had the good fortune to work with some great people. The site was right in the town, on a flat and wide open piece of land. Soil conditions were excellent and there was an interesting jack pine sand that was well compacted below a 900 mm silt layer. The local sand was perfect for foundation bearing. However, it was difficult to achieve a mix design that satisfied everyone, as sands for concrete mix in the area definitely werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the norm. In the end, however, the concrete passed the quality control procedures and load tests. An interesting component of the project was the choice to spray foam on the underside of the dome, for insulation. It was also decided to insulate the sidewalls. BASF was very helpful providing technical support and making recommendations. One of these was having the aluminum primed before the spray foam was applied, because there can be a reaction between these two materials. An NSF coating was applied to the insulation on the underside of the dome. Further research would be appropriate here as the spray foam is a closed cell system and not in contact with the water. Both tanks were partially erected with two rings and the dome, in order to www.esemag.com

Insulating foam was sprayed on the tank walls.

Tanks after jacketing installed.

The tanks were fully erected, just in time for winter.

allow the spray foam contractor easier and safer access to the underside of the domes. Otherwise they would have had to work on the underside of the domes, once fully erected. The weather cooperated throughout the majority of the late fall, but a Saskatchewan cold spell did shut down work for five days. These tanks can be built in cold weather, but minus 10 to 15 degrees C, without the wind chill, is a little on the extreme side. Weather also affected the piping contractor, who was tying in the new system, so this work was delayed until the spring. Leak testing in the spring went well, with the exception of some repairs required due to the tanks sitting empty during the extremely cold winter months, with no sidewall insulation. This was quickly and easily rectified and the tanks were tested and disinfected to

the satisfaction of the consultant and ownersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; representative. Once leak testing was completed the sidewalls were insulated. Spray foam was used for this component as well, and this project showed that the cost of spray foam is very close to traditional fibre wool insulation. It is faster and less labour intensive, even though the material cost is greater. A word of caution, however, because spray foam is not as clean to install as fibre wool and there is a lot of overspray. If you are going to consider it, be sure that you are in a wide open area. The sidewall insulation was covered by a very aesthetically pleasing cladding product, installed by MidWest Metal from Saskatoon. Darrin Hopper is with H2Flow Tanks & Systems Inc. E-mail: darrin@h2flow.com November 2011 | 65


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Why you should specify certified storage tanks?

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ith so many choices available, finding the right storage tank can be difficult. Certified tanks provide a sense of security for the end-user, who knows that the tanks have been tested and meet the standards to safely handle the product for which they have been certified. NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit organization for public health standards and certification. Beginning 66 years ago as the National Sanitation Foundation, the organization was founded in order to standardize sanitation and food safety requirements. The name changed to NSF International in 1990, as it expanded its services to more than sanitation and into international markets. Today, NSF has developed more than 75 public health and safety American National Standards.

The NSF/ANSI 61 program is responsible for the certification of drinking water treatment chemicals and drinking water system components, to make sure these products do not contaminate drinking water and cause any health problems. NSF certified products are inspected and reviewed annually for retesting. If a product fails the retest, the manufacturer has to stop all shipments of the product, until the cause of the failure can be corrected. Then, the product can be re-submitted and, if it meets all NSF/61 standards, it is once again listed as an NSF certified product. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) also provides standards and certification for quality management systems. ISO audits engineering and manufacturing processes, instead of just the final product, for effectiveness and continuous improvement. By reviewing

• First Crosslink tanks approved for chemical storage by NSF • Linear polyethylene tanks certified by NSF International to ANSI 61 standards for potable water • FDO (Full Drain Outlet) outlet assembly provides the ability to fully drain your tank without the need for mechanically installed nozzles • Certified tank models ranging in size from 20 to 12,000 gallons • Variety of options available to modify tanks to meet your specifications

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Assmann Corporation Garrett, IN 46738 Fax: 888-TANK FAX (826-5329) E-mail: info@assmann-usa.com Manufacturing facilities in Garrett, IN and Marshall, TX

66 | November 2011

and monitoring these processes, product quality can be continually improved and process design flaws can be corrected. Complete traceability via strict quality control and routing, which links the product back to the date of manufacture, raw material lot numbers and processing times, is critical in conforming to laws regarding bulk chemical storage. ISO certificates are renewed at regular intervals. Tank inspections are becoming more and more common and, with complete ISO documentation, these inspections can be handled in a timely fashion, without time-consuming background research on the tanks’ production. Assmann Corporation of America offers FDA-compliant, linear polyethylene tanks which are certified by NSF to NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects. The certification is for multiple potable water contact materials at ambient temperatures. High-density crosslink Schulink XL350 resin tanks from Assman are certified by NSF International to ANSI 61 standards for chemical storage. These tanks require no additional liner to meet the certification. Assmann offers double wall tanks as part of the crosslink tanks certified by NSF for chemical storage. Double wall tanks feature an inner tank dome, which overlaps the outer tank sidewall, to prevent the elements and debris from entering the containment basin. This is especially beneficial in the case of a catastrophic failure. With no contaminants in the secondary tank, the chemicals would not be tainted and could be saved. Double wall tanks also eliminate the need for expensive lined concrete containment, which was used previously as protection against possible chemical spills. Concrete containment also prevents any future relocation if needed. The double wall design helps eliminate cross contamination of contents, reducing the possible danger of mixing reactive chemicals. E-mail: info@assmann-usa.com.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:20 PM Page 68

Geosynthetics help Slave Lake residents recover from unprecedented wildfire damage By Don Talend

One of the most critical tasks in the recovery during the first year has been establishing long-term shelter for several hundred families who lost their homes in the fire and who might have to wait a few years for their homes to be rebuilt.

F

ollowing one of the worst natural disasters in Canada’s history, residents of Slave Lake, Alberta, are being helped to rebuild their lives by Layfield Geosynthetics & Industrial Fabrics and Apex Distribution. Wildfires fanned by rare southeasterly winds up to 100 km/h destroyed several hundred homes as well as several businesses and municipal buildings in the town of 7,000 in May 2011. Heavy rains in July caused further damage to remaining foundations and the infrastructure. With more than $700 million in damages, Slave Lake is the second-costliest insured disaster in Canadian history, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. An ice storm that hit Quebec and Ontario in 1998 cost more than $1.8 billion, adjusted for inflation. The fire was significant enough that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, made an impromptu stop during their 2011 visit to Canada, to raise morale amid recovery efforts. Layfield and Apex have provided geosynthetic materials and expertise for 68 | November 2011

construction of a temporary trailer park for residents displaced from their homes, and expansion of a landfill in the wake of the fire. Soil where one of two temporary trailer parks would be located needed the stability of geotextiles. The landfill required proper separation of waste from soil and the groundwater protection that geotextiles also provide. Ken Hedin, branch manager for Apex and a former firefighter, helped several extended family members and others evacuate Slave Lake; he was one of the few local people allowed back into town as firefighters battled the fires. Apex provided parts to keep the firefighting equipment operating. In the fire’s aftermath, Apex donated equipment from fencing, to cordon off the smouldering residential areas, to shelving for the local curling rink, where the Canadian Red Cross stored relief supplies. Stabilizing soil for temporary housing One of the most critical tasks in the recovery during the first year has been establishing long-term shelter for several hundred families who lost their homes in

the fire and who might have to wait a few years for their homes to be rebuilt. The CBC reports that about 700 families were displaced. Many temporarily moved in with relatives, lived at campgrounds, or opted for public housing. Some have permanently relocated out of town. One trailer park on the east side of town has been built for 150 trailers. Since mid-August 2011, Slave Lake-based Seguin Construction has been building slabs, driveways and roadways for the trailer park. “This is something that we have all lived through as a community,” says Dave Redgate, Seguin’s manager, who lost his home in Widewater, a small community west of Slave Lake. “Some of our company contractors, suppliers and employees are moving into the facility that we have built. We all know someone who has been directly affected by this tragedy.” Full occupation of the trailers was expected around mid-October. Each of five sections of the trailer park consisted of 30 slabs for individual trailers, with each slab measuring 12 x 32 m.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:20 PM Page 69

Installing geotextile material in the region’s muskeg soil is challenging under normal circumstances, and the heavy rains made the task even more difficult.

The trailers were constructed in two rows of 15 per section with utility corridors running the full length of the slabs behind the trailers. In order to stabilize the muskeg soils for the slabs, driveways and roadways, Seguin initially installed 7,031 sq m2 of Layfield LP 200 woven slit-film polypropylene geotextile over a temporary working pad. This pad was built on parent ground and was filled and compacted with clay to a depth of 600 mm. The same process was to be used throughout the 81,500 m2 development. However, weather conditions and timelines dictated a departure from the plan. The rush for temporary housing with looming cold weather necessitated a three-week construction window. Heavy rains in July, which forced short-term closures of the roads surrounding Slave Lake, saturated the soil even more. Rather than use clay fill, Alberta Infrastructure and Seguin thought a sandy-pit run material would enable sustained operations during wet weather and make adherence to the three-week timeline realistic. www.esemag.com

The subsequent engineering decision was to shift from LP 200 to the relatively heavy-duty LP 315 product. The total amount installed under the pads, driveways and roadways throughout the development was 117,057 m2. The project engineer, Focus Corporation of Edmonton, selected the LP 315 to be installed directly onto the undisturbed parent soil before fill was placed. Imported sandy-pit run fill was hauled, placed and compacted to a depth of 800 mm. More than 112,000 m3 of fill was imported for the project. Additional aggregate material was imported for individual trailer pads, roadways and driveways. Installing geotextile material in the region’s muskeg soil is challenging under normal circumstances, and the heavy rains made the task even more difficult. The site was deforested and crews entered the site to install the geotextile materials. “It was essentially a crew of labourers rolling out each roll individually, sometimes in water up to their armpits, to get the proper overlaps, and weighing the

rolls down with available rocks or whatever they could until the fill could be applied on top of it,” Redgate recalls. An environmentally safe landfill A disaster such as this generates plenty of unexpected consequences. In Slave Lake, one such result was that the Lesser Slave Lake Regional Landfill in Widewater was overwhelmed with about 3,500 fire-damaged refrigerators in three days, according to the Edmonton Journal. The newspaper reported that the existing landfill would have had enough capacity for three more years, but had to be expanded immediately due to the fire. Expansion from two cells to three began in early September 2011 and was scheduled to be completed by mid-October. Each of the existing cells covered roughly 2.2 hectares and the third covers the same area. Closely overseen by the project engineer, Associated Engineering of Edmonton, in strict adherence to Alberta Environment guidelines and regulations, the expansion of the Class II waste landfill also incorporates geosynthetic materials. Layfield’s LP 200 material was used to line collection trenches at the bottom of the landfill cell. A 600-mm clay liner was placed over the collection system and a leachate collection pipe was covered with an impermeable clay liner 600 mm thick. Over the clay liner, a 300-mm-thick layer of tire shred was placed to serve as another filtration system. All told, the landfill expansion used 7,525 m2 of LP 200. Redgate looks back with pride and admiration on the efforts of numerous local trades in the rebuilding. “Because the temporary subdivision development was a local project, we can all feel that as a community, we banded together to provide for those who have lost everything,” Redgate adds. “I am so proud, at this moment, to be a Slave Laker. This tragedy has and will reshape us as individuals and as a community. ” Don Talend is with Write Results Inc. For more information, visit www.layfieldgroup.com. November 2011 | 69


Storage/Containment & Spills Product Showcase

Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:20 PM Page 70

Chemical feed stations

Corrosion protection

Assmann’s compact feed stations, ranging from 40 to 550 gallons, store small amounts of liquids and other chemicals. The feed stations are lightweight, strong and easy to handle. Assmann linear polyethylene tanks are certified by NSF to NSF/ANSI Standard 61. Tel: 888-357-3181, Fax: 888-826-5329 E-mail: info@assmann-usa.com Web: www.assmann-usa.com Assmann Corporation of America

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

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

Specialist training Practical Hands-on Progressive Formats

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

70 | November 2011

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

Free 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

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

H2Flow Tanks & Systems

MegaDome

Spill containment systems

Containment system

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

Westeel's CRing Containment Systems are ideal for petrochemical, frac water storage, oil and gas, fertilizer, hazardous material, and agricultural applications. All systems are made with high-strength (50-ksi) steel and have heavy-duty G115 galvanizing, meeting the stringent requirements of ISO 9001. Tel: 1-888-674-8265, 204-233-7133 Fax: 1-888-463-6012 E-mail: info@westeel.com Web: www.westeel.com

Transport Environmental Systems

Westeel

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:21 PM Page 71

ACG Technology’s package treatment system offers performance and durability. It provides sewage treatment within a small footprint. Aeration, mixing and settling can be accomplished in compact, easily transported ISO containers, ideal for remote locations. Provides flexibility of adding future parallel units, an economical means of meeting the needs of any growing sewage loads. Tel: 905-856-1414, Fax: 905-856-6401 E-mail: sales@acgtechnology.com Web: www.acgtechnology.com ACG Technology

Coalescing oil/water separators ACG Technology’s coalescing oil/ water separators are available in carbon steel, stainless steel, FRP and polypropylene construction. Standard systems include air-operated diaphragm pump, air filter and floating skimmer. Adjustable weir and skimmer height provides optimal oil removal and minimal disposal volume. Standard range is 1 to 50 GPM. Tel: 905-856-1414, Fax: 905-856-6401 E-mail: sales@acgtechnology.com Web: www.acgtechnology.com ACG Technology

Venturi air scrubber Altech Technology Systems offers the patented System REITHER™ venturi air scrubber advanced technology for up to 99% removal of fine particulate, aerosols, acid mists, and many odorous gases, including H₂S, SO₂, ammonia, etc. from 0.1 µ to 10 µ. Benefits include: adjustable venturi throat, compact modular footprint, few moving parts, low maintenance and co-scrub particulate and watersoluble gases in a single stage system. Tel: 866-734-8437 E-mail: ats@altech-group.com Web: www.altech-group.com Altech Technology Systems

APU offers 87 degrees

New signature meter

Phoenix Underdrain System

American Public University (APU) has 87 online degrees. Our tuition is far less than other top online universities so you can further your education without breaking the bank. Learn more about one of the best values in online education. Web: www.studyatAPU.com/ESE.

Teledyne Isco’s new Signature Meter simultaneously collects data from multiple flow and water quality measurement devices, and automatically generates required summary data. Most importantly, the SignatureTM meter electronically verifies that report data is authentic and unaltered. Tel: 888-965-4700 E-mail: info@avensys.com

• Optimizes all types of filters • Extremely low profile; lowest available • Manufactured from corrosion-resistant stainless steel • Variable custom orifice sizing • Custom hydraulic design • Guaranteed uniform air scour distribution • Rapid, low-cost installation Tel: 403-255-7377, Fax: 403-255-3129 E-mail: info@awifilter.com Web: www.awifilter.com

Avensys Solutions

AWI

American Public University

Phoenix Panel System

• Upgrades and optimizes all types of filters • Installs directly over existing underdrain system • Eliminates the need for base gravel layers • Improves backwash flow distribution • Provides longer filter runs and lower turbidity effluent Tel: 403-255-7377, Fax: 403-255-3129 E-mail: info@awifilter.com Web: www.awifilter.com AWI www.esemag.com

Sprinkler shut off tool

Denso Petrolatum Tapes

Fire damage is expensive but so is the water damage caused by an activated sprinkler head. The Shutgun is a simple tool that will shut off an individual sprinkler head while leaving all others active. Should the fire rekindle the Shutgun includes a fusible link that releases when heated, the gun drops out and the sprinkler reactivates. Tel: 800-265-0182, 905-949-2741, Fax: (905) 272-1866 E-mail: info@cdnsafety.com Web: www.cdnsafety.com

Proven worldwide for well over 100 years, Denso Petrolatum Tapes offer the best, most economical, long-term corrosion protection for all above and below ground metal surfaces. Requiring only minimum surface preparation and environmentally responsible, Denso Petrolatum Tape is the solution to your corrosion problems in any corrosive environment. For applications in mines, mills, refineries, steel mills, pulp & paper, oil & gas, and the waterworks industry. The answer is Denso! Tel: 416-291-3435, Fax: 416-291-0898 E-mail: blair@densona.com Web: www.densona.com Denso

Canadian Safety Equipment

November 2011 | 71

Product & Service Showcase

Package Treatment System


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-12-02 7:35 PM Page 72

Product & Service Showcase

Analytical system

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

Differential level controller

The new Liquiline CM44x platform from Endress+Hauser is a true multi-channel “Plug & Play” analytical system, using Memosens digital communications. Just plug in up to eight digital sensors and you are ready to go! Move now to a true digital system. Tel: 1-800-668-3199, Fax: 905-681-9444 E-mail: info@ca.endress.com Web: www.ca.endress.com Endress+Hauser

Greatario Engineered Storage Systems

The brand new and economical Greyline DLT 2.0 can measure both differential level at a barscreen, plus open channel flow through a flume, all at the same time! It works with two non-contacting ultrasonic sensors and includes relays for barscreen rake and level control as well as three 4-20mA outputs. Tel: 888-473-9546 E-mail: info@greyline.com Web: www.greyline.com Greyline Instruments

Ozone systems

Multiparameter meter

Inline sludge screen

H2FLOW offers Pinnacle’s revolutionary Zenith ozone systems, producing up to 600 lbs/day (5% wt.) per unit. With their highly efficient design, they can be turned up/down for 100% dosage variability. They are built with solid components, are rugged, proven, extremely compact, and water cooled, with no yearly maintenance. Tel: 905-660-9775, Fax: 905-660-9744 E-mail: info@h2flow.com Web: www.h2flow.com

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

H2Flow

Hoskin Scientific

Membrane filtration Throughout North America, Jellyfish Filter is setting new standards in stormwater filtration. It has the highest flow rate (80 gpm) and lowest head loss (18 inches) of any stormwater filter. Its small footprint and easy maintenance make it a low cost favorite for environmental engineers and land developers. Tel: 800-565-4801 Web: www.imbriumsystems.com Imbrium Systems 72 | November 2011

Grit removal

MECTAN® V (Variangle) is a complete redevelopment of the MECTAN® design with 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). It provides improved grit removal efficiency across the board and surpasses other similar designs in the difficult removal of grit in the 140 mesh range. Tel: 888-MEUNIER E-mail: sales@johnmeunier.com Web: www.johnmeunier.com John Meunier

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

Borehole pumps KSB’s UPA pumps are efficient, multi-stage pumps specially designed for borehole operations. Coming in diameters from 50 mm to 200 mm, they are offered in a variety of corrosion-resistant materials (i.e., duplex stainless steel) which makes them suitable for handling aggressive fluids such as brackish water from deep deposits. Tel: 905-568-9200 E-mail: ksbcanada@ksbcanada.com Web: www.ksb.ca KSB Pumps Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:21 PM Page 73

ArmorGalv is an environment-friendly process that offers superior corrosion protection and wear resistance, as well as antigalling properties. It coats and penetrates the surface of any type of steel, becoming integrated with the part. An excellent alternative for toxic coatings. E-mail: info@planthub.com Web: www.armorgalv.com MJ International & Associates

New water quality meter

The Ultrameter III 9P titration kit features fast, one-touch measurements for conductivity, resistivity, TDS, ORP, free chlorine, pH and temperature, and incell alkalinity, hardness and LSI titrations. LSI calculator function lets you predict the effect of changes on water balance. Web: www.myronl.com Myron L Company

Progressive cavity pumps

NEMO® Progressive Cavity Pumps are normally used in wastewater treatment plants with the following properties: low viscosity or compacted, fibrous, adhesive, thixotropic, abrasive, corrosive, high gas content, toxic, varying temperatures, lubricating and non-lubricating. Capacities are up to 1,800 gpm, pressures up to 720 psi. Tel: 705-797-8426, Fax: 705-797-8427 E-mail: info@netzsch.ca Web: www.netzsch.ca Netzsch Canada www.esemag.com

Safety hatches MSU MG Safety Hatches - the open and shut case for hatch standards. With single, double and multi-door configurations in aluminum and stainless steel, they are made right here in Canada. Check us out on the web www.msumississauga.com Tel: 1-800-268-5336, Fax: 1-888-220-2213 E-mail: sales@msumississauga.com

MSU Mississauga

Measuring pen The ULTRAPEN™ PT1 is a new groundbreaking conductivity/ TDS/salinity pen. It features the accuracy and stability of bench top lab equipment, measuring conductivity, TDS and salinity in a portable and convenient pen. Constructed of durable aircraft aluminum, this pen is fully plotted with an easy-to-read LCD and one-button functions. Web: www.myronl.com Myron L Company

Water reuse systems ORIVAL, Inc. now provides complete water filtration systems designed for specific municipal and industrial applications. These systems include filters, manifold, valves and control. ORIVAL ORG and OR Series of Automatic SelfCleaning Filters are designed to withstand the day-in and day-out rigours of POTWs. A wide range of filters is available from ¾” to 24”, and filtration degrees from 5 to 3000 microns. Tel: 201-568-3311, 800-567-9767 E-mail: filters@orival.com Web: www.orival.com ORIVAL, Inc.

Safety hatches

MSU MG Safety Hatches set the standard in Canada for fall-through protection. They withstand pedestrian and occasional traffic loads. With single, double and multi-door configurations in aluminum and stainless steel, they are made in Canada. Tel: 1-800-268-5336, Fax: 1-888-220-2213 E-mail: sales@msumississauga.com Web: www.msumississauga.com MSU Mississauga

Association for groundwater industry

The National Ground Water Association is the hallmark organization for anyone affiliated with the groundwater industry. NGWA's purpose is to provide guidance to members, government representatives, and the public, for sound scientific, economic, and beneficial development, protection, and management of the world's groundwater resources. E-mail: ngwa@ngwa.org Web: www.ngwa.org National Ground Water Association

Metering pump 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 ProMinent Fluid Controls November 2011 | 73

Product & Service Showcase

ArmorGalv® thermal diffusion environment-friendly cost effective corrosion protection


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:21 PM Page 74

Metering pumps Feature-rich and dependable Sigma series metering pumps from ProMinent help keep your chemical feed under control. Sigma pumps operate in capacities of up to 1000 LPH and pressures up to 174 psi. Microprocessor controls are easy to use, with backlit LCD for rapid and reliable adjustment. Tel: 888-709-9933, Fax: 519-836-5226 E-mail: sales@prominent.ca Web: www.prominent.ca ProMinent Fluid Controls

Product & Service Showcase

Water level data logger

Headworks system

Documentation management

Robillard Document Management specializes in the documentation needs of engineering firms or consultants. We provide staffing solutions to firms that need temporary or permanent employees. Some other services include: scanning, CD/DVD burning, translations, proofreading/formatting of documents and electronic file renaming. Tel: 438-820-2262 E-mail: rdmdocumentcontrol@gmail.com Web: www.rdmdocumentcontrol.ca

Smith & Loveless

Robillard Document Management

Trickling filters

Bladder pumps

Waterloo Biofilters® are efficient, modular trickling filters for residential and communal sewage wastewaters, and landfill leachate. Patented, lightweight, synthetic filter media optimize physical properties for microbial attachment and water retention. The self-contained modular design for communal use is now available in 20,000L/d and 40,000L/d ISO shipping container units - ready to plug in on-site. Tel: 519-856-0757, Fax: 519-856-0759 E-mail: wbs@waterloo-biofilter.com Web: www.waterloo-biofilter.com Waterloo Biofilter

With absolute precision, the new Levelogger® Edge records up to 120,000 water level and temperature data points using new linear compression sampling. It offers improved temperature compensation, reduced thermal response times, accuracy of 0.05% FS, 24 bit resolution, a 10-year battery, corrosion-resistant titanium coating, and Hastelloy pressure sensor. Tel: 905-873-2255, Fax: 905-873-1992 E-mail: instruments@solinst.com Web: www.solinst.com Solinst Canada

Solinst Bladder Pumps prevent air/water contact during operation, and are excellent for low flow and VOC groundwater sampling. They are available in stainless steel or PVC and are ideal for applications to depths of 150 m (500 ft.). Bladders are quick and easy to change. Tel: 905-873-2255, 800-661-2023 Fax: 905-873-1992, 800-516-9081 E-mail: instruments@solinst.com Web: www.solinst.com

Peristaltic pumps

Mechanical actuators

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

The portable, electrically operated Hydrolift has been one of the most popular mechanical actuators for the Waterra Inertial Pump, and we've been working to make it better. Today, the improved Hydrolift is more durable and easier to use and, most importantly, more affordable than ever. Tel: 905-238-5242, Fax: 905-238-5704 E-mail: sales@waterra.com Web: www.waterra.com

Waterra Pumps

Waterra Pumps

74 | November 2011

Smith & Loveless Inc. announces its latest headworks innovation, PISTA® WORKS™, a pre-engineered packaged headworks system, combining screening, grit removal and grit washing into one integrated system. It is pre-assembled and shipped direct to the job site, significantly reducing field-installation costs, while allowing for a compact footprint. All equipment components are constructed of stainless steel. Tel: 913-888-5201, Fax: 913-888-2173 E-mail: answers@smithandloveless.com Web: www.smithandloveless.com

Solinst Canada

New name for ITTWW

ITT Corporation’s water business is now a standalone global water technology corporation, named Xylem. The company’s product brands include Flygt, Wedeco, Sanitaire, and Leopold. Xylem continues to maintain a strong Canadian presence, with 14 sales locations, 24 authorized distributors and several service partners to service the water and wastewater market. Tel: 514-695-0100 E-mail: raymond.simond@xyleminc.com Web: www.xylemwatersolutions.com/ca Xylem

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:21 PM Page 75

 Consulting engineering awards presented The 2011 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards were presented in October at the Ottawa Convention Centre. These included: The Schreyer Award (for most technically innovative project) was presented to GENIVAR Inc. for the Gaspé Mines Rehabilitation for Xstrata Copper Canada, Murdochville, Quebec. With an investment of $116 million and four years of site work, the project is the first smelter decommissioning project and the largest mining and metallurgical site closure in Canada. Awards of Excellence for Transportation were presented to Delcan for the Trafalgar/Hale Street and CN Elevated Roundabout, London, Ontario, and for the Dufferin Street Underpass, Toronto, Ontario. SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc. received an award for the Coast Meridian Overpass Design-Build Project, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, and CIMA+ received an award for the PetiteNation River Bridge, Highway 50, Lochaber, Quebec. An Award of Excellence for Water Resources was presented to Stantec Consulting Ltd. for the Oxford Pollution Control Plant Retrofit, London, Ontario.

Stockholm Junior Water Prize awarded to US student

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2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize winner Alison Bick and H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (left).

High Pressure Water Jetting Liquid/Dry Vacuum Services Dry Ice Cleaning Hydro Vac Excavating

Photo by Cecilia Österberg/Exray.

Alison Bick of the United States was named the winner of the 2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize, a prestigious international student competition for water-related research which is sponsored globally by ITT Corporation. The $5,000 award was presented to Alison by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden at the annual

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continued overleaf... www.esemag.com

November 2011 | 75


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 World Water Week celebration in Stockholm for her development of a low-cost, portable and publicly-accessible method for testing water quality. Alison developed several devices to test water for harmful bacteria and accurately determine water quality. Her cell phone-based testing procedure can measure the bacteria content of water and was proven 99 percent accurate. She also received an invitation to present her findings at the recent Water Environment Federation annual conference in Los Angeles.

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Survey of Canadaʼs drinking water plants underway Statistics Canada will be conducting a Survey of Drinking Water Plants, which will include a census of public drinking water plants serving communities of 300 or more people. The survey results will produce a national portrait of treatment processes and costs, and source water quality across Canada, for facilities that range from complex treatment processes to basic groundwater well supplies that provide minimal or no treatment. This data will be used to track the state of source water stocks and treatment on a regional basis and will also be used in the development of environmental indicators. www.statcan.gc.ca

Vancouver liquid waste management plan approved NITON XRF & ENVIRONMENTAL INSTRUMENTS

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BC Environment Minister Terry Lake has approved a new liquid waste management plan (LWMP) for Metro Vancouver that deals with the pressure of an increasing population, while bringing an aging infrastructure up to modern standards. The plan, developed by Metro Vancouver and valid for the next eight years, includes upgrades to two existing wastewater treatment plants and incorporates resource recovery to capture heat and energy from sewage. Local governments are required to regularly update their LWMPs and submit them to the Ministry of Environment for approval. The ministry reviews the proposed plan to ensure it meets provincial

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 and federal rules for waste management, including BC’s Environmental Management Act. Local governments are also required to consult the community and local First Nations before submitting the plan to the ministry.

BC improves public environmental reporting A new online database will make it easier for British Columbians to keep track of the people, businesses and industries running afoul of environmental rules. The free database includes a wide variety of compliance and enforcement actions taken by ministry staff and enforcement officers. It includes orders, administrative sanctions, tickets and court convictions covering hunting and fishing, open burning, mud bogging, dam safety, and pesticide and pollution violations. Users can search by names, dates or types of infractions, dating back to 2006 when the Ministry of Environment began public reporting of violations. . www.env.gov.bc.ca/main/ compliance-reporting

NBʼs wastewater commissions reviewed New Brunswick’s auditor general Kim MacPherson has released her review of provincial wastewater commissions. She examined governance, accountability and financial practices of the three largest wastewater commissions in the province: the Greater Moncton Sewerage Commission, the Greater Shediac Sewerage Commission and the Fredericton Area Pollution Control Commission. By comparing the three commissions, the auditor noted significant differences in expenditure patterns and reserves for the Greater Moncton Sewerage Commission. Her report acknowledges the valued service that the Greater Moncton Sewerage Commission provides Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview. The report also acknowledges that the Greater Moncton Sewerage Commission has achieved international recognition since its establishment in 1983. MacPherson expresses concern, however, with respect to board governance practices, accountability of

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 the commission and questionable financial practices. MacPherson makes a number of recommendations to the Department of Environment regarding the Clean Environment Act, the legislation under which the commissions are created, geared to strengthening governance and accountability of the commissions.

New water treatment plant by 2015 Nanaimo’s $65M water treatment plant will be completed by 2015, to meet the new drinking water guidelines enforced by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). VIHA gave the City until March 2015 to meet the British Columbia regulations. The City will also have to replace its main reservoir, once the plant is completed, because it is not covered. All BC communities with surface sources for drinking water have been mandated to improve filtration in order to meet Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. .

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Water quality initiatives lauded In 2010, Richmond, British Columbia, increased the number of water quality monitoring stations from 31 to 39. These dedicated sampling sites are strategically located throughout the city to provide a good representation of water quality throughout the entire distribution network. At each of these stations, city staff collects samples and records water temperature and chlorine residual levels. The increase in stations allowed the total number of samples collected in 2010 to increase to 1,649, compared to 1,489 in 2009. The samples were analyzed at Metro Vancouver Laboratories and the results were reviewed by Vancouver Coastal Health to confirm the drinking water met the strict standards and are in compliance with BC’s Drinking Water Protection Regulations. At the end of 2010, over 17,000 residential water meters had been installed, which helped reduce water use.

Feds supporting Lake Simcoe clean-up The Government of Canada will invest $2.9M in the seventh round of Ontario’s 78 | November 2011

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 Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund, as part of the Action Plan for Clean Water. The Town of Aurora will receive $650,000 towards creating an innovative engineered wetland to control urban runoff. This engineered wetland facility will treat urban runoff from 58 hectares of intensely developed lands and will reduce an estimated 60 kilograms of phosphorus per year from entering Tannery Creek, a tributary of the East Holland River, which empties into Cook’s Bay in Lake Simcoe. This project demonstrates a new technology, and would be the first application of its kind in Ontario.

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New measures on shale gas development announced The New Brunswick government has set up a website that contains information about the potential of shale gas. The online forum, called Natural Gas From Shale, covers fracking, its environmental impact, and the potential economic benefits associated with shale gas development. "Recently, there have been many questions concerning the potential of shale gas development," said Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup. "We have heard the concerns, which is why our government launched an open dialogue on the subject of shale gas and what it could mean to our province.” If this industry proceeds, New Brunswick will have among the toughest regulations governing exploration and development on this continent, according to Premier David Alward. . www.gnb.ca/naturalgas

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Nutrient recovery facility to be built The City of Saskatoon has approved the construction of a facility at its H.M. Weir Wastewater Treatment Plant that will recover phosphorus and nitrogen from treated wastewater streams and transform them into a pure, slow-release fertilizer called Crystal Green®. In addition to removing nutrients from the facility, Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc.’s Pearl® Nutrient Recovery Technology will help overcome current operational issues caused by the continued overleaf... www.esemag.com

November 2011 | 79


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 1:22 PM Page 80

 unintentional build-up of struvite. Struvite is a concrete-like mineral deposit which chokes process equipment, increases operation and maintenance costs and threatens plant reliability. The City has been forced to use chemical dosing to address struvite problems. Saskatoon’s new nutrient recovery facility will be the first Canadian site to feature the newly-designed Pearl 2000, which has the capacity to produce 730 metric tonnes of Crystal Green fertilizer every year. www.ostara.com

Honda office earns LEED certification Honda Canada recently announced that it has received LEED® Canada-Green goldbuilding certification from the Canada Green Building Council for its new headquarters office in Markham, Ontario. Completed in May 2010, the facility is Honda’s eleventh LEED-certified building in North America. By incorporating energy-saving features such as north-south building orientation and a heat-reflective white roof, Honda Canada’s head office uses 33 per cent less energy than that of a traditional office building of the same size. Through innovative site water management, potable water consumption in the facility has been reduced by 44 per cent compared to the LEED baseline and rainwater is collected

80 | November 2011

and stored for use in the campus’ irrigation system. Additional green building features of the campus include an energy-efficient under floor air distribution system and a parking lot outfitted with biofilters that filter rainwater before it is released into the public sewer system.

Wajax rebrands its divisions Wajax Corporation, a distributor and service provider for equipment, industrial components and power systems, has unveiled new brands for its three key divisions: • Wajax Power Systems – This division combines Waterous Power Systems, DDACE Power Systems, and the recently acquired Harper Power Products. Its 28 branches distribute engines, transmissions and related products. • Wajax Industrial Components – Formerly known as Kinecor and its Peacock division, this division’s 58 branches distribute, service and repair industrial components including bearings, power transmission parts, hydraulics, process equipment and automation technologies. • Wajax Equipment – Wajax Industries receives this updated brand name throughout its 31 branches, which reflects the division’s role as a multi-line distributor of equipment. www.wajaxindustrial.com

Ownerʼs engineer services for trunk sewers CH2M HILL has been awarded an assignment to provide Owner’s Engineer services for the design-build sanitary and storm trunk sewers for the City of Saskatoon. The McOrmond Drive sanitary and storm sewer trunks project is a key requirement in opening up Saskatoon’s East Sector for development. CH2M HILL has been providing services to the City for nearly a decade.

New screens to be installed at Edmonton WWTP Located in the North Saskatchewan River Valley, the EPCOR-owned Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant handles the wastewater requirements for over 820,000 people in the greater Edmonton area. Its existing multi-rake screens will be replaced with three Mahr bar screens from Headworks Inc., an order totaling over half a million dollars. The screens will each be designed to handle flows of 79 MGD, with 6mm bar spacing, and are scheduled to be installed in the spring of 2012.

Canadian clean technology set to compete Eighty-five per cent of Canada’s clean technology companies require no subsidies, are globally competitive, and are situated in what promises to be a $3 trillion industry by 2020. These findings are part of a major industry report released at the second annual Canadian Cleantech Summit, coordinated by the Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI). “Canadian clean technology companies have proven their competitiveness by posting a compound annual growth rate of 19 per cent during the recession, and they grew by 56 per cent in 2010, ” says Céline Bak, co-founder of the Canadian Clean Technology Coalition. “Canada’s clean technology industry already employs 44,000, similar to Canadian employment in mining, and generates half of its sales from exports. We have the potential to build a $60 billion industry by 2020.” Other results from the 2011 Canadian Clean Technology Industry Report include:

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 • Canada has close to 700 clean technology companies. • The average Canadian clean technology company employs 62 people. • Industry employment grew 11 per cent (CAGR) from 2008 to 2010. • If the current growth rate is maintained, clean technology industry employment could total 75,000 by 2015 and 126,000 by 2020. • Canadian 2010 clean technology industry revenues totaled $9 billion. · Canadian-owned clean technology companies generated 86 per cent of this revenue. • Canada’s clean technology industry revenues grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19 per cent between 2008 and 2010. • If Canadian clean technology companies maintain a 19 per cent CAGR, Canada’s clean technology industry revenues will reach $61.4 billion by 2020, about the size of Canada’s automotive industry today. www.canadiancleantechsummit.com/ program

Partially treated sewage discharged The City of Winnipeg reported the South End Water Pollution Control Centre has been experiencing ongoing treatment difficulties beginning October 7. The plant, which handles about 25 per cent of the city's liquid waste, had been discharging 50 million to 60 million litres of partially treated sewage each day into the Red River. The problem stems from the mysterious death of digestor micro-organisms in the 37-year-old plant's secondary treatment tank. For some unknown reason, too few of these organisms were in the tank, while bacteria that do not aid the biological treatment process were multiplying. The city was investigating whether toxic agents, such as metals, may have killed the micro-organisms, or whether the plant got "sick" for some other reason. The City of Winnipeg reported the severity of the problem on November 1, 2011, to Manitoba Conservation which is conducting a full review to ensure everything possible is done to correct this situation. Manitoba Conservation has requested a detailed chronology of events, sampling www.esemag.com

results, and reports on actions that were taken by the city during this period. As well, they gathered samples of the wastewater to determine if the city was in compliance with the requirements of its license. Manitoba Water Stewardship also sampled the river downstream from the plant.

OCSI speaks on behalf of Ontarioʼs infrastructure professionals The Ontario Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (OCSI) has announced the appointment of Carl Bodimeade as Chair, Paul Jankowski as Vice-Chair, and Catherine Jefferson as Executive Director. Originally formed in 2006, OCSI brings together the combined resources of five well-established organizations, with a combined membership of private and public sector professionals from municipalities, academia, consulting/engineering firms, equipment suppliers, First Nations, provincial/federal government departments, and others, to work toward sustainable infrastructure in Ontario. The Coalition comprises: Municipal Engineers Association, Ontario Good Roads Association, Ontario Public Works Association, Ontario Water Works Association, and Water Environment Association of Ontario. www.on-csi.ca

Report highlights NS progress Nova Scotians continue to benefit from a healthier environment, according to a recent progress report, which shows the province has met or exceeded 10 of its 21 annual targets and that steady progress was made in other areas, including: • Launching “Water for Life” a water resource management strategy, which provides a 10-year plan to better understand the quantity and quality of water, and protect resources. • Exceeding air-quality targets for reducing nitrogen oxide emissions and meeting goals to reduce greenhouse gases, ground-level ozone, air borne fine-particulate matter and sulphur dioxide emissions. • Making progress on the goal of legally protecting 12 per cent of Nova Sco-

tia's land by 2015. The province reached 475,000 hectares of protected land in 2010, which represents 8.6 per cent, and consultations have begun to choose the remaining lands to be protected. • Generating 25 per cent of NS’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015, and 40 per cent by 2020. Work continues on contaminated sites, wetlands, and solid waste. The province is working with Nova Scotia Power Inc. to reduce mercury emissions and is working with municipalities to meet targets for the treatment of drinking water, wastewater and septage. www.gov.ns.ca

Meunier/Veolia to supply water treatment system John Meunier Inc./Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Canada has been awarded a contract to supply a drinking water treatment system, with a capacity of 500 m3/day to the Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw, British Columbia. The company will provide a package drinking water treatment plant that includes an ACTIFLO® high rate clarification system and Dusenflo® gravity filtration, plus all ancillary chemical dosing, instrumentation and control systems. The ACTIFLO process has been selected for its suitability for treating Nass River water, which contains very fine volcanic and glacial particles. Gitwinksihlkw, with a population of 250, is located on the north bank of the Nass River, 100 km northwest of Terrace. Over the past several years, the village, one of four Nisga'a communities, has experienced frequent water shortages, requiring water to be trucked in for domestic use. The new treatment plant is designed to provide microbiologically/chemicallysafe and aesthetically pleasing drinking water for the village. Finished water quality will meet or exceed the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (May 2008), as well as the disinfection requirements outlined in the Protocol for Safe Drinking Water in First Nations Communities, INAC (2006). Plant start-up was planned for this fall. www.johnmeunier.com continued overleaf... November 2011 | 81


Nov11_ES&E_Final_ES&E 11-11-30 2:14 PM Page 82

Advertiser INDEX

Company

Page



ACG Technology............................83 AECOM ...........................................57 AMEC ..............................................54 American Public University ..........30

ranging from 5 to 9 cents per cubic metre. “While a shortage of water is not an imminent issue facing Canada, the overall demand by the natural resource sectors is increasing,” said NRT Vice-Chair Mark Parent. “This represents an opportunity for Canada to get ahead of a future problem and proactively take steps towards sustainable water governance and management.”

Canada needs fresh approach to water supply management

American Water .............................54 Assmann Corporation ...................66 Associated Engineering..................5 Canada Unlimited ..........................35 Canadian Safety.............................31

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CBCL Engineering .........................55 CIMA+ .............................................49

Xylem is ITT Water & Wastewaterʼs new name

Cole Engineering ...........................53 Corrugated Steel Pipe Institute ....84 D’Aqua Technologies ....................23 Delcan Water ..................................47 Denso .............................................15 Endress + Hauser ..........................33 Geomembrane Technologies........64 Globe...............................................36 Greatario.........................................60 H2Flow ............................................64 Hoskin Scientific ......................11, 43 Huber Technology ...........................9 Imbrium Systems...........................21 Kinecor LP......................................13 Levelton Consultants ....................56 MegaDome......................................61 Metcon Sales & Engineering ........67 MSU Mississauga ..........................17 National Ground Water Assoc. .....23 NETZSCH Canada..........................27 Paracel Laboratories .....................52 ProMinent .........................................2 Sanitherm Inc. ................................42 SEW-Eurodrive...............................42 Smith & Loveless...........................39 Snow Recruit..................................55 Solinst Canada...............................29 Spill Management ..........................63 Stantec............................................48 StormTrap.................................40, 41 Terratec Environmental.................27 Tetra Tech .......................................52 Transport Env. Systems ................61 Waterloo Barrier.............................34 Waterra Pumps ........................18, 37 Westeel ...........................................59 XCG Consultants ...........................48 Xylem ................................................7

82 | November 2011

A new report released by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRT) says that, if Canada is to ensure the sustainability of its water supply, which is crucial to the prosperity of its natural resource sector industries, governments at all levels will need to engage in collaborative models of governance. They must also collaborate in the development and publication of a regularly updated national Water Outlook, the first to be published within two years, and further explore the use of water pricing for its largest user: the natural resource sectors. The report concludes that water has real economic value and outlines the steps Canada should take to value, better manage, and sustain water use by Canada’s natural resource sectors. While the report highlights that water use by the natural resource sectors totals 86% of Canada’s overall use, it also predicts an increase in water intake due to the economic growth forecasted in this sector. Charting a Course: Sustainable Water Use by Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors is NRT’s second report concerning sustainable water use by Canada’s natural resource sectors. It shows that three emerging policy approaches would improve water conservation and efficiency: economic instruments such as pricing and tradable water permits; well-designed and properly implemented voluntary initiatives by industry; and better data and information than is currently available. It shows for the first time the potential benefits of pricing water. A 20% water intake reduction could be achieved with water prices

ITT Corporation’s water business is now a standalone global water technology corporation, named Xylem. Gretchen McClain, CEO and President of Xylem, says “Xylem is committed to solving today’s global water-related challenges, and we look forward to working with our partners and customers to further drive innovation.” Xylem’s technology helps its customers transport, treat, and use water in public utilities, residential and commercial building services, industrial and agricultural settings. In Canada, the company has 14 sales locations, 24 authorized distributors and several service partners to service the water and wastewater market, with its Flygt, Wedeco, Sanitaire, and Leopold product lines. E-mail: raymond.simond@xyleminc.com

Trojan acquires OpenCEL Trojan Technologies has acquired the business assets of OpenCEL, a biotechnology company that offers a proprietary technology for processing wastewater biosolids. Utilized for pretreating wastewater sludge prior to anaerobic digestion, their technology employs high frequency electrical pulses to break open biomass cell membranes, releasing soluble material that is more readily digested and converted to energy, reducing the amount of biosolids that are produced and disposed. The OpenCEL business will operate as a division of US Peroxide, a Trojan Technologies business headquartered in Atlanta, GA. www.trojanuv.com

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Nov11_ES&E_D4_ES&E 11-11-29 5:13 PM Page 83

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine November-December 2011  

This issue focuses on: household water usage declines; reducing biosolids disposal costs; climate change affecting the Great Lakes. As well,...

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine November-December 2011  

This issue focuses on: household water usage declines; reducing biosolids disposal costs; climate change affecting the Great Lakes. As well,...