Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine | June 2019

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Storage tanks, containment, spills and remediation

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Wastewater systems struggling to cope with peak I&I flow rates

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June 2019 • Vol. 32 No. 3 • ISSN-0835-605X

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TECHNICAL ADVISORY BOARD Archis Ambulkar, OCT Water Quality Academy Gary Burrows, City of London Patrick Coleman, Black & Veatch Bill De Angelis, Metrolinx Mohammed Elenany, Urban Systems William Fernandes, City of Toronto Marie Meunier, John Meunier Inc., Québec Tony Petrucci, Stantec, Markham

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 emailed 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  L4G 3V6 Tel: (905)727-4666 Website: www.esemag.com A Supporting Publication of

4  |  June 2019



How the RFP process is impacting water and wastewater project financing – Guest comment


Smart monitoring of consumer scale UV disinfection systems


Estimating pit cast iron watermain remaining economic life using acoustical findings


Wastewater systems struggling to cope with peak I & I flow rates


Electrical design considerations for WWTP headworks buildings


Electro-oxidation promising for the treatment of high strength ethylene glycol wastewater


LittaTrap stops plastics and other litter in stormwater from reaching waterways


St. John’s asks for appeal, delay over secondary wastewater treatment deadline


Laser-based water level measurement technology offers many advantages


Properly designed pumping systems protect against stormwater surge flooding


Implementing a proactive approach to force main asset management


New wastewater system allows winery to reuse over 5 million litres of water annually


Ensuring your chemical storage tanks meet NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 certification


Bolted tanks speed Kugluktuk’s water treatment plant upgrade – Cover story


Federal government introduces new environmental emergency regulations


New positive seal tailgate for truck bodies and containers prevents spills


Environmental DNA is an innovative method to improve site remediation success


Proper procedures can minimize the environmental risks of storage tanks


Environmental site assessments are often a dilemma for consultants


Remedial fluid effectively treats contaminated bulk fuel storage facility


Ammonia-based aeration control shows energy savings of over 65% are possible


Alberta invests in wastewater upgrades and flood mitigation


Zebra mussels in Manitoba’s waterways are a cause for concern


Fraser report finds optimism on freshwater quality, wastewater progress


Product Showcase


Environmental News


Ad Index

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RFPs need to be specific enough to define project scope and essential technical issues and allow engineering firms to address the essential issues and their ability to deliver an optimum solution.

How the RFP process is impacting water and wastewater project financing By Jan Korzeniowski


ater and wastewater projects are constantly needed to replace existing utilities and for new development. New developments of housing, commercial and industrial projects are the result of population growth, which has been over 78% since 1970 in Canada, taking us from 21.5 to over 38 million. In some regions, growth has been much higher. The population of Alberta grew 155% between 1972 and 2018, going from 1.70 to 4.33 million. This growth does not always coincide with good economic trends or government income, which is needed to finance water and wastewater infrastructure. This raises the question of how to cope with the varying conditions of needs vs financial ability. In recent years, there have been very few water and wastewater projects approved in Alberta. Low oil prices and lack of profitable export abilities signifi6  |  June 2019

cantly reduced the province’s finances. This situation may continue for a few more years. Therefore, there is a need to assess the situation and consider solutions which can minimize the impact of negative economic trends and allow new water and wastewater projects to move forward. The assessment and conclusions can also be useful when the economic situation improves. Changes needed are in the process of defining and proceeding with identification, design and implementation of the water and wastewater projects. Projects selected and implemented should be based on the best financial and technical solutions and the optimum use of the finances available. This can be accomplished by a careful selection of project scope and design in relation to available budgets. The current practice of selecting the project’s scope and design does not guarantee the best outcome and

sometimes leads to uneconomical and technically questionable solutions. Project implementation begins with the request for proposals (RFP), which results in the selection of engineering firm, design and construction. Are the RFPs specific enough to define project scope and essential technical issues? Do they allow engineering firms to address the essential issues and their ability to deliver an optimum solution? Does the RFP concentrate on overall ability of engineering firms and not predominantly on the technical issues to be resolved? Such RFPs can be misleading to responding engineering firms and it may lead to the wrong selection of the winning firm. They may also oversize the scope, design and cost, and result in inadequate performance of the implemented project. RFPs are often very elaborate and ask for detailed information on the project work plan, time schedule with milestones, cost breakdown with manhours, and cost assigned to proposed project team members. Also, a detailed methodology, quality and time and budget control, standby staff and ability to resolve problem issues with time and manpower need to be addressed. Often, however, very little or no attention at all is devoted to the essential technical issues of the project, which may have a profound impact on the project scope, design, costs and performance. Interested engineering firms must then respond in the format requested and provide the information asked for in detail. This results in compatible and predominantly well-written proposals with the same questions addressed, but likely they will differ in their extent and detail. This can make selection of the proposals difficult. Other factors, which may be taken into consideration, are the size, presence and knowledge of the engineering firm in the subject area, but often not the essential technical and economic issues of the project in question, if they were not asked for it in the first place. Therefore, it was not addressed in the proposal. It is certain that every well-established engineering firm can provide satisfactory project management, includ-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

ing work plan, time schedule, budget and quality control. This is evident from the projects executed and the proposed project team. However, significant differences may be in the expertise required to resolve project-specific technical and performance issues. This requires more detailed and specific questions in the RFPs, and evaluation of the proposal, particularly in the area of the specific technical issues. Technical expertise comes predominantly with the persons directly involved in the project and less from the firm itself. Also, the proposal writer is not necessarily involved in the project execution. Therefore, the municipality may end up with two different products: one the proposal, and the other the execution of the project. RFPs do not need to have detailed requirements for general information, such as time schedules, time and cost breakdown between proposed team members, cost and quality controls. However, essential information should be provided to outline the current project status, shortcomings, operating issues and costs, compliance with approvals, raw and treated water/wastewater quality records, in order to enable the engineering firm to understand and evaluate the essential issues of the project. Large engineering firms can afford to employ professional proposal writers and deliver very well-written proposals in general, but not perhaps for specific technical issues. However, if specific technical issues are not underlined in the RFP, the evaluation of the proposal will only rely on the skill in writing and the general information provided as requested. The other issues are related to the review, scoring and approval of proposals. This is usually done by a proposal review committee, with final approval by council. The proposal scoring is done for required information and issues, and a well-written proposal with more general information will score better then a less elaborate proposal. This, however, is not a reflection of the firm’s ability to resolve specific technical issues if they are not outlined in the RFP. When and how did we begin to write elaborate proposals? This began in early 1982 after the announcement of the National Energy Program. This had a negative impact on the Canadian economy, predominantly in the energy sector. Large projects were put on the shelf and a shortage of work for engineers began. Thus, engineering firms began competition for work by writing elaborate proposals and municipalities began demanding such proposals by writing elaborate requests. This is how we began wasting our time and resources instead of using them for research and development of more efficient and less expensive water and wastewater treatment technologies. It is also essential to note that provincial technical approvals and funding authorities do not contribute to the review and selection of proposals. This raises the question whether there is adequate control exercised over spending public money and whether more and better defined projects can be implemented from available funds.

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Jan Korzeniowski, MSc, P.Eng, is with J.K. Engineering Ltd. in Calgary. Email: jkeng@telus.net

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June 2019  |  7


Smart home monitoring and innovative technologies can ensure UV disinfection systems operate properly By Brock Lupal


ne inherent problem with household UV disinfection systems is that they are often left unattended once installed. If no solenoid shutoff valve is in place, the system can descend into disrepair without the customer knowing. Also, often the system is installed and monitored by someone who does not fully understand the technology and maintenance required. As a society we are more connected than ever, relying on our devices to do everything from switch off our lights to order us a pizza. Other industries rely on smart home monitoring to provide functionality, peace of mind and a better consumer experience, so why should the water treatment industry be any exception? Over the past decade, it has slowly started to catch up to other industries by incorporating similar technologies into their devices and systems. However, there are still many product categories that do not offer the same level of service. As a household UV system is often the primary and only source of protection against bacteria it is paramount it performs all of the time. But, how does one know if the UV system is working when it’s not easily visible? Shut off valves can be installed to stop the flow of water once a failure occurs, but at this point in time the customer will be without water. Furthermore, if the problem is a failed component which is not a standard part available at the local hardware store, the UV system will be out of commission longer. LUMINOR Environmental Inc. has developed a home monitoring system, which allows customers to use their smartphone or desktop computer to monitor their UV systems remotely. It allows them to schedule service calls, monitor performance and get notifications if the system 8  |  June 2019

Customers can use their smartphones to monitor their UV systems remotely.

infecting as needed. Changing the UV lamp regularly is paramount in maintaining a system. Not changing it as required, or using non-genuine parts, can also lead to poor ballast performance and even cause ballast failures. UV system manufacturers around the globe have identified this as a major concern with their systems. Allowing customers the ability to stretch a UV lamp’s lifetime by allowing their system timer to be reset at any moment causes misuse of the product. Identifying this as an issue, LUMINOR developed a technology that eliminates this problem through an encrypted key which controls the timer mechanism of the UV system. This key acts as a oneyear timer and comes new with every UV lamp. When you change your lamp, you change your key and this resets the timer functionality. If a customer does not replace the lamp once the year has expired, their system will go into major alarm, shutting down all features and causing an audible alarm. If the customer uses a non-genuine part, the system also recognizes this through the lamp key. The only way to get the system back in working order is to replace the lamp and key. This eliminates the possibility of using a lamp past its useful life, hence protecting public health. Introducing features into products through technology to guide user experience has resulted in less warranty claims and increased lamp sales.

goes down. Home owners are able to conveniently get SMS or email notifications, along with access to a platform that provides detailed feedback on what is happening with their system. With LUMINOR’s platform they can track what systems may potentially go down due to low UVT (ultraviolet transmittance), as well as get remote troubleshooting. This not only saves time and money but also provides a level of service the industry simply was not able to offer before. With all UV systems, proper maintenance and replacement of consumable components is essential. The UV lamp on all UV systems will degrade over time as it loses gas pressure in the lamp, causing its output to fall once past its useful life. Lamps often are illuminated well past their useful life, emitting some light but not the essential UVC rays needed to Brock Lupal is with LUMINOR disinfect. Uneducated customers often Environmental Inc. Email: see this “lit lamp” as an indication their blupal@luminoruv.com lamp has overperformed past its useful life, when in actuality it no longer is dis-

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Estimating remaining lifespans for pit cast iron watermains using acoustical findings By Rabia Mady


he North American water industry operates a water distribution network with a significant portion of aging, pit cast iron (CI) infrastructure. A study by Folkman et al. (2012) found that CI watermains represent approximately 28% of watermains used in Canada and the United States. The development of CI pipe and the gradual reduction in its cost, together with the improved pumps, made it possible for many municipalities to deliver water to residences (McGhee 1991). This led to the extensive use of CI from the end of the last century until the late 1960s. The first CI pipes were manufactured using the pit casting method, while later on this process was replaced by centrifugal casting technology. Owners need to assess the remaining life of their CI pipe assets to properly plan renewal programs. A variety of fieldbased condition assessment approaches are utilized to allow pipe owners to understand the condition state of their CI pipe inventory. Although inspecting CI pipeline is an important aspect of the pipeline asset management strategy, it only provides information about a specific pipe segment at a particular point in time. Therefore, it is necessary to combine a prediction model with field results to allow an economic analysis and development of a pipe renewal program. Rajani et al. (1999) proposed that the service life of a pipe segment is a function of the deterioration rate and replacement costs and suggested that pipe failure coincides with the optimal replacement time. Furthermore, the time of pipe infinite failure was defined as the time when the pipe mechanical factor of safety (FOS) is less or equals 1.0 (Rajani et al., 2000). Once the FOS reaches 1.0, failure will occur, and the pipe is considered to have reached the end of its economic life. In order to understand in-service failures, it is necessary to have knowledge 10  |  June 2019

Thames Centre’s pipeline evaluation was done using ePulse by Echologics, which is an acousticbased inspection tool.

of the pipe stresses and any degradation of mechanical performance with time. Regardless of the source of the loading for failure to occur, the stress level must exceed the strength of the pipe material. The relationship between the failure load of CI and its in-service condition has been studied by many researchers. Rajani et al. (2000) studied the influence of corrosion pits on the structural resistance capacity of grey cast iron and proposed an empirical relationship between pit dimension and residual tensile strength. The empirical relationship was based on the Paris fracture mechanics law that relates stress, defect size, and geometry through stress intensity or toughness of the material. Although a pipe may experience several failures during its lifespan due to fluctuating loads imposed on the pipe that exceed the residual pipe strength (i.e., internal transient pressure), the remaining economic life is only defined when the FOS reaches 1.0. A pipe with FOS above 1.0 may also experience failures

before reaching its end of economic life. Imposed internal and external loads acting on a buried pipe cause stress in both the circumferential and longitudinal directions. Rajani et al. (2000) developed a model of external and internal stresses, including all circumferential and longitudinal stresses. While the circumferential stresses result from vertical loads (live and dead loads), frost loads and internal pressure, the longitudinal stresses result from the reaction of the above loads in the axial direction, plus pressure gradients. If the pipe is exposed to cyclic pressure changes, it will reach its economic end of life sooner than expected since cracks propagate expediently under these conditions. Ahammed and Melchers (1994) showed that for a uniformly loaded pipe supported along its length, the governing stresses for failure are in the circumferential direction (hoop stresses). Based on this assumption, the economic end of life would be determined continued overleaf…

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INFRASTRUCTURE once the pipe strength cannot resist the hoop stresses developed by vertical, frost and internal pressures. Since internal pressure can fluctuate along the pipe lifespan, it is assumed that the remaining economic life corresponds to the original pressure rating. While this provides a conservative value for a newly constructed pipeline, one could argue that the pipe is operating at a lower pressure than the original pressure rating, and the corresponding hoop stresses will be much lower. To address this issue, there is a need to distinguish between the remaining service life and the remaining economic life. While remaining service life corresponds to fluctuating pressure between working pressure and transient pressure, together with other vertical loads, the remaining economic life corresponds to the pressure rating and other vertical loads. This approach aligns with asset value depreciation with time, as an asset may lose its economic value but still operate below strength capacity. Once the

To project the wall thickness reduction due to corrosion, the two-phase empirical corrosion model is used to predict pit depth increase with time. FOS reaches 1.0, based on stresses that include fluctuations between working pressure and transient pressure, the pipe is at the end of its service life and can no longer stay in service. As mentioned earlier, the ability of pit CI to withstand in-service loading conditions is reduced by external surface corrosion that can occur in an aggressive soil environment. The end of economic life criterion for buried pit CI can be defined when the residual FOS reaches 1.0. To estimate hoop stresses, the residual wall thickness is required. The remaining thickness is only true to the point of time when the pipe was

inspected. To project the wall thickness reduction due to corrosion, the twophase empirical corrosion model developed by Rajani et al. (2000) is used to predict pit depth increase with time. There are other available internal and/ or external pit depth corrosion models based on empirical relationships and/or based on Weibull engineering statistics. However, since we are using the fracture mechanics equation developed by B. Rajani, Rajani’s corrosion model was considered for this article. Although the reduction in CI strength as a result of corrosion was analyzed by using fracture mechanics, pit CI pipes have a wide variation in behaviour across identical pipes. Tests conducted by Rajani showed that the fracture toughness of Pit CI varies between 5.7 and 13.7 Mpa√m. Given the material variability, in addition to changes in the local environment that influence corrosion rates, the predicted economic lifetime equation will exhibit uncertainty. A relatively straightforward technique is to use Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) in conjunction with the physical failure criterion for pit CI pipes described above. Once the probability for each condition is generated using MCS, a cumulative probability curve can be developed to estimate the remaining economic life of the pipe. The pipe age corresponding to a high cumulative probability (>90%), represents the economic end of pipe life. CASE STUDY In the Municipality of Thames Centre, Ontario, an acoustic-based inspection tool, ePulse by Echologics, a Mueller brand, was used to assess existing pit cast iron pipe, 150 mm in diameter and 131 m in length. The pipe was constructed in 1956. The acoustic tool can assess ferrous pipe segments (i.e., using existing appurtenances such as fire hydrants and/or valves)

12  |  June 2019

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

using an induced noise. The inspection tool provided a calculated minimum average remaining wall thickness of 7.3 mm, which was a 25% wall loss from the pipe’s original thickness of 9.7 mm. IMPLEMENTATION To calculate the hoop stresses developed on the pipe, Ahammed and Melchers (1994) approach to calculate vertical loads (live and dead load) was used in the calculation of the circumferential (hoop) stress, in addition to Rajani et al. (2000) approach to calculate internal pressure and frost loads. Given that no geotechnical information and pipe installation methods were available, some practical assumptions and values were considered. Utilizing an optimization algorithm, the best-fit pit depth curve of the twophase model corresponding to the 2018 inspection is shown in Figure 1. Once the condition state was established at the time of inspection (2018), an MCS was utilized to run 5,000 samples to address uncertainties in the pipe

Figure 1. Corrosion model.

residual strength calculation for each future year, in combination with the predicted future wall loss based on the bestfit 2-phase pit depth model. The remaining economic life was determined to be 30 years (2048) and the remaining service life was 39 years (2057), corresponding to the cumulative probability of 90%. This assumes no environmental changes occur during the pipe lifespan that could impact corrosion rates and/or cycling loads acting on the pipe.

CONCLUSIONS Providing reliable infrastructure is a paramount objective for any municipality. Responding to aging infrastructure is costly, especially when pre-planning was not performed. To properly plan renewal programs, a variety of fieldbased condition assessment tools, utilized in conjunction with engineering statistical methods, can allow pipe owners to understand their CI pipe inventocontinued overleaf…



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June 2019  |  13


Figure 2: Cumulative probability of remaining service life (RSL) and remaining economic life (REL).

ry’s remaining economic life and allocate budgets for renewal programs that may include local repairs, replacement or rehabilitation. An approach to distinguish between the remaining service life and the remaining economic life was developed. This approach aligns with asset value depreciation with time, as an asset may lose its economic value, but may still operate below its strength capacity. Figure 2

summarizes the estimated remaining service life and economic life for the Thames Centre study. The pipe age at its end of economic life is estimated at 92 years, when the pipe will lose its ability to resist the pressure rating of 350 psi. However, the pipe may continue to function at a working pressure plus surge allowance for a total combined pressure of 150 psi, with failure estimated at 101 years. Given the

pipe’s current condition, this pipe was not recommended to be included in the 10-year capital renewal plan. Rabia Mady, P. Eng., is with CIMA+ Canada Ltd. Email: rabia.mady@cima.ca

The author would like to thank the Municipality of Thames Centre and especially Carlos Reyes, director of environmental service at the Municipality of Thames Centre for providing the inspection results.









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Wastewater collection systems are under attack from peak flow I & I rates By Robert Budway


uring my 34 years working in the water and wastewater sectors I have witnessed wastewater collection systems increasingly being adversely affected by peak flow inflow & infiltration (I & I) rates/volumes. New growth and development means many communities’ infrastructure is under pressure to accommodate this additional demand. However, it needs to be a critical consideration for a community’s development plan that it identifies, reviews and resolves all I & I sources that are adversely affecting the wastewater collection system. This is especially important when newer wastewater collection system sewers will be flowing downstream to pre-existing pumping stations and/or wastewater treatment facilities. Once a wastewater system is compromised by a peak flow I & I adverse operating condition, it must be operated under an emergency high risk flooded/ surcharged condition. Higher risks also exist for failure of critical pumping station equipment and to residences, businesses and other structural assets. There are also heavier burdens on operations staff and greater costs during these events. Adverse operating conditions for pumping stations as well as surcharging/flooding of upstream sanitary sewers, are what I consider an “I & I attack”. Once the exceedance of a pumping station’s normal daily design flow has been reached, connected downstream collection system users are subjected to possible property damage and flooding. This can happen even when all pumps are operating during the peak flow rate event. Many systems are seeing daily wastewater flow volumes and pump run times increasing 200% – 300 % above normal dry weather design specifications. Often, new municipal development is approved upstream of these affected pumping stations, because capacity is based mainly on recorded average annual wastewater 16  |  June 2019

Top: Normal operating conditions. Left: Surcharged operating conditions due to peak flow I & I rate event.

flow values for the entire system. However, an average annual daily flow value is always lower than what is occurring over the course of peak I & I daily flow volumes. Though much shorter in duration compared to annual daily average flows, these create immediate and adverse effects. Therefore, I believe that peak I&I flow rates must become a critical monitoring consideration for any wastewater collection system service area and any connected wastewater pumping stations. In addition to the adverse effects, there is the considerable wasted expense of treat-

ing I & I flows. This includes extra power consumption treatment chemicals, staffing labour, recovery/restoration, and any litigation related costs from peak flow I & I events. As shown in Table 1, I estimated these savings by using a flow meter’s daily reading in a spread sheet. The long-term benefit of such savings would be the ability to add more connected sanitary services over an extended time period before requiring any wastewater infrastructure upgrade or expansion. All I & I sources should be a high continued overleaf…

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WASTEWATER Table 1. Estimated treatment costs and cost savings summary.

Estimated Treatment Cost of Actual Recorded Flows Year

Calc. System I&I

Actual Flows Annual Total m³

Actual Flows Treatment Costs ($)

System I & I Treatment Cost portion ( $ )

Treatment Cost per m³ of Flow























































Estimated Treatment Cost savings if Peak Flow I&I sources removed Year

Actual System Daily Min. m³/day

Est. System DWF for the Year m³

Estimated DWF Cost Savings $

Diff. Between the Actual Flows & Est. DWF m³














































Summary Review Notes: 1. After a review of the actual annual flow data, there could be a predictable annual wastewater treatment cost savings, if a wastewater collection system infiltration source reduction program was reviewed, planned and implemented over a set amount of time. 2. There would also be a beneficial cost savings (hydro usage) in the form of less daily pump run times of wastewater volumes for the wastewater system. 3. An extended increase in existing system capacity for new development is also possible by reducing system infiltration sources. If reductions in the existing wastewater system's litre/capita/day system rates were made , an additionall litre/day growth capacity would be available.

priority for identifying and successfully remediating, in an effort to prevent more intensified adverse effects to the collection system. Simple spot checks by operational staff of sanitary sewer manholes in a service area upstream of a pumping station can begin the visual identification of I & I compromised sections. Once an area or section is positively identified by field staff for excessive infil18  |  June 2019

tration, annual I & I reduction financial resources can be budgeted to perform detailed video investigations and plan proper resolution and repairs. The direct effects of a collection system or pumping station compromised by peak flow I & I events resulting in flooding, are loss of public confidence, higher property insurance coverage costs, flooding lawsuits and litigation costs. These

can be reduced or even eliminated by continually monitoring of pumping station flows and resolving I & I sources. Robert Budway is with the Ontario Clean Water Agency – Essex Hub. Email: rbudway@ocwa.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

The Global Water Crisis 1.8 billion people lack access to clean water

Hygienic practices such as washing hands with soap can reduce the risk of diarrhea by at least 35%

2.5 billion people—more than a third of the world’s population —lack access to a toilet

More than 3.4 million people each year die from water related diseases—that’s nearly the population of LA

Women and children spend 200 million hours a day collecting water

Nearly 90% of global cases of diarrhea are estimated to be attributable to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene

WHERE WATER FOR PEOPLE COMES IN Our goal is simple: Water for Everyone Forever We’re taking big steps to solve the world’s water crisis—permanently. We want complete water coverage for every family, every school, and every clinic. And we’re teaming up with Everyone to make this difference last Forever. Water For People brings together local entrepreneurs, civil society, governments, and communities to establish creative, collaborative solutions that allow people to build and maintain their own reliable and safe water systems. We’re not just addressing the symptoms of the problem, but preventing it from happening again in the future. The road to permanent water coverage for Everyone Forever is challenging. If we invest more now to create sustainable and replicable water and sanitation infrastructure, we can achieve incredible outcomes—more children are in school, more individuals are employed, more families are healthy and thriving, and more communities are collaborating and growing. From there, the impact continues to ripple out on a national and global scale.



Electrical design considerations for WWTP headworks buildings By Syed Q. Raza


reliminary treatment is the starting point of a typical wastewater treatment plant. NFPA 820 defines it as “the conditioning of wastewater as it enters the wastewater treatment plant. Preliminary treatment removes materials that might be harmful to or might adversely affect the operation of the treatment plant.” The process is generally carried out in a headworks facility which comprises screen and grit removal facilities. Screen facilities remove large material like lumber, rags, stones, plastic, etc., while grit facilities remove finer particles like sand, silt and grit from the incoming raw sewage.

CLASS 1 DIVISION 1 (ZONE 1) INSTALLATION In Canada, both screening and grit removal are generally carried out in enclosed structures. Therefore, both screen facilities and grit removal tanks are classified as Class 1 Division 1 locations as per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 820 Table 5.2.2, Row 2 Line-a and Row 5 Line-a respectively for enclosed spaces when continuous ventilation is less than six air changes per hour. This means that all equipment installed must be approved to meet the requirements of Class 1 Division 1 (Class 1 Zone 1) applications.

Another important consideration is to provide a “physically separated” electrical room.

used for new installations.

WIRING METHODS The Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) Part I Section 18 describes the requirements of electrical wiring in classified areas. The most common wiring method in Class 1 Zone 1 (Division 1) locations is to use rigid metal conduits with conduit seals. Conduit seals are installed in IS RECLASSIFICATION TO CLASS 1 order to prevent the passage of hazardDIVISION 2 (ZONE 2) WORTH IT? ous gases and explosions from one porTo declassify a headworks building tion of the conduit system to another. as Class 1 Division 2 (Class 1 Zone 2) After installation of cables, these seals requires continuous ventilation of 12 air are filled with a conduit sealant comchanges per hour to be provided, with pound which will prevent any additional provision to monitor power failure and cable installation through them in the provision to connect to an alternate future. Therefore, special consideration source of power. This method allows use should be paid if an addition to the facilof Class 1 Zone 2 rated equipment, but, ity is envisioned. It usually helps to specify over time, the increased energy cost of a minimum of 20% spare control cables heating and ventilation will become sig- for any immediate future requirements. nificantly higher than the initial saving. Although the Code allows the use of Therefore, this option is generally not standard rigid steel conduits, design engi20  |  June 2019

neers may often specify PVC or epoxycoated rigid steel conduit. The PVC/epoxy coating on steel conduit provides an additional level of protection from corrosion, since the headworks building environment is comparatively humid. Special consideration is required for installation of these conduits, especially at the coupling area, for trouble free operation. It is recommended that the installing contractor arranges training of their staff by the manufacturer of PVC/epoxycoated rigid steel conduit. This can be ensured by including this training requirement in the contract documents. Another important consideration is to provide a “physically separated” electrical room to house the power distribution equipment, starters and control panel. This enables the use of economical, unclassified equipment. It is also easier to maintain the equipment in an environmentally controlled, unclassified electrical room. A local operator station suitable

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for a Class 1 Zone 1 location may be provided for the operation staff if required. A common wiring method is to use approved hazardous location cables with associated cable glands. These cables are generally installed on cable trays and hence eliminate the requirement of conduits seals. CONCLUSION When considering the electrical design of a headworks building, specify equipment approved for a Class 1 Division 1 (Zone 1) area, and use PVC/epoxy-coated steel conduits in the headworks building, with special attention to installer training. Electrical rooms should be physically separated, with provision for viewing windows and local controls inside the screened room. Syed Q. Raza, P.Eng., is with R.V. Anderson Associates Ltd. Email: sraza@rvanderson.com

www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

PVC coated steel conduits with seals.

June 2019  |  21


Electro-oxidation shows promise for treating high strength ethylene glycol wastewater By Gordon Balch


istorically, conventional wastewater treatment technologies were designed to remove solids, kill pathogens, and rely on microorganisms to biologically oxidize simple organic and inorganic compounds. The complexity of wastewaters is increasing as more chemicals are being used in domestic products and industry. Treatment challenges can arise from the presence of nonconventional contaminants that are often difficult to remove, and with high strength wastewaters (e.g., ethylene glycol) that may cause operational upset to conventional treatment processes. Many of the nonconventional contaminants now found in wastewaters originate from a variety of domestic products (e.g., personal care products, pharmaceuticals, household cleaners), chemical wastes from manufacturing processes (organic solvents) or commercial services (e.g., airplane deicing fluids). A number of these compounds are challenging to treat biologically because of their cytotoxic properties or their unreactive chemical structures. There is a growing awareness that new treatment processes are needed, particularly those involving technologies that can treat compounds on-site at the source of generation, rather than sending them to centralized municipal treatment facilities. There, at best, the treatment may be ineffective, and, at worst, it may cause operational problems for the biological processes of the wastewater facility. Electrochemical advanced oxidative processes (EAOPs) are one class of alternative wastewater treatment technologies showing great promise. This class of treatment processes functions by sending a strong electrical current between two electrodes submerged in the wastewater. This is done to evoke an oxidation reaction that is based on the use of electricity, rather than biological organisms.

22  |  June 2019

Benchtop model of electro-oxidation cell used to treat high strength ethylene glycol lavatory wastewater from a commercial airline.

The electro-oxidation process stimulates the loss of electrons (oxidation) in some compounds and the gain of electrons (reduction) in others, which can lead to breaking molecular bonds and the degradation of the unwanted compound. Typically, the oxidation of compounds takes place on the surface of the anode (negative electrode). In some cases, this process may also generate highly reactive oxygen species, such as the hydroxyl radical that causes the indirect oxidation of compounds within the wastewater. The magnitude of oxidative reactions taking place by either direct oxidation on the surface of the anode, or via indirect processes involving the hydroxyl radical, is dependent on both the composition of the anode and the chemicals being treated. There are a variety of characteristics inherent to electro-oxidation processes that make them particularly attractive when dealing with difficult compounds. In a recent review article, Garcia-Segura

et al. (2018) said advantages include: • Operation is conducted under ambient temperature and pressure, negating the need for special temperatures or pressures; • The compact nature of the electro-chemical cell means that the physical footprint is often smaller than many other technologies; • No auxiliary chemicals are needed, which eliminates transportation and storage costs; • No secondary waste streams that require additional treatment are produced; • The technology can be easily combined with conventional treatment systems; • Operation can be fully automatized; • Capital and operational costs are cost competitive with other technologies. ETHYLENE GLYCOL REMOVAL BY ELECTRO-OXIDATION TECHNOLOGY Ethylene glycol is one example of an industrial compound often generated in large volumes. The annual worldwide production of ethylene glycol in 2004 was Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

estimated to be greater than 18 kilotons (Hosseinpour et al. 2016). It is used in many applications, including antifreeze, airplane deicing fluids and solvents. High strength ethylene glycol wastewaters are one class of compounds that are difficult to treat using conventional wastewater treatment methods. The high biochemical oxygen demand of ethylene glycol means that most conventional plants do not have the capacity to treat it aerobically. As such, anaerobic degradation is often required, which can take weeks to accomplish. Xogen Technologies Inc. has developed an electro-oxidation cell designed for the treatment of challenging wastewater constituents. A benchtop version of the electro-oxidation cell has been investigated at Fleming College’s Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies (CAWT) in Lindsay, Ontario, to better define the range of wastewater constituents that are amenable to this technology, as well as to identify operational parameters for increased efficiencies. In one CAWT investigation, a commercial airline’s toilet (lavatory) wastewater, stabilized with ethylene glycol, was tested, using the electro-oxidation cell. The initial concentration of ethylene glycol in the toilet water was greater than 26,000 mg/L. Within a period of only two hours, the concentration of ethylene glycol was reduced by 28%. Although this work is only preliminary, it does indicate that electro-oxidation demonstrates good potential as a rapid alternative to the treatment of wastewaters with a high concentration of ethylene glycol. More work is underway to maximize the system’s treatment performance, including determining optimum retention times within the cell and determining the ratio between the surface area of the electrodes and the volume of wastewater treated. It is believed that the information gained from these investigations will lead to greater treatment efficiencies and prove crucial in the manufacturing and operation of larger commercial units. CONCLUSIONS Electro-oxidation technology has shown great potential for use as an on-site treatment technology for challenging wastewaters. Its small footprint www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

and ease of installation are also advantageous. Preliminary investigations suggest that the electro-oxidation cell is an advanced treatment technology suitable for a wide range of challenging chemical and biological contaminants. Furthermore, the technology does not produce many of the greenhouse gases commonly associated with conventional systems, making it better for the environment.

Gordon Balch, PhD, is a research scientist/professor with the Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies at Fleming College, Frost Campus. For more information, visit www.cawt.ca

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June 2019  |  23


LittaTrap stops plastics and other litter in stormwater from reaching waterways


lastics and other pollutants, such as cigarette butts, are increasingly responsible for degradation of beaches and waterways around the world. Stormwater runoff largely flows untreated into the marine environment and the debris in it is having drastic effects on water quality and marine life, as the ever growing plastics crisis is revealing. LittaTrap is a low cost insert designed to be easily retrofitted into new and existing stormwater catchment basins to specifically target litter, leaves and other pollutants. It captures them at source and prevents them from accumulating in harbours, lakes, oceans and beaches. LittaTrap is easily hand maintained and captures particles larger than 5 mm. It is also effective as a pre-treatment device for use in a treatment train Hand maintenance is as easy as ‘Lift, Tip, Replace’: 1. Lift LittaTrap out of pit using handles; 2. Tip with hydrodynamic separators, filtration contents out of LittaTrap into suitable receptacle for contents. 3. Replace LittaTrap securely back devices, ponds and wetlands. In many into surrounding frame and seal. cases, it is the most practical solution for retrofits. There are two standard sizes to fit most EASY MAINTENANCE The LittaTrap is cost-effective and pre-cast regular and curb entry catch pits. HOW DOES IT WORK? Custom designs can be fabricated for easy to maintain as the filter bag can be Placed inside a stormwater drain catch non-standard pits. Advantages include: simply picked up and emptied by hand. pit, LittaTrap captures and retains any • Captures litter, leaves, debris and other It can be easily cleaned by site owners debris or other pollutants larger than pollutants before they enter the drainage or maintenance crew without the need 5 mm that are caught up in stormwater system; for vacuum inductor trucks or heavy runoff. Once the filter bag is full, it can • Fits a range of catch pit sizes, making lifting equipment. As the pits can be be simply lifted out and emptied. If the retrofits easy; accessed from ground level, there is also no requirement for confined space entry, screening bag is full or during high flows, • Can be hand maintained; overflow is released through the over- • Bypasses high flows with no move- reducing maintenance costs. LittaTrap filters should be inspected flow apertures in the frame assembly. able parts; • Adjustable panels allow fine-tuning periodically to determine maintenance frequency. The frequency of mainteDESIGN AND OPERATION during installation for a perfect fit; nance services should be reviewed at the The LittaTrap is fixed by brackets to • Tested at Auckland University; the catch pit wall below the grate, allow- • 1000 micron gross pollutant bag completion of each clean and modified ing the filter insert to easily be lifted out equals a 95%+ gross pollutant capture if pollutant loadings deem this necessary. At the required maintenance interval, for hand maintenance. Consisting of a up to 100 l/sec; structural bracket assembly with flow • No construction means low capital contaminants need to be removed from the filter bags and disposed of appropridiverter seal and a removable filter insert costs; incorporating high flow bypass, it is sim- • A range of filter sizes to target gross ately and in accordance with all applicable environmental and health and safety ple to install and remove. Once the filter pollutants; insert has been removed, open access to • Can be used to target high litter areas; requirements. the base of the catch pit and outlet pipe • Ideal pre-treatment device for filmeans any accumulated sediment in the ters, ponds and wetlands or overflow of For more information, email: joe@enviropod.com, or visit pit can easily be removed by inductor raingardens; truck if required. • No confined space entry requirements. www.enviropod.com 24  |  June 2019

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St. John’s asks for appeal, delay over secondary wastewater treatment deadline


he City of St. John’s, Newfoundland released a statement earlier this year explaining why it doesn’t believe it’s fair that the federal government expects it to begin secondary treatment for its wastewater sooner rather than later. St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen made headlines when he wrote to the federal government asking to appeal the agreement imposed on the city, or at least receive more time to meet new federal wastewater regulations. He contends that St. John’s was wrongly classified as high risk in the process when initial wastewater samples were taken in 2013 and 2014 from its Riverhead Wastewater Treatment Facility. The higher the risk the sooner the municipality must develop secondary treatment for its wastewater, according to the regulations. In this case, the deadline would be December 31, 2020. The city claims the 2014 readings are outdated and that if federal officials used current readings at the facility, it would mean that it should not have to consider secondary treatment until 2030. The risk rating involves a measure of total suspended solids and chemical biological oxygen demand in the facility’s effluent. “Initially, Riverhead experienced significant operational issues with the digesters,” the city’s recent notice states. “We discovered that they had been installed incorrectly, and over the course of the first few years, the two digesters were frequently operating at a reduced capacity. In fact, at times only one was operational.”

In its statement, the city goes on to explain that it simply cannot afford secondary wastewater treatment at this time. It states that an initial regional capital investment of $84.9 million will have significant financial implications for it and its regional partners, the City of Mount Pearl and the Town of Paradise. It also suggests that the City of St. John’s alone will see its operating budget increase by an estimated $10.3 million once debt service and operating costs are factored. “Projecting out to 2026, we already anticipate increases in water taxes,” city officials warned the public. “Due to things such as general inflation, adding the cost to operate a secondary treatment facility will drive costs to rise by an additional increase of $105 per household. Commercial property owners will not escape the increase either and will also see an increase in water usage rates in the realm of 20%.” If St. John’s has not begun offering secondary treatment by 2021, it may face significant fines and penalties. The provincial government has made no commitments to help financially with the city’s wastewater project at this time.

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The Riverhead Wastewater Treatment Facility. Olympic Construction Ltd. www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

June 2019  |  25


Laser-based water level measurement technology By Nicolas Ho


aser-based level measurement is gaining more and more popularity for water and wastewater applications. Up to now, it was severely limited for such uses because of its inability to detect clear liquids reliably. However, recent technological advances allow laser level measurement for these applications. The advantages of laser level measurement can now be relied upon for a number of challenging level applications. The LLT100, ABB’s new laser level measurement product, uses laser time of flight to measure the level of any solids or liquids. By the use of improved laser pulse control, detection performance, and powerful algorithms, it can reliably measure any liquid regardless of color, transparency, or turbidity. Liquids can be highly agitated without impact on measurement. By using a laser beam, the transmitter is not affected by the presence of gases. It can work under vacuum, and its accuracy is not affected by the type of liquids or its composition. The measurement of clear liquids was extensively tested in a number of different conditions. LLT100 performed well on all tested liquids, from colored liquids to transparent ones such as pure water or transparent mineral oil. Reliable measurements can be done at distances up to 30 m. LLT100 also tracks the liquid surface level even in the presence of waves and surface agitation. In Figure 1 waves are created in a clear water tank. There is no damping, so fast changes can be observed. As can be seen, LLT100 always detects the surface even in strong agitation. When no agitation is present, on the right of the plot, the standard deviation of the measured level is ± 1 mm, showing the repeatability of the measurement. In the presence of dense foam, the LLT100 will return to the level of the top of the foam. However, it is not confused by foam and the measurement is not lost or erratic. The laser beam of the LLT100 has a very small beam divergence. After traveling about 6 m, it has a width of only 50 mm since it has a divergence of only 26  |  June 2019

LLT100 tank installation.

Figure 1. LLT100 measurement of agitated water.

0.3 degrees. Performing the level measurement with such a narrow beam has many advantages since the narrow beam doesn’t interfere with local structures and fitments. Therefore, no echo mapping is necessary. This means that the LLT100 will automatically track the water surface. Even if the space is limited, the laser beam will find its way to the water surface and the transmitter will detect it without the need to be configured for a specific application. This is very advantageous when there are a lot of internal structures, when an agitator is used in the vessel, or when the local area changes. Since the LLT100 laser beam doesn’t interfere with surrounding objects, it is immune to their presence. Typical applications are lift

stations, deep wet wells, pumping stations, slurry tanks, and liquid reservoirs. CUTTING STILLING WELL MEASURING COSTS Over the course of a few days, dirty water in a stilling well will coat everything. As such, measurement products in contact with the water require maintenance every week. When using laser measurement, it is possible to measure up to when the buildup becomes so severe it almost completely blocks the stilling well. Often this can take about six weeks. This leads to significant maintenance cost reductions. Nicolas Ho is with ABB. For more information, email: ken.a.burnett@ca.abb.com

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Properly designed pumping systems protect against stormwater surge flooding By George Micevski


ith flooding events seemingly on the rise, particularly in North America, local governments should be considering more modern, efficient and effective ways to manage major weather events that produce an inordinate amount of stormwater. This is especially true when working with aging infrastructure and combined-sewer systems that not only lack capacity to manage major storm events, but also threaten environmental damage when they overflow into nearby natural watercourses. There is not, unfortunately, a foolproof system for preventing floods. Nature will sometimes do what nature-

28  |  June 2019

wants to do. But that doesn’t mean people are helpless. There are preventive measures and mechanisms that can be put in place to help keep rising waters in check and protect those homes and businesses that would otherwise be in the path of the flood. A key flood mitigation tactic is to divert stormwater into reservoirs, or other holding areas, before it gets to areas where human populations have settled. But, doing so requires modern pumping and monitoring systems that can not only manage increased flows of water, but can do so with minimal human interaction or oversight. When a hurricane isn’t involved, flood-

ing often results because there is inadequate drainage, or the water coming into the city’s sewer system is simply too much for it to handle. In an older combined sewer system, this ultimately results in stormwater mixing with raw sewage, and possibly being discharged into a nearby river, stream or lake. Then, public beaches often get closed because of high E. coli counts. In cities that have updated their infrastructure and urban planning policies, stormwater is being diverted to holding or retention ponds. Or, maybe they have installed subterranean holding tanks, where storm and wastewater is stored until there is capacity at the treatment plant. The challenge is getting the water to these holding areas, particularly when fighting against gravity. For this, it is vital that municipalities, or owners of private property who have to manage large flows of storm or wastewater, have a pump system that can manage the massive flows of water that can be collected during a storm event. If the pump is insufficient for the flows coming in, it will be overwhelmed and the system will be compromised. This can result in sewage backup into homeowners’ basements, or water filling city streets because there is no capacity in the sewer. Flood waters are likely to containtrash and debris, which creates a risk of clogged pumps. Pumps of sufficient capacity are able to manage most solids without the threat of clogging. The 64 HD Series of ejector pumps by Zoeller Engineered Products, available from 25 horsepower to 60 horsepower, are specifically designed for better and more efficient management of large volumes of storm and wastewater. Pumps of this capacity are often used in municipal or commercial settings to pump sewage or stormwater from sewer

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lines to a wastewater treatment plant, and within the plant to move sewage through the treatment process. However, they are also suited for storm water management in both the public and private sectors. The 60 horsepower model has the capability to move up to 9,900 litres per minute, with up to 54 metres of lift, which is typically sufficient to manage the rain that would fall in a 100-year storm. These complex systems require constant oversight, but that doesn’t mean staff watching 24-7. Customized supervisory control systems can be designed to automatically manage a complex system of pumps, reservoirs and holding areas where rising waters can be diverted to protect populated and settled areas from the ravaging effects of flood waters. Also, the entire array can be protected within an aluminum kiosk to protect against humidity, rain, heat, snow or cold. The kiosk by Tulsar Canada, a subsidiary of Zoeller, is equipped with heaters and fans to keep the panel cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It features an optional uninterruptable power supply to maintain power to the kiosk, with redundant back-ups to ensure the panel is continuously operating at all times. The panel monitors a series of floats and tracks water levels to trigger water diversion measures when levels begin to rise while simultaneously alerting operators to the pending problem. These panels also track and record data, that is used to effectively and accurately predict future flooding events. Flood events can be horrific for a community. But modern stormwater management systems, pumps and control panels, are self-sufficient and reliable to not only predict the rising risk of flood, but to also enact mitigations that will limit the damage caused by rising waters. Similar applications are seen in the private sector. Shopping malls and sporting venues, in particular, often have large parking lots associated with them. Similar to a downtown streetscape, all that asphalt doesn’t absorb the rain that falls. Rather, it collects in a private sewer system where it has to be moved to either a stormwater retention pond or a treatment plant. This can’t always be done by gravity, www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

which means a pump is needed in the George Micevski is the President of holding tank to keep the water moving Zoeller Canada and Tulsar Canada. and preventing the holding tank from Email: gmicevski@tulsar.com overflowing and flooding the parking lot When planning for storm and wastewater management, whether in the private or public sector, it’s important to ensure your system has the right capacity; too little, and the risk of damage from flooding becomes a very real possibility.

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www.xypex.com June 2019  |  29


Implementing a Proactive Approach to Force Main Asset Management


ccording to a 2004 Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) survey, 7.5% of wastewater collection systems are force mains. Most are located in highly critical areas in communities where the consequence of failure can be severe. Even more troublesome for utilities are the operational and technological limitations associated with pressurized pipes. With advancements in technology and a willingness to develop proactive pipeline integrity programs, utilities can successfully reduce failures, mitigate risk, reduce capital expenditures, and increase confidence in the overall operation of their force mains. Utilizing inline inspection technologies, a utility can gain a comprehensive understanding of the condition of their force mains and pinpoint areas which need immediate attention. Sections of the pipe with many years of remaining useful life can be identified, saving the cost and effort of a larger-scale replacement.

30  |  June 2019

THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING PRESSURIZED SEWER PIPES The failure of most force mains equates to a high cost financially, operationally, environmentally and socially for utilities. Despite this, many utilities have traditionally opted for a reactive approach to managing these assets, often due to the difficulty of the inspection process. Utilities who have implemented proactive programs to manage their force mains, along with their entire linear asset inventory, have been able to: • Reduce failures – force main failures can cost a utility from $500K to well over $1M, as well as negative public sentiment and adverse media exposure. • Reduce capital expenditures – condition assessment programs can be implemented for roughly 5% – 15% of the cost of full-scale replacement programs. • Mitigate risk – through a comprehensive condition assessment program, a thorough understanding of risk can inform optimized repair, rehabilitation and replacement strategies.

• Increase confidence – in their overall force main operations as well as with their customer base and communities. • Optimize operational expenditures – by implementing a force main management strategy, utilities can move from reactive operation and maintenance to proactive planning, thus optimizing budget allocation. FORCE MAIN PIPE TYPES AND MODES OF FAILURE According to a survey by WERF and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the primary cause of force main failures is internal corrosion. The majority of force mains are metallic pipe, which includes cast iron, ductile iron and steel pipes. Almost half of metallic force main failures are due to external or internal corrosion, with an additional quarter of failures due to surge pressure and joint leakage. This means that nearly 75% of metallic force main failures can be prevented by implementing a proactive pipeline management program.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

FORCE MAIN FAILURE WITH METALLIC PIPES While non-ferrous pipes such as prestressed concrete cylinder pipes (PCCP), reinforced concrete cylinder pipes (RCCP) and bar wire wrapped pipes (BWP) make up a smaller percentage of force mains, they dominate in diameters above 0.91 m. What is important to note is that failures on these non-ferrous pipes tend to be more catastrophic. Nearly 55% of failures of non-ferrous pipes are from corrosion and structural defects. Another 10% from surge pressure and joint leakages means that nearly 65% of non-ferrous force main failures are also preventable.

Any approach should be tailored to risk tolerance, material, diameter and past failure history. Utility managers are turning to programs that reduce damage to assets, prioritize investment to minimize community impact of asset failure, and reduce the consequence of failure by enabling system control. General assessment approaches should include maintenance and failure history; checking design for today’s loading conditions; monitoring for transient pressures; assessing critical control valves; performing inline, accurate lead and gas pocket assessment, and inline pipe wall assessment. Research conducted as part of the WERF: 2010 Guidelines for the Inspection of Wastewater Force Mains, shows that the most DEVELOPING A PROACTIVE RISK-BASED common failure mode for force mains is internal hydrogen sulCONDITION ASSESSMENT PROGRAM fide corrosion which starts as a gas pocket forming in a pipeline. Implementing a strategy that focuses on gathering data So, monitoring for hydrogen sulfide is extremely important. through condition assessment is crucial to ensure the safe Faced with deteriorating buried sewer infrastructure and operation of wastewater infrastructure, and to optimize capital challenges associated with the complexity of force mains, proexpenditures. active utilities are taking the important step to perform condition assessments on these assets. Information gained allows HOW TO ASSESS FORCE MAINS utilities to take action needed on critical assets and to better Inspecting force mains is significantly more challenging understand the condition of their pipelines. than inspecting gravity mains. These challenges include: lack This approach enables a powerful, cost-effective strategy for of redundancy; lack of or limited access points; cost of inspec- asset management with significant operational, financial and tion; environmental concerns related to the nature of sewer community benefits. systems; and technology limitations. New standards of best practice for force main management For more information, visit www.xylem.com involve a variety of methods and technologies to provide data and information with which to make decisions. Utilities can now often perform a detailed condition assessment while the Official force main remains in service. de ctro Ele Distributor nce There is no “one-size-fits-all” way of assessing force mains. e r e Ref


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June 2019  |  31


The Castello di Amorosa wastewater system is designed for low maintenance, and requires membrane cleaning and sludge removal only once per year.

New wastewater system allows winery to reuse over 5 million litres of water annually


alifornia has been experiencing a series of droughts, which has meant increased water-use restrictions, and a subsequent need for wineries to reclaim and reuse their treated wastewater. When its leach field failed, the owners of Napa Valley winery Castello di Amorosa knew it was time to update their wastewater treatment system to address both these issues. “A major drought in 2014 led us to be proactive and look for a replacement wastewater treatment system that would save water,” says Tim Dexter, maintenance manager at Castello di Amorosa. The winery chose a treatment system that uses fiberglass tanks due to their corrosion resistance. “Tanks made of fiberglass can safely hold any type of winery wastewater, which can contain a variety of chemicals and varied pH levels,” explains Sheldon Sapoznik of BioMicrobics, who supplied the winery’s wastewater treatment system. The tanks are watertight, which prevents infiltration that could reduce the treatment quality of wastewater and leaks that could jeopardize the environment. 32  |  June 2019

The three Xerxes fibreglass wastewater tanks.

“Fiberglass was also a more economical option than concrete,” says Dexter. “The installation process is more straightforward and cost-effective. Large concrete tanks often require extensive road infrastructure for access and costly cranes. Neither are necessary for moving lightweight fiberglass.” A PRECISE TREATMENT SYSTEM “A major advantage of pairing ZCL Xerxes tanks with the BioMicrobics treatment system is that together they are scalable and modular,” says Sapoznik. “Fiberglass tanks are easier to customize, so we can obtain a seamless integration

with the BioBarrier system.” Three ZCL Xerxes 83,000-litre fiberglass wastewater tanks (3 m diameter) replaced the existing plant’s concrete ones. A BioMicrobics BioBarrier high strength membrane bioreactor treatment system was installed inside each tank. Aeration grids below the membrane modules promote aerobic microbes that metabolize and digest the wastewater. It then passes through the membranes. The BioBarrier system’s flat-sheet membranes have 0.03 – 1.3 micron pores, providing ultrafiltration. This physically separates the wastewater and treated water so solids and bacteria remain in the tank. Treated water (high-quality effluent), with nearly all contaminants removed, exits the tanks via a small submerged filtrate pump. The three tanks operate independently to address the winery’s wastewater flows, which can vary significantly from day to day. During the most water-intensive times, when wine is bottled and barrels are washed, all three tank systems run. The BioBarrier system in each tank can treat up to 20 litres per minute. In a 24-hour period,

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

the three tanks can treat up to 34,000 litres of water. The tanks are designed to accommodate the surge protection needed for this high volume of flow, so the treatment process is not disrupted. The Castello di Amorosa wastewater system is designed for low maintenance, and requires membrane cleaning and sludge removal only once per year. The resulting clean water can be reused in numerous ways, including vineyard irrigation. “In our first year of operation, the winery treated and reused over 5 million litres of water. That’s water we would have had to source from somewhere else. Our water now has two life cycles,” says Dexter. Both the winery and land have recently been Napa Green-certified, which means they meet all the regulatory components needed for environmental sustainability, including water conservation and efficiency. For more information, visit www.zcl.com

Aeration grids below the membrane modules promote aerobic microbes that metabolize and digest the wastewater.

Announcing New Leadership CIMA+ is a leading consultant in the water and environment sectors, supporting municipal clients with sustainable solutions, forward-thinking design and community vision. We are dedicated to fostering a culture of excellence that values personal contribution. We are pleased to introduce two leaders appointed to our growing management team:

Rabia Mady, P.Eng. Rabia Mady is a Senior Project Manager and a condition assessment technical leader within CIMA+’s Water and Infrastructure Group. His areas of expertise include prioritizing pipes for assessment/renewal, managing pipeline condition assessments, leak detection, hydraulic & structure assessment, interpreting inspection results into condition grading system and estimating remaining service life.

Mina Yousif, M.Eng, P.Eng. Mina Yousif is a Senior Project Manager within CIMA+’s Water and Infrastructure Group, bringing over 12 years of experience in municipal engineering. He specializes in wastewater treatment and sewage pumping station planning, design, optimization, and commissioning, capacity and condition assessments, energy efficiency, and resource recovery studies for sustainable infrastructure.


www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

June 2019  |  33




he American National Standards for health effects of drinking water treatment chemicals (NSF/ANSI 60) and plumbing system components (NSF/ANSI 61) have been updated for the Canadian market and published as National Standards of Canada. The standards initially published in 1988 have been renamed NSF/ANSI/CAN 60: 2018 Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals – Health Effects and NSF/ANSI/CAN 61: 2018 Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects. Each component of a public water treatment system is subjected to meeting certain criteria. The most important standard may be NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 certification. However, there's confusion among customers as to what it is and what it covers. Crosslinked polyethylene tanks are NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 certified for use with a number of chemicals. NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 is a set of nationally-recognized standards. Developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), this standard refers to water treatment requirements. Potable water equipment or products that support its production fall under this standard's jurisdiction. Everything from ambient temperature water at various pH levels to more dangerous chemicals can be tested. In all cases the liquid is tested before and after exposure to a given piece of equipment to determine whether anything has been leached out or extracted from the equipment.

application. In fact, some products listed as NSF-61 certified may only apply to potable water and not chemical storage or vice versa. Many manufacturers are testing pH 5, pH 8, and pH 10 exposure waters at ambient temperature, which is for potable water storage only. What they fail to account for is potential leaching of materials in chemical storage tanks. We recommend visiting the NSF website to ensure a product meets the standards based on the chemical application and that the certification is for the specific chemical, not for potable water storage. Users can verify components listed by manufacturer along with the certified HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CHEMICAL chemical components, as well as with SYSTEM MEETS NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 the name of the chemical and percentThere are various levels of certification age concentration. A less-than symbol that a system can achieve. This is because means that a tank is certified to store up NSF-61 certification can apply to so many to that level of concentration. different concentrations of chemicals. A full system certification includes even This variance can make understanding a small parts. Smaller parts like gaskets and specific certification challenging. fittings must also pass certification to conThis means some manufacturers incor- sider the full system certified. It's importrectly explain certification levels for their ant that all materials meet this standard products. Some customers may end up for potable water and chemical storage. buying the wrong product for their 34  |  June 2019

MANUFACTURERS THAT OFFER A SMART SOLUTION When choosing a chemical storage tank manufacturer it is important to make sure they can offer you a complete chemical storage tank system that is NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 certified. Currently, there is one company that manufactures crosslinked polyethylene tanks that has NSF 61 system certification for 35 of the most popular water treatment chemicals on their XLPE tank systems. Additionally, their certifications cover XLPE tanks with OR-1000 (an engineered antioxidant barrier) system. Some tank customers may be confused about whether their tanks or tank systems are certified to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 and which certification is valid for their tank. TANKS ARE TESTED AND CERTIFIED FOR POTABLE WATER Some manufacturers will imply that their storage tank systems are NSF certified for both chemicals and potable water. If those tanks aren’t tested and listed for potable water storage as well as chemical storage, then that is not the case. In order to certify tanks for potable

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water, the manufacturer sends vertical storage tanks to NSF for testing. During this testing, the tanks are filled with pH 5, 8, and 10 exposure waters that are formulated to simulate a variety of potable water conditions These tests evaluate whether potentially harmful levels of chemical compounds from the tank itself are leaching into the water that is being stored. NSF uses pH 5 and pH 10 exposure waters to test for metals extraction and pH 8 exposure water for testing organics.

Chemicals approved for use with crosslinked polyethylene tanks It’s important to note that each tank manufacturer must specify the chemicals each model is certified to store. Here’s a look at the various chemicals with which crosslinked polyethylene tank systems have been evaluated under NSF/ANSI/CAN 61:

TANKS ARE TESTED AND CERTIFIED FOR CHEMICAL STORAGE In addition to the potable water testing, tanks can be tested and certified under NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 for chemical storage end use. For these tests, NSF exposes the tanks to chemicals certified to NSF/ANSI/CAN 60. The tanks undergo an exposure period dictated by the NSF/ANSI 61. Once the does not test the overall strength of the exposure time is completed, the chemi- material being used in the storage tank cal that was exposed to the tank material application. is analyzed for the presence of chemical compounds that may have leached from the tank itself. If there are no detectable leachants or the leachants are below passfail criteria, then the tank passes the test. This testing is performed on the most aggressive chemicals that would be stored in the tank. Testing to the “worst-case scenario” in this way gives NSF the ability to predict the performance of other chemicals when exposed to the tank. It is critical to work with a company with a complete chemical storage tank system certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61. All chemical storage tanks and associated fittings must adhere to these stringent standards for the system to be NSF 61 certified. The NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 standard

For more information, contact Marshall Lampson, Poly Processing Company, Email: mlampson@polyprocessing.com

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(866) 299-3009 | WWW.GREATARIO.COM June 2019  |  35


The slow sand filters discharge pond.

Bolted tanks speed Kugluktuk’s water treatment plant upgrade


he water treatment plant upgrade for the hamlet of Kugluktuk is one of the few modern Nunavut plants built by shipping construction materials to the remote Arctic location rather than as a factory built modular plant. Because the Williams Engineering design specified slow sand filtration, it required eight large exterior tanks, ranging in size from 74 m3 – 560 m3. Delivering the treated water, filter feed, three roughing and three slow sand tanks to the shore of the Arctic Ocean beside the Coppermine River was challenging. Most tanks are concrete or field welded steel, but Kugluktuk‘s were built on site with factory fabricated and coated panels that are bolted into place. Bolted tanks have the strength of steel and require less site work than concrete tanks. Below ground concrete tanks would also not be compatible with the geological and permafrost conditions. The idea for bolted tanks came from 36  |  June 2019

Williams Engineering, in Yellowknife. NDL Construction was contracted to construct the water treatment plant building, having also built the sewage lagoon and carried out other work for the hamlet. BI Pure Water of Surrey, BC, designed and supplied the water treatment system, which was factory fabricated and shipped in 15 pre-assembled modules, including the clarifier, pumps, UV and dosing systems, truckfill arms, pump and integrated PLC and HMI. Western Tank & Lining shipped the tank sections in pallets and seacans from St. Catharines, Ontario, via the Atlantic route with Nunavut Sealink & Supply. They arrived in July which was well into the construction season. Favourable weather conditions, a rarity at this latitude, enabled the eight bolted tanks to be assembled in a matter of weeks, as compared to welding, which could have taken more than one full construction season. Western Tank and Lining began by

building the roof on the ground and using hydraulic jacks to gradually build up each ring, avoiding the need for a crane, which was not available in Kugluktuk. The tank finishing/painting was all done in the factory before shipping, which saved pollution and waste from paint, not to mention trying to paint in Arctic Ocean winds. When the bolting was complete, the tanks were then left until the following summer for insulation and exterior panel cladding work. The water treatment system assemblies also arrived in the summer of 2015. They were trucked 2,200 km from Vancouver to Hay River, NWT, then loaded on the last summer barge on the Mackenzie River for a 1,700 km journey to the Arctic Ocean. The last stage was a 1,000 km trip through the Northwest Passage to Kugluktuk. This route is now possible with increasing polar ice melt. Slow sand filtration was a common treatment system before membranes

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became more widely used. Slow sand filtration depends on temperatures of 5°C – 10°C for bacteria to work, and the method had never been tried in the North before, certainly never at a latitude above the Arctic circle or with winter temperatures averaging –35°C and lower. “It was an unknown whether the bacterial Schmutzdecke would grow with the cold temperatures experienced in the north.” says Steve Creamer of Williams Engineering in Yellowknife. Key benefits of slow sand filters for the North are their low maintenance and few parts that break down or need replacing. Neither do they require many chemicals or electricity to operate. One of the goals of the government of Nunavut was to reduce chemical and fuel usage. Although less fuel is needed to pressurize the system, the water has to be heated. A lot of fuel is required to warm the water for the Schmutzdecke, costing about $10,000 a month to operate in the cold period. “Design is always a cost-benefit comparison,” says Creamer. “The cost of cartridge filters was compared to the price of heating the water, and heating came out to be less expensive.” Construction of the upgraded treatment plant was almost complete by the fall of 2016. However, the Schmutzdecke hadn’t developed and turbidity was still higher than the required level. NDL Construction called on Ken Mattes, who is the senior manager of the Canadian First Nations Circuit Rider program and also oversees the Manitoba operator training program at Red River College in Winnipeg, to train the Inuit operators and to help coax the Schmutzdecke into developing. “I was surprised they went with slow sand filtration as we usually see nano filter membranes with pre-filtration,” says Mattes. However, the Schmutzdecke had soon developed and the turbidity was reduced to below 1 NTU. Raw water feeding the new treatment plant is continuously monitored for salt water intrusions, as this community is on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. The salty tide water flows upstream on a daily basis, creating a problem when the tides are high. Today, thanks to the work of the Inuit www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

Roughing filters on the left and slow sand filters on the right.

operators, the Kugluktuk plant is one of For more information, email: the best performing plants in Nunavut, deannem@bipurewater.com with high quality water exceeding turbidity guidelines.

June 2019  |  37




aking sure that industry is ready to respond to environmental emergencies is the reason for the new Environmental Emergency Regulations, 2019, which come into force on August 24, 2019. These regulations build from the existing Environmental Emergency Regulations, and require industry to take steps to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the accidental release of hazardous substances, such as ammonia, oil and chlorine.

The goals of EER 2019 are to clarify and strengthen requirements for emergency planning and public notification before, during and after an environmental emergency.

DOES THIS APPLY TO YOU? The Environmental Emergency Regulations, 2019 apply to the owner or the person in charge of the management or con1/4 V 10/4/06 trol of a substance listed in Schedule 1 of

the regulations that is at or above a specified concentration. When specific quantity or container capacity thresholds are met or exceeded, this person must notify 2:25 PM Page 1 Environment and Climate Change Canada




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existing regulations by: • Establishing new periodic reporting requirements; • Enhancing the requirements for public notification; • Outlining requirements for exercising environmental emergency plans; • Providing a clear definition of a container system and how to determine its WHAT SUBSTANCES ARE REGULATED? maximum capacity; and Schedule 1 of the Environmental Emer- • Adding substances to Schedule 1. gency Regulations, 2019 includes 249 substances that pose an acute hazard to the NEW REPORTING SYSTEM The new periodic reporting requireenvironment or human health, should an accidental release occur. These new Reg- ments in the Environmental Emergency ulations add 33 substances to the previ- Regulations, 2019 help maintain an up-todate database on companies that use ous list of regulated substances. Schedule 1 separates the substances hazardous substances. This is essential into six categories: aquatically toxic; com- for first responders and government offibustible; explosion hazard; pool fire haz- cials when preparing for and responding ard; inhalation hazard; and, oxidizer that to environmental emergencies. The new reporting system, which has may explode. been integrated into ECCC’s Single Window Information Management (SWIM) WHAT HAS CHANGED? The Environmental Emergency Regu- system, makes it easier for regulatees to lations, 2019 replace and strengthen the comply with the reporting requirements

(ECCC) and submit information about the facility and the substance(s) it manages. Also, when both the quantity and container capacity reach or exceed the thresholds, the regulated facility must prepare, implement and periodically exercise an environmental emergency plan (E2 plan).


of the regulations. Regulatees can provide the required notices and reports in a timely, simple and interactive manner and the system sends reminders leading up to reporting deadlines. TRANSITION, GUIDANCE AND TRAINING The Environmental Emergency Regulations, 2019 clarify and strengthen requirements for emergency planning and public notification before, during and after an environmental emergency. These updates will support and enhance protection of the public and the environment. To assist with the transition and understanding of the Regulations, ECCC will publish guidance material, host a series of webinars, and participate in conferences and seminars. Tanya Bryant is Director, Environmental Protection Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada. For more information, email: ec.ue-e2.ec@canada.ca

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June 2019  |  39


New positive seal tailgate for truck bodies and containers prevents spills


hilippi-Hagenbuch Inc. (PHIL) has invented a new version of their Autogate Tailgate, specifically for off-highway trucks and roll-off containers that require a 100% positive seal. This new design can be paired with PHIL’s proprietary fluidic seal material to create a water-tight seal that contains liquid materials when environmental regulations or local laws make even slight spillage undesirable. It can be designed for practically any size off-highway truck or roll-off container. Paired with PHIL’s simple yet robust outrigger, its traditional scissors-style mechanism provides maximum opening clearance at full dump. In the closed position, the new design positively locks into place and will not open under normal conditions without the


PHIL’s fluidic seal material can be used with the Positive Seal Autogate Tailgate to create a watertight seal that contains liquid materials within an off-highway truck body or roll-off container.

body or container entering “dump” mode. the tailgate compresses. Two hooks on The new design builds up the rearmost either side of the base of the flange interportion of the truck body, or container, cept a corresponding tag on the tailgate. to create a cohesive flange from which This allows the tailgate to pivot inward as the sidearm and over-centre locking mechanism lock the rear tailgate compressively into place. Optional body seals, fluidic seals and cushion pads are available to further customize PHIL’s Autogate Tailgates for unique applications. Roll-off containers with PHIL’s Positive Seal Autogate Tailgate pair with a PHIL J-Hook industrial-strength hook truck outfitted with a corresponding PHIL tailgate outrigger. When capacity is a concern, PHIL’s Positive Seal Autogate Tailgate can be built up for sideboards. Sideboards are available in 25 mm increments, from 15 – 100 cm in height, and provide a unified body height, while increasing the volumetric capacity of the truck body, and helping operators achieve optimal loads.

You Design. You Apply.

For more information, visit www.philsystems.com

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Using environmental DNA can improve site remediation success

point of commercialization. It is now a readily available tool for environmental consultants, conservation groups, and government entities. eDNA methods offer several advantages when compared to conventional biomonitoring survey methods. These include reduced By Louis Gasparini costs and time to results, increased sensitivity, and reduced environmental diseasuring the success of site reme- turbances. These advantages translate to diation projects can be challeng- reliable results at a lower cost for restoing, but an emerging technology ration projects. known as Environmental DNA (eDNA) provides a new tool to help. WHAT IS EDNA? eDNA methods can provide conservaAll organisms leave behind DNA in tion biologists and environmental con- the environment, through a myriad of sultants with a way to measure the total processes including passively shedding biodiversity of a restored ecosystem, or cells, eating, defecating, and spawning. to check for certain indicator species If an organism is present in an enviwhich can indicate habitat use and eco- ronment, so is its DNA, which persists system health. It is a new and innovative in the environment and can be found method, which is used to survey for the in water, soil, and even snow. Biolopresence of organisms in a given environ- gists can sample and identify this eDNA, ment. eDNA science has been researched enabling them to discern if an organism intensively all over the world for the last is present or was present in the environdecade and has been developed to the ment recently, without actually having


to capture the organism itself. Every species on Earth has unique DNA that sets them apart from all others. eDNA is identified using specialized genetic tests that will identify what species it came from. There are two main methods used to detect eDNA. The first is a targeted approach through which a species-specific genetic test is used to detect the eDNA of a single target species. This involves the use of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), an incredibly sensitive technology that originated in medical diagnostics. The second, a more general approach, is DNA metabarcoding, which is used to identify the DNA of all organisms present in the environment, providing a “snapshot” of the total biodiversity at a particular point in time. Both approaches are highly sensitive and can provide valuable insights into what is going on at a biological level within an ecosystem. continued overleaf…


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REMEDIATION USING EDNA The most advanced uses of eDNA are in aquatic environments. Typical surveys consist of sampling water to capture eDNA, and using molecular biology to purify and detect target DNA. Specialized eDNA sampling equipment has been developed for these purposes by a few companies, including Guelph, Ontario-based Precision Biomonitoring Inc. This allows eDNA surveys to be conducted in many different aquatic environments, from shallow rivers to deep lakes. Field biologists need only sample water for eDNA. There is no disturbance to aquatic organisms, or the ecosystem as a whole. All types of aquatic organisms can be detected using eDNA, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, molluscs, insects, and even microbes. One interesting application of eDNA is in detecting the changes in microbial communities at sites where chemical or effluent runoff is a concern. This application can also be adapted to determine the effectiveness of microbes employed for bioremediation, such as hydrocarbon metabolizing bacteria introduced to clean up a petroleum-contaminated site. eDNA can also be readily sampled from soil substrates, on land or in aquatic environments, making it an applicable method for different types of site remediation endeavours.

The most advanced uses of eDNA are in aquatic environments. Typical surveys consist of sampling water to capture eDNA, and using molecular biology to purify and detect target DNA.

ing season would be optimal as they are shedding a lot of DNA through reproductive activities. Environmental variables need to be taken into account as well as they can influence the dispersion and longevity of eDNA in the environment. Variables such as water pH and flow must be accounted for during the survey design process to determine the optimality of sampling for a given project. Another important factor to consider when conducting eDNA surveys is samEDNA SERVICES ple preservation. Transporting water Not all eDNA surveys are created samples introduces significant opporequal. Special considerations should be tunity for eDNA to degrade, as well as taken into account when designing a being logistically difficult. eDNA degrasurvey and sampling, so as to optimize dation results from high temperatures, the probability of detecting an organism chemicals present in the water, microto provide the most robust survey. bial activity, and many other factors. Experts in the field of eDNA agree Immediately after sample collection, that there are best practices related to eDNA can begin to degrade if not propeDNA methods. It is widely understood erly preserved. Therefore, preservation that the distribution of eDNA depends is of the utmost importance and should on several variables, including species always factor into a survey workflow. Filecology, water quality, pH and turbidity. tering water and extracting DNA in the It is for this reason that understanding field is the best approach to minimize the the ecology of eDNA, and how best to potential for sample degradation prior to sample for it, is so crucial. analysis. On-site DNA extraction ensures When looking to conduct an effective that the sample is stable and ready for eDNA survey, one should always adapt immediate analyses in the field, or for the best practices to their survey. A well transportation to an analytical centre. designed eDNA survey takes into account One final consideration to take into target species biology and ecology. For account is the quality of the laboratory example, detecting salmon during spawn- tests used. Robust eDNA analysis should 42  |  June 2019

include the use of genetic tests developed under the most rigorous molecular biology standards. Analysis should also include controls to check for PCR inhibition which can result in the masking of eDNA. USING EDNA FOR SITE REMEDIATION AND ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION PROJECTS Restoring natural areas and ecosystems is a common environmental practice. Efforts focus on alleviating the detrimental effects caused by development projects in several major industries, including construction, mining and agriculture. One of the pitfalls in measuring the success of site remediation and ecological restorations is that it is often difficult to assess their effectiveness without incurring high costs or causing further disturbances to the very ecosystem being remediated. Difficulties in measuring the effectiveness of site remediation can lead to underestimation of the success of a project, which may lead to projects being cut short before the objectives can be realised. eDNA methods are praised by many professionals as revolutionary for the field of ecology. They have been proven numerous times to possess higher levels of sensitivity compared to conventional survey techniques. This makes

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eDNA particularly useful when surveying for low abundance species and species at risk, which are often the focal point of ecological restoration projects. This increased sensitivity reduces the likelihood of false negative results, that is, misidentifying an organism as absent when it is in fact present. Ramifications of false negatives when surveying for organisms, especially species at risk, can be very detrimental and may erroneously result in the cessation of conservation or restoration efforts and the local extinction (extirpation) of species at risk from an area. Ecological restoration projects focus on alleviating the damaging effects of an ever-expanding industrial world. These projects aim to bring back a natural balance to an ecosystem by recreating suitable habitats and niches for different species, while also restoring fundamental ecological processes. An example of such a project could be the restoration of riffle habitat in a riverine system in an effort to bring back once native fish species. However, measuring the success of such restoration projects can be difficult due to a variety of reasons. Conventional surveys for fish, such as electrofishing, can be labour intensive, are highly disturbing to fish and other organisms, and can be costly to conduct over large areas. These types of surveys also depend on physical identification of species, which is time-consuming and often requires significant expertise. eDNA offers a way to survey for aquatic organisms efficiently, while causing little to no disturbance to organisms and their surrounding environment. Using eDNA to detect certain keystone or indicator species provides valuable insights into the results of a project. For example, the brook trout is a useful indicator species in Ontario as it is sensitive to environmental disturbances to its habitat. Changes in water temperature or the loss of riffle habitat (which is used for spawning) as a result of stream impoundment can cause them to be extirpated from an area. In fact, eDNA was used to validate the results of a river remediation project in Northern Ontario. The aim of the project was to restore brook trout spawning habitat after disturbances caused by an induswww.esemag.com @ESEMAG

trial operation. In this case, eDNA was used to detect where the brook trout had returned to, with higher sensitivity than conventional double-pass electrofishing. This case study illustrates the high sensitivity of eDNA as well as the benefits it can provide to remediation projects. When used properly, eDNA can be an invaluable tool for site remediation projects. Determining the early signs of suc-

cess of a project helps to identify areas wheere further improvements could be made, leading to rapid action and an overall increase in the effectiveness of restoration efforts. Louis Gasparini is with Precision Biomonitoring Inc. For more information, visit www.precisionbiomonitoring.com

June 2019  |  43


The presence of an underground storage tank is usually indicated by fill ports, that are generally flush with the ground.

Proper procedures can minimize the environmental risks of storage tanks By Sarah Sipak


n Canada, early commercial and residential heating systems used fuel oil or diesel fuel. Because of the size needed, it was common to use underground storage tanks (USTs) for fuel storage. The presence of a UST is usually indicated by fill ports that are generally flush with the ground surface and vent pipes that are located above grade. USTs can vary in size and are commonly used for the storage of fuel oil, gasoline, diesel and solvents. Storage tanks that are placed in the basement of a structure are not considered to be a UST. Those that are placed inside a building or along the exterior of a structure are considered to be aboveground storage tanks (ASTs). ASTs can also vary in size and are commonly used for the storage of waste oil, gasoline, diesel and fuel oil.

rode over time. These older tanks were usually placed directly into the ground without secondary containment, and as they corrode, their contents can leak into the surrounding soil and/or groundwater. ASTs that are placed along the exterior of a building, where the surroundings are not maintained properly, can experience an increase of moisture build-up along their bellies because of the overgrown vegetation, which leads to corrosion and leaks. The presence or potential presence of USTs and ASTs are common sources of soil contamination in Ontario. If contamination is expected or detected, the tank should be removed prior to causing further subsurface contamination. Following removal of the tank, an environmental subsurface investigation should be conducted in order to verify and/or refute the presence of contaminant concentrations in the soil and/or groundwater in the vicinity.

WHY ARE STORAGE TANKS AN ISSUE? WHO REGULATES STORAGE TANKS? In Ontario, the Technical Standards Older tanks, constructed prior to the mid-1980s, were made of thin, uncoated and Safety Authority (TSSA) regulates mild steel, which is highly likely to cor- underground storage tanks that are 44  |  June 2019

used to store petroleum products. The TSSA registers qualified contractors and inspectors that work with fuel tanks and systems, and they are required by law to be trained and certified as petroleum mechanics. Only these certified contractors should conduct repairs, inspections and tank removals, to ensure that the tank is properly examined, and the issue is dealt with in accordance with regulations and protocols. HOW TO PROPERLY REMOVE AN UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK In order to remove a UST, a qualified and experienced environmental contractor is retained to conduct the tank removal. An environmental consultant is also retained to oversee the tank removal completed by the contractor and to conduct a verification sampling program after it is done. The removal process begins with purging the remaining tank contents and any vapours. Once the tank is deemed “clean”, surface coverings and soil in the vicinity of the tank are removed. When the tank and piping are exposed, the piping is disconnected and removed, followed by

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

removal, shearing and off-site disposal of the tank. Subsequently, verification soil sampling of the walls and floor of the former tank nest is conducted to confirm that no soil impacts are present. If there is evidence of potential impact to groundwater, then monitoring wells should be installed, followed by the collection of samples for laboratory analysis. Once laboratory results indicate that the remaining material in the vicinity of the former tank meets applicable site condition standards, the excavated area is backfilled, graded and restored. Upon completion of the UST removal and a successful soil and/or groundwater sampling program, a report is developed and provided to the TSSA for reg- ASTs are commonly used for the storage of waste oil, gasoline, diesel and other fuel oils. ulatory review and compliance. MINIMIZING RISK TO ENVIRONMENT WHILE HAVING A TANK ON SITE Early detection of a leak and/or spill associated with a storage tank, identifying the source of the release, and assessing the soil and/or groundwater conditions in the vicinity of the tank are three important factors. Leaking tanks can have impacts on property value and drinking water wells. The build-up of vapours in underground structures in close proximity to a tank can be harmful to human health and safety. In order to minimize risk to the environment, a tank and associated piping must be inspected and maintained regularly. Generally, a tank tightness test is conducted to verify and/or refute if a leak is occurring. Proper management of liquid levels can reveal a significant loss of liquid in a short period of time. If a leak is suspected or confirmed, the source of the release should be mini-

In order to minimize risk to the environment, a tank and associated piping must be inspected and maintained regularly.

mized immediately. Commence the tank Sarah Sipak is with Rubidium repair or removal process, and have the Environmental. Email: surrounding soil sampled and analyzed ssipak@rb-enviro.com for any contaminants of potential concern associated with the released liquid.


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www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

June 2019  |  45

REMEDIATION thing they didn’t know about was palpable. The outcome throughout the 1990s was a landscape dotted with derelict gas stations, shuttered buildings and abandoned industrial lands which were given a new name—brownfields! The banks were quick to realise that a property’s cash value was very much tied to its environmental condition so they quickly made ESAs a prerequisite for loan approval. In the new millenium, guidelines were replaced with regulations and these greatly expanded the list of contaminants, while at the same time lowering the allowable limits for most of them. This meant more properties were converted from assets to serious liabilities, including some that had already been shown to be clean under the previous limits. By lowering allowable limits these “clean” properties were now “contaminated” again, despite the fact that the owners had done nothing to cause this. This situation continues every time the regulations are revised and an allowable limit is lowered.

At the core of every Phase 2 ESA is the laboratory certificate of analysis showing whether a site needs an expensive cleanup.

Environmental Site Assessments – The Consultant’s Dilemma By George Duncan


uying and selling commercial/industrial properties in Canada generally requires an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) to see if it has any issues stemming from its previouse uses or current condition. The ESA also includes a review of the surrounding properties for any possible impact to the site, with a particular emphasis on “red-flag” operations, such as gas stations and dry cleaners or industrial manufacturers. Demand for ESAs began in the late 1980s, when new environmental standards were introduced, placing limits on the levels of contaminants in soil and groundwater. This prompted buyers and sellers, bankers and lawyers to seek the help of environmental consultants to examine their properties and report back on any environmental issues found, and make recommendations on what to do about them. At the beginning, the new rules were mostly ignored because those involved really didn’t understand what the fuss was all about and didn’t see the need for another layer of bureaucracy in an already expensive real estate process. Also, the new rules were in the form of voluntary 46  |  June 2019

guidelines rather than regulations, so there was no pressing reason to take on the increased costs and time delays of applying them to property purchases. This changed as news spread of property values collapsing as a result of applying the new rules after finding the site was contaminated. Sites and businesses which had seen their cash value continue to soar over the previous decades were suddenly blind-sided by an environmental report showing their real estate was contaminated and its value worthless, or catastrophically reduced. Particularly troublesome for some was the news that the contaminants had been there long before they purchased the property. So, it is true to say that on the day the new rules were introduced, billions of dollars in property values disappeared and most of us didn’t know it, especially the countless mom-and-pop businesses built on old industrial land or over or near old leaky gas stations, fuel depots, dry cleaners and so on. For them, the business was their retirement nest-egg and their anger at the government and the environmentalists for penalising them for some-

THE CONSULTANT’S ROLE ESAs are now common practice in the buying and selling of commercial/ industrial real estate and the role of the environmental consultant is now firmly established in the process. Although the same rules also apply in large part to the residential real estate market, there has been much less interest from home buyers in establishing the environmental condition of their properties. The consultant is tasked with the job of recording a site’s previous history from an environmental viewpoint to see if there is any chance that it may now exceed a regulatory limit in its soil and groundwater. This involves a walk-through site inspection, including the interior of any buildings, to look for actual or potential environmental issues, but does not include any soil or groundwater sampling. The surrounding properties are also scanned for any possible impact to the subject property and the whole exercise is presented to the client in the form of a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment report. If any contamination is known or suspected, a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment is then recommended.

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This involves borehole drilling or excavating test-pits to examine the soil and groundwater on site to see if it complies with the regulatory limits (“Site Condition Standards” in Ontario). If contaminants exceeding the limits are found, further investigation is required to define the horizontal and vertical extent of this, followed by a cleanup of the impacted zone. After the cleanup, additional samples are gathered to verify the contaminants have been removed. Costs for Phase 2 ESAs range from low five to six-figures and cleanup costs can take this into seven figures, well beyond the means of most small businesses. THE CONSULTANT’S FIRST DILEMMA Phase 2 ESAs present a series of challenges to the consultant which are not easily met and some of which are just not met at all. Phase 1 reports are often sketchy at best with much missing information, such as what chemicals, if any, were used on site? Where were they used and how were they disposed of? Did they have any spills? What were the neighbours doing at that time? Did they have any spills? and so on. These questions are hard to answer, especially when it relates to activities that happened 50 or more years ago. Before starting a Phase 2 ESA, the consultant must prepare a “sampling plan” which defines the number of boreholes and monitoring wells to be installed and the number of samples to be gathered. How many boreholes? How many samples? All the regulation says is “a sufficient number” and what that number is is up to the consultant to decide. Here’s the dilemma. Science and common sense say a “sufficient number of samples” is to drill closely-spaced boreholes all across the site and analyse samples from multiple depths to cover all possible contaminants. Opposing this scientific approach is the client whose pockets are not deep enough to cover the drilling and lab costs and the consultant’s marketplace where the lowest bid wins and suggesting a project with expensive drilling and lab costs is not a recipe for success. So where do you strike the balance? Current practice is to define “Areas of Potential Environmental Concern” (APEC) www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

The Phase 1 report on this commerical office buidling site shows that back in the late 1800’s there was a leather tannery on site, which later closed in the 1920’s.

on the site based on the findings of the Phase 1 investigation and then concentrate on these areas in the Phase 2 investigation. This can be a hit-and-miss process, given the amount of missing information, and even here there is no guidance on how many boreholes and how many samples are required. SITE HISTORIES REVEALED The Phase 1 report for a one hectare downtown site, currently used as a commercial office building with parking lot, shows that back in the late 1800s there was a leather tannery there, which closed in the 1920s. This was followed by a manufacturer who made things that are no longer used.So, no one is quite sure what chemicals or processes were involved or where and how these were stored. Did they spray-paint them with lead-based primer and, if so, where was the exhaust outlet from the paint booth? This operation closed up in the 1940s and was replaced with a welding shop, which used a sand-blasting process to clean the rust prior to painting. From the 1940s to the 1970s the site was used as a gas station and auto garage with underground fuel tanks. Then, the garage building with its underground hydraulic lifts was demolished to make way for the new

office building now on site. There’s no record of any cleanup being performed. Accurately defining APECs on this type of site before any drilling is done is very difficult and the list of possible contaminants is long, given the different types of historical operations. So, the Phase 2 ESA has to be completed in two parts: preliminary and final. In the preliminary Phase 2 examination of the site a few boreholes are drilled in each identified APEC to check the soil and groundwater for the “contaminants of potential concern”. The hope is that these are “sufficient” to indicate if the site is contaminated or not. If nothing amiss is found, the site is declared to “show no evidence of any exceedances of a regulatory limit for the contaminants examined” and nothing more is done. However, if exceedances are found, further drilling and sampling is necessary to define the horizontal and vertical extent, followed by a site cleanup or risk assessment. The latter is used to see if the contaminants can be left in place. Remember, all of this is based on the sketchy information in the Phase 1 report and the best guess at where any contaminants might be. continued overleaf… June 2019  |  47

REMEDIATION THE CONSULTANT’S SECOND DILEMMA The regulations specify that “representative samples” must be submitted for analysis, but once again they do not define what size of sample and how many should be collected. This decision is left to the consultant, who is already under intense pressure from two conflicting sources. Firstly, there is the client who demands costs be kept to a minimum. Secondly, that same client who later finds out that you failed to detect contaminants that someone else has discovered is now threatening to sue you. Worse still, it really doesn’t matter what size of sample you send to the lab (typically around 100 – 200 grams), the laboratory only uses about one gram (< 1%) of the sample to complete the analysis. The other 99% stays in the bottle. This is less of an issue when sampling groundwater which is much more homogeneous because the contaminants are in a dissolved state but it is often an insurmountable issue when sampling soil, especially when you have no prior knowledge how the contaminant is dispersed within the soil. A site which shows an exceedance of any contaminants must be cleaned up or risk assessed. In these and many other cases, one gram samples simply cannot be representative because the lab takes only a couple of thousand particles from the sample bottle for analysis.

metals or PAHs have “disappeared” but are now replaced with other members in the analytical package that weren’t there first time around. The problem here is not with exceedances but with statistics.

Statistically, the chances of the onegram lab sample containing any contaminant particles is close to zero but if it does happen to include one, the lab certificate will show a result far above the true value (1 particle in 2000 particles = 500 ppm). WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES? At the core of every Phase 2 ESA is the laboratory certificate of analysis showing whether or not a site needs an expensive cleanup. Consultants place great reliance on these certificates because they come with several pages of quality control showing how precise and accurate the results are. But, the result is only as reliable as the sample is representative and no one has yet defined what representative means. It is troubling to think that many a site has been declared “clean” on the basis of lab certificates showing no exceedances when, in fact, the lab sample was simply not large enough to contain anywhere near a representative number of contaminant particles and the site is in fact “contaminated”. Equally troubling is that many a site has undergone an expensive cleanup based on a reported exceedance in a one gram sample that was never representative in the first place. A very common occurrence is to find a slight exceedance in one or more metals or PAHs on a site, which prompts further investigation, only to find these

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has just announced proposed changes to the Brownfields Regulation and has introduced a new Excess Soil Management regulation which once again fails to address the serious sampling issues. Indeed, it carries instructions that at least three samples from a 150 cubic metres pile of soil be analysed before it can be disposed of. That’s approximately 8 big truckloads and the 1.5 grams of soil analysed for metals (0.5 g/sample) is supposed to tell us something about the soil quality. Finding a solution to these issues is not going to be easy because the answer is either to increase the sample size at least a 100-fold, or greatly increase the number of smaller samples. Labs currently cannot handle the former and the client will refuse to pay for the latter, so we are left with lab results and cleanups based on very unrepresentative data. Dr. George Duncan, M.Sc., Ph.D., P.Geo. (Limited), C. Chem., Q.P.ESA, is with A & A Environmental Consultants Inc. www.aaenvironmental.ca

Building Better Communities At Associated Engineering, our vision is to shape a better world for future generations. That is why we have been a carbon-neutral company since 2009. Sustainability is part of our business as well as every project we undertake. Our holistic approach considers climate change impacts to create sustainable and resilient solutions. Associated Engineering provides consulting services in planning, engineering, landscape architecture, environmental science, project management, and asset management. We specialize in the water, infrastructure, environmental, transportation, energy, and building sectors. Calgary Zoo Flood Mitigation project - Winner of 2019 Consulting Engineers of Alberta Award of Excellence

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Micron-scale colloidal remedial fluid effectively reduces contaminant levels By Todd Herrington


t a petroleum bulk storage facility that was in operation from 1917 to 2002, dissolved phase contamination was found to have leaked from aboveground and underground storage tanks, and contaminant had migrated off-site. Consequently, the site had been sitting idle for years. In 2016, the property owner received a request for compliance from the regulatory authorities. They subsequently retained Patriot Engineering to design and implement a remedial plan to address the environmental impacts at the property. Seeing gaps in the available site data, Patriot installed additional wells, replaced old wells that had been destroyed, and delineated the entire extent of the non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) contaminant plume. The challenges on this particular site were that the impacted area was quite large and had fairly high levels of dissolved phase petroleum. Previous remediation at a nearby site using a pump and treat system had actually expanded the plume even further. Considering in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) combined with enhanced aerobic degradation as a potential remedial option, Stephen Sittler, a senior project geologist with Patriot Engineering, contacted REGENESIS, a provider of environmental remediation solutions, for assistance in developing a plan. The idea discussed was to perform an on-site beta test of REGENESIS’s PetroFix carbon-based remediation fluid, in lieu of more conventional approaches. The purpose of the test would be to evaluate PetroFix for possible full-scale use. On why PetroFix was chosen for this site, Paul Erickson, a senior research scientist with REGENESIS explained: “Contaminant levels were pretty high and we knew this would be a good test of the product balance. We wanted to see how far we could push PetroFix. Also, 50  |  June 2019

After the beta test design was finalized and approved, the injections were performed using a REGENESIS injection trailer hooked up to Patriot drill rigs.

the transport was a little bit different from other beta sites we had done, just to give us a little variety in how we were testing the product before release.” PetroFix is a highly concentrated water-based suspension consisting of micron-scale activated carbon and biostimulating electron acceptors designed to remediate petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH-d, TPH-g, MTBE, BTEX) and provide immediate results for gas station and underground storage tank sites. The environmentally-compatible formulation of micron-scale activated carbon is combined with both slow and quick-release inorganic electron acceptors (a preferred sulfate and nitrate combination blend, or the option of a sulfate only blend) and injected together. It works by first removing hydrocarbons from the dissolved phase by adsorbing them onto activated carbon particles and then stimulating hydrocarbon biodegradation through the addition of electron acceptors. For years, activated carbon has been

widely used in the remediation of soil and groundwater. Structurally, activated carbon is a highly porous material, made up almost entirely of elemental carbon. Due to its high surface area and unique pore structure, small organic molecules (such as environmental contaminants) are readily adsorbed from target solutions (i.e., groundwater). While activated carbon can be found in a wide range of physical forms, corresponding to various uses, contaminants, and mediums, there is typically an optimum form and particle size for each application. For in-situ groundwater remediation applications, small-particle activated carbon is preferred due to its ability to move effectively within an aquifer. Because of this preference, particles in PetroFix are 1 – 2 µm in size, allowing for the free flow of an aqueous suspension of activated carbon through an aquifer during an injection. As PetroFix moves through the pore space, it coats the surface of the soil particles versus occluding the pore space, allowing groundwater to

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flow unimpeded. The small diameter of PetroFix also increases the immediately available surface area of the carbon in it, which then results in faster than normal sorption of contaminants. With this fast sorption capability, coupled to the ability to distribute and fully coat highly conductive transport zones, the material is an excellent way to lock contaminants in place and immobilize a plume for treatment. PetroFix also acts as a sorption barrier for those situations where persistent diffusion of contamination from tight soils into more conductive transport zones is a chronic concern. Once contaminants are immobilized, the second step in the PetroFix process is biological destruction. The activated carbon is responsible for the initial removal of contaminants from groundwater, which can lead to rapid results. However, the contaminants, although immobilized, remain intact until they are degraded by naturally occurring bacteria in the aquifer. This is a principle that has already been successfully employed in the wastewater treatment field, with processes such as bio-GAC. When its applied as recommended, PetroFix contains a blend of nitrate and sulfate salts that act as electron acceptors to enhance the degradation of sorbed petroleum hydrocarbons. These salts are water soluble and thus will flow with the product. Nitrate is used more rapidly, typically weeks, while the sulfate is utilized over months. While many bioremediation approaches degrade petroleum hydrocarbons via aerobic pathways, research has shown that they can also be efficiently degraded anaerobically via syntropic processes, or a community of bacteria fulfilling different roles. These degradation processes, while enhanced by additional electron acceptors, will continue even after those electron acceptors have been depleted. For in-situ remedial applications, it is important to achieve sufficient coverage of the impacted subsurface, as the primary factor determining the success of a project is contact between the contaminant and the remediation chemical. For PetroFix, the goal is to not just have sufficient dosage to remediate the hydrocarbon mass, but for the total solution volume applied to theoretically www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

Dissolved phase contamination was found to have leaked from aboveground and underground storage tanks, and contaminant had migrated off-site.

gasoline-range organics were essentially eliminated from the groundwater at one month post-injection and remained so at six months.” Nitrate and sulfate levels spiked at one month post injection due to their initial addition as electron acceptors. These levels saw a sharp reduction during the threemonth sampling event, indicating utilization by microbes and biodegradation. “This conclusion was strongly supported by microbial analyses,” said Sittler. “The microbial analyses indicated a shift towards anaerobic petroleum degraders caused by the more favorable environment induced by the nitrate and sulfate injected with PetroFix.” Based on the success of the beta test, Patriot decided to move forward with the design and implementation of full-scale remediation using PetroFix, which had proven itself to be a viable remedial option. “Concentrations were in the 30,000 – 40,000 ppb range,” said Sittler. “Now they’re gone. That was the big question.” Sittler incorporated lessons from the beta test into the full-scale design. “In the beta test, we easily got distribution between the points, which were 1.52 m apart. We took samples between the points and saw PetroFix. For the fullscale we increased spacing to 2.1 m., and we may add more water to spread it out more without increasing costs. We should be able to scale up to 2.1 m and save a lot of money and still get the same amount of product into that area.” The full-scale design has focused on treating several hotspots on the site. Because the area was very large, mechanical remediation was not practical and it would have been prohibitively expensive to perform a grid injection across the entire site. “A product like PetroFix acts like a filter,” Sittler explained. “We can put it in some smaller areas and allow the contaminants to flow through them and treat the entire site. A series of grids in the hottest areas act as a big barrier. We can clean up the site and prevent off-site migration.” The full-scale design has since been approved and implemented on the site. Monitoring is ongoing.

fill more than half of the effective porosity present. Both those conditions must be met in order to achieve success. PetroFix comes paired with a virtual design assistant that helps site managers determine how much product is necessary for treatment and create a design for the application. After inputting site data, the design assistant will determine the number of injection points and total volume of PetroFix required. Shipped as a viscous liquid of approximately 1,500 – 3,500 centipoise, PetroFix has a viscosity similar to corn syrup. It is then typically diluted greater than 10:1 with water in the field so that injection into the subsurface can be performed at low pressures (typically < 30 psi). This allows PetroFix to flow outwards from the injection point through naturally occurring permeable strata, following the same transport pathway as the target hydrocarbons. As with any remediation project, it was necessary to acquire approval from the overseeing regulatory body. Fortunately, according to Sittler, the approval process for this project was smooth. He said that “they really wanted something done on this site. The fact that anything being proposed was a plus. But it helped that REGENESIS has a good reputation. There really wasn’t any pushback at all.” After the beta test design was finalized and approved, the injections were performed using a REGENESIS injection trailer hooked up to Patriot drill rigs. “Early post-injection groundwater monitoring results from the PetroFix pilot test look very promising,” said Sittler. “Petro- Todd Herrington is with REGENESIS. leum volatile organic compounds and Email: therrington@regenesis.com

June 2019  |  51


Modelling ammoniabased aeration control shows over 65% energy savings possible By Bob Dabkowski, Robert Relph, George Wendorf, Kevin Menning and Melody White


real-time model for nitrification control based on activated sludge model No.1, or ammonia-based aeration control, has become popular with water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) due to the potential paybacks associated with energy savings and enhanced process control. Often a WRRF will have infrastructure that is designed for the maximum capacity of the facility and therefore

Touch screen display of the Hach RTC-N system used for modelling.

oversized for the current operation. Utilities that want to optimize their systems and achieve energy savings are challenged to do so with the existing infrastructure and will typically implement a capital improvement project to right-size their systems for the current and future conditions. These projects

are best justified through payback analysis or return on investment calculations. This can be difficult to estimate with data based on composite samples that do not illustrate the effects of the high and low loading periods. Recognizing this problem, utilities are looking for solutions that might

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allow them to model their process in real time and capture the entirety of the loading. At one WRRF, the staff understood these issues and discovered that the Hach real-time controller for nitrification (RTC-N) could also be used as a real-time modelling system. The RTC-N calculates the required dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration needed to nitrify the incoming load in real-time. The calculated DO value could then be compared to the actual DO concentration in the aerobic volume to determine the potential energy savings by upgrading to ammonia-based aeration control. This provides a more robust justification for the capital improvement project.


CASE STUDY The WRRF in this study is a 115 million litres per day (MLD) design modified Ludzack-Ettinger process with an average daily flow of 48 MLD. The discharge permit for the concentration of nitrate nitrogen is below 10 mg/L NO₃-N. The Hach RTC-N is a model-based controller which can be configured to either model a nitrification system, or control it, through a variable DO concentration. Configuring the real-time modelling system requires integrating inputs, entering limits on measurements and calculations, along with populating initial data to seed the model. To properly model these processes in real-time, the following inputs must be collected in real-time: • Influent, return activated sludge (RAS), and, if present, internal recirculation (IRQ) flows; • Aeration influent and effluent ammonium concentrations; • Mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS); • Temperature of the mixed liquor; • Average DO concentration of the aerobic volume, or the DO concentration in each zone (optional). Once all the data is entered into the system and limits and setpoints are configured, real-time information is input ed from the field sensors, allowing the real-time modelling system to output the following information: • Required DO concentration in the aerobic volume to nitrify the given load; • Percentage of the mixed liquor which are nitrifiers; www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

• Estimated sludge retention time (SRT) of the aerobic system; • Ammonia load to the aerobic system; • Maximum possible nitrification rate of the aerobic system; • Required nitrification rate to nitrify the incoming load. RESULTS Evaluating the data reveals the benefits of real-time modelling. Figure 1 shows

the variability of influent ammonia, even though the influent flow rate is fairly level. It also shows that a majority of the time the effluent ammonia was below detectable limits (<0.05mg/L NH4-N) with small spikes less than 1.5mg/L NH₄-N towards the end of the study period. The second level of real-time modelling is shown in Figure 2, trending the nitrification rate needed to nitrify the incomcontinued overleaf…

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June 2019  |  53

WASTEWATER ing ammonia load against the maximum possible nitrification rate of the system. Present in the trends in Figure 2 are two important operational observations. First, there are times on April 1 and April 3 that the needed nitrification rate spikes near or above the maximum nitrification rate. While this is not evident in the respective effluent ammonia data, it is evident through these modeled trends. It is important for operators to have this information, especially when deciding to treat sidestreams with high ammonia loads or other factors which could inhibit nitrification. Figure 1. Comparison of influent and effluent ammonia concentrations during a 15 day period. The second observation is that the actual nitrification rate is distant from the maximum rate during the effluent ammonia spikes on April 13, 14 and 15. This means that the spikes in effluent ammonia were not due to a problem from insufficient DO, but most likely due to a toxic load which inhibited nitrification quickly and briefly. Lastly, in Figure 3 the real-time modelling system highlights the biggest benefit of all: the actual DO concentration as compared to the optimal DO concentration and the potential energy savings of performing ammonia-based aeration control. The optimal DO concentration is Figure 2. Trending required real-time nitrification rate and real-time maximum nitrification rate. calculated to match the nitrification rate to the given load. This ensures complete nitrification of the load while attaining some effects from simultaneous nitrification/denitrification, and limited endogenous respiration in the aeration tank. This suggests that the DO concentration could be reduced to decrease the nitrification rate and save energy. Based on this limited set of data, the reduction in energy usage by switching to ABAC would be approximately 65.8%. CONCLUSIONS The real-time modelling system is an effective tool for evaluating current operations and presenting how they can be improved and optimized through ammonia-based aeration control. Differences between the current operations and the improved operations could be used to justify upgrades to an existing aeration system or other projects to perform ammonia-based aeration control. As a modelling tool, the system helps operators manage sidestreams by showing 54  |  June 2019

Figure 3. Trends of optimal DO concentration, actual DO concentration and potential energy savings.

when the needed nitrification rate may be close to the maximum possible rate, indicating that the nitrification system is near its capacity. For engineers, the nitrifier concentration and nitrification rates combined with the optimal dissolved oxygen concentration allow for a more accurate and efficient aeration system design.

Bob Dabkowski, Kevin Menning and Melody White are with Hach. Robert Relph and George Wendorf are with the City of San Diego. For more information, email bdakowski@hach.com, kmenning@hach.com,ormwhite@hach.com

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(From left) Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood, City of Red Deer Deputy Mayor Frank Wong, Red DeerSouth MLA Barb Miller, Red Deer-North MLA Kim Schreiner, and Alberta’s Minister of Transportation Brian Maso, stand in front of an image of the City of Red Deer’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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Alberta invests in wastewater upgrades, flood mitigation, transmission lines


ore than $100 million in funding has been announced for critical Alberta water projects that range from wastewater treatment plant upgrades to flood mitigation, as well as supply and transmission line work. The largest amount of funding has been reserved for the City of Red Deer’s plan to add an extra 15 years of capacity to accommodate its wastewater treatment plant’s added flow from the north and west lines of the regional system. The $49.2-million upgrade aims to be completed by 2026, with design work to begin within one year. Alberta’s Water for Life strategy provides cost-shared funding to regional commissions or groups of two or more municipalities to support new regional water systems and upgrades to existing ones. Additional central Alberta wastewater projects under the new funding include $11.2 million for a wastewater transmission line running from Sandy Beach to Onoway, and $3 million for a wastewater line between Lloydminster and Blackfoot. Other projects to be funded in 2019 include: construction of flood mitigation works in Edmonton at the City’s Rossdale and E.L. Smith water treatment plants to address riverine flooding risks and help safeguard the city and region’s drinkwww.esemag.com @ESEMAG

ing water; a flood berm to protect the lower townsite of Fort McMurray against a one-in-100-year ice jam flood elevation, plus freeboard; and the relocation of water wells at Siksika Nations’s Arthur A. Youngman water treatment plant out of the flood hazard area to secure the nation’s drinking water from the impacts of high-water events. Alberta also announced $15 million towards two major flood mitigation projects funded through its Alberta Community Resilience Program. Overall in 2019, the government is expected to invest more than $43 million for 15 flood mitigation projects across the province. This will go towards a concrete flood barrier on the Bow River to protect downtown. It will run from the west Eau Claire flood barrier out to Reconciliation Bridge. The second project is the installation of the Upper Plateau stormwater drainage system in Hillhurst-Sunnyside. It is designed to protect from water backing up and flowing into the community. Water supply line funding from the province also includes $5.5 million for a treated water supply line from the village of Rockyford to Rosebud, $3.3 million for a regional line in the Hamlet of Suffield, and $14.4 million for a regional water line between Wabamun-Seba-Entwistle.


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June 2019  |  55

WATER small fish could starve,which may lead to extinction. The ecological impact of the zebra mussel invasion in Lake Erie has been documented by Holland, R.E. (1993). According to this study, the algae population of Lake Erie decreased by 90% and diatom biomass declined 82% – 91% after the invasion. Transparency of the lake increased by 100% within a year due to a decrease in algae biomass. Zebra mussels depend on algae for food and filter approximately one litre of water in a day. On a positive note, zebra mussel invasion reduces cynobacteria and blue green algae populations, which in turn decreases eutrophication. According to a 2015 Global News report, the cost of controlling zebra mussels in water intake pipes in the Great Lakes is $250 million annually.

In Manitoba, it is illegal to transport zebra mussel contaminated water equipment, such as boats, trailers and float planes, from one water body to another.

Zebra mussels in Manitoba’s waterways are a cause for concern By Damodar Pokhrel


he zebra mussel, an aquatic invasive species native to the Black and Caspian Seas in southeastern Europe, was first discovered in a harbour in Lake Winnipeg South Basin in 2013. Since then, they have been found in Lake Winnipeg North Basin and other lakes in Manitoba, including Emerson Lake, Cedar Lake and Singush Lake in Duck Mountain Provincial Park. Generally found in a fresh/marine water environment, at a depth of 4 m – 7 m and a salinity of 1.75 – 3.5 ppt., zebra mussels inhabit and reproduce well in an oxic environment with oxygen levels from 0.1 – 11.2 mg/L and temperatures at 20°C – 25°C. In ideal environmental conditions, the female mussel can produce as many as one million eggs in a single spawning season. The fertilized egg develops into veliger in 3 – 5 days and becomes a free-swimming larva in about a month’s time. The reproductive rate of zebra mussels drastically decreases at temperatures below 10°C. They generally live 6 – 9 years and 56  |  June 2019

can survive out of water for up to 30 days, depending on temperature and humidity. IMPACTS The impact of the zebra mussel invasion in Lake Winnipeg and other lakes in Manitoba is relatively new and is yet to be understood. Based on the literature and available information from other areas in Canada and elsewhere, the potential impacts include changes to the ecological environment, negative effects on the local economy, and severe fouling of water infrastructure. Ecological environmental impacts could include changes in lake water quality, decrease in algae and diatom biomasses, and zooplankton populations, resulting in a severely unbalanced food chain. Adult mussels compete with large zooplankton for food which affects the food flux of the impacted lake, ecosystem and structure of the aquatic environment. Small fish that thrive on algae and zooplankton may not have enough food. Larger fish that depend on the

HISTORY IN MANITOBA Zebra mussels were introduced to Laurentian Great Lakes in the mid 1980s as a result of ballast water discharge from ships. Subsequently, the species was either transported or migrated to the western United States and Canadian provinces. According to a US Geological Survey, this species was first discovered in Red Lakes, Minnesota in 2010. Red Lake River originates at Red Lakes and joins the Red River at Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Red River enters Canada at Emerson, and flows through the city of Winnipeg to Lake Winnipeg. It is suspected that zebra mussels migrated to Lake Winnipeg via the Red River. Subsequent to their discovery and confirmation in Lake Winnipeg in 2014, the province followed with intensive monitoring at Emerson and in certain locations of the Red River. The results were negative, but adult zebra mussels were found in floating debris in Lake Winnipeg. In 2015, veligers were found in the Lake Winnipeg Channel, as well as in the Lake Winnipeg North Basin. Adults were found in both the Red River near Emerson and in Cedar Lake. In 2017, two other suspected infested water bodies were identified. After the first discovery of zebra mussels in Lake Winnipeg, the Canada-Manitoba Fishery Advisory Committee (CMFAC)

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was formed to develop a rapid response plan and to advise the province on how to eradicate zebra mussels from four harbours, and to control their spread. The task group was composed of specialists from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Government of Manitoba Aquatic Invasive Species Branch. The government also formed the Manitoba Zebra Mussel Science Advisory Committee. In 2014, the CMFAC developed early detection rapid response plans to eradicate zebra mussels from the impacted harbours. Options considered by CMFAC were to do nothing or try physical, chemical and biological treatment. Chemical treatment was considered to be the most effective. Options evaluated were pH reduction, injecting copper sulfate, chlorine or liquid potash. The pH reduction option was rejected, as this method had not been tested elsewhere. In addition, maintaining low pH was technically challenging and there was uncertainty as to its effectiveness because zebra mussels have been reported to survive even at pH 5.2. Copper sulfate has been used to eradicate zebra mussels elsewhere but was not a registered product with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), which regulates pesticides in Canada. Furthermore, it is toxic to fish and other aquatic life and could be detrimental to the life of non-target speciess. Chlorine has been utilized the most to mitigate zebra mussels, but required regulatory approval for use in Manitoba. It is also toxic to fish and non-target speciess and so was rejected. Liquid potash had been successfully used in the United States to eliminate zebra mussels from a quarry in Virginia and has low health risks from exposure for humans and non-target speciess. Even though it was not a registered product, PMRA authorized this product for research purposes. In May 2014, the province closed Arnes, Gimli, Winnipeg Beach and Balsam Bay harbours where zebra mussels had been found. Liquid potash was used to eliminate the mussels before the temperature rose to 12°C. The province had some success, but veligers were detected in Lake Winnipeg South Basin and the Red River. www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

REGULATIONS Anthropogenic activities, especially fishing and recreational boating, kayaking, float planes, overland transporting of canoe and water equipment, have been reported as vehicles for the transport of zebra mussels in Canadian fresh waters (Darbyson et. al., 2009). Manitoba Fishery Regulations, which came into effect in 1987, prohibited import of zebra mussels into Manitoba. As of 1999, possessing and releasing them into the environment had been illegal. The exercise to eliminate zebra mussels from Lake Winnipeg failed due to various reasons, including the large volume of water, high reproductive rate, and difficulty of controlling veliger transport via water conveyance. Subsequently, the province has adopted the strategy of regular monitoring, containing the species within the impacted lake, and preventing their transport to uninvaded lakes. In November 2015, the government passed legislation to this effect and it is now illegal to transport zebra mussels from one water body to another. It is also illegal to transport zebra mussel contaminated water equipment, such as boats, trailers and float planes, from one water body to another. Owners of water equipment require authorization before transferring the equipment and it must be cleaned, drained, dried and decontaminated. This involves high pressure washing with hot water which kills the mussels. The government has also developed watercraft inspection programs and has established six inspection and control stations across the province. Under the regulations, the public has the obligation to report sighting of zebra mussels to the Manitoba Aquatic Invasive Speciess Branch, which has established hotlines to facilitate reporting of mussel sightings. As of October 2018, regulating officers can ticket anyone defying the regulations. The regulations and other details can be found under Water Protection Act for the Province of Manitoba and under Fisheries Act for the Federal Government. CONCERNS Zebra mussels in Lake Winnipeg and other lakes in Manitoba have a good

potential to foul and/or plug infrastructure. They have hair-like filaments, called bysal-threads, by which they stick to hard surfaces. Colonies may have as many as one million mussels per square metre. Communities that live around Lake Winnipeg and other lakes in the province, use them for water supply, irrigation, hydropower, fishing and recreational purposes. Owners and operators of drinking water systems and other infrastructure had been waiting for regulatory approvals to use chlorine to protect their infrastructure, as chlorine has been successfully used to control zebra mussels in other areas in Canada. Ontario was grandfathered in to use chlorine in 1992. However, this was not the case in Manitoba and other provinces. The Pest Management and Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is currently exploring regulatory options for the use of chlorine to control zebra mussels. However, no time frame for the decision has been set. In the interim, PMRA reviews applications for chlorine use to mitigate zebra mussels on a case-by-case basis. In September 2018, PMRA authorized the Office of Drinking Water to use chlorine to mitigate zebra mussels at potable water intakes in Manitoba under certain guidelines. The major technical requirements for the use of chlorine are that chlorine shall be in the form of sodium hypochlorite, and that it be injected at the intake and then conveyed to the water treatment plant. Also, free residual chlorine concentration at the intake shall not exceed 5 ppm when water temperature exceeds 12°C. Utilities opting to add a chlorine injection system to their intakes that comply with these guidelines need to get approval from the Office of Drinking Water. Utilities that intend to use chlorine, but do not meet these guidelines, need authorization from PMRA before making an application to the Office of Drinking Water. Damodar Pokhrel, PhD, P. Eng, is with Infrastructure and Housing, Indigenous Services Canada and is based in Winnipeg. Email: damodar.pokhrel@canada.ca (References are available upon request.)

June 2019  |  57


Flow-Tronic has introduced the new version of its flagship sensor, the RAVEN-EYE 2®. This complete redesign of the sensor brings non-contact flow measuring technologies to higher level standards. What is new? Lower power consumption; minimum velocity of only 0.08 m/s (0.26 ft/s); new hybrid radar antenna; significant progress on signal processing. Compatibility remains with all existing loggers and monitors. The enclosure remains the same and thus is compatible with existing brackets. ACG – Envirocan T: 905-856-1414 F: 905-856-6401 E: sales@acg-envirocan.ca W: www.acg-envirocan.ca


Aerzen Turbo G5 Plus is the most compact and efficient turbo in its class. It features AERZEN airfoil bearings with double coating and the new multilevel frequency converter technology, which reduces the heat loss in the motor to a minimum and, consequently, improves total efficiency significantly. Aerzen Canada T: 450-424-3966 E : sales-ca@aerzen.com W: www.aerzen.ca


The FLEXFLO® A-100N metering pumps are compatible with a wide range of water treatment chemicals. With no valves to clog, they can be used with many gas forming chemicals. These metering pumps are suited to chemical feed demand up to a maximum feed output of 124GPD/8.45LPH and working pressures reaching 100PSI/6.9Bar. The pump head and tube assemblies’ model numbers are visibly stamped on the PVDF pump tube adapters, for easy re–order.

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Blue-White Industries T: 714-893-8529 F: 714-894-9492 E: sales@blue-white.com W: www.blue-white.com


Chemline’s Dual Containment ChemFlare™ PFA system includes a complete line of tube, fittings, valves and HDPE valve junction boxes. Special dripleg and termination fitting assemblies are available. Dual containment secures your chemicals so there is no health and safety risk to your staff, your plant and the environment. ChemFlare is easy to install, disassemble and adds no dead volume. Chemline T: 800-930-CHEM (2436) F: 905-889-8553 E: request@chemline.com W: www.chemline.com


Road erosion, premature concrete failure or water ingress into wastewater systems? Denso’s 12 "LT tape has been proven for nearly a century to block water from accessing assets. It won’t harden or crack and is the perfect solution to protect concrete and prevent I&I. Applied in minutes, requiring minimal surface preparation, no mixing or curing, it can be buried immediately. Denso North America T: 416-291-3435 E: sales@densona-ca.com W: www.densona.com


The SpillSafe LX™ Drum Scale from Force Flow accurately monitors amount of chemical used and remaining, and provides protection against uncontained

chemical spills. An automatic deploying spill bladder keeps overall platform height to a minimum for easy drum change-out, while still allowing up to 250 litres of spill containment. The SpillSafe LX helps you comply with Environment Canada spill containment requirements. Force Flow T: 925-686-6700 F: 925-686-6713 E: info@forceflow.com W: www.forceflowscales.com


SXblue has announces a redesigned, ultra-efficient battery for its receivers product line. The new battery is equipped with 4 Li-ion rechargeable cells that boost its capacity from 3900 mAh to 6000 mAh. It boosts the receiver’s autonomy by up to 50%, greatly increasing its field work efficiency. When fully charged, the battery can last up to 16 hours, depending on the SXblue model and bluetooth connectivity. GENEQ Inc. T: 800-463-4363 E: info@geneq.com W : www.sxbluegps.com


The Gemini® Emergency Shutoff System adds a new level of safety to your gas chlorine feed system. Designed specifically for dual 150lb chlorine cylinder applications, the Gemini System, with its two Terminator® actuators, stops a chlorine leak within seconds of detection by automatically closing the cylinder valves. The actuators are simply placed on top of the valves and protection begins. Halogen Valve Systems T: 949-261-5030, 877- 476-4222 F: 949-261-5033 E: info@halogenvalve.com W: www.halogenvalve.com

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Hoskin Scientific offers a full line of standard fiberglass flumes, such as Parshall Flumes, Palmer Bowlus Flumes, H Flumes, Trapezoidal Flumes, along with countless custom structures used for open channel flow measurement. Hoskin Scientific E: salesb@hoskin.ca, Burlington, ON E: salesv@hoskin.ca, Burnaby, BC E: salesm@hoskin.ca, Montreal, QC W: www.hoskin.ca


The HUBER Drum Screen LIQUID poses an interesting alternative to primary clarifiers for several reasons. LIQUID has better removal rates than clarifiers, but with a smaller footprint. It also provides better process control in surge events, with more reliable operation. Finally, LIQUID has lower investment costs relative to primary clarifiers. HUBER Technology T: 704-990-2053 F: 704-949-1020 E: huber@hhusa.net W: www.huber-technology.com


NETZSCH Pumps North America has announced the NEMO® B.Max® Mixing Pump, the ideal solution for transferring substrates to a biogas plant. The pump is particularly well-suited for fermented renewable raw material, liquid manure, solid manure, process water, biowaste and food waste. The pump also handles substrates that must be mixed with process water or liquid manure directly in the pump hopper without the need for additional mixing equipment. NETZSCH Canada T: 705-797-8426 E: ntc@netzsch.com W: www.pumps.netzsch.com

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The LittaTrap is a low-cost, innovative technology that prevents plastic and trash from reaching our waterways. Designed to be easily retrofitted into new and existing stormwater drains, the LittaTrap is installed inside storm drains and, when it rains, catches plastic and trash before it can reach our streams, rivers and oceans. Imbrium Systems T: 800-565-4801 E: info@imbriumsystems.com W: www.imbriumsystems.com


The new Stormceptor® EF is an oil grit separator (OGS)/hydrodynamic separator that effectively targets sediment (TSS), free oils, gross pollutants and other pollutants that attach to particles, such as nutrients and metals. The Stormceptor EF has been verified through the ISO 14034 Environmental Management – Environmental Technology Verification (ETV). Imbrium Systems T: 800-565-4801 E: info@imbriumsystems.com W: www.imbriumsystems.com


The Muffin Monster® Manhole is a pre-fabricated manhole system with a Muffin Monster sewage grinder and is fully assembled and ready to install. This fiberglass manhole is an excellent solution when a sewage grinder is needed but space is limited. Installation is easy – just dig down to the sewer line, create a concrete pad and tie in the sewer lines. JWC Environmental T: 800-331-2777 E: jwce@jwce.com W: www.jwce.com/product/muffinmonster-manhole/


Huber, a proven German manufacturer, now provides watertight doors that allow safe access to tanks for construction and/or maintenance. Doors can be provided as round or rectangular for installation onto existing concrete surfaces or cast-in-place in new concrete. They can handle heads up to 30 m and hold pressure in seating and unseating directions. Huber’s watertight doors can greatly reduce construction and maintenance costs and dramatically improve safety/access. Pro Aqua T: 647-923-8244 E: aron@proaquasales.com W: www.proaquasales.com


Invent Environment is the manufacturer of hyperboloid mixers which have revolutionized anoxic and swing zone mixing. Invent provides low-shear, efficient mixers with no submerged motors or gear boxes for easy access for maintenance. They have now released the Hyperclassic Mixer Evo 7 which has increased the number of motion fins and adjusted the geometry of the mixer to maximize mixer efficiency, reducing operation costs even further. Pro Aqua T: 647-923-8244 E: aron@proaquasales.com W: www.proaquasales.com

June 2019  |  59


Applied successfully in thousands of installations, the PISTA® Forced Vortex Hydraulic Sand Removal Chamber serves as the efficient choice for removing sand and grit from municipal water treatment and power plant raw water intakes. The Hydraulic Forced Vortex PISTA System significantly lessens installation costs and space requirements, while removing 95% of river and surface water particles from 300+ microns down to 100 microns. Smith & Loveless T: 800-898-9122 F: 913-888-2173 E: answers@smithandloveless.com W: www.smithandloveless.com


The Model R OXIGEST® FieldErected Treatment Plant achieves BOD/ TSS and nutrient removal and water reuse. It is a cost-effective and space-saving solution for treating sewage, industrial process wastewaters and groundwater sources. Its concentric design with integral treatment zones and remote intelligence simplifies maintenance, eliminates expensive sludge pumps and yard piping, and minimizes installation expenses, land usage and construction time. A variety of flexible treatment processes can be incorporated. Smith & Loveless T: 800-898-9122 F: 913-888-2173 E: answers@smithandloveless.com W: www.smithandloveless.com


The industry’s first-ever Installation-Ready™ plain end and grooved technology for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) eliminates the need to fuse. Victaulic’s system solution for HDPE

60  |  June 2019

pipe saves time with no heating or cooling pipe ends, no fusion equipment, and rain or shine installation. Victaulic T: 905-884-7444 W: www.victaulic.com


Waterloo Barrier is a low permeability cutoff wall for groundwater containment and control. It is a new design of steel sheet piling, featuring joints that can be sealed after the sheets have been driven into the ground, and was developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo. It has patent/patent pending status in several countries. Canadian Metal Rolling Mills assisted in developing the product. Waterloo Barrier T: 519-856-1352  F: 519-856-0759 E: info@waterloo-barrier.com W: www.waterloo-barrier.com


Waterra has expanded its product range of PES Inline Disposable Filters to now include pore sizes: 0.2 micron, 0.45 micron, 1.2 micron and 5 micron. These capsule filters are available in two size formats: a 300 cm² surface area version and a 600 cm² surface area version for higher turbidity samples. Waterra Pumps T: 905-238-5242  F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com


Waterra HS-2 Oil/ Water Interface Sensors represent some of the most advanced technology available today

for hydrocarbon product layer measurement. To define the product layer, these devices utilize a proprietary ultrasonic sensor which is more sensitive in a broader range of hydrocarbon products than conventional optical systems. These quality sensors are now also available with Kynar (PVDF) jacketed tapes. Waterra Pumps T: 905-238-5242  F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com


The Spectra FieldPro is the most popular peristaltic pump that Waterra has sold. The FieldPro combines the MasterFlex EasyLoad II pump head with a powerful motor and power supply in a rugged aluminum case. It will work all day on a full charge, and includes a 12 Ah AGM battery, smart charger and storage compartment – everything you need in a portable peristaltic pump. Waterra Pumps T: 905-238-5242  F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com


Waterra’s WS-2 Water Level Sensors are advanced products that utilize advanced electronic technology. The WS-2 features an innovative design as well as compactness, portability and reliability – all at a competitive price. WS-2 tapes are available with Kynar (PVDF) or polyethylene jackets and graduated in imperial or metric units. Waterra Pumps T: 905-238-5242  F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com

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Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Following a review of its Endangered Greatario Engineered Storage Sys“We are excited to expand our experSpecies Act, the Ontario government tems has announced that they are now tise of erecting bolted tanks and alumihopes to improve outcomes for species at the sole authorized dealer for CST Stor- num covers into the Western Canadian risk by implementing recommendations age for all of Canada. The expansion will marketplace,” says Scott Burn, President received to modernize and improve the cover four provinces and three territo- of Greatario. effectiveness of the Act and improve out- ries in the western region of Canada, comes for species at risk. including British Columbia, Alberta, continued overleaf… In January 2019, the government launched its consultation on how best to update the 10-year-old Act to improve Barrie • Belleville • Brampton • Collingwood • Kingston • Ottawa WWW.AINLEYGROUP.COM the effectiveness of the program for species at risk by ensuring Ontario's Delivering proven infrastructure planning & engineering solutions best-in-class endangered and threatened species protections include: advice and species' classifications from an independent scientific committee and modern to satisfied clients for over 50 years approaches to enforcement and compliance; species and habitat protections; and recovery planning. To further support Ontario's species at risk, the government also announced its $4.5M fund for the Species at Risk WATER AND WASTEWATER SOLUTIONS Stewardship Program for 2019 – 2020 Visit www.bv.com to learn more which will be renewed each year. The fund supports academics, communities, organizations and Indigenous peoples across Ontario to implement on-theground activities that benefit species at risk and their habitats.

Safe, reliable, sustainable


Enclosed facilities, powerful air filters and minimum distances from homes, hospitals, schools, daycares, playgrounds and care facilities are some of the requirements Metro Vancouver is proposing to deal with emissions from cannabis producers. The regional district, which regulates air quality within its boundaries, is working on regulations for the industry in response to the legalization of cannabis last fall, and the resulting explosion of commercial cannabis production facilities. The regulations are meant to target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and offensive odours. High levels of VOCs can be produced during cannabis plant flowering and harvesting, and are found in odour-masking agents.

www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

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June 2019  |  61


Aerzen Canada is in a growth and expansion mode. The company celebrated the opening of a brand new, 26,000 square foot building with office space and a production facility. Paul Birdi, Aerzen Canada’s company president commented: “Aerzen Canada was founded in 1987 with three employees. Since then we have grown steadily to the point where we have outgrown our facility. This new building provides our customers with more capacity, higher quality and even better support with new processes, tools and technology.”


With a boil water advisory in place for British Columbia’s Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) since December of 2018, the community is welcoming the construction of a new water treatment plant and reservoir. UBID has announced that Ridgeline Mechanical Ltd., a Comox Valley-based municipal waterworks firm, will undertake construction of the $4.2-million project, designed to service nearly 700 properties by as early as December 2019. The current water system comprises 40 km of main line pipe drawing from Langley Lake, with the only water treat-

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ment process being chlorination. Langley Lake is primarily a spring-fed lake with a peat bottom and floating islands of peat. When there are higher levels of turbidity, cloudiness can reduce the effectiveness of chlorination and increase the risk of bacteria not being eliminated. As a result, boil water notices are required to be issued to ensure safe drinking water. According to a UBID document, the system is not meeting all elements of current provincial surface water quality treatment guidelines regarding inactivation of viruses; protection against parasites; two treatment processes; less than or equal to one nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU); no detectable E. coli; fecal coliform and total coliform in the treated water. According to documents, $700,000 of the project’s cost will be contributed from UBID’s Public Works Capital Reserve and $3.5 million will be borrowed and amortized over 25 years.


An Ottawa-based dry cleaner found liable for $1.63 million in remediation costs related to the spill of degreaser chemicals between 1960 and 1974 has been denied an appeal by the Supreme Court of Canada. The dry-cleaning chemicals were discovered in 2002 in the land and groundwater on two Bank Street properties. An Ontario Superior Court of Justice trial judge in 2017 found Fraser Hillary’s Limited, an Ottawa dry cleaning service formed in 1949, liable in nuisance and under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. In the judgment, the court also awarded more than $200,000 for engineering costs incurred before trial. The property owner alleged that the dry-cleaning chemicals were allowed to enter the ground via dry cleaning filters and products stored at the dry cleaner and through the building’s basement sump pump. He testified that, as a result of the contamination, his bank would not advance any funds and would not renew his existing mortgage. In 1974, the dry cleaner brought in new equipment that

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


jurisdiction should respond when new invasive species are detected.” The April 2 report notes that it costs less to prevent the introduction of aquatic A spring report from the environmeninvasive species than to delay action and tal watchdog for Parliament warns that manage them once established. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and The watchdog report points out that the Canada Border Services Agency have DFO’s Aquatic Invasive Species Regunot taken the steps required to prevent lations were “not adequately enforced”, aquatic invasive species from becoming partly due to shortcomings in equipping established in Canadian waters. The Commissioner of the Environ- and training fishery officers and border ment and Sustainable Development to officers with the means to prevent aquatic the Parliament of Canada report notes invasive species from entering Canada. The report notes that since 2011 DFO that zebra mussels, green crab, and has only developed and implemented tunicates have continued to be threats, a single rapid response plan regarding while government departments have not invasive species. In this case, the plan was determined which species were the most for several species of Asian Carp. Likeimportant to regulate nor which species wise, the department has only responded and pathways pose the greatest threats. to a single infraction since the aquatic “We also found that Fisheries and NORTHERN ONTARIO FIRST invasive species regulations were introOceans Canada did not distinguish its NATIONS FUNDED FOR DRINKING duced in 2015. About 170 species are responsibilities with regard to aquatic WATER SYSTEM UPGRADE listed in those regulations. invasive species from those of the provThe design phase is underway on a new water treatment plant for Batche- inces and territories,” states the report wana First Nation, near Sault Ste. Marie, from the Office of the Auditor General Ontario, now that $320,000 in federal of Canada. “Not knowing who should funding has been secured for the clean do what creates uncertainty about which continued overleaf… water access project. Once completed, the new plant will provide clean water to nearly 200 community members. The decentralized system will clean and filter water directly at the point of entry for each residence. ARCADIS Canada Inc. has been selected as the project's design consultant. The plant, which is estimated to cost $7 million, will be located in Goulais Mission, while decentralized water systems will be located in Obadjiwan. Residents of the Goulais Mission community have struggled for more than a decade with potentially dangerous levels of uranium. The water was, however, deemed safe for cleaning and bathing, although some families still chose to use bottled water. In February 2016, a member of Batchewana First Nations appeared before a United Nations committee in Switzerland looking for aid to resolve the reserve’s drinking water crisis.

eliminated the risk of chemical contamination, but the damage had been done. The court heard technical evidence from two experts, Brian Byerley of Golder Associates Ltd., and Dr. David Reynolds of Geosyntec Consultants, about perchloroethylene (PCE), a chemical solvent commonly used as a degreaser in the dry-cleaning industry. They explained that PCE is denser than water, considered a probable carcinogen, and was declared toxic in 1997 under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. PCE and TCE (trichloroethylene) levels in groundwater and soil across portions of the properties exceeded government standards.

www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

June 2019  |  63


ment Plant, the Residuals Treatment Facility at Hartland Landfill, and the British Columbia’s Capital Regional conveyance system that will carry wasteDistrict (CRD) issued a notice to Vic- water from across the core area to the toria-area residents last week to warn treatment plant, and residual solids to that escalating construction and labour the Residuals Treatment Facility. costs, as well as design changes from The wastewater treatment plant has stakeholder input, could create the need been under construction since June 2017 for an additional $10 million to meet the after decades of debate over the project. project’s December 2020 build timeline. Four components have yet to begin: The estimated $775 million waste- upgrades to the Currie Pump Station; water treatment project consists of the twinning of the Currie Forcemain and McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treat- the East Coast Interceptor; and finally, the extension of the Trent Forcemain. In 2019, consulting engineering firm Kerr Wood Leidal (KWL) developed an updated model of the core area’s wastewater system to conduct an assessment COMPANY PAGE of the remaining project components. “Based on extensive flow monitorABB Inc....................................................3 ACG-Envirocan ....................................67 ing data and future wastewater flow ACO Systems.........................................41 estimates, KWL determined that only Aerzen....................................................13 one of the remaining components (the Associated Engineering.......................48 extension of the Trent Forcemain) has Avensys..................................................21 any benefit and is required to meet AWI.........................................................17 federal and provincial regulations,” the BDP Industries........................................2 municipal notice states. BI Pure Water........................................55 The other three components have been Blue-White.............................................11 abandoned at this time. KWL’s report Canadian Infrastructure Products......28 shows three primary factors why: firstly, CIMA+.....................................................33 average dry weather flow has fallen sigDenso ....................................................27 nificantly (flows measured in 2018 are Environmental Risk Information 63% of what they were in 2003); second, Service (ERIS) Ltd.................................38 the contribution from non-residential Force Flow.............................................37 sources (industrial, commercial and Geneq....................................................14 institutional) has not been as great as preGreatario...............................................35 H2Flow Equipment...............................33 viously forecasted; and, lastly, water use Halogen Valve Systems........................12 per person has decreased as the populaHanna Instruments..............................43 tion has increased due to replacement of Harmsco Filtration Products...............14 old water fixtures and appliances, driven Hoskin Scientific...................................21 by public education, changes in building Huber Technology..................................7 code, and incentive programs through Imbrium Systems.................................68 the CRD’s water conservation efforts.

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PetroFix.................................................40 Pro Aqua..................................................9 Regenesis..............................................40 RTS Companies.....................................45 SPD Sales...............................................31 Stantec..................................................25 Trans Environmental Systems.............38 TRIECA...................................................52 University of British Columbia............39 Victaulic.................................................23 WEFTEC.................................................53 WSP..........................................................5 Xypex.....................................................29

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Known as the Lake Winnipeg DataStream, the data tool is led nationally by The Gordon Foundation and delivered locally in collaboration with the Lake Winnipeg Foundation. It is designed to be user-friendly and free, allowing users to store, share, access, and visualize water monitoring data. The platform, according to the foundation, is “built with community monitors, policy-makers and researchers in mind.” The Lake Winnipeg Foundation coordinates the Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring Network, which mobilizes citizens to collect water samples across Manitoba. With support from conservation partners and the guidance of the foundation’s science advisors, the network is identifying phosphorus hotspots – localized areas that contribute higher amounts of algae-causing phosphorus to local waterways than other areas. The datastream includes a range of water quality data, including physical, chemical and biological characteristics, pesticides and hydrocarbons, to assess aquatic ecosystem health. www.lakewinnipegdatastream.ca


Margaret Miller, Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister has released a decision that demands more detailed information about 19 elements of the proposed effluent treatment plant for Pictou County. She noted that her department will soon publish terms of reference for a newly-required focus report and post them on the department website. Paper Excellence Canada, the management team for Northern Pulp, will then have up to one year to submit the follow-up TORONTO NON-PROFIT CREATES report on the project, which centres on a replacement effluent treatment facilONLINE HEALTH TRACKER FOR ity and a controversial underwater disLAKE WINNIPEG While there have been dozens of charge pipeline. monitoring programs collecting data The proposed effluent treatment on the health of Lake Winnipeg, a new facility would replace Pictou County’s open-access online hub will allow peo- controversial Boat Harbour treatment ple to find that freshwater data and track facility, owned by the Nova Scotia govchanges to the watershed’s health, par- ernment and leased to Northern Pulp. Among the items about which the ticularly in terms of phosphorus and its focus report will need to provide the impact on algal blooms. Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

ES&E NEWS government with more information are the potential impacts of the project in terms of pipeline location; facility design, construction, operation and maintenance; water resources and sediment quality; air quality; characteristics of the wastewater after treatment; fish and fish habitat; flora and fauna; human health; archaeology; Mi'kmaq land uses; and engagement with the public, Mi'kmaq and government. The paper plant’s management says that, while it is willing to collect the data requested, the new focus report could jeopardize its ability to meet the government’s timeline to complete construction of a new waste management facility by January 31, 2020. The government passed the Boat Harbour Act in 2015, launching a five-year countdown to the closure of the mill's current treatment site.


The government of Saskatchewans recently announced funding for upgrades to Meadow Lake's water and wastewater management systems. Due to geography and climate change, Infrastructure Canada said residents on the east side of Meadow Lake face increasingly serious flooding issues. Especially during spring thaws, large volumes of stormwater create a high risk of ruptures in the 50-year old sewer pipes that run alongside drinking water mains. This can leak contaminated water into the drinking water system. Under this project, all of the community’s common trench sewer and water pipes will be replaced. The city will also relocate its existing sewage lagoon to outside the city limits to protect Backwater Creek, which sits behind the existing lagoon, from raw sewage overflows. Backwater Creek runs into Meadow Lake, which is the raw water source for the city’s drinking water treatment plant. Ralph Goodale, federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, has announced funding for eight new water and wastewater projects in Saskatchewan.

www.esemag.com @ESEMAG

LETTERS Ontario’s Stormwater Standards example an often cited report entiI would like to point out some tled “Telling the Weather Story” states inaccuracies in the December 2018 that weather events that happened issue article by William Curry entievery 40 years are now occurring tled “Ontario's Upcoming Stormevery 6 years. water Standards Will Change The Way However, there is no data to support Stormwater Is Dealt With.” that statement, and it has been Firstly, the statement “We are seeing revealed that the stated shift was only an increased intensity and frequency of a theoretical one. It did not actually larger rainstorm events within a single consider the cited ECCA data at all. year” is not supported by data in Secondly, as a member of the Ottawa, southern Ontario, or Canada. Ontario Low Impact DevelopAccording to Environment and ment (LID) Stormwater ManageClimate Change Canada's (ECCC's) ment Guidance Manual stakeholder Engineering Climate Datasets, Version committee, it does not appear to me 2.3, the trends in rainfall intensity that any ‘upcoming standards’ are on observed for the Ottawa Airport are the way. generally decreasing for durations The Ministry of Environment, of five minutes to six hours. Several Conservation and Parks has also decreasing trends are statistically commented that there will not be significant (i.e., a strong downward LID ‘standards’ but rather voluntary guidance if and when these are trend in observed rainfall intensity). The City of Ottawa reviewed its released. design standards in late 2015 based Robert J. Muir, M.A.Sc., P.Eng. Manager, on rainfall trends. It concurred that Stormwater, Environmental Services for short durations the ECCC intenDepartment, City of Markham. Email: sities are less than design values by rmuir@markham.ca 5% and 10% for 5 year and 100-year curves respectively. As a result, the Consultants and the Future city concluded that trends were I just finished reading Pat within the margin of error associColeman’s excellent article in ated with data collection and hydrothe December 2018 issue about logic assessments. As such it did not embracing new technologies to face a future that is already here. Indeed, change its design standards. we have to be bolder in addressing This is consistent with similar climate change issues if we stand a studies in Guelph, Kitchener, chance to adapt and mitigate GHG Waterloo, Hamilton, Vaughan and emissions. Markham, as well as ECCC's CanaAs Quebec’s former Sustainda-wide analysis of trends that show able Development Commissioner, I a 'lack of a detectable trend signal'. currently co-chair the Great Lakes This means changes in observed St-Lawrence Collaborative with rainfall intensity vary up and down Gordon Miller, Ontario’s former naturally, with no overall increasing ECO whom you surely know. Climate or decreasing trend (i.e., observed storms are not any bigger than before). change, toxics, nutrients and beaches are all issues in need of innovation As we pursue measures to manage flood risks and other stormwater chal- and boldness to address. I will share this article with my collenges, it is important to get the basic leagues. risk factors right, otherwise engiJean Cinq-Mars, Co-chair, neering designs could be misguided. It is commonplace in the media today GLSL Collaborative. Email: info@westbrookpa.com to overstate perceptions as data, and so we have seen an erosion in the rigour of reporting on extreme rainLetters and comments are fall trends over many years. welcome. Send them to: Also, some are content to be fast editor@esemag.com and loose with data observations. For June 2019  |  65


Fraser report finds optimism on freshwater quality, wastewater progress


report by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian public policy think tank, offers optimism over the country’s freshwater quality and improvements to municipal wastewater treatment, while reminding that some work still lies ahead. Evaluating the State of Fresh Water in Canada reports that 82% of Canada’s freshwater monitoring sites indicated fair to excellent quality between 2014 and 2016. Only two percent of sites indicated poor water quality. “Canadians are rightly sensitive about the country’s water supply, and the good news is that, overall, the quantity and quality of Canada’s freshwater is quite good,” announced Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of the report in a statement. The report’s examination of individual monitoring stations over time indicates that, from 2002 to 2016, water quality remained stable in about 81% of locations across the country, improved in 10% of locations, and deteriorated in only 9%. Analysis of fish tissues to discover toxic substances and their concentrations in different drainage areas suggests that, between 2013 and 2015, concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the majority of the samples across Canada were in compliance with federal guidelines. This was also the case with samples from nine drainage regions, including Pacific Coastal, Great Lakes, and St. Lawrence, taken between 2001 and 2016 in relation to guidelines for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) concentrations. “The assessment of metals and toxic substances, including mercury and PBDEs, in the Great Lakes reveals that the concentrations have generally decreased over the past four decades,” states the report. “Another example of improving water quality is the sharp declining trend in contamination of freshwater fish in the St. Lawrence River since the 1970s.”

66  |  June 2019

Wastewater treatment levels in Canada, 1983 – 2009. Infographic by Fraser Institute

WASTEWATER TREATMENT IMPROVEMENTS The Fraser Institute report also suggests that improvements were observed in areas such as municipal wastewater treatment, households’ usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, regulatory compliance of mining operations, and releases of metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury into waters from pulp and paper plants and wastewater treatment plants. The report found that, while Canadian municipalities have been upgrading their wastewater treatment systems for decades, from 1983 to 2009 the percentage of Canadians on municipal systems with secondary treatment or better jumped from 40% to 69%. Additionally, in 2009, just 13% of Canadian households relied on septic systems or haulage (down from 28% in 1983). Only three percent lacked any system of wastewater treatment (down from 20% in 1983).

prescribed guidelines in the Great Lakes, Pacific Coastal, and St. Lawrence River regions. Nutrient levels in Lake Winnipeg’s south basin were excessive in 2016, especially near the inflow from the Red River. Additionally, the report found that excessive concentrations of nutrients in the Great Lakes, specifically in Lake Erie and some near shores of Lakes Ontario and Huron, have caused a resurgence of harmful algal blooms in these areas. Despite significant reductions in mercury levels in Lake Erie in Ontario since the 1970s, analysis of recent mercury concentrations and fish contamination in this lake suggests that levels have stopped decreasing or started increasing. Despite reductions in nutrient levels in recent years, excessive nutrient concentrations appear to still be a problem in the St. Lawrence River and its major tributaries. “Stresses on water quality do exist, WORK TO DO but the overall assessment of Canada’s Despite improvements in the state of freshwater is quite positive,” said Elmira Canada’s water quality, the report notes Aliakbari, the Fraser Institute’s associate concerns that require action. Though director of natural resource studies and concentrations of PBDEs have gener- study co-author, in a statement. ally decreased, some indicators suggest that levels of PBDEs are still above the www.fraserinstitute.org Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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