Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine (ESEMAG) DECEMBER 2016

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DECEMBER 2016 www.esemag.com

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OPERATOR & CONSULTANT FORUMS Phosphorus reduction using cloth filtration Unconventional industrial water sources Drinking water desalination

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December 2016 • Vol. 29 No. 6 • ISSN-0835-605X

COMING IN OUR FEBRUARY 2017 ISSUE This issue will offer our 47,000 readers across Canada a strong and diverse range of articles:



Water and Wastewater Treatment in Cold Climates and Remote Communities


SPECIAL SECTIONS Annual Directory & Equipment Specifiers’ Guide – Consultants, Suppliers, Products & Services

FEATURES 6 8 10 16 18 20 26 30 58

Reflecting on over 20 years of Water For People Canada Meeting Moncton’s strict stormwater runoff regulations Using unconventional water sources for industrial use Activated carbon solves pesticide issue at water treatment plant Event recap: The Indigenous Water Forum Evaluating cloth filtration for wastewater phosphorus reduction Economic and social benefits of the First Nations Land Management Regime San Diego County’s 204 MLD drinking water desalination plant Bubble-less system can reduce energy costs for wastewater aeration

BONUS CONVENTION CIRCULATION AT: • Central Ontario Water Works Association • GLOBE

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OPERATORS’ FORUM 33 35 39 40 42

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How to choose between grit washing or grit classification Designing low maintenance water systems York Region profiles the people behind its water system - Cover story Complete measurement system helps small community WWTP Overcoming wastewater odour-sampling challenges

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The next generation of engineers faces many environmental challenges Engineers and planners must rethink cities in the age of increasing urbanization Will Ontario’s infrastructure renewal help consultants the way Hydro Quebec’s projects did? Who is Trevor Kletz and how has he impacted engineering design?


4 | December 2016

60 63 63 65

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TECHNICAL ADVISORY BOARD Archis Ambulkar, Jones and Henry Engineers, Ltd. Gary Burrows, City of London Jim Bishop, Consulting Chemist, Ontario Patrick Coleman, Black & Veatch Bill De Angelis, City of Toronto 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, Canada, L4G 3V6, Tel: (905)727-4666, Fax: (905) 841-7271, Web site: www.esemag.com

A Supporting Publication of

Canadians on a Water For People project tour in Bolivia. Left to right: Peter Hanlon, Ed Vye, Bill Butler, Tony Petrucci, Penny Davey.

Reflecting on over 20 years of Water For People Canada


f there was a major earthquake last night anywhere in the world and over 4,000 people died, every major media organization in the world would feature this event as their headline story. Yet, yesterday, today, tomorrow and everyday throughout the world, this number of people, mostly children, will die from waterborne disease. I challenge you to find a media outlet reporting this story.” —Ken Miller, President WFP, AWWA, ACE, June 1994 There are often unexpected events, moments, which happen in one’s life that compel action. Ken Miller’s words made a lasting impression on me. I heard them while being involved in discussions with Health Canada officials on proposed changes to Canada’s Drinking Water Guidelines. Epidemiological studies indicated that lowering the acceptable level of trihalomethanes would result in one less death from cancer in Canada over a 70-year period among people who drank several glasses of water per day. I could not rationalize the 4,000 deaths per day throughout the world among people who consume unsafe water and the proposed change to the Drinking Water Guideline that would reduce the death rate in Canada by one over a 70-year period. I realized that providing water and sanitation in developing countries was something that needed addressing and that I could help.

ESTABLISHING WATER FOR PEOPLE (WFP) CANADA At the time, I was serving as Chair of the Canadian Affairs Committee of AWWA. The members of the committee were aware of the recently (1991) formed WFP, a U.S. charity. After considerable discussion, the members of the Canadian Affairs Committee unanimously resolved to establish a Canadian registered charity with objectives identical to that of WFP. In June 1994, the first Directors of WFP Canada were I, representing Atlantic Canada; Pierre LaJoie, Quebec; Rod Holme, Ontario; Tom Pearson, Western Canada; and David Swanson, British Columbia. continued on page 66

6 ||December 2016 October 2016

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New commercial development meets Moncton’s strict stormwater runoff regulations

dependent upon stone size, depth of foundation stone and head of water. The excavation was 3.3 m deep, which allowed for 2.13 m of cover above the chambers. The gravel bed was made up of 18 mm – 50 mm washed rock. A rock slinger was used in order to place the stone faster. A non-woven geotextile separates he new McLaughlin Place retail the downstream storm sewer was still native soil from the washed rock. To centre in Moncton, New Bruns- limited by capacity. This meant we had convey the water from the catch basins, wick, is meeting the city’s mandate to go above and beyond the zero increase ADS N-12 corrugated high-density of eliminating any increase in requirements. In our design, we actually polyethylene (HDPE) pipe was used to stormwater runoff while maximizing had to reduce pre-development flow create a 600 mm x 450 mm manifold, the number of parking spaces. Instead conditions due to the undersized storm connected to the first four chamber rows. of using a detention pond or sump, the sewer that was downstream of our site.” “We’re not calling it retention but designers decided to use a system of “Moncton uses a lot of open, dry detention,” LeBlanc continued. “Water chambers under the parking lot that detention ponds,” LeBlanc explained. is not infiltrating into the ground. Our would collect and hold stormwater “The reason for that is because land soils are all clay here so there’s little to runoff from the lot and rooftops. value is not that high and developers can no infiltration. This means you still need The one-hectare commercial develop- usually afford to lose a bit of land to put to outlet water to a pipe or a sewer. Our ment with five buildings is located near in a pond. In this case, we didn’t have chambers are on the bed of gravel with the Université de Moncton. Plans call for any available land and our site was fully the geotextile under it to prevent the clay apartment buildings to be added in the covered by buildings or parking lots. So, from interacting with the gravel. From future. underground storage was our choice for there, the water flows into a control “Based on the city’s design criteria, detention.” structure downstream of the chambers. there could not be any increase in stormTo satisfy the city’s Zero Net Increase for It is basically just a manhole with an water runoff into Moncton’s storm sewer Stormwater Runoff Law P#215 and meet orifice in it. From there, it goes into the system from McLaughlin Place,” stated the site’s storage capacity requirement of municipal storm sewer.” Denis LeBlanc, P.Eng., of WSP Canada 485 cubic metres, the underground system To convey water from the underInc. “This is in an older, fully developed used 87 StormTech MC-3500 chambers ground detention system to the munipart of the city with roads, storm sewers, in a 26.8 m x 17.9 m area. cipal storm sewer, a 250 mm diameter etc., already in place. The city has a zero Each StormTech MC-3500 chamber is solid wall DR17 HDPE pipe was horinet increase stormwater policy, which 2.28 m long x 1.95 m wide x 1.14 m high, zontally directionally drilled nearly 16 means that, when you develop a site, with minimum installed storage capacity m under Morton Avenue, a major road. post-development flows have to equal of 5.06 cubic metres. The open graded This was needed because the city could pre-development flows. stone around and under the chambers not shut down any lanes. “In our case, some old houses and an provides a significant conveyance capacity, old skating rink on the property had ranging from approximately 23  l/s – For more information, visit been demolished a few years before, but 368 l/s. Actual conveyance capacity is www.ads-pipecanada.com




8 | December 2016

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Pressure mounting for industries to use unconventional water sources By Jeff Easton and Jim Woods


ater is required in almost every industrial sector for the processing and manufacture of products. Sources of high quality raw water for commercial plants are becoming progressively scarce. The availability of water from rivers and lakes is not only diminishing, but what is available is increasingly regulated. This scenario has pushed industrial water recycling into the forefront as a high-profile concern.

Cooling water systems, particularly at power plants and oil refineries, are the largest industrial consumers for recycled water, due to their high-volume demand. Other industrial applications include oil and gas drilling, petroleum refining, 10 | December 2016

place on their operations, and recognize the need to consider unconventional sources of water. The technology, chemistry and processes exist today to feasibly and economically integrate water reuse from unconventional sources into almost any industrial process application.

chemical plants, metal finishers, textile and carpet dying, paper manufacturing, cement manufacturers, and other cooling and process applications. Many companies are aware of the risks that growing water constraints could

UNCONVENTIONAL WATER SOURCES Unlike conventional water sources like potable supplies, rivers, lakes, surface ponds and fresh water wells, unconventional water sources can originate from continued overleaf...

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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wastewater treatment plant effluent, brackish, surface, well, and mine pool water, acid mine drainage, hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced water. These water sources may contain varying levels of suspended solids, oils and greases, colloidal silica and metals, and dissolved minerals and organics. Contaminants can include dirt and sediments, hardness (such as dissolved calcium and magnesium), heavy metals (like lead, zinc, cadmium, mercury and arsenic), salts, organics and colour. Since every industrial application requires a different level of finished water quality, understanding the condition of the source water and the finished water quality requirements determines the processes and equipment needed. For most industrial uses of reclaimed water, conventional processes involve secondary treatment, filtration and disinfection steps to achieve a desired level of water quality. Most applications will require multiple processes to achieve the desired finished water quality.

combinations of acidity, and metals such as arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury, silver and zinc. With water sources becoming harder to obtain for industrial applications, these marginal-quality mine pool waters and AMD streams are becoming more attractive for reclamation and reuse. From a cooling perspective, mine pool/ AMD water is desirable because it has a relatively consistent and low temperature year round. Implementing sustainable and financially viable methods to reuse vast UTILIZING MINE POOL WATER/AMD quantities of mine pool/AMD water New or expanded steam electric is an area of relatively new, but growpower plants frequently need to turn to ing, interest for mining operations. The non-traditional alternative sources of technologies exist to economically treat water for cooling. One type of alternative any strength of acid mine drainage for water source is groundwater collected industrial reuse. Recent technological refinements in in underground pools associated with coal mines, known as mine pool water. such processes as CO2 stripping, aeraWhen this water flows from the mine tion, thickening, clarification, sludge to the surface it is called acid mine disposal, ultrafiltration and reverse drainage (AMD). It contains multiple continued overleaf...

An advanced surface aeration process is critical in facilitating an economically feasible solution for treatment of the mine pool/AMD wastewater.

REUSE OF MUNICIPAL WASTEWATER Recycled municipal wastewater can be used for a broad range of reuse applications, but not for direct drinking water and the manufacturing of food and beverages. Besides traditional uses such as industrial processes, agricultural irrigation, and the irrigation of lawns, landscapes, cemeteries and golf courses, many areas add recycled water to underground storage basins that are used as drinking water supplies. Water recycling is very important in arid climates, like southern California, where water must be imported from other parts of the state. The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County operate the largest engineered wastewater recycling program in the world. The goal is to recycle as much water as possible from their 10 water reclamation plants (WRPs). These play a major role in meeting southern California’s water needs, providing primary, secondary, and tertiary treatment for approximately two million litres per day, 650,000 litres of which are available for reuse.

12 | December 2016

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine








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osmosis are making these systems more streamlined and efficient. This enables full-scale mine pool water/AMD reuse projects to not only control, manage and reuse these contaminated waters, but also to be financially viable. An advanced surface aeration process is critical in facilitating an economically feasible solution for treatment of the mine pool/AMD wastewater. New impeller designs increase oxygen transfer efficiency, and reduce axial and radial loads. Such a system can produce a minimum efficiency of 3.8 pounds of oxygen per horsepower-hour. This improved transfer efficiency saves significant operational costs over the life of the equipment. Reduced axial and radial loads increase the life of the drive unit and reduce the size of support structures and beams for the surface aerators. Systems like these are making acid mine drainage reuse more accessible for mining operations, which require systems to not only be financially feasible, but capable of efficiently handling wastewater streams at remote locations, usually within a confined footprint. The latest developments in high-rate thickeners, used to separate liquids and solids at very high rates, are effective in coal refuse thickening, gold recovery, copper leaching, molybdenum processing, and other mining and chemical applications where mine pool water/ AMD is sourced. Separation is effected rapidly because of the system’s hydraulics, which can be in excess of 20 times the hydraulics of conventional thickeners. As a result, the plant area required for this new generation of thickeners is greatly reduced.

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING FLOWBACK AND PRODUCED WATER As more hydraulic fracturing wells come into operation, so does the stress on surface water and groundwater supplies from the withdrawal of large volumes of water used in the process. This can be as much as 3.8 million litres of fresh water per wellhead to complete the fracturing process alone. Equally important is the growing volume of wastewater generated from

Fresh water supplies for use in hydraulic fracturing are becoming more expensive and more unobtainable. fracturing wells, requiring disposal or recycling. Up to 60% of the water injected into a wellhead during the fracturing process will discharge back out of the well shortly thereafter, as flowback wastewater. For the life of the wellhead, it will discharge up to 380,000 litres per day of produced wastewater. Because water is the base fluid and biggest component used in hydraulic fracturing, its importance remains a critical factor in the operation and economics of shale oil and gas production. Fresh water and wastewater operating procedures which have been in place since the late 1990s are experiencing increasingly stiffer governmental regulations on water availability and disposal limitations. This is prompting oil and gas executives to reassess their current water use for fracturing, and adopt a more unified, and longer-range perspective on their water life-cycle management. Fresh water supplies for use in hydraulic fracturing are becoming more expensive and more unobtainable. Wastewater associated with shale oil and gas extraction can contain high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS), fracturing fluid additives, total suspended solids (TSS), hardness compounds, metals, oil and gas, bacteria and bacteria disinfection agents, and naturally occurring radioactive materials. These contaminants are partially a combination of chemicals and agents inserted deep into the well (3,000 metres and deeper) which facilitate fracturing by modifying the water chemistry to increase viscosity, carry more sand and improve conductivity.

WELLHEAD RECYCLING Some drilling operators elect to reuse a portion of the wastewater to replace and/or supplement fresh water in formu-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

lating fracturing fluid for a future well or re-fracturing the same well. Reuse of shale oil and gas wastewater is, in part, dependent on the levels of pollutants in the wastewater and the proximity of other fracturing sites that might reuse the wastewater. Mobile solutions to treat wastewater at the wellhead enable recycling and reuse of flowback wastewater without the need for storing it in surface ponds on-site, or for trucking it for disposal at off-site deep-well injection locations. The drawback of wellhead mobile solutions is that they do not provide continuous processing to handle produced wastewaters, which would need to be processed for potentially 20 years following fracturing. Since produced wastewater represents 95%, or more, of the wastewater generated during the life cycle of a well, mobile processing systems do not provide a solution adequate to solving the long-term problems of diminished water sourcing.

technologies are membrane and thermal processes. Membrane processes rely on permeable membranes to separate salts from water. They can be pressure-driven (reverse osmosis) or voltage-driven (electrodialysis). Reverse osmosis is currently the most common desalination treatment method. The thermal process involves heating saline water to produce water vapour, which is then condensed and collected as fresh water. In a reverse osmosis system, the greater the TDS concentration of the water, the higher the pressure needed for the pumps to push water through the membranes, and, consequently, the higher the energy costs.

turing contaminants into solids that can then be removed before the water is discharged back into waterways.

CENTRALIZED HANDLING OF FLOWBACK AND PRODUCED WASTEWATER Centralized treatment of wastewater has emerged as a viable solution for long-term efficiency in managing water sourcing and wastewater treatment in hydraulic fracturing. Centralized treatment facilities handle both the flowback wastewater and produced wastewater from oil and gas wells within a region, in a radius of 70 km – 80 km. Pipelines connect all wellheads directly with the central treatment plant. MINE POOL WATER/AMD Such centralized plants can be inteThe reuse of mine pool water/AMD grated with alternative sources of water in hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and to supplement fresh water needs for fracgas production is quickly becoming a turing, such as from abandoned mines, hot topic of interest. Many current shale stormwater control basins, municipal oil and gas hydraulic fracturing wells are wastewater treatment plant effluent, and in close proximity to mine pool water/ power plant cooling water. Centralized BRACKISH SURFACE AND WELL AMD areas, creating a unique opportun- water management allows wastewater WATER ity to beneficially use these wastewater sourcing to be implemented on an economy of scale that has not before been Brackish water refers to water supplies sites for hydraulic fracturing. that are more saline than freshwater, but According to a 2013 Duke Univer- realized in the shale oil and gas producmuch less salty than seawater. This level sity-led study, much of the naturally tion industry. of salinity in water is measured in TDS. occurring radioactivity (radium and In hydraulic fracturing, saline water is barium) in fracturing wastewater might Jeff Easton and Jim Woods are with introduced into the process by contacting be removed by blending it with waste- WesTech Engineering Inc. Email: water from mine pool water/acid mine jeaston@westech-inc.com brackish aquifers. The two most common desalination drainage. Blending can bind some frac-


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December 2016 | 15


Water plant uses powdered activated carbon for pesticide removal By Craig Favill, Transvac Systems Ltd. and David Boger, Flexicon Corporation


hen a water treatment plant faced a spike in pesticide concentration exceeding the allowable concentration limit for incoming water, it was forced to shut down. In order to provide clean drinking water to users, water had to be diverted from a regional water treatment plant until the problem could be solved. The solution ultimately chosen was a mobile, trailer-mounted carbon dosing system, housed in a six-metre long steel shipping container. It was delivered and activated within one day, without costly and time-consuming site preparation, construction or complex components. The water treatment facility was restored to compliance, as the dosed carbon successfully removed pesticide traces from the main water stream. Supplied by Transvac Systems, the TransPAC mobile powder handling and carbon dosing system includes a bulk bag discharger, two flexible screw conveyors, and a Transvac ejector system for mixing and injecting a slurry of powdered activated carbon (PAC) into the water stream. It only requires connections to an electric power supply, the municipal water stream, and an external water supply. Environmental impact and site preparation are minimized, as well as the need for maintenance and planning permission. The system is safe to operate, and simple to control. From the split-frame bulk bag discharger, PAC is automatically transferred from a half tonne bulk bag, through a flexible screw conveyor, to a surge hopper. From there, a second flexible screw conveyor meters the powder into the ejector. A forklift loads the bag-loading frame and 500 kg bulk bag onto the stationary discharger frame inside the shipping container. Once the bag spout is untied, 16 | December 2016

Left: Bulk bag and lifting frame of the BFF-C-X Bulk Out® split-frame bulk bag discharger are forklifted onto the stationary discharger frame inside the container. Right: The flexible screw conveyor from the bulk bag discharger moves carbon powder to the surge hopper. The second flexible screw conveyor then moves the powder to the intake of the ejector.

the powder flows into a 75 mm diameter flexible screw conveyor leading to the surge hopper. A second 60 mm diameter flexible screw conveyor moves the carbon powder from the hopper outlet to the intake of the ejector that accurately doses the PAC into the municipal water stream. The conveyors are curved to fit the tight space within the shipping container. From the control panel, the operator sets the speeds of the conveyor drives to automatically dose the proper amount of PAC according to the site water flow. Low and high level sensors in the surge hopper signal the controller to start or stop flow through the first flexible screw conveyor when the hopper contents reach the low or high level. The carbon dosing portion of the TransPAC system includes a header tank for incoming water, a booster pump and the ejector. Velocity of the water flowing through a venturi creates a low pressure zone in the ejector that entrains the carbon powder into the treated water stream at a rate set at the control panel. The unit operates with no moving parts.

PAC CAN POSE HANDLING PROBLEMS Powdered activated carbon adsorbs the pesticide on its surface, and the carbon and adsorbed material are subsequently removed as sludge in the flocculation process. However, the extremely fine powder is prone to dusting. Both the bulk bag discharger and flexible screw conveyors prevent dusting. The bag outlet spout is connected to the feeder by a Spout-Lock® clamp ring. This creates a secure, dust-tight connection between the clean side of the bag spout and clean side of the bag spout interface. Each flexible screw conveyor consists of a stainless steel screw rotating inside a durable polymer tube that contains the fine powder as it is conveyed. The conveyor discharge is likewise dust-free, as powder exits through a transition adapter located forward of the drive at the discharge end, thereby preventing it from contacting bearings or seals. For more information, visit www.flexicon.com, or www.transvac.co.uk

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Indigenous Water Forum a powerful event By Peter D avey, ES&E Magazine

stration at the forum were the water pitchers at each table. The water that In late October, I had the privilege of being we all drank during the two-day event asked to speak at the Indigenous Water was produced by one of two integrated Forum in Whitecap Dakota First Nation, biological reverse osmosis membrane Saskatchewan. Hosted by the Safe Water (IBROM) treatment plants on Whitecap for Health Research Team, the Univer- Dakota First Nation land. sity of Saskatchewan, Touchwood Agency During the technical breakout sessions, Tribal Council, and the Safe Drinking Brian Tralnberg, water treatment operator Water Team, the event was an emotional for Whitecap, explained how his commuand inspiring gathering of Elders and nity’s water treatment and distribution Chiefs, water system operators, public system worked, and he took questions health workers and researchers. from an audience of largely First Nation The purpose of the forum was to bridge operators. people’s knowledge of water through Other presentations discussed drinking sharing of indigenous ways of knowing, water success stories; lessons learned from research presentations and demonstra- the Husky oil spill; policy gaps between tions of practical applications. Living in stakeholders and government, and much southern Ontario, discussions and news more. This was a truly unique event and a about First Nation water is usually in the must-attend for all water professionals. Top: Chief Peigan, File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council, speaking about the potash industry’s context of a boil water advisory or fundwater use. Bottom: Touring the Whitecap ing to eliminate advisories. For more information on the event, visit: Dakota WTP with Brian Tralnberg (left). I found the most powerful demon- www.indigenouswaterforum.com

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Orillia evaluates cloth filtration for WWTC phosphorus reduction By Valera Saknenko, James Des Cotes, Mark P. Hughes and Percival Thomas


he Orillia Wastewater Treatment Figure 1: Cloth media filter system. Centre (WWTC), which discharges into Lake Simcoe, Ontario, is a conventional secondary treatment plant that has a rated average daily flow capacity of 27,300 m3/day and a peak hourly flow rate of 89,000 m3/day. Due to the implementation of Ontario’s Lake Simcoe Protection Plan in 2009 and the Phosphorus Reduction Strategy for the Lake Simcoe Watershed in 2010, the Orillia WWTC was required to meet more stringent total phosphorus (TP) limits of 0.1 mg/L. R.V. Anderson Associates Limited (RVA) was retained to evaluate AquaDisk cloth media disk filtration as a tertiary treatment option that would allow the City to meet these new requirements. The manufacturer, Aqua-Aerobic Sys­­ tems, Inc., was provided with the influent and effluent design criteria for the WWTC and asked to provide capital and operating cost, details of performance in existing locations, and a preliminary layout for their tertiary treatment Figure 2: Correlation between influent and effluent total phosphorus. system. The system was evaluated using criteria such as footprint, head loss, capital cost, life-cycle cost, and ability to meet the 0.1 mg/L TP limit. Capital cost estimates were developed based on tank sizes and buildings required to house the equipment. Life-cycle cost estimates for various filter configurations accounted for projected maintenance works and chemical and power usage. Based on this evaluation, AquaDisk cloth media disk filtration was recommended as the most appropriate tertiary treatment system, mainly due to its capability, small footprint, and low capital and life-cycle costs. For this project, the manufacturer recommended the use of their 5-micron OptiFiber cloth media, which is a relatively new cloth media specifically developed to achieve low TP limits.



continued overleaf...

20 | December 2016

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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Disk filters use a cloth media placed as the filters remain in service throughover a disk submerged within a tank to out this process. Additional solids that capture and remove solids in the water, accumulate are pumped out through a while allowing clean water to pass through. manifold at the bottom of the tank by In normal operation, the selected disks are the same backwash pump. stationary within the tank. Water flows by gravity from the tank through the PILOT STUDY cloth and into a central horizontal pipe, The City decided to carry out a pilot discharging to an effluent channel. Solids study to test the suitability of 5-micron are deposited on the outside surface of the cloth media for treating the Orillia disks. (See Figure 1) WWTC secondary effluent to below As the amount of solids builds up on 0.1 mg/L of TP. The study was carried the outside of the disks, the amount of out from September 24 to November 6, head required to force water through 2014. A pilot trailer was provided by the cloth media increases. When the the manufacturer. It was equipped with accumulation of solids reaches a pre-set a single, cloth media disk filter offering level, a backwash system is initiated to an effective filtration area of 1.1 m2. The remove the solids. While in backwash completely submerged disk was divided mode, the mechanism cleans the cloth into two equal segments, each fitted with media by drawing a small amount of 5-micron microfibre pile cloth media. filtrate through shoe assemblies that are For this study, secondary clarifier effluconnected to backwash pumps. During ent from the WWTC was pumped to the this cycle, only two disks are being pilot unit. Flow passed through a series of backwashed at a time. No downtime is pipes where coagulant was injected and required to accommodate backwashing, flash-mixed with the secondary effluent,

using an in-line static mixer. The flow then transferred to a single-stage flocculation chamber before its introduction to the filter tank. The flow was filtered by gravity through the cloth media. Influent and effluent turbidity values were monitored continuously using two turbidimeters. Influent and effluent ortho­­­­phosphorus concentrations were monitored by two in-line analyzers. The unit was PLC-controlled and was equipped with an electronic logging system for data acquisition. In parallel with the sampling and testing program carried out by the manufacturer, WWTC staff carried out their own sampling and testing program. This included taking samples upstream and downstream of the pilot filter in the morning and afternoon. They also took overnight composite samples. All samples were tested for total suspended solids (TSS), phosphates (PO4-P), and TP at Caduceon Environmental Laboratories. continued overleaf...


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RESULTS The primary goal of the study was to assess whether fluctuations in the influent TP had a significant impact on the effluent filtered TP concentrations. As shown in Figure 2, influent TP concentrations ranged from approximately 0.1 mg/L to a simulated spike of 1.4 mg/L. With the exception of one data point, all effluent TP values were below 0.075 mg/L. On average, the 5-micron cloth media achieved 78% removal of TP on all samples collected and analyzed. The secondary goal of the study was to evaluate the filter’s performance at elevated solids concentrations. Peak loading conditions were simulated to a TP concentration of 1.4 mg/L by introducing mixed liquor suspended solids to the filter influent. The filter was operated across a range of flows from average daily flow to peak flow. Influent turbidity levels ranged from 2 NTU to 31 NTU, which correlated to a TSS loading of 5 mg/L to 80 mg/L. Effluent phosphate levels improved as the solids concentrations applied to the filter were increased. In all cases, the filter effluent reactive phosphorus was well below levels needed to support an effluent criterion of TP less than 0.1 mg/L. (See Figure 3) Based on the results of the pilot study, the following conclusions were made: • Filtration with 5-micron microfibre U.S.F. S.F Fabrication’s Hatch Safety Grate System is available in a variety S.F. ariety of configurations cloth media can effectively meet the to meet virtually ually anySafety uall application. The System system allows for routine maintenance of pumps S.F Fabrication’s S.F. Hatch Grate is available in a variety ariety of configurations stringent effluent TP target of 0.1 mg/L. and equipment when closed and may act as an additional barrier er when open. It allows meet virtually ually uall any a pplication. The system allows for routine maintenance of pumps • The filter offers stable and reliable ngs without exposing themselves to people to move freely lly around the hatch opening performance, despite significant varind equipment whenfall-through. closed and may act as an additional barrier er when open. It allows dangerous ations in hydraulic and solids loading without exposing eople to move freely lly around the hatch opening Allngs Hatch Safety ety Grates feature: themselves to rates. • Tamp Tamper-res r istant 316 SS hinges res angerous fall-through. • The 5-micron cloth media filter and nd hardw har are • Powder-coated Po aluminum grates to achieved the TP target with and without All Hatch Safety ety Grates feature: resist corrosion res the aid of coagulant. •• Hold Tamper-res Tamp r istant res 316 SS hinges old open devices to lock the grates • When chemicals are added, the cloth in theirhardw full upright and nd har areand open position medium is effective in filtering chemical • Ca Can be ret r rofitted into existing •access Powder-coated Po aluminum grates to solids created from the mixing and flocopenings resist corrosion res culation of primary coagulants, such as • Hold old open devices to lock the gratesaluminum sulfate. • In addition to high-level phosphorus Our experienced team provides a quick turnaround on quotes, in their full upright and open position drawings and deliveries. Call us today 1.800.668.4533 removal, the cloth media filter is able to • Ca Can be ret r rofitted into existing or email us at sales@engineeredpump.com produce a filtrate with an exceptionally access openings low turbidity and TSS. Figure 3: Total reactive phosphate removal rates at all flows.

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EVALUATION OF DISK FILTER CONFIGURATIONS Once the process was confirmed, variEnvironmental Science & Engineering Magazine

ous configurations of disk filters were developed and evaluated to determine optimal layout for life-cycle cost and process redundancy. To meet design guidelines, all systems were evaluated with one set of standby filter(s). Based on this, quotations for the following configurations were obtained: • Two sets of 24-disk filters (one duty and one standby). • Three sets of 12-disk filters (two duty and one standby). • Four sets of 8-disk filters (three duty and one standby). The configuration of two sets of filters incorporated the highest number of filter disks (48 individual disks) since it required 100% redundancy. The configuration with four sets of filters had the lowest number of disks, since the standby filter only had to be sized to treat 33% of design flows. Life cycle cost for each configuration incorporated both the capital cost and the 20-year net present value of the operations and

maintenance (O&M) costs. A capital cost estimate was prepared for each configuration, based on the tanks required to house the filters, the building and ancillary equipment. The set of four filters contained the fewest number of actual disks. However, the added costs for piping and equipment resulted in this configuration having the highest capital cost. The option with two filters resulted in the lowest capital cost, as it had the smallest footprint and the fewest pieces of equipment. Based on the preliminary layouts of each system, estimates were made for heating and ventilation, as well as area lighting requirements. The power necessary to run these building systems was considered, along with the filters’ power and chemical use. Replacement part costs and labour rates were also considered while preparing final O&M estimates. The estimated 20-year life-cycle costs are as follows: • Two sets of 24-disk filters: $15.1M.

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• Three sets of 12-disk filters: $16.1M. • Four sets of 8-disk filters: $17.3M. The option with two filters was determined to be the most economical option from the point of view of capital, O&M and life-cycle costs. This system also featured the largest available filtration area, with 100% redundancy. Valera Saknenko, P.Eng., Ph.D., PMP, and James Des Cotes, P.Eng., CCCA, are with R.V. Anderson Associates Limited. Mark P. Hughes, P.E., is with Aqua-Aerobic Systems Inc. Percival Thomas, P.Eng., Ph.D, is with the City of Orillia. For more information, email: vsaknenko@rvanderson.com

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First Nations Land Management Regime promises economic and social benefits By Keli Just


elect First Nation communities across Canada have chosen to join the First Nations Land Management (FNLM) Regime. The FNLM Regime operates under the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management, which is a government-to-government agreement that was ratified by Canada in 1999. The main goals of the FNLM Regime are to facilitate the creation of a streamlined and enhanced economic development climate on reserve lands, while maintaining a high level of environmental protection and stewardship. The Framework Agreement provides signatory First Nations with the option to manage their reserve lands under their own Land Codes. Until each of these First Nation communities develops and approves a Land Code to take control of its reserve lands and resources, federal administration of their reserve lands continues under the Indian Act. PINTER & Associates Ltd. (PINTER) provided technical engineering expertise, environmental program development and legal framework guidance for FNLM Regime member Nations. Innovative techniques were developed during environmental site assessment (ESA) work to nurture community engagement, collect information from various sources, gather oral history, carry out site inspections, manage the information and data, and to prioritize sites requiring further work. The technical engineering principles involved in environmental assessment, remediation, and development of laws and regulations governing the environment and land development were the foundation of this process. PINTER has assisted 12 member Nations

26 | December 2016

First Nations within Canada are poised to become an increasingly large and dynamic demographic. Recent Statistics GOALS OF THE FNLM REGIME Canada Each First Nation has varying objectives for projections the FNLM process, but the overall goals are indicate that similar and include: assessment, identification the aboriginal and remediation of environmental impacts on population reserve land; engaging the community to detercould account mine environmental and economic priorities; and identifying traditional practices and customs for between 4% – 5.3% of that relate to environmental stewardship. The development of a comprehensive environ- the Canadian mental management and protection regime, population by development of environmental assessment and 2031.

to date through various aspects of this process. There are currently a total of 128 First Nations across Canada that are members of the Framework Agreement and FNLM Regime. Sixty-one of those Nations have their own Land Code and are responsible for their lands under the Framework Agreement. There are also approximately 61 other Nations that have expressed interest in joining the process and Regime.

protection law regimes and a sustainable, appealing economic development climate on reserves are goals shared by member communities.

ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENTS Through the FNLM Regime process, First Nations can opt out of the land provisions of the Indian Act and regain authority and control of their lands from the federal government. The land is to be transferred to each Nation in as close to pre-impact condition as possible. To achieve this goal, PINTER works with communities to complete the required ESAs for each reserve. The environmental assessment includes a Phase I

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

proceed further with the process. Contrary to typical ESAs, this type of project has to consider cultural customs, taboos and sensitivities, as well as develop an efficient method of obtaining historical information from the community, including from seniors and elders.

Environmental Management and Protection Program

assessment, Phase II investigation and delineation work, and the Phase III remediation of identified impacts on reserve lands.

PHASE I ESA The Phase I ESA involves assessment of every building and development on reserve, including cursory inspections of each residential septic system. Each active and historical dumpsite and ravine dump, fuel storage site, historical bluestone pit (fence post treatment) operation, vehicle salvage yard, agricultural chemical storage location, and culturally significant site identified by the community is visited, visually assessed, and catalogued. Typically, several hundred residences exist on reserve and each yard is visited and visually assessed during the Phase I ESA. The results are presented to the community to allow each Nation to decide whether or not to


PHASE II ESA The majority of the Phase I ESAs that PINTER has completed have been followed up by the completion of limited and detailed Phase II ESAs. Based on the findings of the Phase I ESA, a prioritized list of potentially impacted sites on reserve is developed. A variety of environmental contaminants have been encountered during the Phase II ESA work. These include petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), copper sulfate, metals, dioxins and furans, livestock waste and human waste effluent, agricultural chemicals, mould and fungus, asbestos, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls. Phase II ESA work includes environmental drilling and soil sampling, groundwater monitoring, well installation and groundwater sampling, test pit excavation, surface water sampling, and hand auger soil sampling. While each sampling technique is not unique, applying them all to one project to ensure the investigation is efficient and cost-effective requires an innovative approach and consistent overview of long-term goals. PHASE III ESA Once identified environmental impacts have been delineated and quantified, remediation is carried out. PINTER utilizes a variety of recognized methods to clean up impacts to federal Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) and Health Canada guidelines for both soil and groundwater. Both in situ and ex situ techniques and pro­cesses are employed to remediate identified impacts. Excavation and on-site remediation of PHC impacted soils via landfarming techniques continued overleaf...

December 2016 | 27


has been completed at numerous locations. Efforts are made to return reserve land back to pre-impact conditions, while working within available federal funding constraints. Remediation of impacts on reserve land helps to enhance sustainability and empower each community to take responsibility for their future actions. The ESAs and remediation of legacy sites also provide context and examples to First Nation Band Councils of negative environmental impacts, increasing their understanding of proper environmental stewardship and practices.

of their lands. Management and operation of an environmental regime is a complex undertaking that involves many stakeholders and affects both on and off reserve residents. The mechanism typically chosen by First Nations is an Environmental Management and Protection Program (EMPP). These are essentially operational guides for First Nations that incorporate all aspects of a Nation’s environmental protection and law regime. The foundation for each EMPP consists of the environmental knowledge gained during the ESA process, the community’s environmental goals and priorities, each Nation’s traditional knowledge and practices, and the First Nation’s Land Code.

development and resource utilization on reserve land. Nations have three options for law regime development: full adoption of provincial legislation, hybrid adoption of provincial legislation, or development of unique Nation-specific laws and regulations. Environmental regulations on reserve need to meet or exceed existing provincial and federal legislation in place within the province each Nation is located. Environmental Assessment (EA) law and processes are required to either meet or exceed existing federal EA laws. Establishment of Nation-specific EA laws and structure helps to ensure that potential ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT impacts to the environment are identified AND PROTECTION PROGRAM and steps are taken to properly mitigate these prior to development approval. Once First Nations assume control The environmental protection regimes over their lands, they have the dauntand environmental law regimes developed ing task of developing a comprehensive ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION through this project for First Nations environmental protection framework and AND ASSESSMENT LAW REGIME environmental law regime. Each Nation is First Nations under the FNLM Regime are based on recognized environmental tasked with managing and directing busi- are also required to develop an Environ- engineering principles and established ness development, utilization of natural mental Protection and Assessment Law provincial and federal environmental resources, and protection and assessment Regime to regulate and manage economic legislation.

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28 | December 2016

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Sustainable Ecosystems

Soil retaining system helps urban trees reach Considerable effort is employed to maturity Eric Keshavarzi harmonize each Nation’sByEMPP with their

developed environmental law regime to ensure continuity between and the sustwo reen infrastructure processes and facilitate efficient managetainability goals are of inment of each Nation’s environmental creasing importance, and regime. achieving them requires technical knowledge and training in varied PROJECT CHALLENGES AND fields. Integration of soil and trees into COMPLEXITIES urban areas substantially improves susAs withand any undertaking, there are tainability helps alleviate some of our challenges that arise during the multiple most pressing ecological challenges. phasesinclude of these Numerous These air andprojects. water quality, rising components to this process can from span temperatures, flooding and erosion several years of assessment and developdaily rainfall events. ment, leadLands, to various complicaThe which West Don in Toronto, Ontions and issues. Working with multiple tario, is a community that is people foFirst Nations each with cused, family simultaneously, friendly, environmentally their own community and environmental sustainable and beautifully designed for issues, perspectives, priorities and politliving. It has a Stage 1 LEED ND GOLD ical agendas, was a challenging aspect of certification under the pilot program esthis process for PINTER and for many tablished by the U.S. Green Building consultants. Council. Maintaining a consistent approach One notable sustainable component, through governmental mandate utilized in the design of the area’schanges streets, anda balancing First system Nation expectations is soil retaining called Silva with government agencytrees mandates Cells™. Typical urban in the were city also challenges during this process. core die after approximately seven years. Other Silva projectCells challenges included However, help extend their addressing a variety of environmental life spans, thus promoting the growth of liabilities accrued mature street trees. over the years on First Nation land, developing Although the City of Torontocommunhad preity engagement programs, First viously used Silva Cells meeting as part of a Nation expectations, and helping stormwater management pilot programthe in FirstQueensway, Nation develop landasmanagement The theira use part of site


Environmental assessment work a dumpsite/burn site. Installation of Silva Cells inat Mill Street.

development is new. In fact, the West Don process. Existing site Lands streets are theenvironmental first in a Toronto assessment techniques were adapted for subdivision to be designed with this systhis type of project and new techniques tem installed under parking lay-bys and were developed. sidewalks. Mill Street was the first subdivision SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS street in Toronto to be designed to include An underlying goal for thisthe type of this soil retaining system. As lead project and the FNLM Regime is to engineering consultant, R.V.Anderson provide member Nations with the abilAssociates coordinated all plans and specity to easily effectively facilitate ifications with and the landscape architect. and manage economic development About Silva Cells on Silva reserve land.areThe ultimate benefits Cells a plastic/fiberglass are vibrant, self-sustaining Firstthat Nation structure of columns and beams supcommunities that contribute to Canadian port paving above un-compacted planting

soil. The structure has 92% void space society thesurface Canadian economy. and is a and stable for the installation There are numerous of vehicle loaded-pavements.social and economic benefits installed, to FNLMthey Regime When properly can member First Nations and to surroundachieve an AASHTO H-20 load rating. ing local Highway and provincial jurisdictions. Canadian Bridge Design Code The outcome grants First Nations greater loading can also be achieved through apfreedom development their load land, propriate for design. This is the on required including business such and as investment on rating for structures underground reserve, and for First Nation entreprevaults, covers and grates in areas of trafneurialism employment opportunfic includingand sidewalks and parking lots. ities for Band members. The cell structure transfers the force to a base layer below the structure. KeliSoil Just,within P.Eng.the is with cellsPINTER remains&at low Associates Ltd. Email: keli.just@pinter.ca compaction rates, thereby creating ideal



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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine December 2016 | 29


San Diego County opens 204 mld drinking water desalination plant By Boaz Keinan


n December 2015, IDE Technologies opened the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant is in California, a region which has been threatened by extreme drought in recent years. Developed and owned by Poseidon Water, the plant overcame significant practical, regulatory and economic hurdles to deliver a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly water supply to 300,000 residents and businesses in San Diego County. The Carlsbad plant taps into the largest reservoir in the world – the Pacific Ocean. It uses the seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) technique to produce more than 204 million litres of drinking water per day. In reverse osmo30 | December 2016

sis, pumping energy moves seawater through a series of filtering membranes with pores that let water molecules permeate but retain salt and debris. Utilizing a proprietary design, the plant has implemented a minimal number of independent trains fed by both feed pumping centers. The plant is located adjacent to the Encina Power Station, so project financing relies on a true partnership model. It shares the existing intake and outflow systems with the Encina Power Station and takes up to 420,000 m3 per day of cooling water from the power plant. The water is then filtered through gravel and sand to reduce particulates, before going through reverse osmosis filtration. Half of the saltwater taken into the

plant is converted into pure potable water and the rest is discharged as concentrated brine. The outflow of the plant is put into the discharge from the power plant for dilution, for a final salt concentration about 20% higher than seawater. Desalination plants primarily discharge water with about 50% extra salt. This leads to dead spots in the ocean as the super-saline brine does not mix well with seawater.

INTAKE Seawater from the Encina Power Station discharge channel flows through the intake vault and common inlet line and is distributed to the intake pumps. The intake vault is adjacent to the power station discharge channel and is

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

equipped with a stop log for isolating the intake pump station from the channel during heat treatment of the power station cooling system, or for maintenance purposes. The seawater pumping station includes three vertical intake pumps: two operating and one stand by. Each intake pump provides up to 216 million litres/day. The intake station includes seawater quality monitors that allows online monitoring of the raw seawater quality.

PRE-TREATMENT AND POST-TREATMENT PROCESSES Pretreatment is composed of a flocculation stage and a gravitational dual media filter stage. Pretreatment feed flow is controlled by the four flocculation chamber flow control valves. Coagulant and flocculant are added to the water at the static mixer, upstream of the flocculation chambers. After coagulation and flocculation, the water enters the common feed chan-


nel and is distributed to 18 dual media filters. Each filter contains two filtration layers: coarse coal (anthracite) and fine silica sand. The flocculation basin facilitates the process to separate suspended solids and the remaining impurities are removed through dual media gravity filtration. Filtered seawater is then pumped by the low pressure feed booster pumps to the reverse osmosis section for desalination. Post-treatment at Carlsbad involves re-mineralization of the desalinated water, followed by final disinfection.

SWRO PRESSURE CENTER IDE designed the Carlsbad plant based on its proprietary multi-media filtration (MMF) and pressure center Reverse osmosis trains at Carlsbad design, which has shown increased availdesalination plant. ability and reliability, higher efficiencies and greater flexibility under variable operational modes, and lower capital expenditure/operating expense costs. continued overleaf...

December 2016 | 31


Intake pumping station at Carlsbad plant.

It utilizes horizontal centrifugal axially split high pressure pumps, with an optimized size in order to achieve the highest efficiency. Optimization is based on the pumps specific speed (Ns), pump flow rate, total dynamic head, etc. The pressure center offers economy of scale and simplified erection, and allows feed pressure to the RO trains to be increased or decreased. This means that all RO trains remain operational during periods of reduced production, thereby decreasing system recovery, without increasing the total feed to the plant. The Carlsbad plant produces 8,517 m3/ hr at its peak. The operating pressure of the seawater reverse osmosis section varies from 60 bar to 65 bar, according to the seawater characteristics and the operating regime. Carlsbad is the first major California infrastructure project to eliminate its carbon footprint. The plant has a system to reuse energy that is otherwise lost in

the desalination process. This makes it possible to reduce the total energy consumption of the plant by 46%.

ENVIRONMENTAL PRECAUTIONS At all stages of the process, IDE adopted mitigation measures to preserve the region’s valuable resources. The increased salinity of the brine discharged to the sea does not have an adverse effect on marine organisms in the vicinity of the discharge channel. After the brine is returned to the discharge channel, and prior to its discharge to the Pacific Ocean, the brine stream is diluted with the return flow from the power plant’s cooling water system. The Carlsbad Desalination Plant has already produced more than 55 billion litres of high-quality water, and will generate over $50 million annually for the regional economy. Boaz Keinan is with IDE Technologies. Email: boazk@ide-tech.com

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32 | December 2016

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Operators’ Forum

A special ES&E section on issues affecting plant operations

How to choose between grit washing or grit classification By Jim Weidler


he primary benefit to grit removal in the wastewater treatment process is to eliminate potential damage to downstream mechanical equipment, and reduce the likelihood of adverse effects on the treatment processes due to unwanted grit. There are many different types of grit removal systems currently utilized in the municipal wastewater industry, including mechanical vortex, induced vortex, multi-tray vortex, aerated grit chambers and detritus tanks. Regardless of the methodology used to collect the grit, the need still exists for dewatering. When designing grit systems, there are two options available for dewatering prior to disposal, either grit “washing” or grit “classification”. In simplified terms, you can “wash” the grit to reduce organics (typically <5%), or you can simply “dewater” it and not address the organics (typically <25%). The decision is normally Top: Typical wet grit classifier. dictated by tolerance for odours directly related to Bottom: Key components of a the percentage of organics and moisture content typical grit washer. of the discharged grit.

HOW A GRIT WASHER WORKS A vortex grit washer receives direct pumped flow into a tangentially fed vortex style tank from either a grit pump or airlift, without the need for primary separation. It can operate effectively over a wide range of flows, with standard flows up to 640 gpm. Due to the grit washer operating principles, mechanical agitator and internal grit scour wash system, the organics are “washed” and rejected. The cleaned grit is transported up a 40 degree inclined screw conveyor, resulting in an extremely dry, clean and odour-free grit, with very low organics (volatile solids) content of <5%. continued overleaf...


December 2016 | 33

Operators’ Forum TABLE 1. Key design parameters for grit washing or classification selection.

Grit Washer

Grit Classifier (with 1 cyclone)

Grit Classifier (without cyclone)

Peak Flow Rate (gpm)




Organic Content (%)


10 – 15%

20 – 25%

Moisture Content (%)


25 – 30%

35 – 45%

Typical Costs




Very Low





HOW A GRIT CLASSIFIER WORKS Grit classification is available in two operational styles: “dry” or “wet”. A “dry” classifier includes a cyclone separator to concentrate the grit and discharge the underflow from the cyclone to further dewater as it is being discharged via an inclined screw conveyor. Typically, cyclone classifiers can have a higher percentage of organics in the grit discharge, somewhere in the range of 10% – 15%. The moisture content is in the range of 25% – 30%. Limitations when considering a cyclone

classifier include: a limited range of flow based on cyclone size and corresponding operating pressure, and their inability to operate with an airlift design, as they cannot maintain a constant pressure. A “wet” classifier is fed a water/grit slurry directly from the grit basin. It includes a large flared settling zone to allow the grit to settle and dewater as it is being discharged via an inclined screw conveyor. Typical “wet” classifiers can retain an even higher percentage of organics in the grit discharge in the range of 20% – 25%, with a higher mois-

ture content of 35% – 45%.

CONCLUSION A number of factors should be considered before making a final selection, including: costs, flow rate, moisture content, and tolerance for odours due to organics in the discharged grit. The key design parameters are summarized in Table 1.

Jim Weidler is with Kusters Water, a Division of Kusters Zima Corp. Email: jim.weidler@kusterszima.com

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Operators’ Forum

Proper design needed to create low maintenance water treatment systems By Tim Jaglinski


ll water treatment systems require a number of technologies to meet their effluent treatment goals. However, it is often wise to add other components to protect the primary treatment equipment, but not necessarily directed at the primary contaminants of concern. For example, filtering solids upstream of granular activated carbon (GAC) units will prevent premature GAC fouling. Another example is installing a cone bottom inlet equalization/feed tank, rather than using a flat bottom tank. Settleable solids can be captured in the cone prior to further treatment. The cone bottom can be easily accessed to pump out the sludge without draining the entire tank. Other protective equipment examples include: • Upstream iron removal of oxidation technologies to reduce oxidation dose requirements. • Clarification of semi-volatile organics prior to air strippers to reduce fouling. • Knock-out pots upstream of oxidizers and vacuum blowers to remove moisture from the process air. • Inorganics removal to protect membrane systems from fouling and scaling. • Solvent removal to protect membrane systems. • Grit removal to reduce pump impeller wear. • Water softening to reducing scaling in wet scrubbers. Materials of construction are another important consideration. Care should be taken to choose not only those which are compatible with water contaminants, but also where maintenance activities are likely to occur. For example, coating or painting mating surfaces of bag filter housings is not recommended. As these housings are accessed to change baskets and bags, painted surfaces will chip and crack. Though stainless steel construction may represent larger initial capital cost, the equipment will require less lifetime service.


General equipment layouts should also take into account regular maintenance activities. Pipe runs should not be located across access hatches, and adequate clearance must be given to fully access the trays in low profile air strippers. Large basket strainers must be located high enough from the ground that the baskets can be removed. Instruments which need to be regularly calibrated (such as pH sensors) should not be located in elevated duct or pipe runs. Adequate space around commonly maintained areas (pumps, blowers, actuators, belts) should be allowed, if possible, to ensure operators have their boots on the ground and are not working in tight conditions. Deposits, both organic and inorganic, can cause either premature equipment replacement or major maintenance costs to restore full functionality. Inorganic deposits are well known. Hardness scale and iron deposition are the two most common culprits. However, there are other equally problematic but more industry specific ones, such as struvite precipitation in landfill leachate systems. Biofouling from bacterial growth can also quickly gum up a system, but is often disregarded in the initial design process. This is either an oversight or because the influent waters are not characterized properly beforehand. Fouling can also occur from the process stream itself, especially when the water contains fat, oil, or grease in significant quantities. Inorganic deposit control can be handled in a number of ways. Metals can be intentionally removed, substituted (as in softening), or sequestered so they remain in suspension. The method chosen depends heavily on flow rate, residence time in the system, and discharge requirements. For example, if the discharge permit has expressed limits for iron or calcium, then

Biofouling from bacterial growth can quickly clog up a system, but is often disregarded in the initial design process.

continued overleaf...

December 2016 | 35

Operators’ Forum

removal may be required. If not, sequestration may be a better option, allowing the metals to pass through the system, protecting the equipment, and lowering maintenance costs. Organic deposit control is often overlooked since the potential for biofouling is not commonly characterized during the design phase, especially for pump and treat systems. However, bacterial growth can clog bag filters, foul carbon systems, encumber pipes, and blind off membranes. To control bio growth, operators can either disinfect or discourage bacterial growth by removing environmental conditions which would promote growth (e.g., removing food sources, or adjusting redox potential). Disinfection

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can be accomplished by the addition of chlorine, sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, biocides, and UV radiation, to name a few. However, each of these systems brings unique operator challenges, especially in terms of chemical handling, health and safety, and disinfection byproducts. Disinfection should occur as soon as possible in the system to provide maximum protection. It can also be used to shock a system back into compliance when bio growth is out of control. Longterm management, as well as removal of bio scum, can also be accomplished by injecting bio dispersants, which can remove food sources, weaken cell walls, and inhibit bacterial reproduction. Most bio dispersants are typically safer to

Commonly maintained areas like pumps, blowers, belts and actuators, should be set-up so operators have enough space and can work with their boots on the ground.

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Left: Scrubber fouled from calcium and salt deposits. Right: Hardness deposits on a weir plate.


handle than biocides or corrosive chemicals, and don’t react with the treatment system itself. Lastly, operators should have a preventative maintenance plan in place on the first day of operation and should be aware of all the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations and warranty exclusions. This includes a complete schedule of mechanical, electrical and controls checks. Mechanically speaking, all moving parts need to be checked for wear and tear, pump alignments should be verified, seals and gaskets should be checked for integrity, leaking tanks identified, and all process equipment checked for inorganic and organic deposits. continued overleaf...

December 2016 | 37

Operators’ Forum

Electrically speaking, all control signals should be verified, and control panel components should be verified for correct operation, including all system switches and control buttons. Finally, the control system should be checked to make sure that all alarms are operating correctly (high or low level switches trip properly), the sequence of operations is still valid, and all instruments are properly calibrated. Performing regular and routine maintenance keeps small problems from becoming maintenance nightmares and inflating operation and maintenance budgets beyond acceptable levels. The operations and maintenance costs for large remediation systems often eclipse the initial capital expenditures.

Poor attention to design details can turn a routine maintenance schedule into an oppressive task. During a site visit, one of Anguil’s preventative maintenance engineers observed that a large pipe header had been plumbed across the front face of a low profile air stripper, used to access the removable trays. Removing the dirty trays for cleaning and replacement, normally a 30 minute job by a single operator, now required two days of work and two operators to safely remove and re-plumb the header. This problem could have easily been avoided during design or installation phases by either rotating the air stripper or rerouting piping. Another example was the location




ISSUE: Odorous, contaminated air quality at the Newcastle WPCP Headworks building located in the Regional Municipality of Durham.

PROBLEM: H2S and fugitive odors from contaminants extracted from the influent and raw sludge holding tank.

38 | December 2016

SOLUTION: Odorox® atmospheric hydroxyl generators installed into existing fresh air intake. Hydroxyl-rich air is then delivered into this manned space in order to mitigate the odors. OUTCOME: An environment that is

safer and cleaner for staff and visitors.

of a pH sensor in an elevated pipe run three metres from the ground. A simple three-point recalibration of this sensor now required the rental of a man-lift. A second operator was needed to read the calibration values off the control panel, since a local LCD display was not provided on the pH analyzer. Many such maintenance headaches could have been avoided if an experienced operator and installation expert had been consulted when the system was still just on paper. Tim Jaglinski is with Anguil Aqua Systems, LLC. Email: tim.jaglinski@ anguil.com


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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Operators’ Forum

York Region profiles the people behind its water system


he Regional Municipality of York in Ontario provides safe, clean, reliable, affordable and convenient drinking water and wastewater services to more than 1.1 million residents across its nine cities and towns. As owner of more than $5.3 billion of water infrastructure, it acts as a wholesale provider of water and wastewater services and manages the delivery and treatment of more than 285 million litres of drinking water every day. The local cities and towns are the retailer providers, purchasing their water supply and wastewater treatment from York Region and setting retail water rates for their customers. We are known for promoting the excellence of our staff. This was a key factor in the development of “Water Is”, a multi-faceted communications campaign designed to present and explain the true value of water to our residents and business owners. To help achieve our goal of explaining water’s journey from its source to our taps and back out to the environment (i.e., our water and wastewater processes), three water works videos were developed. To supplement these, 10 in-house Water Heroes videos were produced, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the number of people, resources, infrastructure and facilities involved in our water business. All of this costs money to operate, maintain, repair and replace. Water professionals from all divisions of our environmental services department are featured in the campaign as Water Heroes, highlighting their work to protect water resources and deliver clean, safe drinking water to those who live, work and play in the Region. From an operations perspective, the Water Is campaign: • Uncovers a human side to the work we do to protect public health and the environment. • Gives residents an understanding of the magni-


tude of work being completed by behind-thescenes staff. • Communicates the vast pride our staff have in their work. • Provides an insider’s look into how our hidden water infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities operate. Viewers meet Diane King, wastewater operator, and learn how she treats wastewater at a water resource recovery facility. They go behind the walls of a sewage pumping station with Lee Ferguson, industrial maintenance mechanic. They climb to the top of a water tower with Kyle Carlen, process control systems technologist. They also see how Jen Ryan, sewer use by-law enforcement officer, guards against pollution by hunting it down at the source. The Water Heroes videos capture the passion of our team, on both the water and wastewater sides of our daily operations. The videos have received positive feedback not only from our municipal and industry partners and residents, but also from staff within York Region. The Water Is campaign, through the Water Heroes videos and other outreach tactics, has educated people, both inside and outside of our organization, boosted staff morale, and provided a greater level of understanding of what our water and wastewater operations team does. York Region’s strongest asset is our staff and they merit having their work and commitment to our residents acknowledged. Our teams respond 24/7, whether it is during a heat wave or an ice storm, to ensure clean, safe water is available to residents, and wastewater is safely treated before being returned to the environment. Roy Huetl is Director, Operations, Maintenance and Monitoring with the Regional Municipality of York. To view more Water Heroes stories visit: www.esemag.com/waterheroes

By Roy Huetl Regional Municipality of York

Process control systems technologist Kyle Carlen.

Wastewater operator Diane King.

December 2016 | 39

Operators’ Forum

Controls and sensors at a pumping station in Edwardsburgh/Cardinal.

Complete measurement system helps small community wastewater treatment By Ken Elander


he Township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal is a smaller community of about 6,900 people, located in eastern Ontario. One of the challenges of operating the wastewater treatment system for such a small community is that the working parts of the wastewater system are spread out. “It can be a little unique in the sense that if you go to a bigger city, you might just be working in one place, but because we’re a smaller system we work in all systems,” says Eric Wemerman, assistant chief water and sewer operator. Greyline Instruments has supplied the town with a complete plant monitoring system, beginning with its four sewage pump stations. Wet well levels are measured and controlled with PSL 5.0 Hybrid Pump Station Level Controllers. The PSL 5.0 works by measuring tank level via the primary non-contacting ultrasonic level

40 | December 2016

sensor, located above the tank. When a high level set-point is reached, built-in relays energize to start the discharge pumps. Because loss of the ultrasonic signal is possible due to foaming or grease on the surface of the water, Wemerman’s team took advantage of the PSL 5.0’s redundant 4-20 mA sensor level input. A pressure sensor is submerged in the tank and connected to the PSL 5.0. Being a hybrid meter, the PSL 5.0 will automatically switch to the pressure sensor should the primary ultrasonic signal be lost. This redundant sensor system means no catastrophic overflows and no false alarms if signal to the primary ultrasonic sensor is blocked. When sewage is pumped back to the main plant from the pump stations, it is processed through bar screens to remove debris and then passes through a grit chamber. Once past the grit

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

chamber, the total influent is metered via two Greyline Open Channel Flow Meters, an OCF 5.0 and legacy Greyline Model 3. Flow is measured based on the level of wastewater passing through two Parshall flumes. Sewage then passes through two sequential batch reactors, where level is monitored and controlled by non-contacting LIT25 level indicating transmitters. While influent is entering the first sequencing batch reactor, it is aerated and alum is injected. Alum treats the wastewater by binding to solids, creating a sludge floc which will settle in the tank for separate treatment. Once the tank is full, aeration cont­ inues through the react stage and finally decantation where supernatant

is discharged from the batch reactor until the tank is back to a specific level measured by the LIT25. Treated effluent passes through a final UV treatment system on its way to the St. Lawrence River. In addition to treating the wastewater, the settled sludge is also treated. Level sensors help maintain sludge tank levels between 10 cm to 200 cm in both the un-thickened and thickened sludge tanks. Sludge is further treated so that odour causing bacteria are removed, to prevent complaints from the community. Ken Elander is with Greyline Instruments Inc. Email: kelander@onicon.com

Sensors located above the sequential batch reactors measure sewage levels.

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December 2016 | 41

Operators’ Forum

Overcoming wastewater odour-sampling challenges By Anna H. Bokowa and Magdalena A. Bokowa


here are quite a few challenges when it comes to odour assessments at wastewater treatment plants, which make it difficult to determine emission rates. In most cases, the difficulty stems from most potential odour sources being either area sources or fugitive sources, which are very difficult to measure reliably. The most common approach when it comes to assessing odours from wastewater treatment plants is to collect samples from the potential source, analyze these using dynamic olfactometry, and use a dispersion model to predict off-site odour concentrations at sensitive receptors. Two commonly used methods for collection of these samples from the area sources are the flux chamber and the wind tunnel methods. However, how do these two techniques compare for such difficult and complicated sources? Is one better or worse at attaining a reliable result? Yet another method for assessing odours may involve a combination of ambient sampling downwind from the potential area source and the use of a dispersion model to calculate the emission from that source. But, how does this method compare to the standard flux chamber or wind tunnel methods? Flux chamber used The majority of odour sources at wastewater open doors, windows and leaks. for collection of odour treatment plants are either area or fugitive sources. Different sampling techniques will apply to samples. Area sources can be categorized as open tanks, different types of odour sources. For example, at such as primary or aeration tanks. There are two the point source, which at a wastewater treatment different subcategories within these: active surface plant can be a vent or stack from the biosolids or sources, i.e., those that have a noticeable air flow inlet works building, a dynamic dilution sampler (aeration tanks); and passive surface sources, i.e., is usually used to collect samples. After collection those that have no outward air flow (primary of the samples at the source, these are evaluated for odour detection threshold values (ODTV). tanks). At wastewater treatment plants there are also This, together with volumetric flow rates measarea sources which are partially active and partially ured at the source, results in the determination of passive. These can include biosolids tanks where odour emission rates from the source. There are different standards available around aeration occurs only a few hours a day, which is when the complex becomes an active surface source. the world for collection and evaluation of odour Fugitive sources, on the other hand, can be samples. In Ontario, a new guideline for odour categorized as a truck loading or unloading area, sampling follows the Ontario Source Testing Code,

42 | December 2016

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Method ON-6: Determination of Odour Emissions from Stationary Sources. When it comes to the estimation of odour emission rates from area or fugitive sources it becomes more complicated. There are three methods commonly used to predict odour emissions from area sources: Flux Chamber Method. Nitrogen is used as a sweep gas and a sample is collected at the outlet of the chamber. Usually, three samples are collected into a container, which is in most cases a Tedlar bag. These samples are analyzed by dynamic olfactometry with a screened panelist to determine the odour concentration. The nitrogen flow rate is used together with odour concentration to determine the odour emission rate. This method is used frequently, but the sampling method does not represent the actual conditions on-site and therefore tends to underestimate the emission rate.


Portable Wind Tunnel Method. A portable Odour panel evaluation on wind tunnel is used as a replacement for the collected samples. flux chamber. In this method, odour samples are taken under different flow rates simulating different wind speeds, which affect odour transfer from a liquid to a gas phase. Odour emission rates are then used for different wind speeds. continued overleaf...

December 2016 | 43

Operators’ Forum

This approach is much more costly than the flux chamber method, due to the instrumentation and set-up procedures, but is more representative of the actual emission rate. A Back Calculation with an Air Dispersion Model Method. For this method, the ambient odour concentrations are measured at several downwind locations. Ambient odour samples are taken at several locations and are analyzed by dynamic olfactometry in order to obtain odour concentrations at these locations. These are later used in conjunction with a dispersion model to back calculate odour emission rates. However, this requires collection of a large amount of samples at different downwind locations from the area source, during different meteorological conditions. Also, each area source should be separated, which is not always possible for the specific wind direction. Recently a new method for estimation of the emission rates from water surfaces was developed. It is based on the principle of mass transfer from liquid to gas phase.

METHODOLOGY In a recent study, four different approaches were used for estimating the odour emissions from main area odour sources located at a wastewater treatment plant in Ontario. These emissions were used in dispersion modeling to predict off-site odour concentrations at sensitive receptors. The emission rates predicted by model odour concentrations were compared to the actual measured ambient concentrations at the three sensitive receptors. Approach 1: The Flux Chamber Method. At each area source, two locations were chosen for the flux chamber sampling. At each location, three odour samples were collected for odour panel evaluation. A flux chamber was placed on the surface of the tank and nitrogen was used as sweep gas. The flux chamber was purged for approximately 30 minutes before the collection of odour samples. Clean, 20-litre Tedlar bags were used for the collection of odour samples. Samples collected at the outlet of the flux chamber were also diluted using a dynamic dilution sampler. Odour samples were evaluated within 12 hours of collection by dynamic olfactometry. All analy-

44 | December 2016

ses were performed according to the EN 13725 Standard with the exception that each sample was introduced once, as allowed by the ON-6 Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Guideline. Odour emission rates were calculated based on the nitrogen flow rate and geometric mean of odour concentration from the three collected samples. Approach 2: The Wind Tunnel Method. At each area source, two locations were chosen for the wind tunnel sampling. At each location, three odour samples were collected for odour panel evaluation. A wind tunnel was placed on the surface of the tank and filtered air was used as sweep gas. The wind tunnel was also purged before the collection of odour samples. Odour emission rates were calculated based on the air flow rate and geometric mean of odour concentration from the three collected samples. Approach 3: Back Up Calculation Method. For each area source, three sampling locations were chosen downwind from the area source. At each sampling location, three samples were collected using the lung sampling technique and were collected approximately 1.5 metres above the ground. All samples were analyzed within 12 hours of collection for odour panel evaluations. At the same time, three samples were collected at one upwind location. Approach 4: Mass Transfer Approach. A new approach based on the principle of mass transfer from liquid to gas phase was used for this program. For this approach, odour samples were collected using the flux chamber that acted as a capture hood. It was assumed that the transfer of gases between the water and air was directed by turbulent and molecular transport processes which can be characterized by diffusion coefficients. In addition to sample collection at the source, several locations were chosen for ambient odour sampling. A lung sampler was used for collection of samples at selected sensitive receptors and at the corresponding upwind locations. A new, clean Teflon probe was placed approximately 1.5 metres above the ground. At each location, three samples were collected using the lung sampler. All ambient samples were evaluated for odour concentration the same way as actual samples collected at the source.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

tions. When Approach 2 was used, the predicted by model off-site odour concentrations were within the measured ambient levels.

A back calculation with an air dispersion model method – Approach 3.

RESULTS Table 1 shows the predicted by model off-site odour concentrations using three different approaches. Based on the study, it was found that when Approach 4 was used, the predicted by model off-site odour concentrations at three sensitive receptors were within the range of measured concentrations or slightly higher than those predicted by the AERMOD model. The values were within a factor of two, which is a factor commonly used for this model. When Approach 1 was used, the predicted by model off-site odour concentrations were significantly below the measured ambient concentra-

CONCLUSIONS When the flux chamber method (Approach 1) was used for sampling, the odour emissions were significantly lower, compared to Approach 4 (mass transfer method) or Approach 2 (wind tunnel method). For this project, the back calculation based approach could not be used due to challenges in differentiating odour emissions from individual sources. Based on Approach 4, the predicted by model off-site odour concentrations were in good correlation with measured ambient odour concentrations. In conclusion, it is very important to consider the right methodology to be used for estimation of odour emission rates from wastewater facilities, or any facility with area or fugitive sources which are difficult to measure. Anna H. Bokowa, M.Sc., and Magdalena A. Bokowa are with Environmental Odour Consulting Corporation. Email: bokowa.anna@ environmentalodourconsulting.com

Table 1. Predicted by model off-site odour concentrations, using Approach 1, Approach 2 and Approach 4 versus measured ambient odour concentrations.


Measured Ambient Odour Concentration Ou

Predicted Ambient Odour Concentration Ou Approach 1

Predicted Ambient Odour Concentration Ou Approach 2

Predicted Ambient Odour Concentration Ou Approach 4

Sensitive Receptor 1-Condition 1





Sensitive Receptor 1-Condition 2





Sensitive Receptor 2-Condition 1





Sensitive Receptor 2-Condition 2





Sensitive Receptor 3-Condition 1





Sensitive Receptor 3-Condition 2






December 2016 | 45

Consultants’ Forum

Since 1995, ES&E has invited leaders in the consulting sector to weigh in on the state of the industry and share their opinions and predictions. Articles in our 2016 Consultants’ Forum provide insight into challenges faced by the next generation of engineers; how sustainable development and increased urbanization might affect consulting firms; the evolution of safe design; and opportunities and concerns arising from government infrastructure renewal programs.

Archis Ambulkar Jones and Henry Engineers

The next generation of engineers faces many environmental challenges


umanity is at a critical juncture and experiencing multi-faceted environmental challenges that pose long-lasting impacts on the next generations. Nature’s forces are powerful and beyond human control. However, within given limitations we are taking essential steps to prepare against potential catastrophes. The scale of destruction is substantial and as The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security, 2015 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations indicates, natural disasters caused around $1.5 trillion U.S. in economic damage worldwide during the 2003 – 2013 period. Developing precautionary measures can significantly reduce human and material losses from such tragedies. On the other hand, manmade problems like air pollution, water pollution, solid waste dumping, and deforestation continue to cause malnutrition, unhygienic conditions, water scarcity, food shortages, contamination and various health-related issues. Such problems are more prevalent in developing countries. As per the UN World Water Development Report 2014, an estimated 768

46 | December 2016

million people worldwide are still without access to an improved source of water and 2.5 billion are without access to improved sanitation. The World Bank report What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management, estimates current global municipal solid waste generation levels at approximately 1.3 billion metric tons per year, with an expected rise to 2.2 billion metric tons per year by 2025. Excessive carbon emissions into the air are also a matter of concern because of their contribution to global warming. The U.S. Department of Energy, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center’s data indicates that, from 1751 to 2011, approximately 374 billion metric tons of carbon was released to the atmosphere from consumption of fossil fuels and cement production. Year 2011 alone had an estimated global fossil-fuel carbon emission of 9,449 million metric tons. Many ongoing environmental problems with air, water and land will continue to exist for years to come. Some of these may become more prominent and complicated. Global concerns regarding population growth, food insecurity, natural

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Jobs for environmental scientists and engineers are expected to grow by 11% – 12% during 2014 – 2024. resources depletion, biodiversity loss, nutrients’ shortage, climate change, energy deficits, carbon emissions and related aspects will dominate the coming decades. Key environmental areas that will receive significant attention in the future include: reclamation, recycling and reuse, zero-waste techniques, renewable energy (solar, wind, thermal, ocean waves and tides), biofuels, cleaner technologies, nanotechnology, desalination, drones for environmental data collection, nutrient resource recovery, urban growers, green infrastructure, agricultural techniques, and many more. Greener and eco-friendly solutions will be a noticeable theme for the future. Considering the trends, world leaders will focus their efforts towards sustainable environmental solutions. According to the UN, world population is expected to reach around 9.7 billion by year 2050. Also considering food demands, the World Bank Group’s Agricultural Action Plan (20132015) projected that agricultural systems will need to produce 50% more food to feed the world’s

population by 2050. U.S. Energy Information Administration’s International Energy Outlook 2016 study projected significant growth in worldwide consumption of market energy, from 549 quadrillion British thermal units (BTU) in 2012 to 629 quadrillion BTU in 2020, and to 815 quadrillion BTU in 2040. As per the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change’s 4th Assessment Report, continued greenhouse gas emissions will cause further warming and changes to the global climate during the 21st century, which will very likely be larger than those observed during the 20th century. Findings from past and current studies strongly suggest that our descendants will have to face stiffer environmental challenges and issues. Hence, being professionals, engineers in particular are expected to develop futuristic ecological solutions that can benefit our offspring. Progressive approach towards research, innovation, technological advances, infrastructure development and high-tech products will be needed to complement these imminent environmental transformations. Changing public perspectives, awareness pro­ grams, prioritization at government levels and private sectors, sensible policy-making and other factors can provide a major impetus towards revolutionizing the environmental field. continued overleaf...

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December 2016 | 47

Consultants’ Forum

Communities will be required to review coming trends, available manpower and skills requirements, desired knowledge in specific areas, and create a pathway towards developing professional workforces. Nurturing budding professionals with advanced skills and creating next-generation workforces will be an important consideration. Anticipating future workforces, professionals like researchers, faculty members, consultants, designers, system operators, regulatory staff, policy-makers, activists, and members of non-profit organizations will continue to thrive in the next century. However their scope, roles and responsibilities will evolve over time. Newer occupations supporting the changing priorities and innovations will emerge and get added to the working class. In general, workforce size is expected to grow steadily with time to serve growing environmental demands, projects and services. The Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-2017 Edition, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, indicates that jobs for environmental scientists and engineers are expected to grow by 11% – 12% during 2014 – 2024. Finally, well-laid international policies, collaborative efforts, proper funds allocation, and newer regulations will be required to ensure appropriate visions for countries and achieve ecological

balance to a reasonable extent in various parts of the globe. No doubt, conflicting decisions and approval or disapproval of environmental theories may create some challenges amongst the scientific community and experts. Also, disagreement on key international policies between countries can be a foreseeable possibility due to varied interests, priorities and expectations. However, realizing the high environmental stakes, we cannot afford to get dragged down into arguments. Respecting each other’s views, communities will need to share responsibilities and come together as a team to benefit future generations. With smart strategies, civilizations will be able to enjoy an abundant supply of environmental resources on a long-term basis and mankind can flourish towards the next-level of sophistication. Let’s take the moral responsibility to support conservation efforts, create an environmentally friendly world and strive for the betterment of all. Archis Ambulkar M.S., P.E. is with Jones and Henry Engineers. He is also the author of “Guidance for Professional Development in Drinking Water and Wastewater Industry”. This 173 page book was published by International Water Association Publishing, UK. Email: archis.ambulkar@gmail.com


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48 | December 2016

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Consultants’ Forum

Rethinking cities in the age of increasing urbanization


ities have been the engines of prosperity and the elixir for new ideas for centuries. They are associated with the rise of democracy in ancient Greece, the Renaissance in Italy, and the Industrial Revolution in 17th and 18th century England. Cities today are healthier, wealthier and more alluring than any time in history. They attract the poor and provide the clearest path from poverty to prosperity. Historically, cities have triumphed, but, today, the urban footprint is overwhelming the environment, represents squalor in many parts of the world, and has come to accentuate the divide between the haves and have-nots. For the first time in the history of mankind, more than half of the world’s population now calls a city home. Within a few decades, 5 billion people will live in cities. Very soon, 500 cities around the world, most of them in Asia or Africa, will each contain more than 1 million people. By 2025, China’s urban population will reach 926 million, having added 325 million people, including 230 million migrants, according to McKinsey Global Institute. By 2030, more than 1 billion people will reside in China’s cities, growth that is equivalent to the building of 54 new cities, each the size of the Greater Toronto Area. As India and China get richer and hasten their pace of city building, their urban dwellers face choices that could dramatically alter our lives. Building sustainable cities in both developed and developing worlds will be among the most important issues of the 21st century. It is time to get our own house in order and set examples to ensure prosperity for all, whether through innovation, reduced consumption, mitigated environ-


James McKellar Schulich School of Business

mental damage, or recovery from a growing incidence of extreme weather events such as flooding, drought, and fires. North Americans enjoy a relatively high standard of living. But what happens if the rest of the world wants what we now have? With only 5% of the global population, we fuel our lifestyle using 30% of the world’s natural resources. Such excessive consumption of land and other resources is not sustainable. North Americans are the leaders in the consumption of oil at a rate of about 7,500 kilograms per person per year, according to the World Bank. By comparison, this figure is about 3,000 kg in Denmark, 1,500 kg in China, and 500 kg in India. In terms of impact, the average North American emits about 16 metric tons of CO2 each year, compared with the Danes’ eight metric tons, less than six in China and less than two in India. The question remains: Who will trend up, who will trend down, by how much, and when? When it comes to water, we see the same disparity. North Americans use more than 4,000 litres per person per day, compared with 1,800 litres in India, about 1,200 litres in China, and remarkably, less than 500 litres in Denmark. Only 0.5% of the world’s water is available and potable, 97% is seawater, and the remaining 2% is frozen. Water and food, not energy, may precipitate the most profound crises of the 21st century and be the most significant constraint on urban growth.

WHAT IS A CITY? A city is the absence of physical space between people and companies. As Edward Glaeser, of

continued overleaf...

December 2016 | 49

Consultants’ Forum Harvard University and author of The Triumph of Cities, has observed, a city is proximity, density and closeness. Cities enable us to work and play together and their success depends upon the demand for physical connection to move people, things and services. However, the planet, as a whole, is fast becoming suburban, rather than strictly urban. In the emerging world, almost every metropolis is growing in size faster than its population is increasing. Cities are becoming less dense, as New York University’s Shlomo Angel tells us. Chicago in 1920 had 59 people per hectare and that figure is now just 16. Beijing’s population density has dropped from 425 people per hectare in 1970, to 59 people per hectare today. As people become wealthier, they consume more space,

just as they consume more energy, more goods, and more services. Wealth drives sprawl in both developed and developing countries. Can this be reversed? Our consumption of housing underscores this trend. In Canada, in 1950, we consumed 300 square feet per person (3.38 persons per household) and that figure is now closer to 1,000 square feet per person (occupancy is now fewer than 2 persons per household). This amounts to more than a three-fold increase in just two generations. We have become a collector of things and our homes have become our storage lockers. How much stuff do we really need? For North Americans, the car has become synonymous with urban life. Yet, most of our cars are parked 96% of the time, 86% the fuel never reaches the

First Nations & small communities

wheel, and less than 1% of the energy is used to move the driver. Today, there are some 1.2 billion cars on the road worldwide, a figure that is expected to double to 2.4 billion by 2030, according to McKinsey. The issue of mobility is compounded by the space required and the costs involved. The car is the second largest expense for any household after housing. The average North American family spends 32% of disposable income on the house and 19% on the car. Should we not combine the cost of the house and the car when addressing affordability?

CLIMATE CHANGE AND CITIES A complicating factor in all of this is climate change. A report just released by the Rand Corp. and commissioned by

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UV/filtration/chlorination system Designed for ease-of-use Reduced chemical use Low cost for small user groups

Construction continues at Oxford County’s Ingersoll Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project consists of plant upgrades and expansion to increase current rated capacity to 12,945 m3/day, with construction of a new 8,445 m3 conventional activated sludge treatment train. The project also includes transformer upgrades, installation of switchgear, addition of a thickening facility, UV disinfection treatment train. The project was tendered in 2 separate construction contracts to optimally phase the design and construction work.

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the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Infrastructure Protection, shows climate change has the potential to severely impact U.S. infrastructure. It lists several perils that may be exacerbated by climate change, including tornadoes, hurricanes and storm surge. The one with possibly the biggest potential impact is drought, claim the authors. Oftentimes people think of disasters as largely a coastal phenomenon, however, the authors found potential impacts from rivers flooding, and wind and ice storms, among other perils, faced by people living far from the coast. Climate change is a global phenomenon destined to severely impact cities across the globe – the very cities that are giving rise to the perils of major natural disasters. This is but a sample of the issues we

face in moving forward with our exercise in city building during the age of urbanization. If the North American city is not the prototype for the future, what is? Solutions likely lie in the realm of human collaboration that first drove the creation of cities and served as the foundation of civilization’s successes. Through collaboration can we begin to make our cities the engines of innovation and the marketplace for new ideas? What changes might we consider and where can we start? • Make big cities better places to live at substantially increased densities by growing up as well as out: • Pursue strategies for inclusive, affordable urbanization that provides a cross section of social, economic and environmental benefits for all residents.

• Solve the mobility challenge with new models of transportation that can ensure efficient movement of people, goods and services. • Replace obsolete models of infrastructure that are no longer sustainable in an age of urbanization and resource constraints. • Focus on ways that industry can intelligently meet the demand for more livable and sustainable communities, using new technologies and new business models. • Make the city itself a renewable resource, addressing the production of food and energy and the efficient use of water. James McKellar is the Academic Director of the Real Estate and Infrastructure Program at Schulich School of Business. Email: jmckellar@schulich.yorku.ca

Waterra’s Hydrolift-2 inertial pump actuator will eliminate the fatigue that can be experienced on large monitoring programs and will result in a big boost to your field sampling program. The Waterra Hydrolift-2 gives you the power and endurance you need — without breaking a sweat. • SUITABLE FOR USE WITH STANDARD FLOW, HIGH FLOW & LOW FLOW INERTIAL PUMPS • ADAPTS TO ALMOST ANY SIZE CASING OR PROTECTIVE WELL CASING • PERFECT FOR PURGING AND SAMPLING 2" DIAMETER MONITORING WELLS UP TO 200 FEET DEEP • MOST EFFICIENT WELL DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM AVAILABLE


December 2016 | 51

Consultants’ Forum

Rui De Carvalho R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited

Will Ontario’s infrastructure renewal campaign benefit consultants the way Hydro Quebec’s projects did?


t is a documented fact in The Role of Hydro Quebec in the Rise of Consulting Engineering in Montreal 1944 – 1992: An essay in oral history and company genealogy, Langford, Debresson, that the policies of the Quebec government, vis a vis the operations of Hydro Quebec, at one time gave rise to phenomenal development of the world-renowned consulting engineering industry in that province. The consulting engineering industry in Quebec continued to develop and, prior to present day consolidation, provided a good number of firms that were a key factor in Canada’s ability to access a very large portion of international consulting projects procured by international finance institutions such as the World Bank. Needless to say, this became a significant contributor to economic development in both Quebec and in Canada. It is also one of the main factors for the respect that Canadian engineers currently enjoy throughout the world. One could draw a similar parallel in Ontario when, in the 1970s, the Ontario Water Resources Commission (OWRC), a predecessor of the present-day Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), led numerous public infrastructure projects throughout communities in the province to improve water supply, sewage collection and treatment services. A number of small firms grew up to become highly respected for their innovation and develop-

52 | December 2016

ment of technical capacity. This became necessary as many communities, for example, improved their basic sewage treatment from small facultative lagoons to advanced treatment processes. These projects became very effective in resolving many of the environmental challenges of the day, such as eutrophication in Lake Erie. Unfortunately, only one or two of those firms now remain. That’s an issue for another time. One of today’s challenges, the large deficit in the renewal and expansion of public infrastructure, is a priority that all levels of government are working at to resolve. Large investment by both public and private participants will be needed. In order to deliver on these priorities, governments have set up a number of public agencies to manage the large projects that will result. It is a different time, although really not that much different from the mandates of Hydro Quebec and the OWRC in the past. So, what will be the philosophy in the procurement of the projects associated with these large investments? Will these be bundled in such a manner that only a very small number of firms in the province will have any opportunity to qualify? Or, perhaps these will be so large and complex that not even the large firms will be able to qualify. If so, it may be necessary to go outside to the international market. What then will happen to the other 99% of the consulting firms? Left to the public agencies responsible for

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

the implementation of these projects and their limitations with management resources, it will certainly be easier, and even necessary, to follow the path of “bundle them up and move them out�. If these projects were to be broken down into smaller sections, it would be necessary to either grow the public entities by adding a lot more staff, or perhaps outsource some of the agency management to the private sector, just as Hydro Quebec did. The beneficiaries would be: public interest, as there would be more competition, and higher participation by a wider segment of the consulting industry. This would lead to greater development of local consulting capacity and increased economic benefits to the province. If there is to be wider participation in these projects, there will need to be the type of longterm vision that the Quebec government demonstrated back in the 1960s through its management of Hydro Quebec. A half a century later, will government have a similar vision in Ontario? If they do, is there sufficient time to do this? We can only hope so. Rui De Carvalho, M. Eng., P. Eng., BCEE, is Senior Vice President of R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited. Email: rui.decarvalho@rjburnside.com


We have the experts

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December 2016 | 53

Consultants’ Forum

Who is Trevor Kletz and how has he impacted engineering design?


Patrick Coleman Black & Veatch

n my mind, Trevor’s [Trevor Kletz] greatest contribution has been to give process safety a respectability and interest which enabled engineers across the world to adopt it and apply it to plants for which they were responsible.” —Robin Turney, Safety Consultant

Trevor Kletz was a chemist who joined Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in 1944 and went on to change how ICI viewed the role of engineers in delivering safer designs. Kletz was an early promoter of hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies – a practice he always saw in the context of delivering “inherently safer” designs. Risk analysis, corporate memory and inherently safer design practices form a “safer” design cycle (Figure 1) that ensures the next design is as safe as or even safer than the current design. Kletz published an article in 1978 in Chemistry & Industry, titled “What you don’t have, can’t leak.” This covered lessons learned from the Flixborough disaster, when 28 people died and many were seriously hurt by an explosion at a chemical plant in Flixborough, Lincolnshire, U.K. In this article, he postulated the first principle of “inherent safety” in design: “The best way to reduce risk is to avoid the hazard rather than control it.” There are now more than 11 principles. He followed this with the first book on

54 | December 2016

HAZOP in 1983. The water industry appropriates techniques from other process industries, often without understanding fully their context. A few months ago, I was asked to explain the difference between three risk management techniques: SWIFT (structured what-if technique), HAZOP and FMEA (failure modes and effects analysis). I was curious about how the use of SWIFT in the water industry evolved. All three techniques identify hazards and endeavour to prevent, control or mitigate their occurrence. Each is systematic (thorough) and structured (facilitated). HAZOP and FMEA came out of high-risk practices, such as chemical processing and military operations respectively. SWIFT is a simpler and more efficient alternative risk analysis technique than either HAZOP or FMEA. A HAZOP study is a systematic and structured approach that uses parameter and deviation guide words to analyze process flows. These may be water, sludge or energy flows. FMEA is

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

SWIFT is a simpler and more efficient alternative risk analysis technique than either HAZOP or FMEA. A HAZOP study is a systematic and structured approach that uses parameter and deviation guide words to analyze process flows.

When Kletz joined ICI, he expected was because there was no belief at the that he would be working in a labora- time that safety required technical input tory. Instead, he solved process prob- or should go much beyond removlems. After working for ICI for seven ing obvious mechanical hazards and years, he was promoted to plant manager ordering protective clothing. After a few and spent the next 16 years managing serious accidents, ICI moved Kletz into iso-octane, acetone and tar acids plants. a full-time safety position. His job was He was named the part-time safety offi- to advise designers and operating staff cer at ICI’s Oil Works in 1955. how to avoid accidents. Kletz admitted that he originally Kletz had a few ideas of his own about con­ cluded that safety was dull. This continued overleaf...

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a “bottom-up” technique that is used to consider ways in which the components of a system can fail to perform as the design intended. These components may be equipment (e.g., centrifuge), or they may be functions (e.g., delivering polymer). SWIFT appropriates ideas from both FMEA and HAZOP and is used to analyze systems with a low to moderate hazard Consulting • Engineering • Construction • Operation risk (e.g., wastewater treatment plants). SWIFT is a facilitated brainstorming group activity carried out on a higher level system description. The SWIFT prompts are: “What if…?”, “Could someone…?” Black&Veatch_ND.14_ProCard_TP.indd 1 and “Has anyone…?” SWIFT is used to assess risk in wastewater treatment plant designs. HAZOP is reserved for high-risk processes (e.g., incineration). The staff at ICI developed HAZOP. Ken Gee, a production manager at ICI, conducted the first HAZOP study. He applied a technique used to evaluate management decisions to the design of a new phenol plant over a four month period. In doing so, Gee uncovered numerous operating problems and potential hazards that the design team had missed. Kletz embraced and promoted the technique.


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December 2016 | 55

Consultants’ Forum

Figure 1. The “safer” design cycle.

Engineers and Environmental Consultants 1-800-265-9662 www.rjburnside.com

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56 | December 2016

who is responsible for safety. He started to argue that staff should not have to learn how to avoid accidents by having them. When he first supervised production at the iso-octane plant, he observed that the staff operated it without incident because everything that could go wrong had gone wrong before, so the foremen knew what to do. Kletz felt that designers did not fully comprehend that an avoidable accident damages the plant, injures or kills staff, and harms the company’s reputation. His famous quote is: “If you think safety is expensive, try an accident.” Kletz noticed that many of the accidents he investigated had happened before. “Following an accident, I used to say to people who’ve had an accident: Don’t write a report, I’ve got it on file already.” He realized that an organization without a memory would keep making the same design mistakes. Designers blamed operators for accidents. Kletz put the responsibility back on the designers: “For a long time, people were saying that most accidents were due to human error and this is true in a sense but it’s not very helpful. It’s a bit like saying that falls are due to gravity.” It made no sense to Kletz to repeat design elements that resulted in injury, when an operator made an error in judgment. Kletz’s additional principles for inherently safer designs are: • Intensification: Use small amounts of hazardous materials (a smaller inventory) so that the consequences of accidents arising from the escape of materials are reduced (e.g., use totes instead of silos for polymer storage). • Substitution: Use a less hazardous material – less flammable or less toxic (e.g., use a glycerin byproduct rather 12:10 PM than methanol for carbon addition). • Attenuation: If a hazardous material must be used, use it under less hazardous conditions, or in the least hazardous form (e.g., use liquid hypochlorite instead of chlorine gas for disinfection).

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

An organization without a memory would keep making the same design mistakes. • Limitation of effects: Limit the effects between units. The price of this flexibil- ation of how large an impact Kletz had of failures by changing the design or ity should never be a higher risk of an on the work I do. Early in my career, I conditions of use rather than by adding accident – even when the plant operates was taught that when I design, I design protective equipment that may fail or be in manual mode. to construct, to commission, and to neglected (e.g., gravity overflows rather Although inherently safer design is a operate – safely. than pump interlocks). On his 90th birthday, Kletz reflected: worthy goal, there is still resistance. This One of the newer principles, simpli- comes from unlikely places such as time “I’ve saved a lot of people’s lives. That’s fication, is pertinent to design-bid-build budgets; company procedures; resistance something I can be proud of.” He was projects. The principle is that simpler to change; regulatory bodies and contract- able to do so because he saw the link plants are safer than more complex ones, ors; engineers being enamored with between hazard analysis and inherently because they contain less equipment that computerized control; company organiza- safer design. He believed, as did Otto can leak and they provide fewer oppor- tion and culture; lack of knowledge, tools von Bismarck that: “Only a fool learns tunities for human error. and data; desire to build the biggest; and from his own mistakes. The wise man Kletz and Paul Amyotte, a former presi- false economies. learns from the mistakes of others.” dent of Engineers Canada, observed that I was amazed that, after more than designs become unnecessarily complex 20 years of participating in HAZOP Patrick Coleman is with Black & Veatch. and hazardous because of adherence to and SWIFT studies, I had no appreci- Email: colemanpf@bv.com specifications, standards and customs too closely without asking why they were adopted in the first place, and a desire for flexibility in plant operation. If a consultant is being paid by the hour to a ceiling limit, it is always cheaper to do what was done before. The path of least resistance becomes giving clients what they want, even if that is not what they need. Two examples come up in HAZOP/ SWIFT studies repeatedly. xcg.com The first is: “What if I cannot move the slide gate when I need to?” It is not uncommon to audit a plant and find that this is the case. I toured one large plant Hazardous Materials Wastewater Municipal in the U.S. where the operator admitted & Water Management Infrastructure Treatment he was afraid to move 70% of the slide Training & Water Resources Remediation Operations Site Assessment gates. Only a regularly exercised slide & Risk Solid Waste Since 1990 Oakville • Kitchener • Kingston • Edmonton Assessment gate will move when the time comes, and in many cases, a stop log or bulkhead is a safer option. 2016-02-01 9:42 AM The second is: “What if we shut downXCG_ES&E_4-5x1-5inches.indd 1 a centrifuge and SCADA does not know which pump is feeding it?” One feature often requested by clients is to be able to cross between process trains to provide maximum flexibility, or to share a standby piece of equipment


December 2016 | 57


bubble-less system can reduce energy costs for wastewater aeration By John McConomy


he secondary or biological stage of traditional activated sludge wastewater treatment plants is where most of the energy is consumed. It far outweighs the operational costs of pumps, mixers, chemical addition, lighting, heating, etc. Oxygen needed by bacteria used in this stage is usually delivered in the form of atmospheric air, through mechanical equipment, and usually against a hydrostatic pressure created by four to six metres of water depth. Rotating blade mixers, jets and/or large blowers are needed to push air through this pressure (head), to ensure all bacteria receive sufficient oxygen. Over the past 100 years, engineers and manufacturers have strived to increase oxygen transfer efficiency. Given that lots of small bubbles have a greater surface area than fewer large bubbles, the quest to create aeration products that produce smaller and smaller bubbles has been ongoing. The number of perforations and surface area of the diffusers is steadily increasing and small traditional discs and tubes are giving way to large panels. These promise minute bubbles, great distribution and low energy costs. The concept of making the smallest bubble, with an infinitely small surface area, seems logical, and would certainly lead one to believe that the oxygen transfer rate will increase. However, other treatment plant factors must be assessed. No two wastewater treatment plants are the same; all have varying fluid, site and mechanical characteristics. Most contain solids, all contain biological matter. Small membrane perforations may foul quicker than larger membrane perforations, so a unit that produces tiny bubbles when new may not work well after some time in operation. The fact that there is a hole at all invites problems. Maintenance can be costly.

58 | December 2016

Fouling is good: Attached biofilm on the outside of the membrane tubes. Inset: Single membrane aerated biofilm reactor cages can be dropped into existing tanks.

Blower back pressures will most likely be higher on systems using smaller membrane perforations, though there is every chance that less air will be required as the system has the potential to transfer oxygen more efficiently than a larger bubble system. Larger motor blowers and increased power costs due to increased back pressures should be factored in by designers. Then, there is the result of having a very efficient fine bubble system that designers tend to overlook and many owners are simply not made aware of this. If their system is designed to be highly efficient and less air is required,

there may be insufficient air in the biological zone to keep the food and bacteria in suspension. An activated sludge system only works well when the bacteria are kept in suspension, receiving plenty of food and oxygen. Solids settling out in a traditional activated sludge system can have detrimental effects.

CREATING A BUBBLE-LESS AERATION OPTION OxyMem’s membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) is based on a mechanism that mirrors nature, where chemicals pass across a cell wall, on demand and depen-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

dent on a concentration gradient. The OxyMem MABR is made up of multiple cages, each containing 1,600,000 metres of thin walled, microbore tubes, which are submerged in the wastewater. The tubes, though fractions of a millimetre in diameter, are hollow and have no perforations. The air inlet and outlet begin and end above the water surface, ensuring air in the tube is not pressurized by the hydrostatic head of water.

FOULING IS GOOD Biofilm, the matter that fouls tiny perforations on all diffusers, is what enables the OxyMem product to work. The biofilm grows on the outside of the membrane tubes (the wastewater side). This growth is what biodegrades the biological pollutants (food source) in the wastewater. The attached biofilm simply draws any oxygen it requires across the wall of the membrane tube, which is gas permeable and without perforations. Oxygen travels from areas of higher concentrations (inside the membrane tube) to areas of lower concentrations (inside the bacteria), and the greater the concentration gradient, the faster the flow of oxygen. Figure 1 shows a representative profile of the biofilm growing on a counter-diffusional membrane utilized in the MABR. The gray profile represents the oxygen diffusing across the membrane wall (non-porous). This occurs due to the concentration gradient and can be operated at low pressure (150 – 200mBar). The dissolved pollutants, represented by the brown (COD) and red (ammonia) lines, are degraded as they travel across the biofilm. The green (NO2 / NO3) line represents the denitrification process which occurs. The nitrate generated by the ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) is taken up in the anoxic portion of the biofilm and is converted to nitrogen, effecting simultaneous nitrification and denitrification. ENERGY SAVINGS As air in the membrane tube does not need to be pressurized to six metres, the physical blower and motor required are significantly smaller than on typiwww.esemag.com

Figure 1: Concentration profile.

cal diffused aeration plants. This energy efficient process which can achieve 8 kg O2/kWh provides improved nutrient removal and impressive control, with a fraction of the footprint of conventional systems. No bubbles exist to reach the surface of the water and burst, allowing unused oxygen to vent to atmosphere. Due to the fact that oxygen is demanded by the biofilm across the membrane tube wall, only when it needs it, there is a great deal of interest in using only pure oxygen in the system. Tests have shown that 95% oxygen transfer efficiencies can be achieved.

CUTTING SLUDGE PRODUCTION IN HALF Rather than agitating the complete tank and keeping solids in suspension, a packaged OxyMem system favours a less turbulent fluid flow. No aggressive, high energy mixing is required. Once suspended biomass settles out at the base of the system, it is wasted just as it would be from a clarifier. The lack of a suspended biomass also means that approximately 50% less sludge is produced compared to conventional activated sludge. The biofilm delivers a much lower sludge yield, 0.1 kg – 0.15 kg TSS/kg COD removed, because more of the COD is oxidized to CO2. Savings on pumps, pumping, pipelines, storage, thickening and sludge disposal can be substantial. Many regions do not have the ability to use or disperse sludge, so less production can be a huge advantage.

QUICK INSTALLATION AND STARTUP The OxyMem system requires a minimal footprint, can be deployed as complete, standalone package plants, needing only a hard standing area on-site, or as single cages that can be dropped into existing tanks to increase existing treatment capacity. Whichever approach is taken, the cage units will start treating water as soon as a biofilm attaches to the MABR membranes, usually in only a few days. Once operational, OxyMem’s biofilm measurement and control system helps ensure the MABR runs at optimum performance. Every cage has an off-gas analysis carried out on it, in real time, and operators have easy access to all data. Trends on oxygen uptake rate, CO2 release rate, fouling rate, automatic cleaning frequency, line pressures, alarms, etc., can be viewed. To date, OxyMem MABR technology has been deployed under commercial agreement to Brazil, England, Ireland, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands and Northern Ireland. It has been tried on municipal, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, landfill leachate, semi-conductor and refinery wastewaters, with great success. The OxyMem MABR offers high-rate treatment with volumetric rates in the range of 5 kg – 32 kg COD/m3/day. John McConomy is with OxyMem Ltd. For more information in Canada, contact Aquafy Water Technologies Inc. Email: info@aquafy-wt.com December 2016 | 59


FLOW-TRONIC’s latest full pipe insertion flow meter, the AVI-MAGTM provides accurate measurement at low flow rates due to its electrodes being placed at equal area of the pipe. There is no calibration or flow interruption. It is easily installed, with no welding flanges or cutting of pipes. Insertion and removal are carried out under pressure (hot tapping), with no “maintenance” by-pass necessary. The AVI-MAG is the ideal solution for retrofit applications. W: www.flow-tronics.com/en

ACG Technology/Envirocan


The RAVEN-EYE® is a non-contact area/velocity flow meter. It is the perfect solution for difficult flow conditions (high solids content, high temperature, shallow and caustic flows, high velocities and large open channels). Portable or stationary versions are available. Developed for field applications, integration with SCADA, PLC or telemetry systems is easy. No maintenance is required; the sensor is totally sealed and positioned above the water surface. W: www.flow-tronics.com/en

ACG Technology/Envirocan

Level Monitor

The new ADS ECHO is a self-contained, wireless sewer level monitoring solution that alerts operators via text or email messages when flow levels exceed critical thresholds. It provides utilities with an economical level monitoring solution to provide early warning of preventable blockages, such as fats, oils, and greases (FOG), root intrusion, silt/sediment and debris. Easy installation in less than 10 minutes with no manhole descent required. T: 800-633-7246 W: www.adsenv.com/echo

ADS Environmental Services 60 | December 2016

Stormwater Quality

CB Shield is a new pre-treatment device that improves a catch basin’s ability to capture and retain sediment. It has been independently tested and field monitored and its performance has been verified through the new Canadian ETV Program. CB Shield is capable of capturing 50% of the TSS load and reducing scour by 92% compared to traditional catch basins.

chain, water screens, or other equipment? Would you know what to look for? Find it and subscribe to our blog at www.evoqua.com/checklist. T: 877-477-2787 E: screening@evoqua.com

Evoqua Water Technologies

Disinfection Safety

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CB Shield

Corrosion Protection

If operators are working in wet conditions when applying the Denso Petrolatum System, time and effort can be saved. By using Denso’s specially formulated S105 Paste Primer, water can be displaced more readily and the job can get done faster and easier. Designed for use on wet and submerged assets, S105 can also be used on dry appurtenances. Contact Denso for information. T: 416-559-7459 E: stuart@densona-ca.com W: www.densona.com


Intake equipment inspection

To continue providing convenience to the customers who use large water intake systems, Evoqua Water Technologies now provides a free checklist for intake equipment inspection. When is the last time you checked your

Maximize the safety of your chlorine disinfection system. The Chlor-Scale ton container scale from Force Flow safely cradles a chlorine ton container while providing critical feed and chemical inventory information. The Halogen Eclipse emergency valve shutoff system instantly closes the container valve when a signal is received from a leak detector, panic button or from SCADA.



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Force Flow/Halogen

Mixing Tank Contents

The JDV Nozzle Mix System is a dual zone mixing technology that provides uniform mixing patterns that produce even distribution and a stable environment. The system will optimize solids suspension and contact to promote efficiency in a wide range of applications. The high-velocity nozzles are mounted inside the tank and are oriented to discharge in a flow pattern that completely mixes the tank contents. T: 519-469-8169 E: jrodger@greatario.com W: www. greatario.com

GREATARIO Engineered Storage Systems Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Dissolved Air Flotation

Dissolved air flotation is used for water clarification in industrial plants, food, oil & gas, mining, pulp & paper, and municipal water and wastewater plants. DAF can remove most TSS, FOG, and insoluble BOD. H2Flow has units in stock, pilot units, and complete treatment systems. T: 888-575-8642 W: www.h2flowDAF.com

H2Flow Equipment

Remote Monitoring Station Data Logger

The HOBO RX3000 is Onset’s next-generation remote data logging station that provides instant access to site-specific environmental data anywhere, anytime via the Internet. Onset’s web-based data logging systems enable real-time, remote access to your data via cellular, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet communications. They can be configured with a wide range of external sensors for measuring weather conditions outdoors, and energy, power and environmental conditions indoors. E: salesb@hoskin.ca, Burlington, ON E: salesv@hoskin.ca, Burnaby, BC E: salesm@hoskin.ca, Montreal, QC W: www.hoskin.ca

Hoskin Scientific

Wading Discharge Measurement

FlowTracker2 Wading Discharge Measurement Instrument is a modern approach for tried-and-true ADV technology. It is intuitive, graphical and easy to use, and provides proven SonTek ADV accuracy, and new www.esemag.com

features requested by water professionals like you! E: salesb@hoskin.ca, Burlington, ON E: salesv@hoskin.ca, Burnaby, BC E: salesm@hoskin.ca, Montreal, QC W: www.hoskin.ca

Hoskin Scientific

Rotating Belt Screen

Hydro International has launched the Hydro MicroScreenTM rotating belt screen, offering wastewater treatment plants an advanced and versatile alternative to a primary clarifier - at a fraction of the footprint, power use and installation costs. It not only achieves between 50%-60% TSS removal, but offers operators the versatility to improve their downstream process efficiency. It can also be used for fine screening, grit removal in small plants, septage receiving and CSO/SSO screening. T: 503-615-8130 W: www.hydro-int.com

Hydro International

Stormwater Treatment

A Jellyfish Filter treating 0.15 ha of urban drainage area was incorporated within the building envelope, supplied under license by the Langley Concrete Group. The JF4-2-1 filter operates based on gravity removing pollutants from the stormwater runoff, using three lightweight, membranebased filter cartridges which are easy to rinse and reuse. T: 416-960-9900 F: 416-960-5637 E: info@imbriumsystems.com W: www.imbriumsystems.com

Imbrium Systems

Evaluate Pump Performance

KSB’s exciting new Sonolyzer app for smart phones and tablets can evaluate the operating efficiency of your pumps as they run. Enter basic information about the pump, then, make a 20-second sound recording of the pump in operation. The app determines the precise running speed and evaluates the pump’s efficiency. Free for iOS or Android devices. www.ksb.ca/ sonolyzer/ T: 905-568-9200 E: info@ksbcanada.com W: www.ksbcanada.com

KSB Pumps

Solids Contact Clarification

Solids contact clarifiers from Kusters Water are utilized daily for water and wastewater treatment applications, including: raw water intake, turbidity removal, cold lime softening, metals removal, and other types of high rate clarification. Visit our website for additional product information. T: 205-438-6971 F: 205-987-8996 W: www.kusterswater.com

Kusters Water


Markland’s Suspended Solids Density Meter provides real-time knowledge of silt, slurry and sludge concentrations in pipes, tanks and clarifiers, helping users optimize polymer dosing, enhance dewatering and automate sludge removal. Maintain your concentration! T: 855-873-7791 F: 905-873-6012 E: markland@sludgecontrols.com W: www.sludgecontrols.com

Markland Specialty Engineering

December 2016 | 61


MSU collaborated with Corix Water Products to develop this access hatch for Deltaport, Canada’s flagship container terminal in Delta, B.C. After several months of design consultation, MSU began supplying twelve 855mm x 3390mm parallel door aluminum access hatches to CL-625 occasional traffic loading. To simplify the process of casting the hatches into concrete, they were factory installed on 350mm high frames, sparing the pre-caster many hours of carpentry time normally incurred building wood forms. T: 800-268-5336 F: 888-220-2213 W: www.msumississauga.com

MSU Mississauga

Specialty Ladders

MSU specialty ladders offer safe access and egress in unique and difficult situations. From freestanding ladders, ships' ladders, to equipment access ladders, MSU has in house designs to suit many applications. MSU's engineering department can also design to your specific requirements. For more information, call Paul at 1-800-268-5336 x 28. T: 800-268-5336 F: 888-220-2213 W: www.msumississauga.com

MSU Mississauga

Ultrasonic Flow Meter

NIVUS presents a new generation of intelligent transmitters for wastewater flow measurement. The NivuFlow 750 features new numeric discharge models saved in the transmitter’s internal memory which allow more accurate and reliable determination of flow rates, even under difficult measurement conditions. The ultrasonic flow meter visualizes the 3D flow profile in real time. E: cosentino.f@spdsales.com W: www.spdsales.com

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62 | December 2016

Training you Remember… Experience you can use

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Inertial Pumps

The Waterra inertial pump is an efficient, reliable and inexpensive pump suitable for purging and sampling groundwater monitoring wells. Its simplicity has allowed it to be adapted to a wide variety of sizes, making it suitable for numerous applications. It performs well in harsh environments that would ruin other more expensive pumps. T: 905-238-5242 F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com

Waterra Pumps

USF Fabrication, Inc. manufacture a complete line of engineered metal doors for underground utility access. They have been fabricating solutions since 1916 with over 160,000 sq ft of manufacturing space. This allows them to offer the best lead times in the industry. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff is committed to providing customers with the right product for their application and shipping it when they need it.

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Waterra Pumps

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Power & Portability

The Waterra PowerPack PP1 inertial pump actuator is powerful enough to lift water from over 60 m depth, using the Standard Flow System. Fully portable and weighing only 13 kg, the PowerPack is so compact that it fits onto a backpack frame, yet also provides outstanding pumping performance. T: 905-238-5242 F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com

Waterra Pumps

The unique, open pleat geometry and 600 cm2 surface area of Waterra’s High Turbidity FHT-45 offers the most surface area available in a capsule-type filter today. High quality polyethersulphone 0.45 micron filter media provides maximum exposure and excellent particle retention above the target micron size range, while ensuring that you will not lose filtration media to blinding. T: 905-238-5242 F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com

High Performance Automation

Waterra’s portable, electrically operated Hydrolift-2 inertial pump actuator will eliminate the fatigue that can be experienced on large monitoring programs and will result in a big boost to your field sampling program. The Hydrolift-2 gives you the power and endurance you need — without breaking a sweat. T: 905-238-5242 F: 905-238-5704 E: sales@waterra.com W: www.waterra.com

Waterra Pumps

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


The Municipal Enforcement Sewer Use Group (MESUG) has released a call for support in their efforts to work out a definition for flushable products. In recent years, municipalities have seen an increase in the amount of disposable wipes and other garbage in sewer systems. These objects can easily clog pumps and sewer pipes, forcing Canadian municipalities to spend an estimated $250 million annually, unplugging and clearing garbage from wastewater infrastructure. According to MESUG spokesperson Barry Orr, organizations and companies around the world have pledged to support the campaign to define what is flushable. To date, MESUG has received over 185 company and organization logos from 14 countries.

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In a letter to Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) said it was “very pleased” with the federal government’s commitment to infrastructure renewal. Sixty-billion dollars has been allocated for infrastructure in the Liberal government budget. Of those funds, $20 billion are dedicated to green infrastructure and the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. As a representative of municipal utilities, and water and wastewater professionals, CWWA said it is willing to offer its input as the government develops phase 2 of the infrastructure plan. The letter also contained 17 recommendations, including recognizing water and wastewater projects’ role in addressing climate change; giving local government flexibility; emphasis on asset management programs; the importance of innovative technologies; flexibility and open-mindedness from the government regarding Wastewater Systems Effluent (WSER) and other regulations.

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December 2016 | 63

ES&E NEWS Insitu Groundwater Contractors • • • • • P: 519-763-0700 F: 519-763-6684 • 48 Dawson Road Guelph, ON N1H 5V1

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General Electric has confirmed that it is exploring options for selling its Water & Process Technology business. The company recently announced that it would be combining its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes, a supplier of oilfield services, technologies and products. The Water & Process Technologies division will operate “business as usual” during the selling process, which should be completed by mid-2017. According to GE, the plan to divest its water business is a “strategic decision that provides an opportunity to reposition the business for growth and further invest for long-term success. Water and wastewater products owned by GE cover a wide range of treatment technologies, including membrane filtration, anaerobic technology, analytic instruments, chemicals and more. However, the Wall Street Journal estimated that the water portion contributes less than 10% to GE Power & Water’s revenue.


14132 summalogoPMS 467.pdf



1:42 PM

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64 | December 2016

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Canadian National Railway Company has been charged with six counts under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, relating to the release of a substance into the environment on or about April 9, 2015, and failing to immediately report the release to Alberta Environment and Parks. The charges included: • Releasing or permitting the release of a substance that causes or may cause a significant adverse effect, an offence contrary to section 109(2) of the Act; • Failing to report the release, an offence contrary to section 110(1)(a) of the Act; • Failing to repair, remedy and confine the effects of the substance and failing to remediate, manage, remove or otherwise dispose of the substance, offences contrary to sections 112(1)(a)(i) and 112(1)(a)(ii) of the Act; • Failing to provide information as required to the department and providing false or misleading information, both offences contrary to section 111(3) of the Act. Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


ica, people have learned the hard way that when the oil and gas industry is allowed to use sewage plants as dumpThe New Brunswick government is ing sites, coastal water is polluted and introducing legislative amendments that freshwater is made undrinkable. Wise will ban the disposal of wastewater from measures to ensure our water remains hydraulic fracturing in municipal waste- clean and protected are always in order.” water infrastructure. Once amended, the Clean Environment Act will prohibit the discharge ECO RELEASES REPORT ON of wastewater from hydraulic fractur- STORMWATER FEES ing into wastewater treatment systems At a recent conservation event, the owned or operated by a municipality, a Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, regional municipality, a rural commun- Dianne Saxe, released a technical paper on ity, a wastewater commission or the stormwater fees, titled: Urban Stormwater provincial government. The amendment Fees: How to pay for what we need. The will also ensure that wastewater from report outlines some current challenges hydraulic fracturing in other jurisdic- in stormwater management, examines tions is not imported into New Bruns- stormwater fees, a key response to address wick for disposal. these challenges, and highlights success The use of municipal sewage treat- stories from Ontario and elsewhere of ment plants to treat wastewater from implementing stormwater fees. hydraulic fracturing is no longer stanIn addition, the report calls on the dard industry practice. The trend is province to require municipalities to require industry to dispose of this to recover the full costs of managing wastewater without using public infra- stormwater runoff. According to the structure. Environmental Commissioner’s office, “We are pleased to see the govern- Ontario’s municipalities are facing a $6.8 ment set clear rules to close this loop- billion deficit to fix existing stormwater hole in the Clean Environment Act,” said infrastructure and to accommodate Lois Corbett, executive director of the future growth. Conservation Council of New Bruns—www.eco.on.ca/our-reports wick. “Too often, all over North Amer-

ACG Technology ................................67 Albarrie ...............................................28 Aquafy Water Technologies .................2 Associated Engineering.....................47 BI Pure Water......................................50 Blue-White..........................................11 CB Shield............................................36 Denso .................................................29 Endress + Hauser..................................5 Engineered Pump...............................24

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Envirocan ..........................................67 Evoqua................................................13 Greatario ............................................15 Greyline Instruments.........................22 H2Flow ...............................................28 Halogen Valve Systems......................12 Hoskin Scientific........................... 37, 43 Huber Technology..............................25 Hydroxyl Environmental....................38 Imbrium Systems...............................17 Kusters Water......................................31 Mantech .............................................14 Master Meter ........................................3 McElhanney........................................48


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December December2016 2016| 65 | 65



ects/programs there be a sanitation and a hygiene education component. Many of us did not have her experience, but were continued from page 6 influenced by her conviction. While visitDuring its early formation, WFP ing Bolivia, I understood why Barrett was sought out projects in countries where so determined to make sure that hygiene there was great need. This often resulted education was an integral part of every in projects being delivered ad hoc, with project/program. no link to each other. Once a commuOne community we visited was Hardnity project was identified, staff sought eman, in the Municipality of San Pedro. to find funding partners. Here, the major focus of WFP’s work was One of the most significant changes on hygiene education and on providing over the years in how WFP operates has eco-toilets for each family. The health been the shift from the initial project promotion committee of Hardeman approach to a program approach. With demonstrated through the use of posta program approach WFP selects partic- ers how they explain to all community ular regions in specified countries and members, regardless of their ability to commits to work with local NGOs to see read, the importance of personal hygiene that everyone in the region is serviced and how to wash properly to help avoid by adequate and safe water and sanita- intestinal illnesses, especially diarrhea. We tion. This is the Everyone Forever model. were shown each of the eco-toilets and the This model of program delivery has pride of each family was obvious. In many been very successful. In countries, such cases, the new toilet was the best-conas Bolivia where once WFP had to tread structed facility the family owned. softly and seek government support to BUILDING COMMUNITY CAPACITY allow the projects to proceed, now the national government is a program funder We have all heard the term “building and encourages local governments to community capacity”. Those of us on participate. The percentage of financ- the 2008 tour of Bolivia had a chance to ing that WFP provides to programs has witness firsthand what this means. decreased, while the government percentWe attended a meeting with WFP age has increased. NGO partners in the Municipality of Another indication of the success of Tiraque, one of the regional areas in WFP’s program delivery strategy is that Bolivia where program work is focused. other international NGOs are seeking This meeting was a true “eye-opener”. to follow our lead and adopt the same I had expected that we would hear from community representatives seekdelivery strategy. ing WFP’s financial support for their BOLIVIA COUNTRY TOUR – 2008 community, but little else. The planning In 2008, I had the good fortune to in Tiraque for 2008 and following years travel to Bolivia to visit WFP projects. I for program work was at least equal if was impressed with the major advance- not exceeding what I was familiar with ments that had been made in hygiene in Canada. education and practices, and in commuThe presentation in Tiraque provided nity capacity development. detailed information on the plan and capital budget to bring water to the THE IMPORTANCE OF community of Chaqui Kjocha (elevaHYGIENE EDUCATION tion 4,300 metres). The budget included In its early stages, I had the opportunity estimates for all labour, materials and of serving on the WFP board of direc- equipment for a head works (water tors, led by its founding president, Ken catchment) structure; an 8,000 m long Miller. One board member, Joy Barrett 65 mm PVC water transmission line; had considerable experience in develop- a concrete storage tank; and pressure ing countries through her service with the break stations along the pipeline route. U.S. Peace Corps. She took every oppor- We were told that the community was tunity at board meetings to stress, in fact pleased to work with WFP because of to insist, that with each of WFP’s proj- its program focus and not project focus. 66 | December 2016

LESSONS LEARNED FROM VOLUNTEERING The first lesson learned is that WFP gives everyone the chance to make a difference in the lives of less fortunate people. The second lesson is that our gestures of help go far beyond water. Further good becomes possible with the time that is saved by not having to spend most of every day walking miles to and from your water supply. Think of the time that is now available for training the villagers in general health hygiene; for educating them in matters of sex and the HIV virus; for encouraging native crafts and other forms of economic development; and for attending schools. What began as a water supply or sanitation project has expanded the village’s capacity in self-sufficiency. The third lesson I learned is that the people working in the water industry in Canada and the U.S. really care about the less fortunate in developing countries. I can say without exaggeration that the board members serve from a deep conviction and a desire to improve the quality of life of those less fortunate. The fourth lesson I learned is that taking a country or regional program approach to service delivery is much more effective for both cost savings and sustainability than following an ad hoc project approach. The success of the Bolivia program supports this without question. When you support WFP, you begin to improve the lives of those villagers in countless ways, and you open doors for them that have never been opened before. You and WFP provide water and sanitation services, yes, but you are also providing the means for significant advancement in every village you help. This is development work par excellence. WFP can and is helping! You and I can help! Please consider financially supporting and/or volunteering for WFP Canada. Bill Butler retired as a civil engineer after 32 years working for the PEI government and the City of Saint John, NB. He is an Honorary Member of AWWA, has served as President of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association and was the Founding President of WFP Canada. Email: butlers.bill@gmail.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Non-contact RADAR flow measuring system

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Trust. It flows from experience & commitment. Coming from Ontario, land of freshwater, perhaps our dedication to water quality and innovation shouldn’t be surprising. The Ontario Clean Water Agency has earned a world-class reputation in the operation of clean water and wastewater facilities. Collaboration flows through everything we do. If you’d like to discuss your municipality’s needs, whatever the size, wherever you are, we look forward to talking with you.

For sales enquiries call 1-855-358-1488 or visit www.ocwa.com. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.