Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine (ESEMAG) September-October 2015

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Sept/Oct 2015 www.esemag.com




BOIL WATER ADVISORIES Learning from California’s drought Dealing with flushable wipes Removing endocrine disruptors

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Contents ISSN-0835-605X • September/October 2015 Vol. 28 No. 5 • Issued Sept 2015 Editor and Publisher STEVE DAVEY Email: steve@esemag.com Assistant Editor PETER DAVEY Email: peter@esemag.com Sales Director PENNY DAVEY Email: penny@esemag.com Sales Representative DENISE SIMPSON Email: denise@esemag.com Accounting SANDRA DAVEY Email: sandra@esemag.com Circulation Manager DARLANN PASSFIELD Email: darlann@esemag.com Production EINAR RICE Email: production@esemag.com

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 DeAngelis, City of Toronto Mohammed Elenany, Urban Systems William Fernandes, Region of Peel Marie Meunier, John Meunier Inc., Québec Peter J. Paine, Environment Canada 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


Editorial comment


Non-invasive micromonitoring tool has changed the search for I&I

12 Analyzing digester heating requirements 16 New catalysts remove dangerous endocrine disruptor 18 What Canada can learn from California’s drought

DEPARTMENTS Product Showcase. . . . . 66-68 Environmental News . . . 69-72 Professional Cards. . . . . 69-72 Ad Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Page 12

22 How accurate are greenhouse gas emission estimates? 24 Port Moody flushes its way to better drinking water quality 26 Lead pipes - still a silent health concern 28 Shifting from sustainable to resilient pipeline systems 30 Unseen environmental issues with trenchless technologies

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32 Conductivity testing allows for accurate subsurface lithography during EAs 36 Concrete cloth chosen for EPA Superfund mine site remediation 50 How the industry can take on flushable wipes in wastewater and win


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SPECIAL SECTION ON CANADA’S FIRST NATIONS 40 Evaluating the First Nations water management strategy 42 How Yellow Quill First Nation ended its nine year boil water advisory 47 Removing arsenic from the Nazko First Nation water supply

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Editorial Comment by Peter Davey

A special focus on First Nations drinking water challenges


his editorial and our special focus on First Nations water issues (page 40) is a small examination of a complex and pervasive problem that is out of line with Canada’s perception as a nation abundant in fresh water. When we began outlining our section on First Nations water issues, I spoke extensively with Dr. Hans Peterson, who wrote “How did the Yellow Quill First Nation community end its nine year boil water advisory?” (page 42). Dr. Peterson introduced me to some members of the Safe Drinking Water Team, a Saskatchewan based organization that educates First Nation and remote communities about the production of safe drinking water. From these discussions I was able to learn about drinking water challenges facing First Nations in Saskatchewan. Funding and budgets Robert Pratt has been a water treatment plant operator at George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan since 1988. Pratt knows first-hand how bad drinking water can get. “We had very high sulfates; if you weren’t used to the water, it gave you a real bad case of diarrhea,” said Pratt. As well, George Gordon wasn’t told about high arsenic levels until 2000, and Pratt said, he doesn’t think they were the only ones that were never informed of the arsenic levels in their water. The challenges Pratt’s facility faces are familiar to water operators and treatment plant supervisors: managing budgets and retaining skilled employees. However, operating on a reserve in a remote area complicates matters. Funding is a big problem says Pratt, as the Band only gets funded 80% of the cost to run the plant. It is supposed to pick up the other 20% by charging for water. Another obstacle is trying to build up a part supply line. According to Pratt, until only a few years ago, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC) did not allow a budget surplus to be carried over. The only way for equipment to be sent out for service

6 | September/October 2015

was if it was broken. “They say we’re reactive and not proactive,” said Pratt. “How can you be proactive when you don’t have any money?” Another problem is that money that could be spent on improving the causes of poor water may be allocated to addressing its symptoms. Rebecca Zagozewski is a Research Officer in the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan. For years she has researched First Nations drinking water issues and worked with communities. She told me about one First Nation community in particular that had extremely hard water. People’s pipes and water heaters quickly built up scale and needed replacing. “The community is spending all of their money fixing taps, pipes and water heaters because the water is so hard,” said Zagozewski. “You could take that money and invest it in a decent water treatment plant and you wouldn’t have that issue any more.” To make matters worse, there is often a disconnect between the operator and the community over finance issues. “There will be water treatment operators who have no idea how much money is available for a new pump,” said Zagozewski. “They’re not privy to those conversations.” Reserves are also facing an aging operator workforce and shortage of young skilled entrants. While George Gordon recently hired a 26-year old operator, other communities are not so fortunate. “The biggest problem is when we lost a lot of older operators because they couldn’t meet the education standards, especially in the North,” explains Pratt. “Operators had very little education; when their families went out trapping, they did too.” With the petroleum industry booming until recently, many people would work in water treatment, until they could get a more lucrative job away from the community in the oil industry. Engagement Challenges within reserves


matched by the relationship between First Nations and AANDC, Health Canada, Environment Canada and the numerous private companies working for them. Zagozewski explains that First Nations comprise hundreds of cultures. Government representatives and companies that work with them need to be respectful of their knowledge and their ways. “Once you respect a person and respect a culture, you’ll be able to build a relationship with them,” said Zagozewski, adding that, “First Nations need to be open as well, but given the history, the government needs to be the first one to step up.” For Brian Tralnberg, the lead treatment plant operator at Whitecap Dakota First Nation and President of the Safe Drinking Water Team, an effort needs to be made towards educating Chiefs and Councils about the water treatment plants being installed in their communities. “The bands and the communities that are getting these plants, they are the owners of these plants. They have to be educated so that they can go into a meeting with INAC [Indian and Northern Affairs Canada now called AANDC] and the engineering company and say ‘Just hang on a second. You want to give us this plant, and you know it doesn’t work?’” The Canadian government has spent approximately $3 billion in water and wastewater system improvements since 2006. While additional funding is needed, it is more important that the way it is distributed and spent is changed. We welcome comments and submissions on this topic for future issues of ES&E. Peter Davey is the assistant editor of Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine. Email: peter@esemag.com

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Inflow and Infiltration

Non-invasive micromonitoring tool has changed the search for I&I By Joseph Kamalesh and Gary D. Silcott, Jr.


s sewer systems continue to age and deteriorate, municipalities struggle to find a quick and cost-effective way to identify high and low inflow and infiltration (I&I) in sanitary sewer systems. Stantec’s patented micromonitoring method is a new and emerging technology that helps agencies and engineers to perform focused field investigations and, in the end, reduce sanitary sewer evaluation survey (SSES) and rehabilitation program costs. Micromonitoring improves sewer utility I&I reduction programs by focusing rehabilitation/repairs only on sewers that are contributing to wet weather peak flows. This approach uses the micromonitor to narrow down sources, so that traditional activities are only completed in areas where I&I is detected. It is a flow monitoring process that focuses on small pipe segments to isolate I&I sources in the system. A typical micromonitoring program quickly identifies sewers with high I&I or, more importantly, sewers with no I&I, so that they can be eliminated from further investigation by traditional SSES methods. To achieve this, micromonitors are deployed in individual pipe reaches for just one or two storm events. The result is targeted sub-basins instead of system-wide solutions and recommendations. This reduces the extent of costly and invasive investigations. In some cases, micromonitoring has saved 80% of the monitored area from further testing and rehabilitation. Interestingly, micromonitoring can identify whether the problem is an infiltration issue or an inflow issue. This helps in accurately planning and budgeting repairs and rehabilitation methods. Performing traditional SSES activities based on micromonitoring results saves money and the problem area typically is only 30% - 40% of the system. In one pilot project, a $25,000 micromonitoring project saved over $250,000 in avoided lateral replacement/rehabilitation. In almost all cases, micromonitoring pays for itself by reducing the number of detailed investigations. It al-

8 | September/October 2015

A one-person crew can easily complete micromonitor installation and removal.

lows entities to locate I&I, which creates a whole new mindset when dealing with combined and sanitary sewer overflows. These sewer utilities are now focusing on the problem areas and not taking broad strokes to alleviate their I&I problems. Micromonitor - the new SSES tool Micromonitoring is similar to conventional flow monitoring, but with modified equipment. A micromonitor, a fibreglass weir insert with a defined rating curve, is used. The weir is installed behind a standard area-velocity sensor on a street-level-insertion mounting ring. This eliminates confined space en-

try for installations. At low subcritical flows, the micromonitor acts as a weir with a primary rating curve. At higher supercritical flows, the micromonitor offers no obstruction, and the AV sensor calculates flow directly from the continuity equation. The micromonitor can be installed in any pipe, independent of hydraulics, and can measure flows as low as 3.8 litres per minute (lpm), generally in low-flow sewer segments. Micromonitors are designed for use in small diameter sewers, where low flows are common and traditional flow monitoring techniques are not effective. continued overleaf...

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Inflow and Infiltration Hence, the micromonitoring process defines areas within the collection system where conventional flow meters typically don’t perform well, such as small, upstream collection-system areas contributing to low base flows. In one case, the micromonitor was used in a sewer with just 61 metres of pipe and less than a dozen homes connected. Usable data was collected at this site to verify positive I&I reduction in a pipe which was previously identified by micromonitoring to have I&I issues.

Advantages There are several advantages to the use of micromonitoring: Short duration per site. It only takes one or two storms to gather sufficient data to deploy equipment to the next targeted phase. With six to eight good storms in a wet season, numerous locations are monitored in several phases. No confined space entry. Micromonitor installations and field calibrations do not require confined space entry. The weir and probe are mounted on the same fixed band and can be installed and calibrated from the surface. A one-person crew can complete installation and removal easily and cost-effectively. No pre-inspections. The micromonitor changes the flow pattern so it is smooth and even. This allows it to be installed in sites with taps, offset joints and root balls. With a much wider range of sites open to micromonitoring, a lone operator does not have to go through a lengthy inspection process before each installation. Reduced maintenance. Micromonitors keep the AV sensors submerged at all times, minimizing debris accumulation during low flow conditions. This ensures that when a storm occurs, the equipment is set to collect good quality data. Non-intrusive. When used in conjunction with CCTV, micromonitoring can isolate both public and private side contributions. Identifying private side sources with real-time evidence allows a municipality to work with the individual owners instead of launching invasive “blanket” investigations.

Case studies Since 2010, Stantec has performed more than 30 micromonitoring projects involving more than 650 installations. The reductions in investigation and rehabilitation costs were far more than the cost of the micromonitoring program. This is important since the systems vary in age, size and condition. In Milford Center, the entire collection system was monitored in two phases using nine micromonitors. Only 7% showed a high response to storm events. I&I was isolated to 640 metres of sewer of the 9,144 metres in the system. In 2013, the City of Jackson began conducting a small pilot micromonitoring program in two sewer basins with a chronic history of I&I related operational problems. Results indicated that only 30% of the sewers contributed excessive I&I to the system. In the spring of 2013, the City of Logan initiated a city-wide SSES project to identify sources of excessive I&I in the City’s wastewater collection system that had plagued it for many years. Approximately 13,944 metres of the system were found to need no further investigation through traditional flow monitoring work, while another 21,473 metres were considered minimal I&I contributors as a result of the micromonitoring work. Therefore, approximately 35,417 metres of sewers were eliminated from consideration for further investigation, which equated to approx10 | September/October 2015

Micromonitors are designed for small diameter sewers, where low flows are common.

At low subcritical flows, the micromonitor acts as a weir with a primary rating curve.

Micromonitors keep the AV sensors submerged at all times,

imately two thirds of the system. This resulted in a significant cost savings to the City of nearly $232,000 - $350,000 at a $2.00 - $3.00 per 0.3 metre cost for television inspection work, which is the traditional method. Joseph Kamalesh, MS, EIT, and Gary D. Silcott, Jr., P.E., ENV SP, are with Stantec. www.stantec.com/water Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


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Biosolids Management

Analyzing digester heating requirements By Ivan Drako, Michelle Albert, Ron Cariglia, Sean Hutchinson and Edwin Ayson


naerobic digestion is one of the key suspended-growth treatment processes widely used for the stabilization of organic materials and biosolids produced at a wastewater treatment plant. In order to efficiently stabilize organic materials, an optimum sludge temperature must be maintained for a period of time. For mesophilic digestion, the temperature must theoretically be maintained between 30oC - 38oC. This is achieved by transferring heat from hot water to the sludge via a heat exchanger, followed by recirculation of the sludge back to the digester tank. This keeps it constantly suspended and prevents solids and temperature stratification in the digester reactor. WSP recently completed the design of upgrades to some primary digesters at Toronto’s Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project included digester clean out, sludge dewatering, rehabilitation of the digester tank structure, installation of new thermal insulation and membrane in the digester roof, new gas proofing process, and electrical, instrumentation and control upgrades to process and pumping equipment. Modification to the SCADA system for automated control of the sludge temperature in the digester was also part of the project scope. In order to update the process control narrative and develop modifications to the SCADA system, an analysis of the digester heating requirement was conducted. This included understanding the seasonal trends of heat loss and sludge temperature variations, from the heat exchanger outlet port to the digester and back to the heat exchanger inlet port. Summary of site findings In order to estimate heating requirements, the digester’s technical data was reviewed and analyzed. It is a primary digester with a fixed concrete roof and conical floor slab, 33.5 m diameter, 10.8 m operating water depth, and 12.2 m side wall height.

12 | September/October 2015

Primary digesters at Toronto’s Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The above grade wall height and below grade wall depth of the digester structure is approximately equal. The above grade structure is thermally insulated. The below grade structure has thermal insulation installed to the frost line depth, only between the structure and the soil. There is no insulation in the deeper digester walls section or beneath the base slab.

Ashbridges Bay WWTP digester heat exchanger.

A recirculation pump continuously withdraws sludge from the digester tank and discharges to the heat exchanger for heat transfer from the hot water source to the sludge and returns it back to the digester. Applied assumptions Having reviewed the design of all existing structural elements, the digester structure was divided into areas of similar heat transfer characteristics, including the roof and above grade walls, below grade walls and floor slab. To develop the overall picture of the digester’s heat requirements under seasonal variations, the outdoor temperature was assumed to vary from -35oC - 40oC (for winter and summer, respectively). Soil temperature and sludge recirculation pump flow were assumed to be constant over the entire review period. It was also assumed that heat dissipation from the roof and above grade walls due to radiation was a relatively small value. It was, therefore, accounted for in the applied safety factor. Analytical results Thermodynamic analyses conducted on the digester structure showed that

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Biosolids Management heat dissipation does not vary significantly under seasonal ambient temperature variations. For proper functioning of the digestion process, recovery of the sludge temperature, due to digester structure heat loss, is the key factor. The temperature drop can be recuperated by transferring heat to the sludge in the heat exchanger. Heat losses calculated for each season’s temperature (from -35oC - 40oC, with a 5oC increment) were presented as sludge temperature rises that should be provided in the heat exchanger in order to compensate for outward heat dissipation. The temperature rises needed when the recirculation pump is operating at the rated flow are shown in Figure 1. For comparison purposes, and in order to understand the heat loss trends, temperature rises were also calculated for several lower flows (85%, 80% and 70% of the rated flow). A “24-hour shut-off” scenario, in which no heat is provided to the digester for 24 hours, was analyzed and is presented in Figure 2.

Figure 1: Heat exchanger temperature rise at varying pump flows.

Digester structure heat loss distribution between the above grade and below grade structures was also estimated and presented in Figure 3. This shows the heat loss of the below grade structure throughout the year, as a percentage of

the total digester heat loss. Discussions and conclusions Based on the analyses conducted of the heat input requirements, the digester continued overleaf...

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Biosolids Management process control narrative was updated and utilized for programming the automated control of the sludge temperature. The proposed control system will quickly respond to the sludge heating needs and has the option of adjusting process set points when needed. The analytical results have also led to some conclusions that may be used for digester design and operation purposes: a) If sludge flow monitoring and recording is not available at a digester, the increase, in time, of the temperature rise needed to maintain the digester operation temperature may be indicative of a decrease in the recirculation pump flow. This may be due to possible sludge accumulation in process pipes, or excessive buildup developing on the heat exchanger “sludge” surface. In light of this, an increase in temperature rise demand should be a trigger point for detailed review of the system operation. b) The heat requirement analysis should be completed for each digester and be part of the digester operation and maintenance data. Continuous recording of temperature changes in the digester reactor and further analysis may provide valuable information for long-term monitoring of the digester operation, and for scheduling maintenance and repair activities. Any visible changes in digester temperature should be analyzed and compared to the initial conditions, in order to review the digester operation and develop a troubleshooting program. c) In the case of a “24-hour shutoff” scenario, it appears that digester temperature drop is not significant (for the reviewed case). Availability of such data would be required for planning and implementation of maintenance or upgrades to the digester heating system. Such upgrades can be conducted without system interruption and have minimum impact on the digestion process. However, the recirculation pump must remain in operation. d) It is obvious that proper thermal insulation installed within the above grade digester structure provides significant heat savings. When the digester is offline for rehabilitation or upgrades, installation of new insulation with more efficient thermal characteristics would be a good practice. 14 | September/October 2015

Figure 2: Digester temperature drop in a 24-hour shut-off scenario.

Figure 3: Digester below grade structure heat loss.

e) The below grade structure appears to account for the major portion of total heat loss. The value of heat loss is approximately 75% to 95% for winter and summer, respectively. The thermally insulated above grade structure with an almost equal surface area contributes a smaller fraction to the total heat loss (less than 25%). This is attributable to the fact that, unlike the above grade structure of the digester, the below grade structure experiences constant exposure to a steady-state lower temperature en-

vironment throughout the year. f) Having assumed that the digester’s below grade structure has been furnished with thermal insulation, the estimated heat loss reduction may be expected, for the reviewed case, to be in a range of 35% to 40%. Ivan Drako, Michelle Albert, Ron Cariglia and Sean Hutchinson are with WSP. Edwin Ayson is with the City of Toronto. Email: Ivan.Drako@wspgroup.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine



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Advanced Wastewater Treatment

New catalysts remove dangerous endocrine disruptor By Jocelyn Duffy


potent and dangerous endocrine disruptor can be effectively and safely removed from wastewater by catalysts created by Carnegie Mellon University chemist Terrence J. Collins. In a paper published in Scientific Reports, Collins’ research team and collaborators, led by Brunel University London’s Susan Jobling and Rak Kanda, demonstrate that the catalysts could be a viable option for large-scale water treatment. As pharmaceutical use has skyrocketed, especially in first-world countries, the amount of drugs released into the water system through wastewater has dramatically increased. Medications designed to disrupt the endocrine system, such as birth control pills and some breast and prostate cancer drugs, can be found in close to 25% of the world’s streams, rivers and lakes. Studies have shown that these compounds have an adverse effect on wildlife health. In many cases, researchers are finding that male fish in these polluted water sources undergo a process called feminization, which is an indicator that estrogenic contaminants are present. Prolonged exposure to these female hormones can cause males to develop eggs in their testes and leads to the decline of fish populations. “Unfortunately, some synthetic chemicals, including some everyday chemicals, are powerful endocrine disruptors and they often turn up as contaminants in water. These chemicals, called micro-pollutants, can be bioactive at low environmentally relevant concentrations and are typically tough to break down,” said Collins. “We need to get these micro-pollutants out of our water systems. Fish are indicators of what can happen when hormone control systems get hijacked by synthetic chemicals. We humans are also animals with endocrine systems.” When a person takes a drug, it travels through their body and what isn’t absorbed or broken down is excreted as waste. Conventional wastewater treatment systems are unable to fully remove many of the harmful chemicals found in

16 | September/October 2015

After TAMLs removed synthetic estrogen from the water, the amount of vitellogenin, a female egg yolk protein, found in minnows significantly decreased, signaling a dramatic reduction in feminization. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The amount of drugs released into the water system through wastewater has dramatically increased.

today’s pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other products. Advanced processes installed at the end of wastewater treatment plants, especially those that use ozone or activated carbon, have been shown to be effective options for reducing micro-pollutants. However, the high financial and energy costs of incorporating these have limited their adoption. Collins has developed a group of catalysts called TAML activators that offer an alternative treatment option. TAMLs are small molecules that mimic oxidizing enzymes. When combined with hydro-

gen peroxide, TAML activators very effectively break down harmful chemicals in water. To test the effectiveness and safety of these catalysts, Collins teamed up with the Brunel research team, who are world-class experts in aquatic toxicity and wastewater treatment. In the current paper, the group demonstrates the efficacy and safety of TAML activators via a series of experiments. First, they showed that TAMLs were able to degrade, in pure water, 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE2), a synthetic estrogen found in oral contraceptives and a major cause of fish feminization. They then iso-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

PROVIDING INNOVATIVE WASTEWATER AND ODOUR CONTROL PRODUCTS When combined with hydrogen peroxide, TAML activators very effectively break down harmful chemicals in water. Photo provided by Carnegie Mellon University.

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lated the early intermediate compounds created as the TAMLs degrade EE2, and found that several of these were estrogenic and harmful, too. But, using chemical analysis, the researchers showed that the TAML process was able to effectively degrade these intermediate compounds. The research group also applied TAML activators to samples of water processed by municipal wastewater plants from the U.K. They found that the TAMLs were able to break down EE2 and other estrogenic compounds and micropollutants in the water. The researchers were then able to demonstrate in the lab that water treated with TAMLs was not harmful to fish. They exposed male fathead minnows, a common freshwater fish found in many inland waterways, to water containing EE2. Exposure to EE2 caused the fish to feminize. After they used TAMLs to remove EE2 from the water, the amount of vitellogenin, a female egg yolk protein, found in the minnows significantly decreased, signaling a dramatic reduction in feminization. Additionally, the fish did not have any detectable adverse effects from being exposed to the tiny traces of TAMLs in the water. The researchers plan to test TAMLs against ozone and activated carbon treatment systems. They have shown that TAMLs will be at least as effective, and anticipate that the TAML process will come at a much lower cost. Collins estimates that a kilogram of catalyst could treat tens of thousands of tons of wastewater.

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Made in Canada


September/October 2015 | 17


What Canada can learn from California’s drought and groundwater laws By Randy Christensen, Oliver M. Brandes and Rosie Simms


alifornia’s unprecedented and devastating four-year drought has received widespread, international media attention. Its drought is so severe that the state has ordered cities and towns to reduce water use by 25%, and has begun literally turning the tap off on water rights holders. This drought is profoundly affecting California’s communities and their quality of life, the economy, and the health and function of streams, rivers, lakes and aquifers throughout the state. A new research report entitled “California’s Oranges and B.C.’s Apples? Lessons for B.C. from California Groundwater Reform,” was released in June by the POLIS Water Sustainability Project, based at the University of Victoria, and Ecojustice. This report provides a detailed comparison between British Columbia and California regarding groundwater management. Drawing from California’s drought experience and recent groundwater reform efforts, this research provides a number of key findings and insights that reveal priorities for B.C. to ensure a comprehensive and effective approach to sustainable groundwater management. However, beyond specific lessons for B.C., the California experience also offers critical insights into drought planning and water management that are relevant to communities across Canada. 1. Regional droughts can have serious national consequences – California’s Central Valley is one of the world’s most productive agricultural areas. The state produces nearly half of U.S.-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables and is considered to be the world’s fifth largest supplier of food. California’s ability to sustain this massive agricultural industry, however, is contingent on access to sufficient water for irrigation. It accounts for as much as 80% of the total human water use in the state. This year alone, drought is expected to cause agricultural losses of $3 billion in California. Given the importance of California’s agriculture to food supply, the impacts

18 | September/October 2015

The Uvas reservoir in Santa Clara, CA. Photo courtesy of Don DeBold.

Agriculture accounts for as much as 80% of total human water use in California.

of the drought extend far beyond state borders. In today’s interconnected global economy, regional droughts aren’t just about local environmental impacts, they are matters affecting national economies. Depending on the region of Canada, a drought could have significant effects on many different sectors, including agriculture, energy production, fisheries and tourism, as well as impacting cities and towns. 2. Once in a drought, it’s too late to

do many of the things that are most needed – Once an area is in the midst of a full-blown drought, many critical aspects of water management and planning fall to the wayside as crisis response takes over. While emergency measures such as mandatory conservation requirements are certainly important, they are too-little, too-late in terms of preventing ecosystem damage and implementing sustainable water management regimes. continued overleaf...

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September/October 2015 | 19

Water Drought preparedness in Canada must include proactive planning and governance measures implemented well before crisis hits. These measures include establishing methods to determine and protect environmental flow needs, building robust water use monitoring and reporting systems, and implementing pricing regimes that encourage water use efficiency and conservation. Requirements to build more water-efficient buildings and infrastructure, as well as replacing wasteful fixtures and appliances, take years if not decades to implement. 3. Groundwater and surface water need to be managed together – Groundwater has long been California’s safety net in times of drought, a resource to which water users have turned when surface water is in short supply. However, one of the most significant consequences of the state’s drought and diminishing surface water availability is that groundwater well drilling and pumping have been ramped up to unprecedented rates. Surface and groundwater are one interconnected resource that must be managed as such across Canada. Surface water percolates into groundwater and recharges aquifers; groundwater upwellings in turn sustain base flows in rivers and streams, which is especially critical in summer months when there is little precipitation entering surface water sources. Despite its vital importance, California did not regulate groundwater until

2014, when the state enacted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The damage to California’s aquifers from this “Wild West” approach to groundwater management is widespread. So much groundwater has been extracted that across the state, land is sinking and aquifers are at serious risk of being depleted. 4. Normal dry cycles will become much more exacerbated due to climate change – According to the U.S. EPA, some long-term trends in water availability in the western U.S. are now becoming apparent. It has experienced less rain over the past 50 years, as well as increases in the severity and length of droughts. Future hydrological projections taking into account climate change suggest that the western U.S. will experience less total annual rainfall, less snowpack in the mountains, and earlier snowmelt. These impacts in turn, mean that less water will likely be available during the summer months when demand is highest. Projections for changing hydrological patterns in western Canada are similar. Data show snowpacks and glaciers vanishing at record speeds and snowmelt occurring earlier in the spring. This again means less water available to sustain flows in the summer. 5. Each jurisdiction must develop planning processes suited to its unique legal, social and historical context – and that will take time – Increasingly

complex water problems point to a clear need for communities across Canada to develop water planning processes to help keep their ecology and economy functioning in times of shortage. Plans allow for watershed-specific solutions and structures that can liberate water for essential uses. California’s SGMA includes robust groundwater planning provisions that offer three water planning insights for Canadian communities to take into account. First, California’s SGMA introduced a requirement for groundwater sustainability agencies to develop groundwater sustainability plans. Beginning in the 1990s, California encouraged planning exercises to protect groundwater, but there was no requirement to actually develop and implement plans. While some successful examples of voluntary plans do exist, this approach is generally ineffective on a wider scale. The most effective plans will be those that are mandatory and enforceable. Second, the SGMA requires that groundwater sustainability plans meet basic sustainability standards that avoid “undesirable effects,” including aquifer overdraft, land subsidence and saltwater intrusion. Canadian communities must also develop plans that include clear and enforceable targets and achieve some minimum performance standards. A third point for Canadian jurisdictions to take note of is that California’s groundwater planning process has been

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Water extremely protracted. Almost fifty years will have passed between: • The creation of the first framework for local planning (1991); • When the first groundwater management plans are required to be in place and operating under the SGMA (2020 and 2022); and • When groundwater sustainability plans must achieve sustainability criteria (20 years after the plans have been adopted - 2040 and 2042). With California’s groundwater sustainability planning timeline in mind, Canadian communities must begin water planning processes now, with clear timelines for plan implementation. Critical first steps include: piloting water sustainability plans that include drought management, linkage to environmental flows, and the application of minimum standards and water objectives on a regionally appropriate basis. 6. Water policy shortcomings and gaps create a vacuum that will be filled by litigation – Where loopholes and weaknesses in water policy exist, these policies are vulnerable to litigation. As


demonstrated in California, litigation is costly, confrontational and time consuming. Allowing courts to determine water rights, and, thus, water policy, is problematic. Solutions that create satisfactory outcomes or agreed-upon tradeoffs for all parties, may not be within the court’s power to order. Therefore, a planning approach that brings in all parties with a stake in the particular issue at hand and receives support, is preferable for many reasons, including the availability of a broader range of innovative solutions. Canadian jurisdictions should focus on developing robust water planning processes to minimize confrontation and avoid the path of litigation. 7. Drought presents an opportunity to dramatically reform water laws and policies, if governments are prepared to act – Four years into an unprecedented drought, California is suffering and sacrificing. But it’s also evolving. The severity of this drought creates the motivation to change even entrenched things that couldn’t be changed without the sense of extreme vulnerability.

In addition to the groundwater management regime, California has introduced other changes and reforms to create long-term sustainability. A rebate program for lawn removal initiated by the water district for Southern California was so popular that it exhausted the budget for the program in just five weeks. San Francisco passed an ordinance to require that new buildings of a certain size have on-site water recycling systems and reuse their own wastewater. Canada is fortunate in that no one region in the country is experiencing a crisis situation at the scale of California’s statewide drought emergency. However, the California situation does offer some key lessons and insights to Canadian jurisdictions. Canada has the opportunity to learn from what is happening south of its border and to accelerate planning and management processes that will proactively address emerging freshwater issues. Randy Christensen is with Ecojustice and the POLIS Project. Oliver M. Brandes and Rosie Simms are with the POLIS Project. Email: water@polisproject.org

September/October 2015 | 21

GHG Emissions

How accurate are greenhouse gas emission estimates for the wastewater and sour gas sectors? By Kurt Hansen


arious Canadian regulatory jurisdictions, as well as institutions such as the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), have published extensive guidelines on how to calculate reportable emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). They contain optional methods of calculation approaches depending on industry sector, government jurisdiction and adopted calculation approaches. This means that reported GHG emissions are rarely based on actual direct measurement of these gases. Rather, they are just estimates based on “best conformance” with various dictated jurisdictional guidelines. There are pitfalls associated with conforming to jurisdictional guidelines versus assuring the utmost jurisdictional trust in the correct scientific estimation approaches, regardless of guidelines, protocols, etc. Examples of these are a wastewater treatment plant and a sour gas processing plant. Anaerobic wastewater treatment plant Figure 1 shows a basic process diagram of a modified anaerobic treatment plant for food processing wastewater. Modifications involved covering a receiving wastewater lagoon to thermally enhance anaerobic treatment and capture the resulting methane gas for moisture removal. The gas is then used as supplemental fuel at the food processing plant. The modifications were made to obtain jurisdictional status as “a GHG emission offset project”. This status was granted on the principle of “best conformance” with a provincial guideline on offset emission project quantification protocol. However, many feel that the IPCC guideline is too broad and simplistic when applied to anaerobic wastewater treatment. The IPCC principal approach is to use wastewater COD to estimate the methane mass generation rate. It factors

22 | September/October 2015

Figure 1. A basic process diagram of a modified anaerobic treatment plant for food processing wastewater.

Figure 2. The various streams and available measurement points and data commonly used to estimate the annual GHG emissions from a sour gas processing plant.

in continuously measured wastewater flow rate (Q) and periodic COD (C) sample data. This approach is scientifically illogical as anaerobic wastewater treatment

is a biological process best monitored by means of the BOD characteristic. One provincial protocol uses a conservative default COD/BOD mass ratio of 2.4 to circumvent this IPCC COD approach.

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GHG Emissions Yet, a review of a wastewater engineering handbook reveals that the 2.4 ratio is only typical for domestic wastewater. The ratio for various types of food processing wastewater ranges from 0.15 to 1.69. This means that the IPCC-related protocol default ratio of 2.4 and other material balance calculations will result in over-estimated methane emissions captured and used as supplemental fuel. An alternative to better quantify captured methane emissions is to measure the biogas flow rate and biogas methane content and use it to estimate the captured methane rate. The general problem with this approach is that it requires additional monitoring equipment and periodic sampling and analysis. These are resources that a wastewater treatment plant operator may be hesitant to invest in, unless made a mandatory requirement by the regulating agency. Also, the regulatory agency might not accept the calculated avoided GHG emissions based on this approach if they feel that baseline emissions should be subtracted from current measured and calculated methane emissions. The rational for this is that the average temperature of the previously uncovered lagoon was likely lower than the covered and insulated wastewater lagoon. A warmer temperature means increased biologic activity and more methane generation. The GHC calculation protocol uses a baseline lagoon fluid temperature. But,

in reality, the specified value can only be approximate, because lagoon temperatures are not normally measured. Also, unless the wet biogas is periodically sampled and analyzed for moisture content, the calculated annual methane emission rate will be over-estimated regarding captured methane emissions. Overall, the regulatory options for calculating offset GHG emissions from an anaerobic wastewater treatment plant lead to great uncertainties. Sour gas processing plant Figure 2 shows the various streams and available measurement points and data commonly used to estimate the annual GHG emissions from a sour gas processing plant. It shows numerous locations of measurement points for stream volumetric flow rates (Q) and periodic sample and analysis concentration data (C) for various natural gas constituents like methane, ethane, etc. Most of these are combusted into CO2. Most of the volume-measured gas plant streams are associated with relatively dry (moisture-free) streams, other than the wet acid gas and certain wet fuel gas streams. The wet acid gas stream, which contributes in the order of half of the facility CO2 emissions because of the removed sour gas CO2 content, may contain up to about 8 vol.% moisture. Using a wet flow rate and a dry gas CO2 content to estimate the


released CO2 mass rate will result in a larger than true release rate value. The commonly used, and jurisdictionally accepted, estimation optional approach of using wet acid gas volume rates and dry compositional acid gas values results in over-estimated gas plant facility GHG emissions. Conclusions These two examples show various scientific pitfalls associated with conforming to dictated jurisdictional and institutional guidelines on calculating and estimating GHG emissions. The uncertainty is so large that an informed scientist would have serious difficulties in ascertaining whether real emission reductions have occurred. Global institutions and various regulatory jurisdictions need to become less zealous about setting numerous detailed guidelines as to how to calculate GHG emissions. They need to fully recognize the value of independent scientific insight versus dictated broad approaches that are not scientifically defensible. Otherwise, GHG emission verification efforts will have no real reduction merits, other than tracking the monetary credit and penalty transactions. Kurt Hansen, M.Sc., P. Eng., has been an environmental consultant since 1974 and contributes regularly to ES&E. Email: greeninc@telus.net

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September/October 2015 | 23

Water Distribution

City of Port Moody flushes its way to better water quality By Clint Smith


he City of Port Moody, British Columbia is located at the head of Burrard Inlet and provides its 34,000 residents with water from Metro Vancouver’s Seymour Lake and Coquitlam Reservoir. With 120 km of water pipelines, the city has to monitor its water quality and accumulation of buildup in pipelines in order to supply good potable water to its customers. Flushing is an industry standard procedure that removes stagnant water and sediment. It also ensures that chlorine residual levels are maintained, which in turn reduces the requirements for additional chlorination. The City started to have problems with a few existing flushing stations, due to the lack of durability of a plastic 50 mm timer valve. Upon further inspection it became apparent that their entire purging system was not as durable as expected. This could result in costly maintenance issues in the near future. The current valve was hard to access, being one metre underground. It required regular visits to ensure it was operating correctly and that chlorine residual levels were within their 0.20 ppm guidelines. The plastic valve also had low capacity, so it had to run for a long period of time in order to flush the system. This meant that the potential for non-revenue water loss was higher than it needed to be. Another problem with low flow rates is insufficient velocity to keep lines scoured and clean, and the old water doesn’t always get completely flushed out of the system. Upon inspection, Craig Bridger, project manager with Summit Valve, said: “The low circulation of water was resulting in lower chlorine residual. This is a common problem that is easily fixed with an optimal flushing solution that will pull water out of hard to reach places.” Chlorine residual has a decay rate, so when water becomes “too old” the chlorine decays. Nick Cusano, utility maintenance

24 | September/October 2015

Singer Valve’s total automatic purging system (TAPS) automatically draws fresh water into the system’s dead ends at any time of day.

worker for Port Moody, identified Singer’s total automatic purging system (TAPS) as a good solution that could be expanded on throughout the city over the years. “TAPS is an attractive option as it uses durable components and products that the operations staff are familiar with. It also fits nicely into existing enclosures,” said Cusano. TAPS optimizes the flushing process by providing a programmable solution to automatically pull or draw fresh water into the system’s dead ends at any time of day. Also, because the valve has greater flow rates and velocities, it improves the removal of sediment in the piping system. It has a pressure-sustaining feature to ensure an adjustable minimum upstream pressure is maintained for system needs such as fire flow. Unlike conventional flushing valves that are either open or closed, TAPS has a hydraulically operated valve that introduces or releases water from the control chamber above the diaphragm to maintain accurate water flow. It is controlled by an externally mounted pilot system and can be programmed via a handheld unit if desired. This pro-

grammable flushing feature allows for scheduled flushing at select times when predicted demand is low. Flow regulation also reduces the volume of wasted water. Prior to installing the valve, chlorine residual was almost zero (0.02 ppm – 0.04 ppm). With the new purging system, residual levels jumped to 0.17 ppm in one day and a further 0.28 ppm in the second. “This valve has actually given us better sample results because we can move more water with it,” said Cusano. With more frequent flushing and good circulation of new water, Port Moody has been able to reduce the amount of time it takes to do a manual flushing from two hours to 30 minutes. Each TAPS unit includes a water sampling port so that on-site clarity and testing can be easily seen and sampled without disrupting the process. An added bonus is that the operation of the valve is now much quieter than the previous solution, which is appreciated by nearby residents. Clint Smith is with Singer Valve. Email: clint@singervalve.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Drinking Water

Lead pipes – the silent health concern

By Catherine Spurrell

Sand-like garnet is blasted through piping systems by heated compressed air, then a two-part red epoxy is mixed and blown through.


ccording to the City of Toronto, homes built before the mid 1950s are likely to have lead pipes. This originally seemed like a good idea; lead is durable enough to resist pinhole leaks but also soft enough to be transformed into different shapes for sufficient water flow. As years went on, professionals began to realize that lead from pipes was getting into the drinking water, which eventually started compromising the health of people who ingested it. Each day, the average Canadian drinks more than 1.5 litres of water. This means the risk of drinking water with excessive amounts of lead is of concern. Children six and under are most at risk when consuming water with high levels of lead. Since the brain is still in a crucial part of development, children can experience delays in mental and physical growth and issues with attention spans and learning abilities. While adults may not have the same kind of reaction to the lead, they can still experience kidney issues and high blood pressure.

26 | September/October 2015

With so many health risks that come with the use of lead pipes, it is shocking the number of homes that still have them. In Toronto, there are still an estimated 35,000 lead service pipes that houses may be connected to. Although the City replaces about 1,500 lead service pipes per year, it will take over 23 years to replace all of them at this rate. While many may argue that this solves the problem, that isn’t the case. Only the lead pipes on public property will be replaced. Toronto homeowners must pay to replace all of the pipes in their home. Although the average person doesn’t know which types of pipe are inside their home, it is very easy to find out. Cities like Toronto offer residents kits that can be picked up to test their water quality and determine lead levels. Once the water has been tested, the kit is dropped off and the City does the rest. The process is a simple way to find out if the pipes in your home are causing harm. Once residents are aware there is a problem, the immediate reaction might

be to install a new piping system, a project that is expensive, disruptive and time-consuming. A new copper pipe system can cost upwards of $15,000 depending on the size of the home, plus the costs of repairing damaged walls, flooring and ceilings removed to access the pipes. However, one alternative is the Nu Line epoxy barrier coating process by Nu Flow. Trenchless pipe lining technologies are not new; some of the technologies have been used for decades and have passed the test of time. Since the late 1980s, for example, all of the collection, hold and transfer pipe systems in the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier fleet have been lined with Nu Flow’s blownin epoxy coating. Epoxy barrier coatings are typically more cost-effective and have a longer life expectancy compared to typical household pipes. They create a barrier between metal and the water flowing through it. The barrier coating prevents harmful materials such as lead from leaching into the water. The Nu Line epoxy barrier coating

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Drinking Water rehabilitation process begins by mapping the entire pipe work. This is followed by a thorough inside cleaning of the pipes. Sand-like garnet is blasted through the system by heated compressed air. Once the pipes have achieved a suitable interior anchor tooth profile, a two-part red epoxy is mixed and blown through pipework with forced air to create an even coat. Once this is completed, a camera inspection and leak test is performed. Besides blocking lead from entering the water, this epoxy lining also prevents pinhole leaks and pipe deterioration. Nu Line technology is typically only half the cost of a traditional re-pipe. Lining lead pipes rather than replacing them is an alternative that can save homeowners time and money. Most importantly, since the epoxy has a life expectancy of nearly 100 years, owners don’t have to worry again about lead in their water. Catherine Spurrell is with Nu Flow Technologies. Email: cspurrell@nuflowtech.com

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September/October 2015 | 27

Culvert Design

Shifting the conversation from sustainable to resilient pipeline systems By Derek Light


onstruction of sustainable pipeline systems is desirable within the notion of sustainable development and its three social, economic and environmental pillars. Infrastructure materials and products should be sustainable and resilient to natural and man-made catastrophic events such as changing climate and weather patterns, carelessness, vandalism and deliberate attacks on a system. It is challenging for designers and specifiers to recommend materials and products for pipeline systems, if there are questions about their resiliency and sustainability over the design life of a project. The culvert that channels Truro Creek under Portage Avenue, one of the busiest arterial roads in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was originally constructed with corrugated steel pipe (CSP). It is 2.6 m in diameter and runs 50 m under Portage Avenue. In 2010, as a result of heavy corrosion at the invert and joints, rehabilitation was recommended. A 2.1 m diameter HDPE liner was grouted into the culvert before the spring melt in 2011. The goal of the relining was to extend the culvert’s service life. But the rehabilitation option created a concern with the hydraulic profile since the resulting velocities would exceed the requirements of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), which is a maximum of 0.8 m/s for the three-day delay 10-year return period flow. To reduce culvert velocities and meet DFO requirements for fish passage, an additional 1200 mm concrete pipe culvert was added late in 2011, adjacent to the existing culvert. The Truro Creek passage remained in service until October 29, 2013, when a 12-year-old built a “campfire” that caused the HDPE liner in the original CSP culvert to catch fire. The fire generated toxic smoke, prompting evacuation of nearby residences. After the fire was extinguished, Portage Avenue remained closed for several hours until engineers were confident that the remaining structure had sufficient integrity to withstand

28 | September/October 2015

Crew filling annular space between liner and CSP culvert with grout.

the live loads, at least for the short term. Engineers later concluded that, without a liner, corrosion of the steel would deteriorate the structural integrity of the crossing, so immediate rehabilitation was needed. Design engineers specified 1800 mm diameter reinforced concrete pipe to line the Truro Creek culvert. Because of the need for lining, grouting, construction of a new secondary culvert and finally relining with jacked concrete pipe, it could be argued that the original culvert design was far from being sustainable. When a variety of materials and products are readily available in major urban centres, why must some designers and specifiers be limited to choices based on the lowest manufactured cost when there are volumes of anecdotal and scientific evidence about the performance of most materials in the short and long term? Why are materials and products being specified that are not sustainable, using the worldwide definitions of sustainable? Now that the “R”-factor (resiliency) has entered the

Reinforced concrete pipe culvert being jacked under roadway adjacent to CSP culvert.

pipeline design process, its implications are perhaps even more important than the sustainability of materials and products used. The Truro Creek culvert incident speaks volumes to the issue of building buried infrastructure that is resilient, and using materials and products that will meet the design life of a pipeline or culvert system. Thus, conversation has shifted from sustainable development only, to development that is both sustainable and resilient. Derek Light, P. Eng. is with Inland Pipe. Email: derek.light@lehighhanson.com

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Environmental Protection

Unseen environmental issues with trenchless technologies By Michael MacDonald


here was a time when manufacturing generated incredible amounts of waste. But, to prevent the costs of compliant industrial waste disposal, industry sought out efficiencies. These included new chemistries, in-house waste treatment, recycling and prevention strategies, to name a few. This has drastically reduced the volume of waste disposed of by many waste generators. However, new sources have emerged. In years past, the installation of sewers, pipelines and other underground infrastructure required a trench to be excavated. Today, a number of “trenchless technologies” allow this necessary infrastructure to be installed without the need for trenches. This solves many problems, but does create new regulatory issues. The fluids used in this drilling process are commonly referred to as drilling muds. These are engineered to have certain properties in order to protect the drill, seal the borehole, carry drill cuttings, prevent fluid loss, etc. These properties are achieved with non-native minerals (typically sodium bentonite clay), polymers and other additives. Once liquefied, they are considered a regulated, liquid waste stream in most jurisdictions. It is important to note that these fluids and their constituents are not hazardous to human health. They are, however, an environmental risk should they enter a watercourse and must be disposed of appropriately, once no longer in use. Additionally, when working in previously developed areas, it would not be unusual for these waste fluids to be contaminated in varying degrees by other materials present from previous industrial or commercial activity. The number of sites contaminated by hydrocarbons, metals and other industrial materials is well documented. In Ontario, contaminated soils have been in the news a lot recently. Several stories have broken about soils from contaminated sites being dumped as “clean fill”. Whether through in situ

30 | September/October 2015

Fluids used in drilling process are considered a regulated, liquid waste stream in most jurisdictions.

methods or ex situ bioremediation, some of this “dirty dirt” was probably treated, but not completely. The remaining contamination was then detected when samples were taken after the soil was dumped. Perhaps some of the soil was simply misrepresented. There is much disagreement about who is to blame, but there is no disagreement that soil removed from a developed area has significant potential for contamination. When liquefied during the drilling or hydroexcavation process, this soil is an even greater problem. Many operators are reporting changes in the soil disposal marketplace. This is likely due, in part, to the highly publicized contamination of unwitting receivers’ property. At one time, drilling fluid wastes would be easy to dispose of. Now, there is much confusion due to the conflation of true hydroexcavation mud. This inert waste, which is often a non-regulated waste stream, is sometimes confused with other materials carried in hydroexcavation trucks. Clean soil and water removed from a greenfield, as is often the case in hydroexcavation, is a resource many would

want. On the other hand, engineered drilling fluids, potentially mixed with pollutants from the job site, are not. The problem for any receiver is how to perform the necessary due diligence to be confident of which loads are clean, and which loads are a future remediation project. Obviously, this is not possible without adding cost-prohibitive steps. We are now experiencing the very predictable result of these issues. Former unlicensed dump sites for liquid or semi-solid drilling wastes are no longer willing to accept the risk. Those that have decided to continue receiving these fluids are becoming fewer and further between, and are doubling their rates or even more. Quebec’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change has recognized the risk of these industrial fluids. They are advising drillers and carriers of these fluids to dispose of them in accordance with industrial waste regulations. On a recent pipeline installation, a major Quebec gas distributor worked with their horizontal directional driller to ensure compliance with these provincial

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Environmental Protection regulations. After reviewing a number of solutions to manage approximately 1,000 m3 of drilling fluids and cuttings, they determined their best option was to solidify on-site using an engineered reagent from MetaFLO Technologies. These solidified, non-hazardous drill spoils were much easier to transport and much less costly to dispose of, as they were able to send their waste stream direct to a solids receiver. MetaFLO’s patented process and technology adds a measured amount of reagent to liquid waste streams producing a homogeneous blend. This highshear mixing method, combined with an engineered, solidification reagent blend takes up very little space and is very easy to operate. Additionally, this method of creating solid wastes at the job site allows a generator to go direct to disposal with larger loads, without the need for costly vacuum trucks and double-handling at a liquids transfer station. While this generator didn’t measure their carbon footprint reduction, they know they had

Liquid drill fluids collected in a sump before treatment.

drastically reduced the number of hours trucks spend moving the material. Financially, logistically, and environmentally, the gas distributor benefitted from this innovative solution to

the regulatory challenge. Michael MacDonald is with MetaFLO Technologies. Email: michael@metaflo.ca

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September/October 2015 | 31

Site Remediation

Conductivity testing allows for accurate subsurface lithology By Ryan Riess, Wesley Wizniuk, Jessica Cutter and Ty VanCamp


n situ electrical conductivity (EC) testing has been utilized historically to identify lithology during drilling operations. It provides a detailed picture of the soils the probe encounters. Water trapped in pore spaces transmits data to the EC probe, based on its ability to carry an electrical current. Factors that can affect the EC readings include soil structure, types and quantities of minerals found in the soil, degree of isomorphic substitution, connectivity of soil pores (soil density) and concentrations of exchangeable ions. PINTER & Associates Ltd. realized the potential value of using field EC technology to accurately identify and delineate the impact of salt and fertilizer. EC field testing is cost-effective when compared to a typical Phase II Environmental Site Assessment in terms of the amount and level of detail of in situ site characterization data. Traditional methods of delineating impacts can also introduce costly delays and re-mobilization costs into a project. The use of EC field screening enables decision making in the field, allowing projects to proceed efficiently and on budget. A Geoprobe SystemsÂŽ SC500 Elec-

32 | September/October 2015

Field work using an electrical conductivity probe and computer for real time data.

trical conductivity logging system is used for the determination of soil conductivity. It injects a current across electrical contacts attached to the probe head and measures electrical current and voltage from the contacts to calcu-

late conductivity. It measures electrical conductivity, depth and the rate of probe penetration in both imperial and metric units. Real time results are efficient and have been proven to be reliable indicators for the impact of salt and fertilizer.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Site Remediation

Sustainable Ecosystems

Soil retaining system helps urban trees reach maturity

Data is provided in two centimetre increments, allowing for a high degree of vertical resolution. The effectiveness of EC field Byusing Eric Keshavarzi technology to characterize salt and fertilizer impacts was evaluated by reena infrastructure and susPINTER using SC500 soil conductivitainability goals are of inty probe and FC4000 field instrument to creasing importance, and log EC data. achieving them requires technical Case knowledge training in varied study and - Saskatchewan fields. Integration of soil EC field technology and wastrees usedinto to urban areas substantially improves susidentify the impact of salt on a propertainability helps alleviate some of The our ty located and in central Saskatchewan. most pressing ecological challenges. site was characterized by sloped topogThese air andconsisted water quality, raphy.include Its geology of arising shaltemperatures, flooding and erosion low layer of topsoil, underlain by from sand daily rainfall events. to 0.5 m below ground surface (BGS) West Don Lands, in Toronto, OnandThe a layer of clay till to 6.0 m BGS. tario, is a community that is people Eleven EC test holes were made and fothe cused, family friendly, peak background EC environmentally value measured sustainable and beautifully designed for was 330 milliSiemens/m. living. It has Stage 1indicated LEED NDthat GOLD Screeninga results field certification under the pilot program esEC readings above 600 milliSiemens/m tablished by the U.S. Green Building were a strong indicator of exceeding Council. conductivity criteria. An R2 value of One notable an sustainable 0.95 indicated excellentcomponent, correlation utilized in the design of the area’sanalysis streets, between field and laboratory is a soil retaining system called Silva EC data. Cells™. Typical urban trees in the city Peak readings also correlated very core die after approximately seven years. well with elevated concentrations of However, Silva Cells help extend chloride, sodium and sulphate. Thetheir site life spans, thus promoting the growth of was in the midst of legal proceedings mature street trees. due to off-site impacts. Detailed data led the fair City resolution of Toronto between had preto Although a quick and viously used Silva Cells as part of a the two parties. stormwater management pilot program in One of the key points was proving The Queensway, their use as part of site


Figure 1: The format EC data is shown in. This can be viewed by field personnel. Installation of Silva Cells in Mill Street.

that salt impacts were deeper than 1.5 development new. off-site In fact, the West This Don m across the isentire plume. Lands streets are the first in a Toronto would have been difficult to achieve subdivision to be designed with but this sysusing conventional methods, was tem installed under parking lay-bys relatively straightforward using the and EC sidewalks. data. Mill Street was the first subdivision street Toronto to be designedAlberta to include Caseinstudy - northeastern thisEC soil retaining system. As the lead field data was used to characterengineering consultant, R.V .Anderson ize the impact of fertilizer on a site loAssociates coordinatedAlberta. all plansHistorical and speccated in northeastern ifications with the landscape architect. site activities indicated the presence of About Silva fertilizer throughout theCells property. SubSilva Cells are a plastic/fiberglass surface geology encountered at the site structure of columns beams supincluded clay fill andand debris tothat a depth port paving above un-compacted planting

of 1.0 m. Firm clay was observed besoil. The structure has 92% void space neath the fill to a depth of approximateand is a stable surface for the installation ly 3.0 m BGS and was underlain by a of vehicle loaded-pavements. stiff clay till. When installed, they can In orderproperly to delineate ammonium, achieve an AASHTO H-20 load nitrate and nitrite impacts on therating. site, Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code EC analysis was performed on 16 test loadingLaboratory can also beanalysis achieveddemonstratthrough apholes. propriate This is required ed a gooddesign. correlation ofthe field EC to load labrating for structures such as underground oratory EC values with an R2 value of vaults,Based coverson andthegrates in areas of field traf0.85. results of EC fic including sidewalks and parking lots. analysis, a total of eight soil samples The cell structure transfers the force to a were submitted for laboratory analysis base layer below the structure. of nutrients. Soil within the continued cells remains at low overleaf... compaction rates, thereby creating ideal



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September/October 2015 | 33 Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Site Remediation Soils having an EC value above 4 deciSiemens/m (which is equivalent to field screening values of 400 milliSiemens/m) exceeded EC guidelines. Results of the laboratory analysis confirmed that elevated EC screening values could be used to accurately predict elevated nutrient concentrations. EC field screening also allowed horizontal and vertical delineation of nutrient impacts. These were determined to cover an area of approximately 20 m by 30 m. Field personnel can view EC data on the logging screen in the same format as that presented in Figure 1. As the soil probe advances, the user is provided with a plot of real time information on locations and concentrations of contaminants. Raw field data collected from the EC logger can be downloaded at a later date to plot conductivity data. EC data from the site was used to plot conductivity results. It was then used to create cross sections which transected the site both horizontally and vertically.

Field personnel can view EC data in real-time on the logging screen.

Results from field screening indicated peak EC levels near the surface, with impacts returning to background levels at approximately 4.5 m BGS. By com-

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bining field screening results with laboratory data, the total volume of impacted soils on the site could be accurately determined.

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Site Remediation Accuracy was vital, as the site owner was evaluating an offer to purchase the property against remediation costs. The actual volume of soils removed from the site was 98% of the estimated total. This demonstrated the effectiveness of EC technology, as well as the confidence that experienced practitioners place in the data. Case study - eastern Alberta EC field data was used to characterize the impact of fertilizer on a site located in eastern Alberta. Twenty-four EC test holes were made on a property used historically for fertilizer storage. Site stratigraphy consisted of a layer of gravel and fill to approximately 0.2 m BGS. This was underlain by a layer of stiff oxidized clay with some sand to approximately 3.0 m BGS, followed by a layer of stiff unoxidized clay. In situ EC screening was utilized at the site to identify nutrient impacts and delineate the contaminant plume. Soil samples were submitted for laboratory conductivity testing and nutrient


testing. Soil laboratory analysis results confirmed that high concentrations of ammonium and nitrate were reported at the same depths below ground surface, where high EC measurements were recorded in the field. The results from the laboratory testing correlated strongly to the EC field screening data and a relationship of R2 = 0.89 was discovered. A strong correlation was also found between concentrations of nitrate and field EC measurements (R2 = 0.84) and total nitrogen, sulfate, and ammonium concentrations and field EC measurements (R2 = 0.96). An innovative strategy involving a permeable reactive barrier was designed based on the EC data for the site. This project was the recipient of the 2014 national award of excellence in remediation from the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada. Conclusions These case studies illustrate the relationship between field EC screening

and laboratory conductivity testing. PINTER has proven the usefulness of field EC testing in providing valuable in situ data in real time to field decision makers. Such data enables field selection of test hole locations. It also provides the ability to map the extent of contaminants both horizontally and vertically while in the field for the initial mobilization. Strong correlations between laboratory EC measurements and in situ EC measurements prove that real time field data can be used as a strong predictor of contaminants in the subsurface. In situ electrical conductivity testing provides valuable information about charged ions in subsurface soils and clearly demonstrates value to any project where assessment of charged contaminants is involved. Ryan Riess, Wesley Wizniuk, Jessica Cutter and Ty VanCamp are with PINTER & Associates Ltd. For more information, email: ryan.riess@pinter.ca

September/October 2015 | 35

Site Remediation

Concrete cloth chosen for EPA Superfund mine site remediation By Randona Conrad


n a collaborative effort with the United States EPA, Nuna Innovations Inc. installed concrete cloth geosynthetic cementitious composite mat to address an acid rock drainage condition at the Sheldon Mine site near Walker, Arizona. This site is identified as an EPA Superfund site and is located on unincorporated private land within Prescott National Forest. It is close to the headwaters of Lynx Creek and the Lynx Lake reservoir. When in operation from the 1860s to the 1950s, the mine produced copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc. Waste was left in two main areas: the Sheldon Mine tailings pile and the Sheldon Mine waste rock pile. Identified as a radioactive site by the U.S. EPA, it was suffering from an acid rock drainage problem that was occurring due to stormwater becoming contaminated with lead, arsenic and heavy metals. This not only posed a threat to nearby residents, but also to the Lynx Creek watershed. In 1975, the Prescott National Forest and the University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources completed a site recovery project. They regraded eroded banks, added limestone and topsoil and seeded native grasses. A ditch was created to capture the contaminated run-off water from four tailings piles at various points. Due to water and wind erosion over the years, the soil cap and drainage system was in disrepair and no longer isolated the contaminants. About 99% of the drainage ditch around the tailings piles was unlined. Shotcrete had been used at the top of the steep slope but was highly deteriorated. The goal of this project was to line the entire ditch and prevent surface and stormwater from coming into contact with hazardous chemicals. Shotcrete was considered, but rejected due to cost and performance considerations such as cracking and undermining. An HDPE liner was also considered but required extensive excavation, which would increase trucking costs to remove

36 | September/October 2015

Concrete cloth was laid in a transverse layout with 100 mm overlaps, along the entire length of the excavation.

excavated materials. Also, specialist labour required to install the HDPE was expensive. After careful consideration, the EPA specified concrete cloth for this project. Concrete cloth is a flexible, cement impregnated fabric that hardens when hydrated to form a thin, durable, water-

The goal of this project was to line the entire ditch and prevent surface and stormwater from coming into contact with hazardous chemicals. and fireproof concrete layer. This allows concrete construction without the need for plant or mixing equipment. The geosynthetic cementitious composite mat consists of a three-dimensional fibre matrix containing a specially formulated dry concrete mix. A PVC backing on one surface of the cloth ensures the material is completely waterproof. The material can be hydrated either by spraying

or by being fully immersed in water. Once set, the fibres reinforce the concrete, preventing crack propagation and providing a safe plastic failure mode. For this project, a simple profile was excavated on the upper portion of the drainage channel to accommodate clean drain rock surrounding an 18� perforated pipe for the French drain. A simple vee ditch was excavated in the lower section. Roots were removed within the excavated area and a 30 cm anchor trench was excavated on either side of the French drain trench and vee ditch. Concrete cloth was laid in a transverse layout with 100 mm overlaps, along the entire length of the excavation. Overlapping concrete cloth is the simplest method of joining two layers together. This is appropriate for the majority of ditch lining, erosion control and ground surfacing applications. Overlapped joints are compressed along the entire length, while the material sets, to ensure there are no voids between layers. This can be done using screws, sandbags, water weights, loose fill, staples, etc. In this case the joints were secured with 3/4’ screws every 15 cm. continued overleaf...

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Site Remediation

Once hydrated, concrete cloth remains workable for two hours and hardens to 80% strength within 24 hours.

Staking or pinning is recommended for ground surfacing applications such as ditch lining, slope stabilization or erosion control. Typically, stakes are specified every 2’ - 3’ for most applications, but this will vary depending on the ground conditions and application. Stakes should be used at joints where possible to secure adjacent layers together. For this application, 12” galvanized spikes were driven into anchor trenches every 1 m to secure the concrete cloth to the outer edges of the ex-

The site’s 18” French drain.

cavation on both sides of the ditch. Installation time for the entire project took three days. Actual time to install the concrete cloth was nine hours with a crew of four installers, allowing a time savings of 50% - 60%. The concrete cloth was hydrated using a 14’ tandem axle trailer with a 3.8 m3 water tank and a fire hose with adjustable nozzle. The client commented that concrete cloth was easier to use than they had anticipated and it was ideal that they could hydrate and continue working.

Ease of installation Concrete cloth is available in man-portable rolls for applications with limited access or where heavy plant equipment is not available. There is no need for mixing or measuring, as the concrete is premixed and cannot be over hydrated. It will set in fresh and salt water. The material can be installed by personnel with minimal training and can be cut and fixed with basic hand-tools. Once hydrated, concrete cloth remains workable for two hours and hard-

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Site Remediation ens to 80% strength within 24 hours. It can be installed at a rate of 200 m2 per hour by a crew of three workers. Accelerated or retarded formulations can be produced to meet specific requirements. Flexibility Concrete cloth has good drape characteristics, allowing it to take up the shape of complex surfaces, including those with a double curvature. It will conform to a range of ditch profiles and curves and, therefore, does not require that the surface be excavated to a specific profile. It can be rapidly unrolled to form a lining. Low wash out Concrete cloth traps dry concrete powder in a three-dimensional fibre matrix. Testing, based on British Standard BS8443 to indicate the effect of underwater setting, shows that it only loses 3% by mass. By comparison, specialized underwater concretes typically lose between 10% - 15%, while also requiring much larger volumes to be poured.

High flow rates Eight-millimetre concrete cloth (CC8) has been tested by the TRI Institute up to flow rates of 8.6 m/s. At these speeds the test facility reached its maximum flow velocity and the material showed no signs of degradation. Anecdotal evidence suggests the product can be used at speeds far in excess of 8.6 m/s. It has double the wear resistance of standard Portland cement and has passed over 200 cycles of freeze-thaw testing, giving it a minimum design life of 50 years in a U.K. climate. Concrete cloth is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional concrete. It can be laid directly into live water courses because it uses a specialized high early strength concrete with a limited alkaline reserve. Unlike most concretes, it is not classified as an irritant and is less damaging to the environment. Additionally, material savings of 95% can be achieved for a typical construction project. This directly reduces the CO2 footprint of construction work

not only through material savings but also through reduced road transport and time on-site. This material is used by The Environment Agency in the U.K. where it originated. Randona Conrad is with Nuna Innovations Inc. Email: randonac@nunainnovations.com

The Nuna group of companies is the largest Aboriginal owned civil contractor in Canada. Its ownership comprises: Nunasi Corporation 25.5%, Kitikmeot Corporation 25.5% and the Management Group 49%. Nuna are active members of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and have several successful joint ventures and partnerships with Inuit, First Nation and Métis groups throughout Canada.

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September/October 2015 | 39

First Nations Water Management




BOIL WATER ADVISORIES Evaluating the First Nations water management strategy By A. Morrison, L. Bradford and L. Bharadwaj


irst Nation communities in Canada live with high-risk drinking water systems and advisories, and they experience a health status significantly below that of the general population. The provision of safe drinking water is an important objective for all public health programs; however, it remains a persistent issue for many reserves in Canada. The Auditor General of Canada’s review of drinking water in First Nation communities identified an imbalance in the provision of safe drinking water in Canada. In the public report into the contamination of Walkerton Ontario’s municipal drinking water supply, Justice Dennis O’Connor identified reserve communities as having “some of the poorest quality water in the province.” Currently, some 30% of reserve water systems are classified as posing a high risk to water quality. As of June 30, 2015, there were 132 drinking water advisories in effect in 91 First Nation communities across Canada, excluding British Columbia (Health Canada, 2015). An average drinking water advisory duration of 343 days has been reported (Health Canada, 2009).

40 | September/October 2015

Although Canadian provinces have incorporated a number of regulatory changes to ensure that residents on public drinking water supplies are provided with safe drinking water from source to tap, provincial water regulations do not apply to reserve communities. A complex tri-departmental federal structure of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and Health Canada, with Environment Canada serving in an advisory role, has shared responsibility for safe delivery of drinking water for First Nations. Additionally, Chief and Council are responsible for the design and construction of water systems and must assume 20% of the cost. They are also tasked with operation and maintenance, including monitoring water safety and ensuring the presence of trained operators. As a result of this managerial complexity, uncertainties, inconsistencies and failed systems have been the norm in many First Nation communities. Over the last decade, $2 billion has been invested to improve drinking water quality for First Nations by way of several key policies and action plans put in place by the federal government and

its agencies. The federal government’s response to water access and management issues on First Nation reserves has primarily been in the form of directing investment for improvements in their drinking water through the seven step First Nations Water Management Strategy (FNWMS). The FNWMS was a five-year strategy implemented in May 2003. It stemmed from an initial baseline assessment of the state of water and wastewater infrastructure in First Nation communities, conducted in 2001 and 2002 by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC 2003). The FNWMS strategy involved a federal investment of $1.6 billion between 2003 and 2008. Projected outcomes included increasing community capacities for water monitoring, sampling, analysis and reporting, decreasing the number of high-risk systems, and developing and implementing a comprehensive set of clearly defined standards, protocols and policies, utilizing a multi-barrier approach (INAC 2007). Several additional initiatives have been implemented since the inception of the FNWMS. These plans were applied between 2003 and 2013 and includ-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

First Nations Water Management ed the Plan of Action for First Nations Drinking Water (PoAFNDW), the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan (FNWWAP) and Bill S-8. Bill S-8, the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act, was the second legislative initiative introduced by the federal government to address safe drinking water on reserves. This bill was introduced in the Senate on February 29, 2012, and contained 15 clauses, the majority of which speak to the Governor in Council’s power to make regulations governing the provision of drinking water and the disposal of wastewater on First Nation lands (AANDC 2012). It establishes that federal regulations may incorporate, by reference, provincial regulations governing drinking water and wastewater in First Nation communities (AANDC 2012) and addresses the application of regulations to source water, the liability of on-reserve First Nations for non–band-owned water systems, the liability of self-governing First Nations, and agreements with, and powers of, third parties used for enforcement of the legislation (AANDC 2012). Bill-S8 came into force on November 1, 2013, and enables the federal government to work with First Nation communities on reserves, as well as other stakeholders, to develop enforceable federal regulations to ensure access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water on reserves. While legislation to provide for regulations to govern drinking water in First Nation communities appeared to be a step forward, imposing them without clear understanding of the progress towards the objectives of the FNWMS, (i.e., adequate training and resources to meet regulations), placed the safety of First Nations drinking water at risk. Therefore, an evidence-based critical analysis of federal policies related to drinking water on First Nation lands and their associated follow-up progress reports and commissioned assessments was conducted. The goals and outcomes of policies since 2001 were noted and the scope and outcomes of each were compared. An exploratory analysis of government–documented quantifiable indicators, assessing the progress made www.esemag.com

through the implementation of the varied policies and recommendations, was also employed. The analysis highlights shortfalls in the collection of indicator data and demonstrates that communities have the technical capacities to meet imposed policy requirements. The effectiveness of government policies to prepare communities for the imposition of regulations introduced through the passing of Bill S-8 was also discussed. Critical and exploratory analyses of the federal strategies, action plans and progress reports indicated that: • Initial strategies were primarily deployed and directed at solving urgent and localized problems and overcoming barriers as they arose, without working on a long-term plan created through the co-direction and cooperation of First Nations as full partners. • There was inadequate information available on the progress made toward achieving the goals of government initiatives to improve water quality on reserves. • A patchwork of progress indicators, without the use of any unifying framework for reporting, and no system for judging progress or reviewing the utility of the indicators themselves, was utilized to assess progress towards initiative successes. • The measured progress reported on federal initiatives was not utilized to guide decisions on, or implementation of Bill S-8. In conclusion, the analyses indicate that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that First Nations across Canada are ready to implement and be responsible for the regulations following from Bill S-8. A. Morrison, Msc., L. Bradford, PhD. and L. Bharadwaj, PhD, are with the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Public Health. For more information, email: lalita.bharadwaj@usask.ca The full paper is entitled “Quantifiable Progress of the First Nations Water Management Strategy 2001-2013 – Ready for Regulation?” The paper will be published in the Canadian Water Resources Journal. September/October 2015 | 41

First Nations Water Management

How did the Yellow Quill First Nation community end its nine year boil water advisory? By Dr. Hans Peterson


he first time I heard about Yellow Quill First Nation was in the spring of 1999. Carla Plotnikoff, an environmental health officer working for the Saskatoon Tribal Council, had tracked me down and wanted to tell me about it. “Yellow Quill is a community some two and a half hours northeast of Saskatoon and I fear for the health of its community members because the tap water is so bad,” she said. She then went on to describe conditions that I had only associated with developing countries. I was skeptical. I had been instrumental in forming the Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF) two years earlier. I had toured rural China and Thailand looking for drinking water issues that needed correcting. But Canada? I must admit I knew nothing about First Nation com-

The late Robert Neapetung (inset) was the water treatment plant operator at Yellow Quill First Nation in 1999. The reserve’s modern IBROM plant is named after him.


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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

First Nations Water Management munities or issues. But, how bad could it be? We drove to Yellow Quill on June 19, 1999, and talked to the three band councillors who demanded an end to the by then, four-year boil water advisory. We then followed water operator Robert Neapetung and engineering company representatives down to the water treatment plant. Robert explained that it was necessary to open the door of the water treatment plant and wait 5 to 10 minutes before going inside, as the smell of hydrogen sulphide was so bad. But, even when Robert thought it was okay to go inside, the plant still smelled bad. The PLC system for the plant had not worked properly in years. Robert explained that he had to short-circuit it to backwash and run the filter. Before leaving I took a sample of the raw water coming into the water treatment plant. Not only did it look unbelievably bad, it reeked of rotten eggs and algae. A closer look at the chemicals Robert used in the water treatment plant made me very concerned. The first chemical added to the water was Elimin-ox. This is a chemical that removes oxygen from the water in boiler plants. It contains a chemical that is a known carcinogen. The next day I phoned the supplier and they were horrified to learn that this chemical was used in a water treatment plant. After I found this out I phoned Carla to tell Robert to immediately stop using the chemical. Gaining perspective: Saskatoon’s water versus Yellow Quill’s The City of Saskatoon treats its water using many processes lasting about two hours to complete. At Yellow Quill the water treatment process took about five minutes. In that time Robert was expected to produce safe drinking water from a source that was more than 10 times poorer than the City of Saskatoon’s. Saskatoon’s distributed water contains, on average, 25 particles per ml. Yellow Quill had distributed water that sometimes had more than 40,000 particles per ml. Put another way, if you drank a glass of Yellow Quill tap water you would consume 10 million particles per glass! The particles would be made www.esemag.com

up of dead algae, bacteria, protozoa and viruses. Yellow Quill’s average particle levels were at times 1,600 times more than Saskatoon! Furthermore, Yellow Quill got its water from Pipestone Creek, a small watercourse that only flowed for a week or two in the spring. Also, an upstream community discharged its sewage lagoons into this creek at the

same time Yellow Quill filled its water reservoir. Conventional treatment of poor quality raw water Yellow Quill was using conventional coagulation, upflow clarification and downflow granular filtration processes to treat its horrific raw water. This continued overleaf...

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First Nations Water Management

A comparison of Yellow Quill’s raw water (L) with that of Saskatoon (R) in June 1999.

Roberta Neapetung, head IBROM operator at Yellow Quill. Since 2004 most valving has been computerized.

and other conventional water treatment is then chlorinated. The water flows processes may work fairly well on rea- into a treated water reservoir where it sonably poor quality raw water sources. is pumped into the distribution system. But, they were never intended to treat Residual contaminants remain in the such poor raw water sources as Yellow water. If they are suspended in the waQuill’s. ter you will have them in your tap waIf you try to use conventional water ter. If they settle to the bottom you will, treatment processes on poor quality raw at times of high water demand and low water, some of the contaminants get re- reservoir levels, again have them in your moved, but not all. The resulting mix tap water as they get stirred up. Canadian Ad 7 and x 4.875_Layout 12/2/14 10:15 AMDissolved Page 1 contaminants will remain of particles dissolved 1compounds

in the water regardless of high or low water levels. When the treated water reservoirs at Yellow Quill were cleaned there was a foot of black ooze covering the bottom of the reservoirs which had passed through Yellow Quill’s water treatment plant. I have suggested to Health Canada that examinations of treated water reservoirs should be part of their water testing. One easy way of making this a

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First Nations Water Management part of routine testing is to toss a coin into each reservoir. Then, the operator can from time to time lift the hatch and note if it is visible. This can provide an estimate of water treatment process performance. If the coin disappears within a month, it is time for the community to get a retrofit or a new water treatment process. Yellow Quill’s water woes In total, Yellow Quill’s boil water advisory lasted nine years. Four elderly community members filed a class action law suit against the federal government and their plight was discussed in the House of Commons and covered by national media. Ultimately, two federal government staff listened to Yellow Quill’s plight and took decisive action to do something about it. With the involvement of Yellow Quill councillors, the community, the environmental health officer and a senior engineer and a scientist, solutions to Yellow Quill’s water woes were examined. Ultimately a 22-month

The opening of James Smith Cree Nation’s IBROM plant in March 2015. Chief Justin Burns is third from the right. Photo: Ron Merasty, Prince Albert Grand Council Tribune

pilot and research project was started. This led to the development of the integrated biological and reverse osmosis membrane (IBROM) treatment process, which produces water that meets all

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First Nations Water Management been more than a dozen other IBROM plants constructed in Saskatchewan and Alberta, including Saddle Lake and James Smith Cree Nations. “We are very happy in the community here that we have a facility such as this (the IBROM) to produce safe drinking water for our community. It is a stepping stone for the people of James Smith and also for other reserves to come here and look at our plant and, hopefully, get something like this in their home communities so that unsafe drinking water will be a thing of the past,” says Justin Burns, the Chief of James Smith Cree Nation. Moving drinking water issues forward In my opinion, the federal government has a tremendous opportunity to move drinking water issues forward in First Nation communities. It has access to raw and treated water data from all Canadian reserves. It should not take long to compare raw and treated water data and determine what works and what doesn’t. The federal government also needs

to obtain data on treated water that has gone through the water treatment process and after it has been chlorinated. This is before the water has been stored in the treated water reservoirs. With this information it will be possible to determine the impacts of water quality changes in the treated water reservoirs and distribution system. Responsibility and liability for drinking water quality A First Nation community has to demand that its new/retrofitted water treatment plant will meet the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality as there is no federal legislation requiring this. First Nation communities are left vulnerable to poor quality tap water. Most cities in Canada, in addition to meeting these guidelines, also aim to meet the more stringent U.S. EPA regulations. And, cities treat much better quality raw water sources. Community members that are exposed to unsafe drinking water can actually take legal action against their Chief

and Council. This is because the federal government signed over responsibility and liability for First Nations drinking water to Chiefs and Councils in 2007. Since then, some First Nations have handed back responsibility and liability for water to the federal government. Dr. Hans Peterson is the Safe Drinking Water Ambassador of the Safe Drinking Water Foundation and a member of the Safe Drinking Water Team. Email: hans.peterson@yahoo.com The Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF) formed an Advanced Aboriginal Water Treatment Team (AAWTT) more than 10 years ago. As water issues have grown so have the activities of the SDWF and in 2014 the AAWTT was transformed into the Safe Drinking Water Team (SDWT) with its own website. Its mission is to help First Nations and rural water operators with water treatment issues. For more information, visit: www.safedrinkingwaterteam.org

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First Nations Water Management

Nazko WTP: a reliable and low-maintenance water treatment solution for arsenic removal By Mark Burger and Irfan Gehlen


n 2006, the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ) lowered the maximum allowable concentration of arsenic in drinking water from 0.025 mg/l to 0.01 mg/L, bringing it in line with global guidelines and regulations. As a result, many drinking water systems that did not previously require arsenic treatment were no longer in compliance. In the decade since the guidelines were changed, many communities across Canada have constructed new facilities to remove arsenic to within allowable limits. Since arsenic is naturally present in some groundwater, it is not uncommon for drinking water sources to contain trace levels. For example, most of Nova Scotia and parts of British Columbia have arsenic in their groundwater. Communities on a groundwater supply are often rural and remote. This presents the challenge of how to provide effective and reliable treatment that is within the limited means of a community, and does not require the services of a full-time plant operator. One such community is the Nazko First Nation, with a population of approximately 200. Located in the central interior of B.C., it is 100 km west of Quesnel. Historical raw water samples taken at its groundwater source indicated arsenic levels of between 0.020 and 0.030 mg/l, a definite exceedance of the arsenic guideline. In addition to high arsenic levels, the water source also had elevated levels of total organic carbon and manganese. While there is no limit for total organic carbon, natural organic material can interact with chlorine to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Some DBPs, such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, are listed in the GCDWQ. The removal of organic matter before disinfection is the preferred way to minimize DBP formation. Manganese is currently listed as an aesthetic parameter in the GCDWQ, with a maximum concentration of 0.050 mg/l. At Nazko, raw water manganese www.esemag.com

Nazko WTP’s interior view with the manganese removal vessels at left and arsenic removal vessels at right.

concentrations are almost 20 times over this guideline at approximately 0.9 mg/l. Manganese has a tendency to form a black precipitate and scaling, which stains sinks and bathtubs, and can also accumulate in hot water heaters. Before construction of the new water treatment plant (WTP) in Nazko, homeowners in the community reported frequent manganese precipitation and required more frequent replacement of their hot water tanks. Engineers from Kerr Wood Leidal Associates conducted studies to determine whether another groundwater or surface water source could be developed that did not require arsenic treatment. However, it was concluded that treating the existing groundwater source for arsenic, manganese and organic matter was the best long-term option. A new WTP was designed to remove the three water quality parameters of concern and provide the community with great tasting water that met drinking water guidelines. Passive treatment A passive treatment process was designed for the Nazko WTP because it

could effectively remove the contaminants of concern without requiring daily operator input or adjustment. At the heart of this process is adsorption. Unlike a physical separation process such as sand filtration, adsorption is a chemical process where a specific contaminant is attracted to receptor sites on the media. A contaminant is adsorbed onto the media as long as the water is put in contact with the media for a sufficient amount of time. To target all three water quality parameters of concern, three separate adsorption media were required. The first treatment step is granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption, which removes organic matter and reduces the formation potential of DBPs. The next step is chlorine injection, which does three things. First, it oxidizes the arsenic and manganese to make them easier to remove by adsorption filtration. Then, a chlorine residual in the water regenerates the manganese removal media, extending its service life. Finally, the chlorine also disinfects the water and provides a residual that will prevent microbiological regrowth in the distribution system. continued overleaf... September/October 2015 | 47

First Nations Water Management After a few minutes of chlorine contact time, the water passes through adsorption filters with Filox, a manganese dioxide based media that removes manganese. The final treatment step is contact with Bayoxide E33 media for arsenic removal. All the media vessels are pressurized so the water is pushed through all three stages of Nazko Water Treatment Plant. treatment with the pressure readings are logged and sent via Interfrom the well pumps. Treated water flows into a clearwell. From there, net connection to a cloud-based server it is pumped to a reservoir, then distrib- (FlowWorks). This allows the operator and other authorized personnel to view uted by gravity to the community. plant performance data online. Using this data monitoring service, Automation and remote monitoring Although the Nazko WTP has a pas- the operator can create and configsive treatment process, it is equipped ure alarms, which can be sent by text with the automation and connectivity or email. A traditional alarm dialer is expected from a modern facility in a also installed at the facility for critical larger centre. The control panel has a alarms. The ability for any authorized touchscreen HMI that allows the op- person to view plant data online is very erator to adjust many of the operation- valuable in a remote area such as Nazal parameters and alarms. Instrument ko. It allows the operator to consult with

other operators, contractors, or engineers to troubleshoot issues that might otherwise have required a field visit. Remote monitoring can identify not only water quality issues but also potential water quantity issues. Changes in daily plant production volumes can be a sign of a problem in the plant or the distribution system. The online data monitoring allows the operator and others to analyze flow data to pinpoint when water demands changed. This can help identify the cause. Operation and maintenance As is the case in many remote communities, power outages are common in Nazko and sometimes take days to resolve. The Nazko WTP is equipped with a propane generator that can power the plant during power outages. Unlike a diesel generator and its associated storage tank, propane will not pose a threat

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First Nations Water Management to the underlying aquifer in the event of a spill. Major operation tasks include regular backwashing of all filters. Although backwashes are automatically programmed, the operator can initiate one manually. Backwashing reduces pressure loss across adsorption filters, but it does not remove the contaminants that have been adsorbed. Once all receptor sites on the media have adsorbed their target contaminant, the media is considered to be exhausted and must be replaced. Because the target contaminants will not leach out of the adsorption media after disposal, they can all be disposed of in a regular landfill. The time to exhaustion varies among media and is based on the raw water concentration of the target contaminant and total volume of water processed. At the time of commissioning, it was projected that the arsenic media would be exhausted and require replacement annually. The GAC media was projected to require replacement every one to two years, while the manganese removal media was projected to last up to 10 years before exhaustion. All of these media lifespans were based on estimates provided by the manufacturers of the media. Plant performance Since the Nazko plant was commissioned in 2013, data collected show that it removes all target contaminants to levels that comply with the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. The performance monitoring has also provided site-specific data to help determine arsenic media life. By comparing treated water arsenic grab samples taken since the plant’s commissioning with historical flow data saved online, a projected arsenic media life of just under 50,000 m3 was calculated. This knowledge allows the community to get the most out of its arsenic removal media between replacement intervals. It also helps the community plan for the logistics and costs of media replacement. Based on current water demands, the arsenic media replacement interval is projected to be 14 months, or slightly longer than what was originally estimated by the manufacturer. www.esemag.com

Summary The Nazko water treatment plant removes arsenic, manganese and organic matter, using a passive treatment process that does not require daily operator adjustment. At the same time, the data gathering and monitoring tools connect the operator to outside help, when needed. The Nazko plant is an example of a successful plant that can be left to run

on its own without a full-time operator. Advancements in technology offer remote communities access to the resources and expertise they need to identify and solve problems, keeping clean, safe drinking water flowing to their communities. Mark Burger and Irfan Gehlen are with Kerr Wood Leidal Associates. Email: mburger@kwl.ca, igehlen@kwl.ca

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September/October 2015 | 49

Wastewater Operations

How the industry can take on flushable wipes in the waste stream and win By Kevin Bates


astewater professionals are well aware that debris has changed significantly over the last ten years. From the bus-sized “fatberg” festering within London England’s sewer system, the pending “wipes” lawsuit in Minnesota and public outreach efforts to change consumer behaviour, municipalities are frustrated by seemingly innocent flushables. Not only is the waste running through our system tougher and more prevalent than ever before, our aging infrastructure simply can’t keep up. Undersized, original equipment is especially prone to clogging and breakdown. Gradual pipeline and channel deterioration compounds that problem exponentially. However, manufacturers and wastewater professionals can equip themselves with the right tools to completely eliminate problems caused by non-dispersibles in pump stations and resource recovery facilities, even if legal and public education efforts do not curtail the problem. The waste evolution The prevalence of wipes in the waste stream is a relatively new problem. Introduced in the early 2000s, they were commercially marketed for household cleaning and “flushable” bathroom use. These products presented convenience, hygiene and performance benefits, along with an appealing price for consumers. While the early versions didn’t gain immediate, widespread popularity, the popularity of recent ones has skyrocketed. Disposable wipes sales are rising at double-digit rates and are now a $5 – $6 billion product category. Those figures are only expected to increase. According to a 2013 report by the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, wipes usage is expected to grow 16% year-over-year through 2017. In the early days, these “flushable” products were merely resized versions of baby wipes. They were cloths made of a stretchy, ultra-durable plastic material

50 | September/October 2015

This 2-ton rag ball only took three weeks to form around this pump, and occurred while the site’s dual-shafted grinder was undergoing routine maintenance.

known as spunlace, impossible to break apart with water alone. In recent years, most commercial wipes manufacturers switched to a cellulose substrate, which offers slightly better dispersibility without sacrificing strength. However, this material still causes clogging and requires intervention, in order to fully break down. Wipes manufacturers contest that the fabrics causing the most damage at pump stations and treatment facilities are

actually non-flushable wipes, like paper towels and feminine care products, and disposable wipes products labeled as flushable. However, facility operators are seeing things differently. According to a debris evaluation study by the Maine Wastewater Control Association, 90% of the products pulled from the waste stream during the testing period were not flushable. Almost half of that total included so-called flushable wipes.

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Wastewater Operations Along with increased durability, this new generation of wipes comes with confusing terms attached. “Flushable” is often assumed to mean “biodegradable”, so there is a misleading assumption that the material will behave like toilet paper and eventually dissolve. It’s only when problems from repeated flushing of these kinds of wipes leads to costly and unseemly consequences, usually in the form of a toilet backup, that consumers begin to think about how that material behaves within a pipeline. The damage caused by wipes and other non-dispersible material to pumps, pipes and sensitive treatment equipment, such as membrane bioreactors (MBRs), is overwhelming. From public outreach campaigns to smarter pump station and treatment facility design, industry professionals are beginning to combat this tough debris more thoroughly and successfully Wipes education makes headway Many municipalities and industry non-profit groups have developed information for their residents regarding what

Example of a simulated rag ball within a testing facility.

should and shouldn’t be flushed, from humorous videos to interactive infographics. The goal is to change behaviour and educate consumers on how wastewater treatment systems are connected. One of the best examples of pub-


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lic outreach from a municipality is the “What the Flush” campaign from the Maine Water Environment Association (MEWEA). The campaign site includes a parody game show series asking contestants about what should and shouldn’t be flushed. Participants are given a score based on their answers. While this campaign made significant headway in Maine during its initial launch, evidence suggests that public outreach campaigns work best in the short term only. The MEWEA collected and sorted debris from a designated pump station in a suburb of Portland, Maine, for six weeks before the “What the Flush” campaign launch, and then six weeks after. The prevalence of wipes and non-dispersible debris within the pump station dropped off significantly for about four weeks after the campaign, and then resumed typical amounts in the period immediately after that. This suggests that, while important, public advocacy isn’t enough to protect pump stations and resource recovery facilities. That’s where rethinking the continued overleaf...

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Wastewater Operations system itself, and the equipment within these facilities, becomes critical. Some pump manufacturers have begun developing and promoting non-clog pumps as the solution to this debris problem. Understanding the capabilities of these pumps, and their limitations, is critical for pump station engineers so they can make the best possible choice for their facilities. Benefits and limitations of non-clog pumps Non-clog pumps, like all submersible wastewater pumps, rely on an impeller to move liquids These typically come in a two- or three-vane design to improve pump performance, while still allowing the passage of solids. In order to be classified as non-clog, these types of pumps must be able to pass a 75 mm diameter solid without fouling. An appropriately-sized spherical solid is usually used during the design and testing phase, and if the object is able to go through the impeller passage, then the pump is deemed to be non-clog. However, wipes behave completely differently than solid, spherical objects within a pump or pipeline. Long, stringy pieces of wipes and other fabrics can easily wrap around an impeller, causing it to become partially or fully blocked. Round, solid debris does not do this. Wipes, especially in the volume that most municipal pump stations see on a weekly basis, are just too tough and

52 | September/October 2015

strong for a non-clog pump to handle. This means using new technologies within pump stations, collections systems and headworks facilities to permanently deal with the wipes epidemic. One approach has been to try to shred or cut up the stringy wipes within the collection systems. A variety of products, including chopper pumps, high-speed macerators and dual shafted grinders, have debris reduction capabilities. Dual-shafted grinders are simple to maintain, require little to no modification of an existing pipeline or channel, and are more economical than total system rehabilitation. Regardless of what technologies are utilized to convey sewage to the headworks, all resource recovery facilities must also take a serious look at what is being employed for inlet screening. Traditional bar, climber and other one-directional screening technologies have proven to be no match for the new challenge of wipes, and often allow significant quantities to bypass. Many facilities are upgrading to two-directional finescreens that can capture both whole wipes, as well as non-dispersibles that have been ground in the collection systems. Powerful grinding offers protection Proper preconditioning of wipes and other waste through grinding before they reach pumps is the most effective solu-

tion for preventing damage, eliminating safety risks, and reducing the time and energy costs associated with clogging. Some of today’s dual-shafted grinders are now designed specifically for quick and efficient reduction of wipes. The added benefit of grinding the wipes, along with other solids, is that it separates the organic and inorganic materials. This means that when the debris is finally screened out, it will be cleaner, and the essential organic materials will pass into the water resource recovery facility. Dual-shafted grinders employ lowspeed, high-torque grinding to break down troublesome solids. As the name indicates, they comprise two stacks with rows of hardened, steel cutters that rotate toward one another. Cutter teeth actively grab solids and pull them through the cutter stack, shredding solids into smaller pieces. The shafts rotate at different speeds, so the cutters interact like a pair of scissors, slicing the solids rather than crushing them. This slicing action helps ensure a consistently small particle size. These grinders employ top and bottom shaft bearings and mechanical seals to prevent shaft deflection or seal failure when grinding high volumes of solids, like “flushable” fabrics. Refined capture at the headworks Finescreens are defined as solids removal devices that have a maximum

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Wastewater Operations opening in one dimension of 6 mm. Better finescreen products employ screening in two dimensions, using plates perforated with round holes as their primary screening element. In-to-out finescreen technologies such as band screens, or internally fed drum screens offer the best capture of solids due to their non-carry-over design. These designs are better equipped to protect downstream high-tech treatment equipment, such as membrane bioreactors. MBR manufacturers frequently recommend a band screen or drum screen with 1 mm - 2 mm perforations to prevent small trash and hair from fouling membrane pores.

cannot totally eliminate the impact of wipes and nondispersibles on influent waste streams in their pump stations and water resource recovery facilities. But they can dramatically improve the clogging and ragging situation with the right waste reduction equipment. While public awareness campaigns are effective in the short-term, controlling how waste is managed within a pump station or resource recovery is more reliable

than anti-flushing campaigns. With continued incorporation of proper screening and grinding technology, wastewater professionals can fully protect pumps and ensure that problems from flushables are manageable. Kevin Bates is with JWC Environmental. For more information, email: kevinb@jwce.com

Controlling how waste is managed within a pump station or resource recovery is more reliable than anti-flushing campaigns. While finescreening technology offers superior solids removal and protection of downstream equipment, the screening plates can be sensitive to very heavy trash or first flush loading. This debris can damage the screening panels or overload the removal systems. One solution is to utilize an additional coarse bar screen in front of the fine screen. This is, however, a costly investment. A more cost-effective option that eliminates this risk to the fine screen is to use a high-flow dual-shafted grinder in front of it to precondition all solids. It shreds especially tough debris to a size that can easily be handled by a fine screen. The added benefit of a dual-shafted grinder is its ability to break down essential soft organics, so that they are more easily passed through the fine screen. This also controls the particle size of the debris, so the screen can still effectively remove unwanted solids. The future of flushables Wastewater industry professionals www.esemag.com

September/October 2015 | 53

Wastewater Monitoring

Industrial wastewater quality monitoring in remote areas By Victor Stoica, Erik Kallen, John van Pol and Heinrich Wortche


onitoring the quality of industrial wastewater is becoming increasingly important, due to higher legal requirements and the need to optimize industrial processes. For remote operations, field sampling and subsequent laboratory analysis of the samples is the method commonly used to obtain information on relevant water quality indicators. Laboratory analysis allows for the detection of a broad spectrum of parameters through its high sensitivity and precision. However, the costs of highly-trained staff, travel time, accessibility of areas and laboratory costs limit sampling frequencies. Sampling provides snapshot-like information, with long intervals in between. Therefore, information is missing on the long-term history of indicators, such as the parameters

54 | September/October 2015

and time scale of industrial operations and process cycles. Self-sustained autonomously operating monitoring systems offer an alternative approach for monitoring remote areas. These combine an increasing number of sensors for detecting environmental parameters, with energy-saving, but powerful electronics and highly efficient micro-power stations. A remote monitoring system of this kind must be able to withstand harsh weather conditions, with temperatures varying from -45°C - 30°C. It must also withstand the impact of roaming wildlife, and storms and ice flow if mounted in water. It has to operate without access to the power grid and with limited radio communication. The latter imposes restrictions on the amount of data that can be transmitted from observation sites and the remote control capabilities of the devices.

The remote water quality monitoring system (RWQM), developed by INCAS in collaboration with INGU Solutions Inc., is a modular system designed for continuous all year remote operation under harsh conditions. It can house electrochemical, optical, physical and radiation sensor modules, measuring, for example, microbiological stability, the amount of nutrients and salts, the presence of radioactivity and the clarity of the treated industrial wastewater. From July to December 2014, an RWQM with two sensor modules (water and radiation) was set up in a creek in Northern Saskatchewan to continually monitor wastewater released by a mill that processes uranium ore. The initial trial was intended for a period of one month, allowing for the required monthly maintenance of the Intellisonde water sensor. However, during the trial it was

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Wastewater Monitoring decided to run into the winter months. This meant that water sensor data degraded over time and was switched off when the temperature went below zero. The radiation sensor remained operational during the complete period. The RWQM power and control module is designed to support self-sufficient operation over long periods of time. A tree mounted solar panel provided power, and two large deep-cycle batteries were used to ensure continuous power during the night and periods of bad weather. The power and control module was configured to allow for two modes of operation: a standard mode and an energy saving mode. In the standard mode, operated during the summer period, the RWQM runs its own measurement program, but can also be remotely accessed to perform enhanced measurements. During the winter period, the system is switched over to autonomous mode to minimize power consumption. Measurement frequency (typically several times per day) and the measurement period (typically 30 minutes per cycle) can be adjusted via remote access. The system stores the data locally as well as uploading at regular intervals to the cloud. This allows for continuous data access without the need for accessing the RWQM and draining the system. All individual measurements and data transmitted by the RWQM are accessible at all times via a web inter-

The RWQM sensor module with an Intellisonde water quality sensor and horizontally mounted radiation sensor.

face which also displays the status of the system. Conclusions Developments in sensing and computing technology allow for novel water quality monitoring systems that are capable of year round monitoring in remote areas under harsh conditions. The remote water quality monitor is a system that has proven its functionality during a four month trial in Northern Saskatchewan. The embedded intelligence offers the flexibility to operate the

system under widely varying environmental conditions with consistent performance. The radiation detector meets the required sensitivity limits for radio nuclide detection on ppm level, with effective measurement times below 30 minutes. Victor Stoica is with INCAS. Erik Kallen, John van Pol and Heinrich Wortche are with INCAS and INGU-Solutions Inc. For more information, email: victorstoica@incas3.eu

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September/October 2015 | 55

Wastewater Monitoring

Industrial wastewater treatment plant adopts new BOD determination technology By Ian Culverwell, Nicole Visaggio and Robert Menegotto


lean Harbors provides environmental, energy and industrial services throughout North America. They offer a broad range of hazardous material management and disposal services, including the collection, packaging, transportation, recycling, treatment and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Clean Harbors recently acquired Safety-Kleen and Thermo Fluids Inc., companies involved in oil recycling and cleaning services, to expand their range of environmental services. The company’s wastewater treatment facilities use highly refined, chemical precipitation processes to remove heavy metals, suspended solids and organics, in order to generate safe effluent for discharge into municipal sewer systems. Its Guelph, Ontario plant manages large quantities of industrial waste, including oily water and non-hazardous sludge from a wide range of industries. This location has experienced steady growth, with 37 million litres processed in 2014. This meant applying for a permit amendment with the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to increase holding and process capacity, and eventually plant expansion. Ian Culverwell, general manager of Clean Harbors Guelph, explains the onsite treatment processes and challenges: “We do primary chemical coagulation, physical separation of oils, aqueous phases and solids, and chemical coagulation to further remove heavy metals and organics. Biological oxidation and a final filtration step are performed before discharge. We also do biological oxidation, which helps with organic and BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) removal. Our discharge permit with the municipality includes a hard cap on BOD, so we require accurate fast assessment.” As a result of the discharge cap on BOD, samples are sent daily to an accredited laboratory. BOD is a ubiquitous measurement of overall water quality. The standard BOD test requires a five day incubation period, so it is unable to

56 | September/October 2015

Clean Harbors Lab Supervisor John Stockton (L), and General Manager Ian Culverwell (R), in front of their automated PeCOD system.

A scatterplot demonstrating a strong correlation between PeCOD and CODCr for treated effluent from a variety of industrial wastewater samples.

provide continuous monitoring of organic load. With trucks arriving throughout the day, Clean Harbors does not have the holding capacity to keep industrial wastewater in tanks for five days. Dichromate chemical oxygen demand (COD) was, therefore, implemented to estimate BOD values. COD measures the amount of oxygen required to chemically oxidize organic species in the sample,

and can be used to estimate BOD. The standard method for COD analysis uses hazardous and potentially toxic chemicals, including potassium dichromate, mercury sulfate, and sulfuric acid. Samples can be run in batches; however, the test takes up to three hours to complete. Clean Harbors required a faster method to allow them to make quick decisions on how to treat wastewater sam-

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Wastewater Monitoring ples, and for continuous monitoring of influent and effluent COD. As a result of the three hour dichromate COD test, trucks (some 16 per day) were not being unloaded in a timely fashion. Culverwell learned of PeCOD® from Robert Menegotto, of MANTECH. This technology, recognized by the MOECC, is an alternative COD analysis method that overcomes the limitations of the traditional dichromate method. Its patented photo-electrochemical COD analysis uses a nanotechnology based approach to oxidize soluble organics in the sample in situ. PeCOD eliminates the use of harmful chemicals. It generates results in 15 minutes through the use of UV activated TiO2 (titanium dioxide) oxidation and an internal electrode, by directly measuring electron transfer. Clean Harbors and MANTECH initiated a trial project at the Guelph treatment plant in November 2014. The goal was to establish a correlation between the PeCOD and the dichromate COD (CODCr) method, and with the BOD5 test. Samples were prepared in duplicate to test both COD methods. Samples were sent periodically to an accredited laboratory to gather BOD data. Results showed a strong correlation between the PeCOD and dichromate COD for both untreated truck delivered wastewater and treated effluent samples. Across different industry wastewater samples, there was a stronger correlation between PeCOD and BOD5, versus CODCr and BOD5. Upon a successful 45-day testing period, Clean Harbors decided to invest in an automated PeCOD system to replace the CODCr method. Culverwell explained that, “we run a 16-hour per day operation, so retention time on the majority of our waste is less than 24 hours. Timing on the PeCOD is critical for us. With the PeCOD we can get results in 15 minutes, allowing us to turn over our processing tanks much quicker, and process more waste without increasing the size of our tank farm.” Clean Harbors ordered an automated system, which allows multiple samples to be run in a single batch and has the capability to add a priority sample whenever required. Another advantage of the MANTECH system is that calibrations and quality control checks can be started-up and run before the analyst arrives. C




A scatterplot demonstrating a strong correlation between PeCOD and BOD5 for composite daily sampling by the City of Guelph.

Regarding the positive effect on oper- into the tank is going to be. The more ational efficiency, Culverwell says that, knowledge you can equip the operator “it really helps drive the efficiency of the with, the better the treatment result.” operators here. We run a batch process, with every batch being processed on an Ian Culverwell is with Clean Harbors. individual basis. Therefore, you have an Nicole Visaggio and Robert Menegotto operator determining what the dosage are with MANTECH. Email: PCP and Classic, T2 Ad 4.625 x 4.625 rev.pdf 1 2/3/2015 9:43:05 AM of chemicals and coagulants dispensed rmenegotto@mantech-inc.com

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September/October 2015 | 57


Denso road products tested in Mississauga


o address the persistent issue of asphalt failure due to water ingress at butt joints, the City of Mississauga, Ontario conducted a pilot project using Denso Reinstatement Tape and DensoBand alongside a control to evaluate their effectiveness. In June 2012, on a small residential street, five strips of new asphalt joints were installed, testing: • A step joint. • Full depth of Denso Reinstatement Tape. • Patch Master Repair. • 50 mm DensoBand. • Shave and Pave full depth asphalt repair. Personnel from the City of Mississauga reported that installation of the Denso Reinstatement Tape and DensoBand is “easy” and “quickly installed.” Inspection in July 2015 showed that the joints treated with DensoBand and Denso Reinstatement Tape, although not visually present, appeared to be sealed down the face and held no moisture.

After three years DensoBand still maintains the joint. Photo taken July 8, 2015 – three years after installation.

This was compared to joints where no material was used. These joints showed a considerable amount of water infiltration and sitting moisture. The pilot project concluded with a recommendation “that a joint sealing

tape of this kind be specified in any utility or trench restorations. It appears that it would be beneficial for any butt joint.” For more information, email: stuart@densona-ca.com

SINCE 1994

HORIBA “LAQUA” Twin B-700 Series Compact Meters pH ◆ Conductivity (EC) ◆ Sodium Ion (Na+) Potassium Ion (K+) ◆ Nitrate Ion(NO3-) Calcium Ion (Ca2+) ◆ Salt (NaCl) LAQUAtwin’s easy, reliable and quick measurement of these 7 parameters bring new dimension to your water quality testing. • Accurate reading from only a single drop, in a few seconds. • pH, conductivity, ions and salinity, 7 parameters, 9 models. • Calibrate and measure at the touch of a button – the Smiley face will tell you when the result can be read. • LAQUA twin is fully waterproof and dustproof. (IP67 rated) • Carry case comes standard for handy portability 1-800-560-4402 www.ospreyscientific.com sales@ospreyscientific.com

58 | September/October 2015

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine


Double-wall wet wells offer secure stormwater containment By Mark Sheldon


ore and more large industrial sites and branches of the military are leading the way in the use of true double-wall wet well sumps with leak detection for stormwater pump stations. Many fibreglass tank manufacturers are able to supply sumps that are designed to withstand the anticipated chemical properties of stormwater runoff. These tanks can also be configured to handle extreme temperatures and pH conditions. Stormwater, wastewater and industrial process water pumping systems often have buried sumps, and many times a specification requires them. After finding double-wall sumps to meet the water chemistry, temperature, and the above-grade loading and safety requirements, the correct pumps, piping, valves and associated electrical controls must be utilized. Romtec Utilities design stormwater pumping systems with true double-wall wet wells and leak detection.


They provide complete system design, as well as structural, mechanical, electrical and communications components. A naval test facility required the handling and pumping of wash-down water at a rocket test facility. The water was specified to be up to 60oC and contained a variety of chemicals. This system utilizes a 1.8 metre internal diameter round wet well, which is three metres deep, with true double-wall and leak detection notification via SCADA. All the system piping is double-wall and triple-wall, and the entire hatch, with fall control, is aluminum. In this case, the control panel, which handles multiple pumps and systems, is located some distance from the pump station. Merck Animal Health needed a true double-wall system for the wash-down/ clean-up process in its pharmaceutical production. The water pH ranged from 2 to 12, with a wide variety of chemicals present. Working with Merck, Romtec designed and supplied a system which

Pre-installed hatches meet the same traffic rating specified for the wet well.

delivers the wash-down/cleanup water directly and safely to the company’s onsite water treatment system. Mark Sheldon is with Romtec Utilities Inc. For more information, visit www.romtecutilities.com

September/October 2015 | 59

Wastewater Treatment

Understanding how flow distribution can help WWTF optimization By Muhannad Bagajati


astewater treatment facilities are typically designed to conservative guidelines set by environmental/governmental authorities and are operated using historical practices. Generally, such facilities can achieve additional capacity, increased

effluent quality and reductions in operating costs through optimization. This is a highly dynamic process, due to the substantial fluctuations in the flow and variable characteristics of municipal wastewater. Procedures involved in the optimization of an activated sludge wastewater

treatment facility (WWTF) generally include frequent adjustment of several process variables, including: solids retention times and wasting rates, air supply, chemical dosing rates and hydraulic loading rates. One frequently underutilized component of wastewater treatment, with significant potential to

Quebec carbon allowances go on sale


uebec will hold its first sale by mutual agreement of carbon allowances in late September, 2015. Under Quebec’s cap-and-trade system, regulated emitters have until November 1, 2015, to ensure that their verified emissions do not exceed their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowances. Emitters regulated under the province’s cap-and-trade scheme must therefore surrender allowances on November 2 to cover their emissions over 2013-2014. Failure by regulated entities to cover their GHG emissions with a sufficient number of emission units can result in severe sanctions. Intended bids must be supported by a financial guarantee. Alternatively, regulated emitters may opt to privately purchase the required emission units. Quebec launched its carbon market in January 2013, and linked it to California’s in January 2014 via the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). Ontario announced this summer that

60 | September/October 2015

it will also join the WCI scheme next year. Compliance is split into three periods: 2013-2014, 20152017, and 2018-2020. In the first compliance period, the cap is set at 23.2 million tonnes per year and covers the output of some 80 installations from the power and industrial sectors. In the second period, the scope is expanded to cover distributors of fuel, including gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas and heating oil. As a result, in 2015 the emissions cap is increased to 65.3 million tonnes, and is estimated to cover 85% of the province’s GHGs. This Initiative will be covered during a one day course on December 2 in Mississauga. “Managing Air and GHG Emissions” is part of the 22nd annual Environmental Compliance Essentials conference, co-organized by Environmental Science and Engineering Magazine and Canadian Environmental Regulation & Compliance News. For more information, visit www.envirogate.ca Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Wastewater Treatment

Figure 1. Distribution chamber.

improve plant efficiency, is flow distribution. Conventional WWTFs typically contain several units of each treatment process, including: primary sedimentation tanks, aeration tanks and secondary settling tanks. This design methodology supports maximum rated capacity when all tanks are operating. It also provides redundancy to remove a tank from operation for maintenance procedures or for reduced operating costs at lower flow rates. Common practice is to collect and convey flow between these processes in a common conduit or channel. Consideration must to be given to proper flow distribution to the inlet to each process. Uneven flow distribution can have significant impact on the treatment process. This includes reduction in treatment capacity and overloading of individual process units, which can affect overall facility performance. Inflow distribution to primary sedimentation tanks and secondary settling tanks, which vary in dimensions, should be determined, based on the design surface loading rate (SLR) or surface “overflow rate.” In general, the SLR ranges between 30-50 m3/m2/day for primary clarifiers and 16-28 m3/m2/ day for secondary clarifiers at average flow. Inflow into aeration tanks should be taken as a ratio based on the volume of each tank in the treatment train. Norfolk County, in southwestern Ontario, retained R.V. Anderson Associates www.esemag.com

Limited (RVA) to address flow distribution issues at the Simcoe WWTF. The facility is rated at 15,400 m3/day, which is split 2,671 m3/day and 12,729 m3/day between Plant 1 and Plant 2 respectively. Plant 2 contains four primary tanks of equal sizes, and four secondary settling tanks of unequal sizes. Distribution of inlet flows to the primary and secondary tanks were similar in design. The existing primary distribution chamber was comprised of a common well, with one inverted inlet siphon and four inverted outlet siphons of equal sizes, one for each tank. Submerged sluice gates were used for isolation of each clarifier tank, which housed centre-feed column-supported sludge collection mechanisms. The chamber was located in the centre of the four tanks and oriented in square formation. With all four tanks having identical dimensions and designed for the same SLR, the chamber relied on hydraulic symmetry to provide equal flow rates to each one. Inflow to each tank was directly proportional to the outlet over the v-notch weirs in each clarifier tank. With this arrangement, the clarifier outlet weirs were the controlling point of the flow split. After completing site investigations, it became apparent that the two south tanks received nearly twice the amount of sedimentation and sludge as the north pair. It was also discovered that the iso-



continued overleaf... September/October 2015 | 61

Wastewater Treatment METHOD




Inlet Feed Gates

• May be utilized for large number of tanks with minimal additional cost • Operator flexibility to adjust flows • Low operational costs • Future expansion possible

• Requires elevation drop • Head loss


Flow Distribution Box

• May be utilized for a large number of tanks • Operator flexibility to adjust flows • Low operational costs • Ideal for siphons

• Requires elevation drop • Head loss • Future expansion difficult


Inlet Control Valves

• Accurate flow distribution and monitoring • Ultimate operator flexibility • Flow distribution can be monitored and automated • Future expansion possible • Ideal for pumped flow

• Expensive capital cost • Increased operations and maintenance costs • Not ideal for distribution between tanks


Hydraulic Symmetry

• Inexpensive • Low operational costs

• Difficult to achieve, especially as number of tanks increase. • Limited operator flexibility • Future expansion limited

Table 1. Pros and cons for flow distribution methods.

lation gates on the south pair were used as a method of flow control to the south pair. The investigation revealed the outlet weir elevations varied between tanks, with the largest discrepancy being 50 mm. These findings point to the difficulty in achieving effective flow distribution through hydraulic symmetry and utilizing clarifier outlet weirs as a method of flow distribution. The secondary distribution chamber was of similar design but with additional complications. The chamber was comprised of one inverted inlet siphon entering a common well. Four siphons of unequal sizes conveyed the flow to their respective tanks. Plant 2 contained two round secondary settling tanks, and two square secondary tanks. Each square tank was approximately twice the size of each round tank. Similar to the primary distribution chamber, the design relied on the outlet weirs for controlling flow distribution. The activated sludge from all four tanks was collected via siphons to a common 62 | September/October 2015

well. This well hydraulically connected all four tanks, equalizing the level of the sludge blankets. Based on their surface area, each

Testing involved monitoring the sludge blanket, pumping durations, and volumes from each tank to confirm flow is being distributed evenly. square tank should receive twice the amount as each round one. The arrangement made it difficult to determine the actual influent flows as all inlet siphons were submerged. The sludge blanket was also not an accur-

ate measure as the four tanks were hydraulically connected. There are a number of ways to distribute flow, including: inlet feed gates, flow distribution box, inlet control valves and hydraulic symmetry. Relying on hydraulic symmetry, although common at many treatment plants, should only be used in treatment plants with two tanks of equal size. The pros and cons of each distribution method are summarized in Table 1. After evaluating alternative flow splitting methods, it was determined that a flow distribution box, using v-notch weir gates, was the most practical retrofit solution for hydraulic distribution. The existing common feedwell was modified and divided into four dedicated wells, one for each tank. A common channel was constructed with four v-notch weir gates, each discharging into a feedwell. Flow was redirected into the common channel, where the height of the inlet v-notch weir gates is adjusted to control the

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Wastewater Treatment flow into each tank (See Figure 1). Flow distribution checks were conducted by monitoring the sludge blanket levels of each tank. Modifications to each splitter box were completed and tested within a six-week period. This option was selected as the most cost-effective solution, as it capitalized on existing infrastructure by reusing the distribution chambers and underground siphon pipes, and reduced construction time. Facilitating the construction required complete bypass of the flows to maintain full operation of the treatment train for the duration of construction. By utilizing the existing chamber, the bypass pumping duration was minimized, directly reducing construction costs. Testing involved monitoring the sludge blanket, pumping durations, and volumes from each tank to confirm flow is being distributed evenly. Operators have the flexibility to adjust inlet flows to each tank independently. Staff are able to utilize the sludge blanket and pumping durations on a regular basis, as a measure of proper flow distribution. They also have the flexibility to adjust flows accordingly. Under a previous project conducted by RVA, another method of flow distribution was utilized to split the flow between Plant 1 and Plant 2. The Simcoe WWTF utilizes a common vortex grit chamber for both plants. The outlet flow from the vortex runs in a common siphon towards Plant 2. Plant 1’s inlet siphon branches off through a Y-fitting. Flow to each plant was measured on the effluent side, using Parshall flumes. Relying on the hydraulics alone is usually insufficient and will result in inaccurate flow distribution between each plant. RVA utilized the inlet control valve method effectively by installing a gate valve on the inlet line to Plant 1. Operators monitor flow, and the inlet valve is modulated to allow the desired flow rate into the smaller Plant 1. Remaining flow is directed to the larger Plant 2. In summary, flow distribution should be considered in the design of any process system to achieve the design treatment capacity. Considerations should be given to the type of flow distribution based on desired operator flexibility, www.esemag.com

Distribution methods.

site-specific constraints, and costs of each method. Existing facilities should consider the optimization of individual tanks in addition to each process unit. Flow distribution optimization can be a relatively inexpensive and simple fix,

with significant benefits to the plant’s capacity and treatment efficiency. Muhannad Bagajati is with R.V. Anderson Associates Limited. Email: mbagajati@rvanderson.com

Maintain your ppm /o SS mg/L


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Reducing the waste in wastewater management since 1967.

www.sludgecontrols.com September/October 2015 | 63

Water Storage

Middlesex Centre increases water security with new-elevated water tower By Peter Davey

Standing beneath almost 4,600,000 lbs of water stored in the elevated tank.


isible far above the trees, visitors and residents of Ilderton, Ontario will be guided into town by a new 40-metre tall elevated water tank, emblazoned with the municipality of Middlesex Centre’s logo and the community’s name. Built to improve the town’s water security in the event of a water main break and handle the municipality’s growing

64 | September/October 2015

population, the tank’s 2,000 m3 capacity is capable of sustaining Ilderton’s water demand for up to six days. The town’s population is expected to reach 5,000 by 2030 and a number of developments are in the works. Built by Greatario Engineered Storage Systems, the glass fused-to-steel tank will never need repainting, saving approximately $1.6 million in maintenance costs over a 60-year lifespan.

This savings, combined with the capability to increase the tank’s capacity, met the project criteria outlined by the municipality and Stantec Consulting. “We really focused on needs of the community 15 to 20 years out,” said Nelson Oliveira who is with Stantec. Members of both provincial and federal parliaments, as well as Middlesex Centre’s Mayor Edmundson attended an open house for the water tank hosted by Greatario. Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, thanked the Ontario government for its $2 million contribution to the project. The remaining $1.2 million was paid for by the municipality of Middlesex Centre. Peter Davey is the assistant editor of Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine. Email: peter@esemag.com

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

ES&E NEWS Park fined for failing to notify of spill

Greenways was fined $50,000 for the offences, of which $7,500 will be used to fund a two-sided poster on spill procedures that will be distributed to Mill Creek-area businesses by the Government of Alberta and the City of Edmonton. The conviction relates to events that occurred between August 2007 and May 2012. Greenways is also prohibited from possessing or transporting hazardous waste or hazardous recyclables in a public place, or purchasing or acquiring any hazardous waste or hazardous recyclables, for a period of two years. www.alberta.ca

(NOx), wind speed, wind direction and air temperature. The Upper Aberdeen air station will be owned and operated by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. A funding agreement was completed in June 2015 between the Ministry of Environment and mining company, KGHM-Ajax, to cover costs associated with installing the station. KGHM-Ajax will cover the costs of maintenance and twice-yearly audits of the PM10, PM2.5 and NOx monitors at the new site. The data will be used both for ongoing air-quality research in the Kamloops airshed, and for baseline data if the proposed Ajax mine receives an environmental assessment certificate and other necessary approvals to proceed. The station will remain in this location for at least two years, after which the ministry will decide whether to keep it there, modify it, or move it elsewhere. This decision will be based on analysis of data collected. www.news.gov.bc.ca

Bay Meadows Park Inc. and David M. Harrington pleaded guilty to one offence each and were fined a total of $30,000 for failing to report a liquid sewage spill, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). The company operates a Prince Edward County, Ontario campground. Harrington was manager at that time of the trailer park, which holds a ministry approval for an on-site sewage system. The campground’s sewage system had been failing, resulting in liquid sewage discharges into the natural environment. New site for Kamloops The ministry requested that the park hire air monitoring station a consultant to conduct an assessment and Construction is now underway on a to stop further discharge.The ministry isnew air-quality monitoring site for some sued an order which required the compaKamloops residents. The site will have ny to ensure that there would be no further a mobile monitoring station to continsewage discharges to the septic beds or to uously measure air quality and weather the natural environment. The ministry received a complaint parameters. These include coarse parfrom a resident, stating that liquid sew- ticulate matter (PM10), fine particulate age was continuously flowing from a matter (PM2.5), ozone, nitrogen oxides holding tank onto the ground, and then pooling around her residence. The complainant informed the inspector that she had contacted Harrington and advised him of the spill several weeks prior, although ministry records indicated that the spill was not reported. The ministry received a further complaint from another resident in a different area of the campground who indicatU.S.F. S.F Fabrication’s Hatch Safety Grate System is available in a variety S.F. ariety of configurations ed that liquid sewage was pooling on the to meet virtually ually anySafety uall application. The System system allows for routine maintenance of pumps U.S.F. S.F S.F. Fabrication’s Hatch Grate is available in a variety ariety of configuration and equipment when closed and may act as an additional barrier er when open. It allows ground under her patio deck.toShe also meet virtually ually uall any application. The systemngs allows for routine maintenance of pump without exposing themselves to people to move freely lly around the hatch opening complained of a strong sewage odour. andliquid equipment whenfall-through. closed and may act as an additional barrier er when open. It allow dangerous The ministry observed a second opening ngs without exposing people to move freely ly l a round the hatch All Hatch Safety ety Grates feature: themselves to sewage spill, which resulted from a bro• Tamper-res Tamp r res istant 316 SS hinges ken sewage line near the complainant’s dangerous fall-through. and nd har hardw are residence. The spill had created an area • Po Powder-coated aluminum grates to All Hatch Safety ety Grates feature: that was saturated with sewage, and apresist corrosion res proximately 7 cm deep. This spill had •• Hold Tamper-res Tamp r istant res 316 SS hinges old open devices to lock the grates also not been reported to the ministry. in their full upright and open position and nd hardw har are news.ontario.ca • Ca Can be ret r rofitted into existing

The safe solution. The safe solution.

Edmonton man penalized for environmental offences

•access Powder-coated Po aluminum grates to openings resist corrosion res • Hold old open devices to lock the grates 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 • Ca Can be ret r rofitted into existing or email us at sales@engineeredpump.com access openings

Hazardous waste violations under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act have resulted in a fine and a creative sentencing order against an Edmonton man. Peter J. Greenways 1635 Industrial Ave. • Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 6M9 pleaded guilty to two counts under the Phone: 604.552.7900 • Fax: 604.552.7901 Act related to improper transportation sales@engineeredpump.com • www.engineeredpump.com Our experienced team provides a quick turnaround of hazardous waste. www.esemag.com

on quotes, drawings and deliveries. Call us today 1.800.668.4533 September/October 2015 or email us at sales@engineeredpump.com

| 65

Product & Service Showcase Connections for sodium hypochlorite

ChemFlare™ connections solve failure problems on PVC threaded/solvent welds on sodium hypochlorite dosing panels. For ball, relief valves and dosing pumps, they are easy to install, disassemble and add no dead volume. Chemline offers entire system including PFA flare fittings and tubing.

T: 800-930-2436, F: 905-889-8553 E: request@chemline.com www.chemline.com

Chemline Plastics

Steam and water analysis systems and panels

Ensure measurement quality with modular, flexible and customizable designs; standard panels for key parameters to ensure high accuracy and simplified maintenance; and custom engineering for unique process and material requirements. Increase process uptime by using Memosens technology. Simply exchange the sensor, put the measurement back in service, and move your calibration to the lab.


Endress+Hauser Canada

Flowmeter with integrated web server

The Proline Promag 400 flowmeter features HistoRom secure automated device back-up which ensures high plant availability; Heartbeat Technology for continuous selfdiagnostics and device verification; built-in web server for fast and easy device configuration; and certified corrosion protection for use underground or under water without modifications.


Endress+Hauser Canada 66 | September/October 2015

Fluoride weigh scale

costs. Assembly and start up are simple.

The High Accuracy Carboy-Scale™ from Force Flow allows operators to very accurately monitor how much chemical is being fed from small drums and carboys, even when daily feed rates are very low. The scale platform deck is available in two sizes and is 100% PVC plastic, making it immune to the corrosive effects of spilled chemical. The SOLO G2® digital weight indicator displays the remaining chemical in increments as small as 0.1 lb and comes standard with a 4-20mA output for remote monitoring.

T: 800-893-6723 www.forceflow.com

Force Flow

Battery-powered open channel flow meter Monitor flow through open channels, partially full sewer pipes and surcharged pipes without a flume or weir. The new MantaRay Portable Area-Velocity flowmeter is designed for monitoring stormwater, sewage, industrial effluent, irrigation water and natural streams. The MantaRay uses a submerged ultrasonic sensor which is hydrodynamically shaped and designed to shed deposits and stringers for reliable operation. Watch your flow in real time! It displays and datalogs flow rate and total flow.

T: 888-473-9546 E: info@greyline.com http://www.greyline.com/mantaray.htm

Greyline Instruments

Containerized bioreactors

TILT is one of the lowest cost wastewater treatment systems available on the market. Extremely compact, reliable and robust, it is easily transportable anywhere - ship by rail, truck and cargo ship. With a central control panel and fully automatic, it offers easy operation and has low maintenance, capital and operating

T: 905-660-9775, F: 905-660-9744 E: info@h2flow.com www.h2flowTILT.com

H2Flow Equipment

Chlorine emergency shutoff

The Hexacon III Emergency Chlorine Valve Shutoff System adds a new level of safety to your chlorine feed system. Stop a chlorine leak within seconds of detection by automatically closing the ton container or cylinder valve. The actuator quickly mounts to valve without the use of any tools, and still allows the valve to be manually opened or closed. Halogen Valve Systems are the only systems that confirm that the valve was torqued closed to the Institute recommended standard, and all Fire Codes recognize and approve the shutoff system as an alternate to a scrubber.

T: 949-261-5030 www.halogenvalve.com

Halogen Valve Systems

Compact weather stations

The MaxiMet® compact weather station incorporates all the measurement parameters that meet the requirements of users in demanding applications where cost, quality and performance are essential. With features such as wind, precipitation, solar radiation, temperature, humidity, pressure, low power ‘Eco Mode’, GPS, compass, Bluetooth and many more, MaxiMet is unique in its ability to provide the widest number of measurements and output protocol options which makes it easy to install, easy to use and with zero maintenance. It provides consistent high quality measurements; plug and play; is cost-effective; and has no moving parts. Contact us for an onsite review of your requirement.

E: salesb@hoskin.ca, Burlington, ON E: salesv@hoskin.ca, Burnaby, BC E: salesm@hoskin.ca, Montreal, QC www.hoskin.ca

Hoskin Scientific

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Product & Service Showcase DC decoupler

The features of the Rustrol® DC-DecouplerTM Model: DCD are based on the proven Rustrol technology, utilizing solid-state design and test proven, quality components throughout construction. The Model: DCD is innovative by design, whereby DC isolation is achieved and AC coupling is maintained, ensuring electrical grounding criteria remain effective. It is capable of reducing the potential difference across isolating flange assemblies and/or monolithic isolating joints to well below the industry accepted criteria (i.e.,<10 volts AC rms).

T: 905-634-7751, F: 905-333-4313 E: contact@rustrol.com www.rustrol.com

Interprovincial Corrosion Control

Compact pressureboost pumps

KSB’s new COMEO multi-stage water pumps are designed to provide pressure boosts in building services, HVAC, irrigation systems and light industrial applications. KSB COMEO pumps deliver low total cost of ownership through quality construction, low initial cost, maintenance-free operation and superior energy efficiency.

T: 905-568-9200 E: sales@ksb.ca www.ksb.ca

KSB Pumps

Sample tube system

Conductivity, pH, and alkalinity readings are now possible from a 15mL tube with MANTECH’s latest cost and space saving innovation. The smaller tube size allows for 212 analysis positions in an 18” x 24” space, while 50mL tubes allow for only 73 positions.15mL sample tubes are less expensive and produce less plastic waste, making this innovation environmentally and financially sustainable.

T: 519-763-4245 E: info@mantech-inc.com www.mantech-inc.com

Mantech www.esemag.com

Smart phone app

Mueller Canada has released a free app that provides competitive cross reference for service, certification requests, and resource links. The app is designed for distributors but engineers and water utilities will also find it handy. Locate download links on our website or search for “Mueller Co” in the Apple App or Google Play store.

T: 705-719-9965 E: more-info@muellercanada.com www.muellercanada.com

Mueller Canada

Turbidity meter

Features of the Oakton T-100 Turbidity Meter include: waterproof and dustproof housing; auto-ranging from 0 to 1000 NTU; simple, display-prompted push-button calibration; large, easy-to read display; advanced power supply management; and a sturdy carrying case with accessories

T: 1-800-560-4402 F: 1-877-820-9667 E: sales@ospreyscientific.com www.ospreyscientific.com

Metering pump

The gamma/ X metering pump introduces new technology for continuous and very low flow dosing situations. Check out www.prominent.com/gammaX for videos, 360° viewer, specifications, and dynamic presentation.

T: 888-709-9933 E: sales@prominent.ca www.prominent.ca

ProMinent Fluid Controls

Smart device App

The App Interface for Leveloggers uses Bluetooth® wireless technology to connect your Levelogger water level dataloggers to your smart device, running the Solinst Levelogger App. The App Interface simply attaches to the top end of your Levelogger’s Direct Read Cable. With the Solinst Levelogger App, you can program Leveloggers, download data, view and save real-time data, and email data.

T: 905-873-2255; 800-661-2023 F: 905-873-1992; 800-516-9081 E: instruments@solinst.com www.solinst.com

Osprey Scientific

Solinst Canada

Flow meter

Engineered metal doors

The DulcoFlow flow meter from ProMinent is the only device that provides accurate measurement of pulsating flow from metering pumps using ultrasonic technology. DulcoFlow measures the volume of each pump stroke down to 0.03 ml.

T: 888-709-9933 E: sales@prominent.ca www.prominent.ca

ProMinent Fluid Controls

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USF Fabrication September/October 2015 | 67

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ES&E Magazine has covered Canada’s water, wastewater and environmental protection sectors since 1988. Our expert articles are “must reading” for some 20,000 consulting , municipal and industrial engineers, contractors and key government technical staff. They are responsible for the design, construction and operation of water and wastewater treatment systems and environmental protection and compliance. In addition to print, ES&E is also available online in a fully interactive digital version. ES&E helps connect more advertisers with these important specifiers than any other comparable Canadian publication:


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MANTECH continues to grow and expand its business. In its latest investment, MANTECH has moved into a 13,000 square foot facility with dedicated office, laboratory, training, manufacturing, R&D and warehouse spaces. The facility will enable MANTECH to meet growing export demand for its water quality analyzers that enable sustainability, safeguarding the environment and public health. “The new MANTECH building allows us to meet increasing global demand to deliver water analyzers that are green, fast and of high quality, while lowering the cost per sample,” says Robert Menegotto, President and CEO.

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

ES&E NEWS Obama addresses Alaska conference

President Obama traveled to Alaska in August to address the U.S. State DepartNow available in Canada! ment’s conference on Global Leadership Tier 1 Hydro-Pneumatic Surge and in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Pressure Control Systems in both Engagement and Resilience (GLACIER). Bladder and Air over Water Solutions GLACIER aimed to consolidate support for an ambitious joint commitment at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting (COP21) that will take place this December in Paris. 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WEF submits comments on wipes and claims of “flushability” The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has submitted comments to the continued overleaf... www.esemag.com

September/October 2015 | 69

ES&E NEWS U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning wipe manufacturers’ claims of their products’ “flushability” and about how these products should be labeled. WEF’s comments support the requirement that flushability claims be supported by “competent and reliable” evidence that includes the expertise of professionals in the plumbing and wastewater treatment sectors. Testing must be objective, reliable and transparent, and wipes that are not designated as flushable must be clearly and prominently labeled, according to the FTC. In its comments, WEF states that claims that wipe products meet flushability standards are misleading and should be prohibited until standards are established. WEF’s comments also note that any resolution must include a commitment to product stewardship, which includes proper labeling that clearly informs consumers when the nonwoven wipe product cannot be disposed by flushing. WEF continues to work with other water sector organizations on this issue and has created a task force of members from several expert committees to work on this topic. It plans to continue to work with the nonwoven fabric industry and other partners to search for solutions.

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The Ontario Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (OCSI) has released the Outcome Statement from the 2015 Courageous Conversations Infrastructure Forum. Leaders from 20 organizations within the municipal and public works sectors in Ontario met in Toronto. This included representatives from the province who discussed some of the funding and fiscal challenges to building resilient communities. The three main speakers were: Glen Murray, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change; Mel Cappe, representing Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission; and Gerry Lashley from Intact Insurance. The outcome of the day was four “Big Ideas” for building resilient communities: identifying the economic benefits of climate change mitigation and adaptation; encouraging innovation by municipalities; supporting leadership by the Province; and, planning and funding for resiliency. www.on-csi.ca

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

ES&E NEWS Alberta air quality results of concern Results of the recent Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) report indicate the Red Deer region of Alberta has exceeded national standards and four other regions are approaching limits. This is the first year of annual reporting by all provinces and territories. Without action, Alberta is on track to have the worst air quality in Canada in the coming years. Under CAAQS, the Red Deer air zone now requires a mandatory response action plan to reduce levels below ambient standards. The Lower Athabasca, Upper Athabasca, North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan regions require management plans to protect them from potential future exceedances. Effective immediately, Alberta will implement action plans developed under the national Air Zone Management Framework. The Province is exploring a number of possible options to reduce air pollution emissions, including more stringent standards for industry, standards for vehicles and increased air monitoring. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment agreed to new Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter and ozone in October 2012. CAAQS are part of a collaborative national Air Quality Management System to better protect human health and the environment. Results are calculated using a three-year average of concentrations over annual, 24-hour and eight-hour periods from air monitoring stations. If a region has multiple stations, the one supplying the highest exceedance is used for the entire air zone. www.alberta.ca

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Investment in wastewater infrastructure in NB Three projects totalling $5.4 million were announced recently in New Brunswick under the Small Communities Fund of the New Building Canada Fund. Under this Fund, provincial and federal governments are partnering to jointly invest about $85 million in infrastructure over the next 10 years. Each project also receives matched funding from the community for a total investment of more than $118 million. The projects are: continued overleaf... www.esemag.com

September/October 2015 | 71

ES&E NEWS • $3.4 million for the installation of 3.5 kilometres of new sewer lines on Founders Boulevard in Saint-Isidore and the building of two new pumping stations to deliver sewage to the nearby treatment facility. • More than $760,000 for the replacement of an aging sewage lagoon in

Paquetville which is prone to leakage and no longer meets the needs of the community. • $1.2 million for a new and more efficient pumping station, sewer pipes and discharge line to the sewage lagoon in Lamèque. Areas of the town that are not currently served will also be con-

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nected to the municipal sewer system. A total of 39 projects in New Brunswick communities will receive funding for strategic infrastructure projects. This is the first round of investments under the fund. The Small Communities Fund was announced last year as part of the federal government’s 10-year infrastructure plan for communities with a population of less than 100,000. It was created under the New Building Canada Plan 2014-2024. Eligible categories include highways and major roads, public transit, disaster mitigation, connectivity and broadband, innovation, wastewater, green energy, drinking water, solid waste management, brownfield redevelopment, local and regional airports, short-line rail, short-sea shipping and northern infrastructure. www.gnb.ca

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Panther Industries (Alberta) Inc. has pleaded guilty in Alberta Provincial Court and was ordered to pay a total of $375,000 in penalties for offences under the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, and the Environmental Emergency Regulations. The offences 8:14 AM are related to a spill of hydrochloric acid (HCl) into the environment and into water frequented by fish. According to Environment Canada, this is the first conviction for an offence under the Environmental Emergency Regulations. Environment Canada’s investigation determined that on December 9, 2012, 150,000 litres of HCl spilled through a broken sight glass on a storage tank system at the Panther Industries site in Edmonton, Alberta. Of the 150,000 litres spilled, an estimated 40,000 litres of HCl overflowed the secondary containment and, of that amount, approximately 5,000 litres entered a nearby creek, resulting in a fish kill. A valve between two HCl tanks had been left open, increasing the total amount spilled. An acid cloud formed as a result of the spill, necessitating an evacuation of the surrounding area to ensure public safety. The company was ordered to pay a total penalty of $375,000, including a $5,000 fine and $370,000 to be paid to the Environmental Damages Fund. www.ec.gc.ca

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

Travel Notes

Water I’ve Seen: The Celery Fields, Sarasota, Florida

By Connie Zehr


n a recent trip to Florida, I visited an award-winning collaboration between bird watchers and stormwater engineers. Wildlife restoration scientists say: “If you build it (habitat), they (the inhabitants) will come.” However, the habitat they imagine is not often a 400 acre municipal flood protection zone. The Celery Fields Park in Sarasota County is just such an unusually successful multipurpose project. It is now a refuge for more than 200 species of birds. The Celery Fields Park was a typical Florida sawgrass marsh, called “muck,” until the Palmer family bought thousands of acres in 1910. The Palmers re- Some of the stormwater retention cells attract alligators, a hazard that Canaalized that the peaty muck was fine soil dian water managers don’t usually have to worry about. for growing vegetables, and dug a series of canals and artesian wells to manage Sarasota County’s population and water management needs water on the site. Celery was the most profitable crop and grew. In 1992, an exceptional rain flooded 200 homes in the employed hundreds of local workers for decades. Sarasota Phillipi Creek watershed and forced the County and municiwas, for a while, the largest producer of celery in the U.S. pal authorities to plan for better water management. SarasoEventually, however, the soil nutrients were depleted, the land ta County purchased the Palmer lands and started building a subsided and the celery fields lay fallow for years. massive system of canals, weirs, drains and wetlands. They In the meantime, just beyond the abandoned muck lands, continued overleaf...


September/October 2015 | 73

Advertiser INDEX



Travel Notes

ACG Technology.................................... 75 Aerzen................................................... 43 American Public University.................. 27 Associated Engineering........................ 32 BI Pure Water........................................ 34 Chemline Plastics................................. 58 Denso ................................................... 33 EcoInsight Instruments........................ 41 Endress + Hauser................................... 7 Engineered Pump................................. 65 Envirocan ............................................ 75 Force Flow............................................ 27 Greatario .............................................. 20 H2Flow ................................................. 46 Halliday Products.................................. 44 Hoskin Scientific............................. 21, 35 Huber Technology................................. 23 Hydro International............................... 59 Hydroxyl................................................ 51 IESO....................................................... 25 IPEX....................................................... 11 Kemira................................................... 42 KSB Pumps........................................... 49 Kusters Water....................................... 45 Mantech ......................................... 61, 68 Markland Specialty Engineering.......... 63 Master Meter ......................................... 3 Monteco................................................ 41 MSU Mississauga................................. 29 Mueller.................................................. 46 NETZSCH Canada.................................. 57 Ontario Clean Water Agency................ 76 Orival Water Filters............................... 55 Osprey Scientific ................................ 58 Parsons................................................. 52 Pro Aqua................................................. 9 ProMinent................................................ 2 SciCorp.................................................. 17 Sentrimax.............................................. 53 Smith & Loveless.................................... 5 Solinst .................................................. 39 Spill Management................................. 37 Stantec.................................................. 39 Toronto Hydro..................................Insert

hoped to restore some of the area’s original drainage patterns, reduce flood threats and improve the quality of the stormwater that eventually drained into the Gulf of Mexico. More than $24 million later, the complex series of gates, ponds, pumps and retention cells at the Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility is almost unnoticeable to the average birder. County Water Manager, Steve Suau, and local birders quickly noticed that many species of birds were attracted to the water feature structures in the new stormwater zone. Jeanne Dubi, representing the local Audubon Society, persuaded Suau and his design team to focus on a bird sanctuary as part of the public recreation component at the stormwater site. Audubon members helped select suitable aquatic plants, suggested landscaping methods and recommended the best spots for viewing boardwalks. Some of the ditches connecting cells not only attract ducks but alligators as well, a hazard that Canadian water managers don’t usually have to worry about! Florida’s geology, water table and weather patterns make it very vulnerable to damage from increasingly common intense storms. Not surprisingly, a few changes were required. The original design could not handle the heavy storms experienced in 2000. The modified plan called for deepened and rearranged retention ponds that solved the water management problems. But the County was left with 917,000 m3 of arsenic contaminated soil that would have been very expensive to dispose off-site. The arsenic could have come from fertilizer, agricultural sprays or the anoxic soil itself. Stanley Consulting, a local design participant, proposed a landscape feature that solved the problem in an ingenious way. They built a hill on the flat site and capped the arsenic laden soil with two feet of clean fill. This expensive waste became a 610 metre long observation point and is now planted with thousands of native trees, plants and

palms to mimic the “Hammock “ ecosystem type found in drier parts of the county. The top of this hill is so dry that each row of local palms has a built-in watering system. The hill is 26 metres high so it is popular not only with fitness runners and hill climbers, but for viewing holiday fireworks. When I visited early on a weekday morning, the place was already full of birders and hikers, enjoying the wide variety of birds that had made themselves at home. Sandhill cranes and glossy ibis were feeding in marshy spots while several kinds of ducks enjoyed the vegetation growing in deeper ponds. The Celery Fields has become so popular that the County has added restrooms and a larger parking lot. It is also part of the Florida Birding Trail, and the Audubon Society is working on a visitors’ centre. The Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility is not only a haven for wildlife, but has met and even surpassed its water management objectives. According to the local public works managers, Tropical Storm Debby of June 2012 filled the cells, but there was no flooding downstream. The expected improvements in runoff chemistry that stress the Gulf of Mexico downstream have also been exceptional. Phosphorus levels, expected to decline by 24% are down 50%. Nitrogen dropped, not by the predicted 5% but by 53%; and suspended solids fell by 85%, well over the original 21% target. This creative and collaborative approach to stormwater management has now become an important wildlife and tourist destination, as well as a critical part of Sarasota’s infrastructure. If you are ever in South Central Florida, I encourage you to visit! Connie Zehr is a professor of environmental protection technology at Centennial College’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Email: czehr@centennialcollege.ca

USF Fabrication..................................... 65 Waterra Pumps................... 13, 31, 38, 48 WTP Equipment..................................... 73 XCG Consulting..................................... 34

74 | September/October 2015

Have you visited an interesting facility or project while traveling? We want to hear about it! Send your article idea to peter@esemag.com Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine

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Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine