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Thunder Bay pilot project to reduce lead in drinking water raises concerns

Posted on September 21, 2015
The City of Thunder Bay has announced the beginning of a Corrosion Control Pilot Study in the Hodder Pressure Zone starting in December 2015. This will involve adjusting the water chemistry of treated water in order to measure the effectiveness of reducing lead levels at the tap. The Current River area was chosen for the study because it is the lowest pressure zone, and is therefore easy to isolate, according to Erin Marcella-Fui, municipal planning and research analyst. “Lead in drinking water can originate from older internal pipes and lead service lines, or from the solder used to connect the pipes or fixtures. Both could contain [...]

Researchers use sewer sludge in concrete

Posted on September 18, 2015
Municipal wastewater treatment produces vast amounts of sludge that is expensive to dispose. That's why researchers in from Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia are working on methods to use that sludge as a viable material in concrete that can be used in other infrastructure projects. “Overall, there is potential for using domestic waste sludge powder (DWSP) as a partial cement replacement,” said Dr. Kartini Kamaruddin to ScienceDaily. “However, more detailed research should be conducted to yield methods for producing quality powder.” While incineration, disposal in landfills, and land spreading are common sludge disposal [...]

Website Gives Public Access to Environmental Data in Alberta

Posted on September 18, 2015
The Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA) has launched a newly redesigned website,, as part of the organization’s efforts to increase transparency and build trust in the government’s environmental monitoring efforts. The new website is aimed at serving the needs of policy makers, regulators, planners, researchers, communities, industries and the public. “Through our new web presence we want to tell the complete story of monitoring in Alberta, highlighting the work of the various departments, organizations and stakeholder groups that we collaborate and partner with,” said Dr [...]

New Mobile App for Water Advisories Across Canada

Posted on September 18, 2015
On any given day, there are about 1,600 drinking water advisories posted in Canada. A new mobile app designed by the Lake Ontario WaterKeeper, using research data from Water Today, provides up-to-the-day information on Boil Water, Do Not Consume, Water Shortage, and Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) water advisories across Canada. "There is no effective, standardized protocol for issuing drinking water advisories across Canada that uses 21st Century technology. Messages are sent to the media, but they can be easy to miss," said Krystyn Tully, Vice President at Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.  "Some of the water advisories have been in [...]

Water Data Analytics Drive Solutions and Profits

Posted on September 17, 2015
Climate change, droughts, and floods are driving business for Canadian software companies. This week, Vancouver-based Aquatic Informatics Inc., a software solutions company for hydrologic data management and analysis, announced it ranked in the top 500 of Canada’s fastest-growing companies. “We’re designing the best environmental analytics software to solve the world’s most challenging water problems,” said Ed Quilty, President and CEO at Aquatic Informatics. “The world’s attention is focused on the nexus of water security, food security, and energy security – all dependent on clean water supply. The growing need [...]

Leak Detection Innovation in Walkerton

Posted on September 11, 2015
The average leak in a municipal water system can flow for up to 20 years. When undetected, these leaks can be the source of significant service disruptions and costly repairs—in fact, there are more than 700 water main breaks per day in North America, some posing major threats to health and safety in cities. The World Bank estimates the total cost of “lost” (or non-revenue) water to utilities is U.S. $14 billion per year. The simple conclusion? Reducing water loss can save millions for municipalities and mitigate substantial risk. With support from parent company Mueller Co., Toronto-based Echologics, a global leader in non-invasive [...]

When The Well Runs Dry

Posted on September 11, 2015
Residents and watershed groups in Prince Edward Island are concerned that the city of Charlottetown’s water restrictions are insufficient for preserving the health of small streams. Sarah Wheatley, watershed co-ordinator of the Winter River-Tracadie Bay Watershed Association says they have been monitoring the situation for several years and have documented dry streams over six seasons since 2001, dry springs and private wells, and decreasing fish stocks. Seasonal restrictions are in place for Charlottetown from June 1 to Sept. 30, which limit the times in which residents may water lawns and prohibit certain washing driveways. They [...]

A Nose for Drinking Water Quality

Posted on September 10, 2015
Imagine a future where drinking water operators use a simple “sniff test” to tell you if the water is contaminated. Scientists from the Seoul National University believe this may be possible, after developing a bio-electronic nose that can smell contaminated water. The new technology is part of a growing field known as “electronic sensing” or “e-sensing” where human sensory perception is mimicked electronically. Bacteria that contaminate water give off smells that are associated with particular smell molecules. Two typical odours - earthy and musty - are caused by two different molecules: geosmin (GSM) and 2-methylisoborneol [...]

Nexen Water License Revoked in the Horn River Basin

Posted on September 9, 2015
Oil and gas company Nexen has been ordered by the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board to cease taking water out of the Tsea watershed within the Horn River Basin. It’s the first time a long-term water licence for the purpose of hydraulic fracturing has been challenged and revoked in B.C. The license was challenged by the Fort Nelson First Nation (FNFN) on basis that the health of the watershed and traditional lifestyles of local First Nations communities are threatened by the company’s water withdrawals. The Board determined that the licensee had been granted water rights based on science that was insufficient for considering the [...]

Canadian science sheds light on Lake Winnipeg health

Posted on September 8, 2015
Researchers in Manitoba are using “fingerprinting” technology to determine the source of phosphorous in Lake Winnipeg that is negatively impacting water quality. Nutrients entering Lake Winnipeg, in particular phosphorous, have increased over the past several decades. The nutrients have degraded the Lake’s health, leading to nuisance algae impacting drinking water for more than 23,000 residents, commercial fisheries, and a $110 million recreation and tourism industry. David Lobb, senior research chair of the Watershed Systems Research program at the University of Manitoba and his team are using techniques for applying colour coded [...]
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