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I Don’t Flush

Posted on November 10, 2014

A new public awareness campaign aims to encourage proper disposal of unused pharmaceuticals.

It should come as no surprise that wastewater operators continue to be plagued by non-flushables on a daily basis. Dental floss, personal care products, paper towels, cotton swabs, and even toys are just a few of the items wreaking havoc on our treatment systems, and the damage can be clearly seen in [...]

Down for the Count

Posted on November 2, 2014
Written by Saul Chernos

High phosphorus levels spawn family feud in Ajax, Ontario.

The Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant was supposed to enhance phosphorus removal when an expansion was completed in 2013. Built by the province in the 1980s and later transferred to Durham and York regions, the activated-sludge facility replaced multiple smaller, legacy systems that were discharging [...]


Posted on October 22, 2014
Written by Jennifer Stoneburgh

One company’s solution for stormwater management provides economic benefits but faces an uphill battle for wide adoption.

Urban flooding—increasingly prevalent with climate change—causes extensive economic, health, social, and environmental issues. Internationally, jurisdictions including Canadian municipalities are establishing stormwater utilities to mitigate the impact of changing precipitation patterns and increased [...]

Running Out of Time

Posted on October 16, 2014
Written by Whitney Matusiak

Who’s paying to implement the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations?

On July 8, 2012, Environment Canada published the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (WSER) under the Fisheries Act, a set of national wastewater effluent quality standards to be achieved through secondary treatment. While Canadian wastewater operators are on board with a national wastewater policy [...]

Small Towns Thinking Big

Posted on October 8, 2014
Written by Aman Singh

How are smaller municipalities charting new pathways to viability? 
It’s not always about more money for new projects.

While Canada is becoming increasingly urbanized, between 19 and 30 per of the population still lives in either rural or small-town areas. These areas face a very different reality than big city centres when it comes to servicing their citizens. Instead of meeting projected population growth, they face [...]

Shared Expense

Posted on September 30, 2014
Written by Roddy Bolivar

Introducing an innovative community program for financing small rural systems.

Elimination of long-standing provincial funding in the mid-1990s led the County of Oxford in Southwest Ontario to develop its own funding support program for existing residents—a program funded by the county’s existing utility customers. In the county’s experience, the capital cost is always [...]

Rural Resilience

Posted on September 19, 2014
Written by Kristen Curtis

Researchers uncover and tackle Newfoundland and Labrador’s rural drinking water woes.

Rural communities, especially those with 1,000 residents or fewer, face a number of challenges when it comes to drinking water, including aging water infrastructure, limited budgets, long-term boil water advisories, and untrained water operators. These often lead to system maintenance problems and water [...]

The Rise of Water P3s

Posted on September 15, 2014
Written by Clark Kingsbury

Does Regina’s P3 referendum mark a new era for water and wastewater P3s in Canada?

Public-private partnerships (P3s) are still a relatively new concept in Canada, and employing them to deliver water and wastewater projects can be confusing for the general public. But with Regina’s pro-P3 referendum in September 2013, is the public perception of water and wastewater P3s changing? Looking [...]

Balancing Act

Posted on September 8, 2014
Written by David Caplan

How public-private partnerships may help repair Canada’s water and wastewater systems given the financial dilemma faced by municipalities.

Properly maintained water and wastewater systems underpin our quality of life. Most Canadians are unaware of the poor condition of these systems and the risks associated with our governments’ lack of an adequate plan for long-term sustainability. If not addressed, this negligence will cause economic [...]

All Systems Go

Posted on September 2, 2014
Written by Dona Geagea and Karen Kun

How to include the human component in the water-energy conversation.

How often do you find yourself engaging in deep dialogue about systems with acquaintances, colleagues, or clients? When engaging in systems talk, we often notice people quit before the topic gets too complex. Systems are inherently interconnected and complex, which can be intimidating. What is more intimidating [...]
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