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Building a New Walkerton Clean Water Centre

Posted on October 21, 2008
Construction is underway on the new Walkerton Clean Water Centre. The new, energy efficient building will increase the centre's capacity to conduct training, seminars, information sessions and research. The centre is dedicated to providing hands-on training and learning opportunities for owners and operators of drinking water systems with a focus on those in remote areas. So far it has trained over 12,000 drinking water professionals. A key resource in the continued implementation of the Walkerton Inquiry recommendations, the new building, located in Walkerton's East Ridge Business Park, should be ready in fall 2009. [...]

Health Canada: Bisphenol A on Toxic Substances List

Posted on October 20, 2008
Canada is taking steps to prevent importation, sale and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottled containing bisphenol A (BPA). While BPA is not an issue for adults (even though some studies indicate links to heart disease and other adult health problems), says Health Canada, they are taking action. "Due to the uncertainty raised in some studies relating to the potential effects of low levels of BPA, the government of Canada is taking action to enhance the protection of infants and young children," Health Canada released in a statement. Both Health Canada and Environment Canada are researching into the effects of the chemical [...]

Whitehorse Gives Takhini North $1M Tab for Upgrades: CBC

Posted on October 20, 2008
Residents in the Takhini North neighbourhood of Whitehorse will have to fork over at least $1 million to help cover a $9-million upgrade to its water and sewage system, as well as pay thousands of dollars more to hook up their home plumbing to the new system, reports CBC News. City planners met with residents last week to review the Local Improvement Charges (LICs) associated with the water and sewer upgrades. Homeowners have been assessed costs between $9,000 and $17,000 each. Those costs are actually lower than expected, planners said, because aging sewer lines may not have to be replaced for another 50 years. On that basis [...]

Toronto Boosts Water Rates

Posted on October 17, 2008
The City of Toronto might boost water rates by nine per cent on January 1, the fourth straight year of nine per cent-plus fee hikes, reports the Toronto Sun. The average home's annual water bill would rise by about $50 to more than $590 in 2009, up from just $352 in 2004 when the city first began raising rates to help pay for aging water and sewer infrastructure. The nine per cent annual increases are planned until 2012, but city council must still give final approval. According to Toronto Water, the 2009 operating budget for water and wastewater requires $698.7 million, which will be fully funded out of the water and sewer [...]

Calgary Water Hike: Herald

Posted on October 16, 2008
A plan to hike Calgarians' water bills by 25 per cent over the next three years is on its way to council after a city committee approved it Wednesday, reports the Calgary Herald. But residents should not expect more hikes after those three years, said Wolf Keller, the city's director of water resources. The hike, which city staff say is needed to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in critical water infrastructure (such as the Pine Creek wastewater treatment plant, expected to be finished in 2011) would see the average residential metered water bill hit $89.11 a month in 2011. The average bill currently sits at $70.74 a month. The [...]

School Board Seeks Bottled Water Alternatives: Orangeville Citizen

Posted on October 16, 2008
Municipalities aren't the only bodies considering bottled water bans: now schools are in on the action. The Orangeville Citizen reports that the Upper Grand District School Board in Guelph, Ont. has confirmed motions regarding the proposed elimination of plastic water bottle sales in school vending machines and cafeterias. The board's staff was directed to research and develop a report, including viable alternatives to bottled water, on the impact of a ban on sales in all its facilities. The report will also include possible scenarios for implementation and will be provided to the board for final decision making no later than next December. Staff [...]

BIOREM Introduces New Biofiltration Media

Posted on October 16, 2008
BIOREM Inc. announced today a new biofiltration media called XLD, the result of five years of extensive research and development with the support of the National Research Council of Canada through the Industrial Research Assistance Program. XLD is targeted at the removal of odours from the handling of biosolids at municipal wastewater treatment plants. "The global market for odour control in municipal applications is estimated at over $1 billion per year. Over half of this market is currently provided by chemical scrubbers," said Peter Bruijns, president and CEO. Biosolids generate highly odorous sulfur compounds that traditionally [...]

Federal Party Leaders Plans for Great Lakes Protection

Posted on October 10, 2008
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) sent questionnaires to five political parties; four were returned. "Given the national and international importance of the largest source of fresh water in the world, it is essential that the next federal government make a substantial commitment to protecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence", said Toronto mayor David Miller. "It is equally important that our federal government works closely with the next federal administration in the United States to modernize our bi-national strategy to protect this shared resource." Here are some response highlights: Liberal Party [...]

$7.7M Contract for Havelock Wastewater Plant Awarded

Posted on October 10, 2008
On Tuesday, Havelock-Belmont-Methuen's council has awarded the contract to build the municipality's new wastewater treatment plant to Brighton-based Peak Engineering and Construction, reports The Community Press. Havelock's new wastewater treatment plant, expected to cost $7.7 million, will be capable of treating 1,200 cubic metres of waste per day - sufficient capacity to handle forecasted development in and around the village until 2036. In addition to opening up further development in the township, the new plant will provide treatment for septage from rural septic systems and eliminate the existing lagoons, which, according [...]

Alberta, GE to Improve Water Use at Oilsands

Posted on October 10, 2008
The Alberta government is partnering with General Electric to improve water treatment and reuse in the province's oilsands projects, which consume enormous volumes of fresh water to produce oil, reports CBC News. Two projects announced Thursday are the first initiatives from an agreement signed between the province and GE Water & Process Technologies a year ago. The first will cost $15 million and focus on technology to improve how water is treated and reused in oilsands operations. Water is used to extract, treat and upgrade the heavy tar-like oil called bitumen found in oilsands. It's estimated between two to 4.5 barrels of [...]

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