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Potential Impacts of Viruses in Ballast Water Unknown

Posted on April 5, 2017
A new study has demonstrated that some of the smallest inhabitants of ballast water may prove to be the most destructive, and that the potential impacts are largely unknown. Although the transport of organisms, such as the zebra mussel and goby fish have been a global priority for governments due to their destructive forces for decades, microbes such a bacteria and viruses in ballast water are less well understood.   Photo of a Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV) infected trout. Photo: T. Håstein The University of Michigan research team, led by Yiseul Kim, set out to provide a detailed characterization of all [...]

UBC Invention Uses Bacteria to Purify Water

Posted on April 5, 2017
A University of British Columbia-developed system that uses bacteria to turn non-potable water into drinking water will be tested next week in West Vancouver prior to being installed in remote communities in Canada and beyond. The system consists of tanks of fibre membranes that catch and hold contaminants—dirt, organic particles, bacteria and viruses—while letting water filter through. A community of beneficial bacteria, or biofilm, functions as the second line of defence, working in concert to break down pollutants. “Membrane treatment can remove over 99.99 per cent of contaminants, making it ideal for making drinking water,” [...]

Barrie Wastewater Treatment Excels in Phosphorus Removal

Posted on April 4, 2017
The City of Barrie has announced that its Wastewater Treatment Facility exceeded provincial standards for phosphorus concentrations in 2016. Barrie has sought high standards in its wastewater treatment to ensure there is minimum effect on Lake Simcoe. Last year, the amount of phosphorus that was discharged by the Wastewater Treatment Facility reached record low amounts As part of the Lake Simcoe Reduction Strategy, the province sets the annual phosphorus concentration limit at 0.10 milligrams per Litre. In 2016, the City's Wastewater Treatment Facility managed to reduce the annual average phosphorus concentration level to 0.03 [...]

Governments of Canada and Quebec Support 12 Water Projects in the Laurentians Region

Posted on April 3, 2017
The governments of Canada and Quebec announced an investment of more than $23 million for 12 water projects in five  municipalities in the Laurentians region under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) and the New Building Canada Fund-Quebec, Small Communities Fund (NBCF-SCF). MP for Laurentides–Labelle, David Graham, along with the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Laurentians region, Christine St-Pierre, and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister Responsible for the Montréal region, Martin Coiteux made the [...]

Ontario Watertech Wins Grand Prize in Velocity Fund Finals

Posted on March 31, 2017
A company that uses artificial intelligence to help make water utilities safer and more efficient was among the grand-prize winners at the Velocity Fund Finals held at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. The Velocity Fund competition showcases 10 startups as they pitch for their chance to win one of four $25,000 prizes and space in one of the Velocity workspaces. EMAGIN leverages artificial intelligence to help water utilities proactively manage their infrastructure in real-time. The company aims to make cities adaptive and resilient to the challenges of urbanization, climate change, and resource scarcity. The technology enables [...]

63 U.S. Representatives Write Letter for Great Lakes Funding

Posted on March 31, 2017
United States congressional representatives have appealed directly to the president that he provide $300 million to support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in response to his proposed budget cuts. Yesterday, a total of 63 U.S. congressional representatives from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and other states wrote to Donald Trump to explain that the Great Lakes are a U.S. national treasure and an economic driver. Furthermore, the representatives explained to Trump that “The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system in the world, holding roughly 18 percent of the [...]

Institute Questions Remediation Timeline of Tailings Fluid

Posted on March 31, 2017
Last week, the Pembina Institute released a whitepaper questioning the remediation timeline of tailings fluid in Alberta as a result of oilsands mining. The report stated that by 2015 there were 1.18 trillion litres of tailings wastewater within the province. The research done by the Institute suggested that there is no clear way forward for mining companies to practically deal with tailings wastewater. Water capping, which is the primary practice proposed by most companies, provides “no guarantee” of a permanent separation of tailings water from the broader environment, said the report. In 2015, the Alberta government released [...]

B.C. Invests $80M in Emergency Preparedness, Flood Mitigation

Posted on March 30, 2017
The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) has announced that it will be administering a new funding program to enhance the resiliency of local governments and residents for effective emergency response. The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) is part of an $80 million investment from B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure in disaster mitigation and emergency preparedness. Of the $80 million, $32 million will be allocated to UBCM for the CEPF. Funding is spread among programs and services for flood protection and prevention, seismic safety, local government emergency preparedness, search and rescue, and fire [...]

Hamilton Signs Agreement for Wastewater Biosolids Processing Facility

Posted on March 30, 2017
The City of Hamilton’s new facility to treat the biosolids resulting from the city’s wastewater treatment process is moving ahead. The city has signed an agreement with Harbour City Solutions, the company that will ultimately deliver the project. This public-private-partnership is also supported through funding from PPP Canada for the design, build, finance, operation, and maintenance of the biosolids facility. The facility will take the nutrient-rich organic materials that result from the wastewater treatment process and turn them into pellets to be sold for fertilizer or fuel. Currently, the City of Hamilton produces about 38,500 [...]

Cross-Border Partnership Preserves Great Lakes Shoreline Area

Posted on March 29, 2017
Thanks to the cross-border collaboration of several organizations, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has purchased one of the last privately owned, undeveloped shorelines between Duluth, Minnesota, and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Known as Big Trout Bay, the property is located just minutes from the international border, and 45 minutes from Thunder Bay, on the shores of Lake Superior. Its densely forested land is crucial to several native species, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons, which are assessed as special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The 1,018-hectare (2,517-acre) [...]
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