Authors Posts by Peter Davey

Peter Davey



Sulzer announced today that it has completed the acquisition of JWC Environmental in a $215 million (USD) enterprise value deal.

According to Sulzer, this acquisition allows the company to grow its wastewater treatment offering through complementary equipment, as well as to improve its access to the municipal and industrial wastewater market in North America. Sulzer said it intends to support the expansion of JWC into Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The enterprise value of $215 million USD, adjusted for an acquired tax asset, corresponds to a multiple of approximately 10x 2018 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, said Sulzer in a media release.

About Sulzer

Headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland, Sulzer specializes in pumping solutions, services for rotating equipment, as well as separation, mixing and application technology. It employs around 14,000 employees.

About JWC

Headquartered in Santa Ana, California, JWC Environmental is a leader in solids reduction and removal for the municipal wastewater industry, and in wastewater and process optimization for industrial customers.

For more information, visit: www.sulzer.com


As domestic water use has fallen, rates of wastewater reuse have risen; the United States now reuses between 10% and 15% of its wastewater. Photo credit: Tran, Jassby, and Schwabe.

Indoor residential water conservation can have unintended consequences in places where wastewater reuse has been implemented, diminishing both the quantity and quality of influent available for treatment, according to researchers from the University of California, Riverside (UCR).

The researchers outlined their findings in a recent paper, which appears online in the journal Water Research, published by the International Water Association.

“Drought, and the conservation strategies that are often enacted in response to it, both likely limit the role reuse may play in improving local water supply reliability,” wrote Quynh K. Tran, a UCR Ph.D. student in chemical and environmental engineering; David Jassby, associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering; and Kurt Schwabe, professor of environmental economics and policy.

In the past, recycled water was only applied to areas such as low-value crops and median strips, Schwabe said. Recently, however, it has been considered safe to drink, provided it either undergoes multiple rounds of treatment to remove concentrations of salts, nutrients, and other contaminants, or is injected into the ground and pumped back out later.

As domestic water use has fallen, rates of wastewater reuse have risen; the United States now reuses between 10% and 15% of its wastewater. Photo credit: Tran, Jassby, and Schwabe.
As domestic water use has fallen, rates of wastewater reuse have risen; the United States now reuses between 10% and 15% of its wastewater. Photo credit: Tran, Jassby and Schwabe.

“You often hear it never stops raining at a wastewater treatment plant, meaning the influent from households will continue to flow regardless of whether we’re in a drought or not,” Schwabe said. “It may be true that it will continue to ‘rain,’ but the quantity of flow can be severely impacted by drought and indoor conservation efforts, which has implications for the reliability of the system, especially when it comes to downstream or end users of the treated wastewater.”

Exacerbating the problem, as wastewater flows decrease, their levels of salinity and other pollutants increase. Higher levels of pollutants present significant challenges for treatment facilities that are not typically designed to handle “elevated concentrations of total dissolved solids, nitrogen species, and carbon,” according to Tran, Jassby and Schwabe.

While this research indicates indoor water conservation may affect the reliability and quality of water reuse during drought, the researchers said they are not suggesting people engage in less frequent conservation.

“These results highlight a central tenet of economics: that there’s a cost with every action we take,”  said Schwabe. “Our results are intended to illustrate how different drought mitigation actions are related so agencies can plan, communicate, and coordinate in the most informed and cost-effective manner possible.”

The researchers said solutions to higher levels of pollutants are available.

“Cost-effective blending strategies can be implemented to mitigate the water quality effects, increasing the value of the remaining effluent for reuse, whether it be for surface water augmentation, groundwater replenishment, or irrigation of crops, golf courses, or landscapes,” they wrote.

To develop an economic model by which wastewater can be treated in a more cost-effective way, thereby increasing its value, the researchers identified feasible wastewater treatment technologies and wastewater treatment trains either in use or available for potential use. A treatment train is a sequence of treatments aimed at meeting a specific standard.

“Our solution is based on a system of blending water,” Schwabe said. “Traditionally, wastewater facilities have operated by the principle that all the influent is treated to the fullest extent possible. But, depending on the sort of demand and regulations a treatment plant confronts for its effluent, managers may have the opportunity to be creative and achieve a much less costly outcome by treating only a portion of the influent with the most advanced technology and blending this with the remaining influent that has been treated but with a less advanced and thus lower-cost process.”

To read the original media release, visit: www.ucrtoday.ucr.edu

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As the last of three water infrastructure projects nears completion in Asbestos, Quebec, new funding has been announced for two water infrastructure projects in Canada’s North.

Mid-December marked the end of construction on the small Quebec town’s underground wastewater storage reservoir, designed to contain flooding upstream of the community’s treatment plant. The work boosts bio-food sector wastewater treatment capacity and the capacity of the water system that serves the town’s industrial park.

This milestone also follows water pipe renewal work that spans more than 1,200 metres of road in Asbestos.

The Asbestos upgrades total nearly $3.5 million, along with $5.3 million in water infrastructure upgrades in nearby Weedon, Que, announced a year earlier. Both municipalities received significant funding through Canada’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. View a complete list of Quebec’s projects covered under the fund here.

“We are committed to investing in local infrastructure that provides communities with modern, reliable water and wastewater services,” said Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi, in a statement to media. “I am delighted to showcase the end of this work, which will help protect the environment and health and wellbeing of Asbestos residents. We will continue working closely with our partners to make smart investments in infrastructure that improve the quality of life of all Quebeckers, while encouraging the growth of the middle class,” added Sohi.

More than 2,000 kilometres north of Asbestos, in Iqaluit, Nunavut, residents are getting two significant water infrastructure upgrades. The first investment is for the Arnaitok Complex, which serves as the city’s arena, fire department and municipal offices. The upgrades include installation of new boilers and a heat exchange system to provide a clean energy upgrade to a system installed in the 1960s.

The second investment for Iqaluit supports upgrades to improve the reliability and quality of the City’s water and wastewater systems. The upgrades include new water quality analyzers, pumps and a new power supply system. The wastewater improvements involve new gas detection sensors, improved ventilation and new wiring systems.

“These improvements help to address a couple of the many infrastructure needs the City is currently facing, and we look forward to working with all levels of government on our other infrastructure requirements,” announced Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern.

Canada’s National Oceans Protection Plan.

Canada’s National Oceans Protection Plan.
Canada’s National Oceans Protection Plan.

A key plank of a new federal government initiative to protect Canada’s oceans from oil spills involves a $45.5-million program to “leverage collaboration among the best researchers across the country and around the world,” Fisheries and Oceans Canada has announced.

Led by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the new five-year multi-partner research initiative will include a $10 million-a-year research fund to let scientists work on how oil spills behave, discover new technologies and protocols to contain spills, and how to best minimize oil spill impact. The research initiative will also connect with oil spill experts in government, industry and academia, Indigenous and coastal communities, regulatory agencies, and response organizations.

The federal department has also announced $17.7 million towards “enhancing” ocean models of winds, waves and currents. These updates are intended to give emergency responders better tools to track oil spills and predict their path, as well as allow for safer marine navigation in general. Advanced ocean modelling work will be conducted in six priority ports: Kitimat, Port-Metro Vancouver, and Fraser River Port in British Columbia; the Port of Canso, Nova Scotia; the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick, and the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City to Montreal.

“Science will form the foundation of our world-leading marine safety system,” announced Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “This new investment in research and new technologies will allow us to better prevent and respond to potential marine incidents and will help us protect Canada’s marine ecosystems from coast to coast to coast.”

Additional funding announced includes $16.8 million for oil spill research to “better understand how oil behaves and degrades in different conditions, including cold water,” according to a statement from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maritimes Region. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says these funds will go towards its National Contaminants Advisory Group (NCAG) administering projects on oil and gas contaminants research. Working with universities and other research organizations, NCAG says it aims to better understand the biological effects of contaminants on aquatic species.

Projects announced under NCAG and the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan are listed below. For even more details on these projects, please click here.

RecipientName of research projectYears of research projectFunding contribution from DFO
Simon Fraser University
(Dr. Kennedy)
The environmental effects of diluted bitumen on marine phytoplankton,
macroalgae and intertidal vascular
plants (three years)
University of Saskatchewan
(Dr. Jardine)
Evaluating effects of the Husky
Energy pipeline spill on fishes in the
North Saskatchewan River (three years)
University of Victoria
(Dr. Helbing)
Enabling rapid evaluation of
biological effects of oil spills on
juvenile Pacific salmon in coastal
habitats (three years)
Institut national
de la recherche scientifique -
Centre Eau Terre
(Dr. Couture)
Examination of the toxicity of
diluted bitumen on freshwater fish
(three years)
Institut national de la
recherche scientifique -
Centre Eau Terre
(Dr. Langlois)
Responses of wild fish to a
controlled spill of diluted bitumen in
enclosures deployed in a boreal lake
at the International Institute for
Sustainable Development-
Experimental Lake Area (IISD-
ELA), Northwestern Ontario
(four years)
University of Guelph
(Dr. Gillis)
Effects and biomarkers of diluted
bitumen exposure relevant to
seawater transition in Atlantic
salmon (Salmo salar)
(three years)
Dalhousie University
(Dr. Niu)
Modeling the fate/transport of
refined oil products and assessment
of their biological effects
(one year)
2017 – 2018$60,000
Total: $1,405,000

A southeast aerial rendering of the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant slated for completion near the end of 2020 in B.C.

As construction of British Columbia’s McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant gets underway, a regional government has chosen Hartland Resource Management Group to design, build and operate a $147-million residuals treatment facility that will process its residual solids at the Hartland Landfill site in Saanich, B.C.

Hartland Resource Management Group is a consortium of firms leading the residuals treatment project. The group includes Bird Capital, Bird Construction, Maple Reinders and Synagro Technologies, which expect to finalize negotiations with the Capital District Region for the contract in early February.

“The facility will process residuals from the new McLoughlin Point wastewater treatment plant using proven advanced digestion and thermal technology, producing a Class A biosolids product,” said Pam Racey, Vice President of project development for Synagro, in a statement to media.

The residuals treatment facility, scheduled to begin construction in spring 2018, will use an anaerobic digestion process, followed by a dryer process, to turn residual solids from the wastewater treatment plant into Class A biosolids. Biogas generated during the digestion process will fuel the dryer. The facility will have the capacity to treat more than 14,000 dry tonnes of residuals per year, and its treatment processing tanks will be covered with odour-control systems.

A pipeline will pump the material from the wastewater plant to Saanich. The first pipeline, some 18.5 kilometres long, will transport residual solids, while a shorter second pipe will return the liquid removed from the residual solids during the treatment process to a pumping station.

The project is slated for completion near the end of 2020.

“Maple Reinders has been following the development of the CRD’s wastewater treatment strategy and is particularly enthused with this opportunity to play a role in its further realization,” said Reuben Scholtens, Maple Reinders’ Director of Infrastructure Development, in a statement to media.

The McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in Esquimalt, which began site preparation in fall 2017, is being built by Harbour Resource Partners (HRP). HRP is a consortium of firms including: AECOM Canada, Graham Infrastructure, HRD/CEI, SUEZ, Graham Capital and Michels Canada. 

According to the CRD’s project website, “the treatment plant is designed to minimize visual impacts from the water and includes a multi-level green roof, mature landscaping, observation deck, and multi-use education space,”

The 108-megalitre-per-day wastewater treatment plant is for the tertiary treatment of wastewater at McLoughlin Point, and part of the region’s new $765-million wastewater treatment project. The Capital Regional District (CRD) is the regional government for 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the nearby Gulf Islands, serving more than 383,000 residents.

Photo credit: Capital Regional District.

To improve water quality, the B.C. district added a $3.6-million ultraviolet treatment facility and a treated water storage reservoir. Photo Credit: The Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District.

Kelowna’s wastewater treatment plant has existed in British Columbia since the early 1900s, undergoing a series of periodic upgrades. Now, for the first time in 11 years, about 18,000 Kelowna residents are no longer subject to a tap water quality advisory.

The Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District, with approval from Interior Health, has removed the advisory for people in Kelowna’s Glenmore area. Since the advisory was issued in 2006, the district has undertaken various projects to improve the quality of the water drawn from Okanagan Lake.

The district’s system, originally supplied from Mill Creek, faced issues of chronic turbidity and frequent colour issues, according to Interior Health. To improve water quality and service delivery, the district added nearly $20 million in infrastructure, including a deep-water intake and a high-capacity pump station from Okanagan Lake, along with a $3.6-million ultraviolet treatment facility (video) and a treated water storage reservoir.

“The new UV reactors will allow Glenmore-Ellison to reduce the amount of chlorine used in treating the Okanagan Lake water supply, and this supply now has two disinfection barriers in place,” describes the district’s Interior Health in its Drinking Water Newsletter for Winter 2017.

In recent years, a $60-million upgrade to the wastewater treatment facility nearly doubled its capacity to 70 million litres a day. According to Siemens Canada, “the new APACS+ OS and SIMATIC S7 control system significantly improves the existing control system with functional enhancements and technological advances driven by Siemens SIMATIC innovations.”

About 600 Ellison area residents serviced by the improvement district remain under a water quality advisory, pending further system improvements expected to be completed within two years.

With more than 30 pump stations,Kelowna’s wastewater treatment plant serves about 80% of Kelowna’s residents. Watch a video tour of the plant below.

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Following two investigations, Central Ontario Analytical Laboratory Inc. (COAL) and its three owners were charged and convicted under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) on December 6, 2017.

According to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), the convictions relate to offering or providing a drinking water testing service without authority or not in accordance with a drinking water testing licence, and conducting a drinking water test contrary to a drinking water testing licence.

The fines issued to the company and its owners total $246,500 and the victim fine surcharges amount to $61,625. Additionally, the court issued an Order that prohibits COAL, 2293560 Ontario Inc., Lesley Johnston, Teresa Johnston, and Russell Johnston (the owners, sole officers and directors, and the operating minds of COAL and 2293560 Ontario Inc.) from ever holding or applying for a drinking water testing licence under the SDWA.

For more information on the convictions, see the original media release: www.news.ontario.ca

your turn cups
The Your Turn cup is a biodegradable cup that helps keep fats, oils and grease out of sewers and prevent kitchen fires.

To address the fallout of paying $600,000 a year to flush out fatbergs from its wastewater system, the City of London, Ontario, has found success and clog prevention in its Your Turn collection cup campaign that allows citizens to store and return kitchen fats, oils and grease known as FOG.

Since the FOG collection program began in 2013, some 100,000 32-ounce paper cups have been distributed across London’s 381,000 service residents, saving the City more than $100,000 each year on its drain diversion program.

It’s also been fatberg free for three years.

your turn cups
The Your Turn cup is a biodegradable cup that helps keep fats, oils and grease out of sewers and prevent kitchen fires.

“People want to do the right thing but it also has to be convenient,” Barry Orr, sewer outreach and control inspector for the City of London, said in a statement to media.

In collaboration with London, Montreal-based FluksAqua, an online Q&A forum for water utility professionals, has elevated the program’s profile and generated actual collection opportunities across Canada and the U.S., stoking interest as far away as Australia and Japan.

December marks the rollout of the national campaign for Your Turn FOG cup collection across Canada. Ontario municipalities like Sarnia, Windsor, Sudbury, Oxford County, Middlesex Centre and Central Elgin are already on board. Your Turn has spoken to municipalities in Alberta and New Brunswick about joining the program as well.

“Water professionals regularly discuss their frustration at the expense, environmental damage and safety issues of maintenance personnel caused by fatbergs on our forum,” said Dr. Hubert Colas, President Americas, FluksAqua. “With easy access to Your Turn cups through our campaign, we’re hoping municipal water professionals will sign up to bring cups to their communities and residents will use the Your Turn cups to keep FOG out of the water system.”

B.C. is also in talks to join the YouTurn program, but has also taken independent efforts to fight fatbergs through a public awareness video ad campaign.  Metro Vancouver says it spends some $2 million every year to unblock FOG from its sewer pipes.

Over the 2017 U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, FluksAqua conducted a national survey of some 1,000 residents to determine how many people were safely disposing of their potential fatberg add-ons. The survey found more than 80% properly disposed of Thanksgiving FOG by using a separate container, while the remaining 20% admitted to dumping down a kitchen drain or toilet.

Of course, just one month prior to the survey, a fatberg in Baltimore was responsible for a sewer overflow that discharged 4,542 m3 of sewage into Jones Falls. Furthermore, the City of New York Department of Environmental Protection, which services over eight million customers, reports that 71% of 2016 sewer backup complaints were fatberg related.

Municipalities and water professionals can sign up for the Your Turn program by visiting www.getyourfogcup.com. There is a nominal cost for production of the collection cups, but free distribution of the containers to consumers.

KSB will supply large Sewatec pumps with long radius suction elbow for upgrade of the Hamilton Sewage Treatment Plant.

KSB Pumps has been awarded a contract to supply twelve large wastewater pumps for the Woodward Avenue Main Pumping Station in Hamilton, Ontario. Each unit includes one of KSB’s large Sewatec pumps, with 15 m long Carden shaft, 700 HP motor, long radius suction elbow and vibration monitoring system.

According to KSB, the upgrades are aimed at improving the Woodward Avenue plant’s ability to deal with combined wastewater and storm water flows during severe weather events. They are being undertaken as part of the city’s Clean Harbour Program (CHP).

A major component of this initiative involves the construction of a new main pumping station and inlet channel. The KSB pumps will be a core component of the new pumping station, collectively capable of pumping over 23,600 litres per second.

“This contract required a combination of high pumping efficiency, good NPSH performance and the ability to deal with solid materials in the un-screened wastewater and storm runoff,” said Marcus Henderson, KSB business development manager, in a press release. “KSB’s Sewatec pumps are an excellent choice for this job, with an excellent track record of providing reliable service in sewage treatment plants around the world.”

The new main pumping station is scheduled to be in service by May 2021.

For more information, visit: www.ksbcanada.com

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Xylem to expand its intelligent water services portfolio with its planned acquisition of infrastructure inspection and monitoring company, Pure Technologies Ltd.

On December 11, 2017, Pure announced that it has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with Xylem Inc. whereby Xylem will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Pure.

Pure said its shareholders will receive $9.00 per share in cash, representing a 102.7% premium to the closing share price on December 8, 2017, and giving Pure an enterprise value of $509 million. Its board of directors unanimously approved the transaction and recommended that company shareholders vote in favour of the transaction.

Pure is an international asset management, technology and services company which has developed patented technologies for inspection, monitoring and management of critical infrastructure. According to the company, its business streams include:

  • Technical services, including pipeline inspection, leak detection and condition assessment;
  • Asset management, primarily in the area of pipeline condition assessment for water and wastewater infrastructure;
  • Sales of proprietary monitoring technologies for pipelines, bridges and structures; and
  • Data analysis, site maintenance, and technology licensing.

“The addition of Pure will strengthen Xylem’s position as a leading provider of intelligent solutions that address the water industry’s most persistent problems,” said Patrick Decker, Xylem president and chief executive officer. “Aging infrastructure is a top concern of water utilities around the world, and infrastructure assessment is an attractive, growing market that directly addresses this challenge in a cost-effective way.”

According to Decker, acquiring Pure’s technologies complements Xylem’s diagnostic, analytics and optimization portfolio, which includes recently acquired companies Visenti and Sensus.

The transaction is subject to various customary closing conditions, including receipt of court approval, Pure shareholder approval, and regulatory approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (United States), according to Pure.

For more information, visit: www.puretechltd.com