RBC commits $1 M to support First Nations water and ecosystems

Via CNW, June 21, 2013

University of Guelph announces $1 million commitment from RBC Blue Water Project to improve water and biodiversity in First Nations communities

GUELPH, ON, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ – The University of Guelph announced today a $1 million commitment from the RBC Blue Water Project to support teaching and research initiatives in water and ecosystem monitoring, as well as treatment and conservation on First Nations reserves.

“Water contamination is one of the most important health-related environmental problems facing First Nations communities,” said president of the University of Guelph, Alastair Summerlee. “These communities also face serious and increasingly complex threats to ecosystem biodiversity. We have the research and teaching expertise and commitment — and now, thanks to RBC, additional resources to make a difference.”

The new education and research initiative includes student field projects to help them learn more about water and biodiversity. The gift was made through the BetterPlanet Project, the University’s $200-million fundraising campaign for teaching and research in food, environment, health and communities.

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RBC Blue Water Project: $2.3 Million in Funding Announced

via PR Newswire:  2013 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership and Community Action Grants announced

June 14, 2013

RBC awards $2.3 million in funding to protect water in cities and towns around the globe

TORONTO-RBC today announced the recipients of the 2013 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership and Community Action Grants, totalling more than $2.3 million in funding for water protection and preservation programs. Awarded on the fourth annual RBC Blue Water Day, the grants support 123 organizations spanning seven countries, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos Islands.

“Water is the lifeblood of our planet and vital for our social and economic wellbeing,” said Gord Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. “Since the RBC Blue Water Project was established in 2007, we have committed more than $38 million in grants to some 650 organizations around the world working to protect our most precious natural resource, including the grants we’re announcing today. We are honoured to support the important efforts of this year’s grant recipients, whose projects reflect our new focus on urban water issues.”

In December 2012, the RBC Blue Water Project announced a shift in focus to address a significant, emerging issue that is relevant to the majority of RBC employees and clients – protecting and preserving water in towns, cities and urbanized areas. The 2013-2014 Leadership and Community Action Grants are funding programs that improve urban water quality and efficient use, enhance storm water management and protect and restore urban waterways.

“By 2050, three quarters of the world’s population will live in cities,” explained Alexandra Cousteau, RBC Blue Water Project Ambassador and National Geographic Emerging Explorer. “With more people, our urban water resources will become even more strained than they are today. The 2013 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership and Community Action Grant recipients are working to solve some of the most critical water issues facing our growing communities and helping to ensure we have the clean water we need for the future.”

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LFP: Glencoe-area residents to use hydrogen peroxide as a secondary water treatment

Community will become only the second in North America to use hydrogen peroxide as a secondary water treatment

By Debora Van Brenk, The London Free Press
Thursday, May 16, 2013

Open wide.

Glencoe-area residents will soon be drinking water cleaned with a process similar to the kind used in some dental offices.

The community will become only the second in North America to use a proprietary system called Huwa-San Peroxide Technology as a secondary water treatment, instead of chlorine water disinfection.

The benefits, says Southwest Middlesex Mayor Doug Reycraft, include cleaner, safer and better-tasting water.

“This is new and has the potential to be used in many parts of the province,” Reycraft said. “What happens here is likely to be the prototype for other water systems in other areas of Ontario.”

It’s new here but not completely untried.

This specific technology, developed in Belgium, is used in Europe in hospitals and other closed systems that require ultra-high water quality, said Andy Valickis, engineer and senior project manager with the Ontario Clean Water Agency, which also operates the Southwest Middlesex water treatment facility.

It’s also been in use since November in the small eastern Ontario community of Killaloe, under approval from the Ontario Environment Ministry.

Valickis has high hopes and expectations of the technology.

“It’s a much more natural substance than chlorine is to the body so we think it’s a safer product to use.”

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CNW: 2013 Recipients of Excellence in Water Stewardship Award

Via: Canada Newswire, March 22, 2013

Council of the Federation Announces First-ever Recipients of Excellence in Water Stewardship Award

OTTAWA, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ – On the occasion of World Water Day, the Council of the Federation (COF) announced today the recipients of the Excellence in Water Stewardship Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement, innovative practice and leadership in the area of water stewardship. This award is presented to organizations, partnerships, businesses, institutions, and community groups in each province and territory across Canada.

Stemming from the Water Charter, adopted by Premiers in August 2010, Premiers have established this new award in recognition that water is critical to human and ecosystem health. A sustainable water supply ensures our communities are liveable and economically viable whether they are large urban centres or remote or rural communities.

“On behalf of all Premiers, I want to congratulate the first-ever recipients of the Council of the Federation Excellence in Water Stewardship Award,” said Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, Chair of the Council of the Federation. “These awards are an important mechanism for change as they bring deserved recognition to the champions of water stewardship and inspire all Canadians to take action.”

The recipients of the 2013 Council of the Federation Excellence in Water Stewardship Award are:

Alberta Urban Municipalities Association – Alberta
Okanagan Water Stewardship Council – British Columbia
Lake Winnipeg Foundation – Manitoba
City of Moncton Automated Water Meter Reading Project – New Brunswick
Atlantic Coastal Action Plan (ACAP) Humber Arm – Newfoundland and Labrador
Sambaa K’e Dene Band – Northwest Territories
Clean Annapolis River Project – Nova Scotia
Centre for Water Resources Studies – Nunavut
City of Kitchener Impervious-area Based Stormwater Utility and Credit Policy – Ontario
Winter River-Tracadie Bay Watershed Association – Prince Edward Island
Regroupement pour la protection du Grand lac Saint-François – Québec
Lower Souris Watershed Committee Inc. – Saskatchewan
Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council – Yukon

Each recipient receives a glass award, a monetary prize and a certificate signed by the Premier of their province or territory.

Further information about the Excellence in Water Stewardship Awards can be found at http://www.councilofthefederation.ca.

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Personal liability for water treatment plants in effect in Ontario

Via Canadian Consulting Engineer, 2013-01-07

New rules came into effect in Ontario on December 31 that make those with decision-making authority over drinking water systems personally liable for their safe operation.

This “Statutory Standard of Care” came into force as Section 19, part of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The decision-making authorities — which include municipal councillors as well as their third-party contractors — have to ensure that their plant is operated in accordance with regulations, is appropriately staffed and supervised, and that it meets all the sampling, testing and reporting requirements.

In a guide for municipal councillors: “Taking Care of Your Drinking Water,” the Ontario Ministry of the Environment points out that municipal councillors are still personally liable for their water systems, “even if there is an agreement to delegate the operations of the drinking water system to someone else” (page 7).

The guide points out that those with decision-making authority over municipal drinking water systems have “to exercise the level of care, diligence and skill … that a reasonably prudent person would be expected to exercise in a similar situation and that they exercise this due diligence honestly, competently and with integrity.”

The guide says the legal responsibility applies to not only the municipality who owns the system, but “every person who oversees the accredited operating authority or exercises decision-making authority over the system — potentially including but not limited to members of municipal councils. If the municipal system is owned by a corporation rather than a municipality, every officer and director of the corporation has the legal responsibility to ensure the plant is performing up to par.

The Ministry is advising municipal councillors to “be informed, ask questions, get answers.” Training courses for municipal officers are available at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre.

To see the guide, click here.

ENS: U.S., Canada Update Great Lakes Water Quality Protections

U.S., Canada Update Great Lakes Water Quality Protections (via Environment News Service)

WASHINGTON, DC, September 7, 2012 (ENS) – Provisions to deal with aquatic invasive species, habitat degradation and the effects of climate change are featured in the newly amended Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement signed by U.S. and Canadian officials today in Washington. The amended agreement…

Massive project in Timmins called the biggest one the city has ever taken on

Massive project
$60M upgrade of treatment plant
By Ron Grech, The Daily Press

City officials call it the biggest single project Timmins has ever taken on.

The upgrade to the Mattagami Waste Water Treatment Plant will cost $60-million which is unprecedented for a municipal project in Timmins.

City residents will likely begin seeing the first signs of work being done on Airport Road, across from the Bozzer baseball diamonds in the early fall.

Construction on the site is expected to take more than two years.

“I hope by September and October to see equipment on site and excavation to start,” said Luc Duval, director of public works and engineering. “And then from that point onwards, depending on the season and the weather there will be activity on that site.”

The upgrades to the plant were made mandatory in the wake of the Walkerton tragedy in May 2000 in which seven people died and more than 2,000 others became ill from drinking E. coli contaminated municipal water.

The cost of this provincially mandated project is being divided three ways by the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

“It all fits in our capital investments for sewer and water” budgeted over the next decade, explained Duval.

“We’ve talked about how that plant is going to be upgraded to secondary treatment. We’re in the final stretches of awarding a construction contract for that project. The City of Timmins received tenders (two weeks ago) so we’re in the process of reviewing the tenders and reviewing the amounts and then eventually making a recommendation to council.”

Duval anticipated that recommendation will come to council within two to four weeks.

“Once we award that contract, assuming we award it in August some time, we should start to see activities on that site in September,” he said.

“The chunk of land we got vacant today will be filled with infrastructure in two-and-a-half years from now. So there will be new buildings, a lot of processing tanks where we’re going to be aerating the treated effluent as it comes through the secondary process… There are a lot of new processes being introduced as well and all to better treat the sewage and be better stewards of the environment.