CanWest: Power biz going to the sewer

via: Power biz going to the sewer, Feb. 21, 2013  CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.

United Utilities Plc and Severn Trent Plc, Britain’s biggest publicly traded water companies, are increasingly feeding human waste into tanks of bacteria whose methane emissions generate electricity.

Sewage-derived power supplies 22 per cent of Severn Trent’s energy, almost double that of 2005.

At United Utilities, it’s 14 per cent. British utilities are shifting fecal matter to vats of bacteria that consume the waste, releasing biogas that’s burned to drive water treatment.

The result is lower energy bills and surplus power sent to the grid that heat more U.K. tea kettles.

Water businesses in Britain aren’t the only ones finding value in waste. Companies in Europe and China are turning more to biogas to counter fossil-fuel costs and energy price volatility.

Microsoft Corp., the largest software maker, uses effluents to help power a data centre in Wyoming.

Skiers in northern Arizona speed down slopes on artificial snow made entirely from treated waste water.

“We live in a resource-constrained world. We’re going to have to squeeze more and more out of our waste,” said Christopher Gasson, the publisher of Global Water Intelligence in Oxford, England.

Sewage sludge “smells like money to an increasing number of entrepreneurs.”

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Water Canada: Wastewater Effluent Regs and FCM reaction

(Via: Water Canada) Feds Implement Wastewater Effluent Regs 
Posted on July 18, 2012

After over three years of discussion, including very public feedback the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association, the federal government has announced that it will finally implement the national Wastewater System Effluent Regulations.

“We want water that is clean, safe, and plentiful for future generations of Canadians to enjoy,” said Minister of Environment Peter Kent this morning in Delta, British Columbia. “Through these regulations, we are addressing one of the largest sources of pollution in our waters. We’ve set the country’s first national standards for sewage treatment. These standards will reduce the levels of harmful substances deposited to surface water from wastewater systems in Canada.”

The feds worked with provinces and territories, and also engaged municipalities, to finalize these regulations. According to a release, it is expected that about 75 per cent of existing wastewater systems already meet the minimum secondary wastewater treatment standards in the regulations. Communities and municipalities that meet the standards will not need to make upgrades to their systems. The other 25 per cent will have to upgrade to at least secondary wastewater treatment.

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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.

StatCan: Industrial Wastewater Discharges and Cleanup

Industrial Wastewater – Who Discharges What and Who Pays for the Cleanup?  by Ken White

Via GLOBE-Net, June 10, 2012 – Canada’s renewable water supplies are being threatened by vast amounts of municipal and industrial waste being disposed of in rivers, lakes and other marine areas. Those industries largely responsible are not paying their share for the clean up according to Statistics Canada.

The Industrial wastewater business is huge involving water costs of $1.7 billion and water treatment costs of $656 million in 2009. However, there is a huge imbalance for the largest discharger of wastewater (thermal electric) compared to the largest water treatment expenditures (manufacturing).

The thermal electric sector, while it releases by far the highest amount of wastewater, is investing only marginally in the treatment of this wastewater. 

Industrial Wastewater refers to liquid waste discharged from industrial activities. Thirty-one billion cubic metres of wastewater were discharged for manufacturing, mineral extraction and thermal-electric power generation n 2009.

Thermal-electric power producers accounted for 82% of the wastewater discharge, followed by manufacturing industries (16%) and mining industries (2%).

Industrial Wastewater Treatment and Discharge Costs


Industries discharging industrial wastewater invested $655.7 million on wastewater treatment, which represented 38% of total industrial water costs in 2009.

Manufacturing industries spent $575.7 million on wastewater treatment and discharge, 42% of their total water costs.

The paper industry accounted for the largest share of this total at $274.1 million.

The food manufacturing industry spent $100.0 million, the chemical manufacturing industry $77.7 million, and the primary metals manufacturing industry $61.8 million on wastewater treatment and discharge.

Mineral extraction industries spent $70.6 million on wastewater treatment and discharge, roughly 43% of their total expenditures on water.

Thermal-electric power producers use large quantities of water for cooling, condensing and for steam. The industry spent relatively little ($9.5 million or 6%) on water treatment and discharge as a proportion of their total water costs in 2009.

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EPA releases draft National Water Program 2012 Strategy

via @climateandwater Draft EPA “National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change” Released for Public Comment

EPA’s Draft 2012 Strategy adresses climate change impacts on water resources and EPA’s water programs. Climate change alters the water cycle and could affect the implementation of EPA’s programs. EPA and our state, tribal, local and federal partners must review and adapt the practices that have been developed over the past 40 years since passage of the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and other statutes. Ensuring that EPA’s programs continue to protect public health, and the environment that sustains our communities and the economy, requires immediate and continuous collaboration.

National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change—Public Comment Draft (PDF) (112pp, 3.6MB, About PDF)

How to Comment:

Comments must be received on or before May 17, 2012, 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.


Bioenergy News: From Poo to Power in the UK

From poo to power
2 February 2012

Yorkshire Water in the UK is working with Esholt sewage works to build a biothelys sludge treatment plant that will create energy from human waste.

The multi-million pound project will take effluent from the Yorkshire Water 750 acre sewage works, which currently collects waste from about 700,000 people, as well as about 300 litres of wastewater which it treats before dumping it into the River Aire.

At the moment, about 26,000 tonnes of sludge is produced as a byproduct of the treatment process and this will now be used in Veolia’s thermal hydrolysis system (biothelys), combined with anaerobic digestion, to produce biogas.

Instead of being disposed of in landfill, the sewage sludge will be broken down in a thermal hydrolysis process that uses pressure and heat, before going through an anaerobic digestion system which creates biogas that can be used for the production of energy.

The renewable electricity will be used to power the site so that it does not need to use mains electricity, which will reduce the costs of running the facility.

Following this new added treatment, the sludge can also be used as a fertiliser or soil conditioner for a range of crops.

Ben Roche, manager of energy and carbon at Yorkshire Water, says: “Each year we receive an overall electricity bill for approximately ?45 million (?54 million) with 70% of our carbon footprint coming from electricity – a footprint that currently stands at 453,000 tonnes of CO2.”

“At the moment we already generate a third of the energy we use on site at Esholt through renewable energy technologies, but our aim is for this huge facility to become fully energy self-sufficient by 2015,” he continues.

“This pioneering technology will enable us to save around $1.3 million a year at this site alone which will help us in turn to keep customers’ bills as low as possible.”

The plant is expected to take about 18 months to build and will be commissioned at the beginning of next year.

Engineers Morgan Sindall and Grontmij have been chosen to work on the project.

ThunderBay Source: Overflowing

By Jeff Labine,

The sewage treatment facility at Kasabonika Lake First Nation has reached its limit.

The fly-in community, roughly 800 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, first built the sewage plant in the 1990s. The plant was to meet the demands of the more than 900 people who live in the First Nation community with a capacity to handle 170,000 liters of waste a day.

But the demand according to officials with the First Nation community is more than double as of 2004. In addition, the plant has numerous reported problems from operation challenges to repair needs.

A report done by Northern Waterworks Inc. in July 2011 showed that wastewater flowed out of the door of the plant. The facility was in need of repairs after a raven flew into a breaker. Although this was fixed, the report noted several other problems with the plant.

“The sewer from each individual home are supposed to be drinkable by the time it hits the lake but it’s not doing that,” said Abraham Wabasse, the administrator at the plant.

“There’s too much waste water coming through from the community. The RBC is too small to take care of it. Most of it has to come out through the doors and into the lake. We’re so busy over here to try and minimize the impact of wastewater going into the lake.”

He said the plant is too small and they have to either upgrade the facility or create a new lagoon. The community requested to build a $10 million lagoon but the project has met setbacks. Following the completion of the design in 2007, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada delayed the funding for construction in 2008. A year later, INAC delayed construction again and pushed funding back to 2014.

Wabasse said the lagoon isn’t on the community territory so they had to file more paper work with INAC to have the lagoon there. A letter addressed to the chief and council said they couldn’t support the request.

Wabasse said his community was in a safe zone but thought it was still sad to see the wastewater go through the doors.

Not all the homes are connected to the sewage plant. They advised residents not to hook up their homes in order to offset some of the waste coming in, he said.

There’s no way to know for sure how much of the wastewater is going into the lake because they don’t have a meter to tell them, he said.

He said the Ontario First Nation Technical Services Corporation was expected to come sometime in February to look at the plant.

He added people would have to cut back on water usage in order to help reduce the demand but if that didn’t help then it, they would have to shut down the plant and declare a state of emergency.

Follow Jeff Labine on Twitter @Labine_reporter