Conference Presentations

The 45th Annual BCWWA Conference in Victoria BC – May 28 – 30

The BCWWA Annual Conference & Trade Show is British Columbia’s premier water and wastewater industry event. This year the event will be held in Victoria BC; three of our professionals, Travis Pahl, Eric Sears, Jacob Scissons and Scott Shepard will be presenting at the conference.

Determining how to treat challenging groundwater in British Columbia’s Peace Country – Results of an RO Pilot Study

Travis Pahl – Water and Wastewater Engineer
Presentation by Travis Pahl
Doig River First Nation is located in Peace River region. The community water treatment plant is an RO system with softening that is past its useful life. Water is supplied to the community through groundwater sources with incredibly challenging water quality:

TDS: 1,600 mg/L
TOC and DOC: 16-17 mg/L
Ammonia: 3 mg/L
Iron: 0.5 mg/L
Manganese: 0.5 mg/L
H2S: 1 mg/L

Options for replacement were evaluated through a feasibility study. Groundwater was identified as the preferred source over the Doig River due to low lifecycle costs, low risk of water contamination and low susceptibility to drought.

As part of the project, a pilot-scale study was conducted over four months to evaluate treatment options. The purpose of the pilot scale study was to evaluate the requirement for softening as pre-treatment for the RO system as well as compare the performance of two membranes. Each membranes was tested for two months each, one month with pretreatment and one month without. This presentation will provide an overview of pilot results and lessons learned through the piloting process.

Finding Energy in your Backyard – City of Fort St. John Micro Hydro Facility

Eric Sears – Project Engineer
Presentation by Eric Sears
The City of Fort St. John is committed to leadership and innovation in the field of community energy – both within their own community, and as a provider for others – and Urban Systems was engaged to help identify opportunities for alternative energy production. The option to construct a micro-hydropower station on existing effluent streams was identified, and Urban followed with a feasibility study examining potential sites and project plans. Later, Urban provided engineering and project management services on construction and installation of the station and infrastructure upgrades.

The south lagoon at the City’s wastewater treatment facility was identified as having sufficient and consistent flow rates, in addition to sufficient elevation change to generate a profitable level of energy. Urban worked with the City to source funding in order to offset the initial investment and produce the financial plan in order to ensure the project reaches profitability. With upgrades to the penstock for pressure rating allowances and construction of a power station to house a turbine generator, the project now produces enough energy to offset the consumption of 90 homes annually. The electrical output is sold to BC Hydro and represents a source of income for the City.

This project is the first of its kind in British Columbia and representative of an innovative approach to sustainable energy. The project has also received an Award of Merit from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of British Columbia.

Victoria’s Strategic and Holistic Approach to Water Metering

Jacob Scissons – Water Resource Engineer
Presentation by Jacob Scissons
The City of Victoria has been universally metered since the late 1800’s. Through their metering program and other water conservation initiatives, Victoria has demonstrated their leadership in this arena with a current per capita residential water consumption of 260 litres per person per day. Notwithstanding the many successes of the City’s water metering program, there is a need to upgrade and replace aging infrastructure. The specific area of focus at this time is the residential water meters with an average age of approximately 45 years and constituting close to 90% of Victoria’s total meter population. The City has embarked on a residential water meter replacement and enhancement initiative, which includes proposed upgrades to metering and reading infrastructure.

In order to inform the City’s future metering efforts and investments, metering drivers were identified along with corresponding measures of success. These drivers include quantitate considerations such as cost recovery and water conservation targets, but also qualitative factors including improved customer service and water system management benefits. A series of business cases and assessments were conducted, which considered social, environmental, and economic criteria. Through this work, the City has identified preferred metering and reading technologies, assessed various procurement options, identified priorities for pilot programs and research and development efforts, evaluated integration of cross connection control improvements, and gathered specific insight from other communities with respect to implementation considerations. Victoria has also developed a water metering strategy, which is based on the life cycle of metering assets and a proactive approach to resource deployment.

Key Points
1. Identification of water metering drivers is key to developing a program that will maximize the return on investment.
2. A multiple account evaluation of key considerations can be an effective means of further informing the direction of metering efforts.
3. Life cycle management allows a utility to be proactive with maintenance, testing, and replacement of water metering assets to ensure optimal performance and value.

Copyright © 2020 Urban Systems. All Rights Reserved.