WorldwideNews: AMERICAS

June 1, 2002
More than 120 million litres of untreated sewage flows into the Halifax Harbour every day, but a contract awarded to the French company Ondeo by the Halifax Regional Municipality should improve harbour conditions.

Major Halifax projects to clean up harbour waters

More than 120 million litres of untreated sewage flows into the Halifax Harbour every day, but a contract awarded to the French company Ondeo by the Halifax Regional Municipality should improve harbour conditions.

Ondeo will design, build and operate three wastewater treatment plants, design and build a wastewater collection system, treating wastewater for the 200,000 residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The agreement includes a 30-year partnership to operate and maintain the wastewater treatment plants. The entire project represents US$ 380 million in revenues. The project includes the design and construction of a wastewater collection system, which will then be managed by the Halifax Regional Municipality. In addition, Ondeo's proposal includes a bio-solids (sludge) handling and management system.

Latin American industrial wastewater market growing

Industrial wastewater markets, specifically effluent treatment and industrial water re-use, will exceed US$ 2.2 billion over the next three years, according to CG/LA Infrastructure's Strategy Report "Industrial Water & Wastewater Opportunities in Latin America, 2000 - 2010."

Anjali Mitter Duva of CG/LA explains that "Latin American industrial growth is resuming and is expected to grow sustainably over the next four years. Underinvestment in clean technologies in the past is largely being rectified and we are seeing a strong movement by every major EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) firm globally trying to tap into the market. CG/LA forecasts that the market will grow as the region's economies grow, technology reduces treatment cost, environmental standards are raised, and water companies explore industrial outsourcing as a new market niche.

"Brazilian industrial growth is largely underestimated and should be explosive in the 6% range over the next two years. Export-led growth drives clean technologies and Brazilian recovery will drive the rest of Latin American growth," said CG/LA CEO Norm Anderson.

NATO sponsors NASA in-situ remediation project

A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) committee selected a groundwater-soil remediation project conducted at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, USA, for further study and evaluation.

The Marshall Center studies are evaluating technologies that can be used at locations where hazardous materials or their residues are present in the soil, subsoil and groundwater. In this case, the focus is on removing chlorinated volatile organic compounds from soils and groundwater.

The project selected by the NATO committee involves injection into the ground of zero-valent iron powder - small solid iron particles - in slurry form using the Feroxtrademark process patented by ARS Technologies Inc. of Highland Park, New Jersey, a US environmental engineering firm.

These chemical reduction pilot tests will be conducted beneath two contaminated areas and are directed primarily at the treatment of trichloro-ethene, a solvent that was used to clean rocket engines in sub-surface soil and water. The Marshall Center's Environmental Engineering Depart-ment developed and implemented the remediation project in collaboration with CH2M Hill of Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA. The study's focus is on treatment of naturally oxygenated, contaminated groundwater within an interval area called the rubble zone - a transitional area between the clay soil and limestone bedrock - as well as on treatment of the clay soil where there is significant contamination.

Ozone system installed on Gulf Coast

PCI-Wedeco installed an ozone generation system for drinking water in a Gulf Coast municipality in Florida. The project includes two PCI-Wedeco EffizonRegistered ozone generation systems each capable of producing 66 kg/h of ozone. The entire ozone system will produce up to 190 kg/h at high concentration reaching 10% by weight, using oxygen as the feed gas to maximise performance. The system will treat 100 mgd of water.

Ozone is a powerful oxidant, capable of oxidising naturally occurring constituents that can adversely affect water quality in the form of colour, tastes and odour. Ozone is a disinfectant that controls harmful bacteria, viruses and protozoa including cryptosporidium and giardia, to ensure safe drinking water. PCI-Wedeco is based in West Caldwell, New Jersey, USA.

Ionics builds largest UF system in USA

Ionics, Inc. began working on a US$ 17-m contract from the US city of Minneapolis, Minnesota to supply a 70-mgd ultrafiltration (UF) system.

The new UF facility, which is expected to begin operations in 2004, will upgrade the existing conventional water treatment plant built nearly 90 years ago. The Columbia Heights water treatment facility will be the largest UF treatment plant in the USA, and among the largest membrane filtration plants in the world. The new plant will use Norit UF membrane technology, which removes waterborne microorganisms including giardia, cryptosporidium and viruses.


Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) awarded a 10-year, US$ 4-billion contract for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the water and wastewater services for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The contract is the largest O&M contract for water services ever awarded; average annual revenues are estimated to reach US$ 400 million. The contract covers the production and distribution of drinking water for the country's nearly four million residents, as well as the collection and treatment of wastewater for the entire island.

The contract calls for management of the entire PRASA system, which consists of 133 water treatment facilities; 68 wastewater treatment facilities; 7,700 miles of water distribution pipelines; approximately 3,900 miles of wastewater collection pipelines; 30 customer centres and nearly 6,000 employees. O&M contracts allow local governments to delegate management of their water and wastewater systems to private operators while retaining ownership of the systems.

USA: Black & Veatch, based in Kansas City, Missouri, will lead an international stormwater research team in a US$ 690,000 study of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) in the USA and the UK. The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), United Kingdom Water Industry Research (UKWIR) and the American Water Works Association Research Foundation fund the project.

The team will collect information and provide guidance of stormwater quality management technologies and issues in both countries. Participants will assess the performance, impacts, maintenance requirements and whole-life costs of various BMPs/SUDS.

In the UK, the team is led by wholly-owned B&V subsidiary Binnie Black & Veatch and includes HR Wallingford and the Urban Water Technology Centre, Abertay University, Dundee.

USA: The Tolt water treatment facility won the Grand Award in Design at the American Academy of Environmental Engineers 2002 Excellence in Environmental Engineering competition. US-based CDM of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the design engineer on the US$ 101-million design-build-operate (DBO) project. This design added ozone disinfection prior to filtration to achieve 5-log removal/inactivation of cryptosporidium, providing a higher level of microbial protection while maintaining or reducing disinfection by-product levels. CDM combined flocculation and ozone processes to reduce treatment and construction costs and save area wetlands. Hydraulically, Tolt is a closed system - every drop of raw water is delivered as treated water with no off-site discharges.

The final design reduced the facility benchmark design from approximately 60 acres to less than 30 acres. The DBO approach resulted in the completion of the project in 30 months at a combined construction and operating cost of US$ 101 million, more than 40% below the city's benchmark cost estimate, a consumer savings of more than US$ 70 million.