Water risk presents an ever-increasing global challenge in the 21st century. Surging demand, urbanization, failing or outdated infrastructure, and a changing climate is putting massive pressure on water resources. These factors impact water management in different ways across the globe.
Understanding the unique and evolving approaches to water management puts many Ontario water businesses at an advantage. Since there is no catch-all fix for water resiliency on a global scale, flexible and scalable solutions are increasingly crucial, and Ontario is one of the frontrunners of this movement.
Innovators in Ontario’s water cleantech industry are:
- Creating smart technologies to enhance leak detection and curb water loss
- Designing new approaches for water reuse, including filtration systems, novel membranes, and advanced oxidation processes
- Innovating new and enhancing existing resource and recovery technologies
- Developing new ways to move processes toward energy neutrality
Ontario’s homegrown solutions and expertise have made a significant impact around the world. Our companies continue to lead the way, following in the footsteps of two major success stories: ZENON, developer of membrane technologies for water purification, wastewater treatment and water recycling, and Trojan Technologies, which specializes in the design, manufacture, and sales of pressurized and open-channel ultraviolet (UV) disinfection systems.
When Singapore started its conversion to membrane-based water filtration in 2002, ZENON Environmental Inc. (now owned by GE) was chosen to supply its ZeeWeed® membranes to a 273,000 cubic metres per day water reclamation facility. The treatment plant remains one of the world’s largest of its kind.
Trojan Technologies was selected by the Eastern Tertiary Alliance to provide the ultraviolet disinfection system for the Eastern Treatment Plant Tertiary Upgrade Project in Melbourne, Australia. The UV system will disinfect average and peak tertiary treated effluent flows of 380 and 700 million litres (101 and 187 million gallons) per day respectively, making it the largest UV installation in Australia. With over 7,800 municipal facilities in more than 80 countries using its technology, Trojan has the largest installed base of UV systems in the world and is one of Ontario’s biggest success stories.
Ontario has been the cradle of many other innovative water industry businesses that have grown to become global players.
Echologics, developer of acoustic-based technologies for water loss management, leak detection, and pipe condition assessment, was selected to non-invasively detect leaks on water mains throughout Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur. During the project, Echologics surveyed more than 4,700 metres of water mains and located several water main leaks. After the leaks were located, necessary repairs were made in order to reduce further water loss. Water loss, also known as “non-revenue water,” costs utilities billions of dollars per year.
As part of an ACQUEAU project between Canada and Finland, MANTECH Inc. has been working with the pulp and paper industry to help develop and demonstrate novel concepts for the reduction of recalcitrant chemical oxygen demand (COD) degradation in pulp and paper mills without the use of mercury or dichromate. The initiative will help identify COD sources, improve treatment technologies, and optimize effluent flows. Furthermore, it will help MANTECH develop the next generation of its online analyzers. In 2015, the company won a Water’s Next award in 2015 for this technology in the wastewater category.
Lystek International Inc. was awarded a 20-year lease agreement by the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District (FSSD) in California to build an Organic Materials Recovery Center (OMRC). The facility, which began service in 2016, will help keep high-level biosolids out of landfills. The FSSD currently produces approximately 14,000 tons of biosolids per year, while the OMRC, will have a maximum operating capacity of approximately 150,000 tons per year. This gap will be accounted for by bringing in waste from other districts across the Bay Area.
In a project that began in 2014, Clearford Industries Inc. entered into an agreement with UV Pure Technologies to be its exclusive distributor of UV Pure’s water purification products in Colombia. Clearford installed a turnkey water and wastewater system for a green community near Bogota, Colombia. The system harvests rainwater to augment freshwater supplies and uses Clearford’s digester technology and structured wetlands to recycle all wastewater. UV Pure’s systems provides disinfection of the reuse water before it is sent to a reuse distribution network. Based on this success in the international market, Clearford has since installed its sanitation system in Jambudiyapura, India, which resulted in the first open defecation free village in the Indian state of Gujarat. This success will likely lead to further projects in India.
In Hungary, the largest anaerobic digestion facility in Eastern Europe, generates 4.2 megawatts of renewable electricity from local commercial, industrial and agricultural waste streams, thanks to technology from Anaergia Inc. that also recovers fertilizer and clean water. The facility was designed to maximize the production of electricity during peak load times in order to follow the time-variable Hungarian feed-in tariffs.
These successful companies, along with the public utility and academic sectors, have created communities of successful water experts who apply their knowledge to do groundbreaking research and undertake new ventures. Read more about Ontario’s water companies in WaterTAP’s business directory.