BI Pure Water Receives IRAP Grant for the low-cost remediation of Refractory Organic Contaminants

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BI Pure Water Receives IRAP Grant
for the low cost remediation of
Refractory Organic Contaminants

Chemist Ian WylieBI Pure Water’s chemist beside a pilot membrane bioreactor unit to be used in conjunction with our advanced chemical methods for oxidizing difficult waste

For immediate release – June 5, 2017
BI Pure Water, Inc. has been approved for an IRAP grant (National Research Council Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program) to pilot its low cost remediation solution for Refractory (difficult-to-oxidize) Organic Contaminants. BI Pure Water’s in-house master chemist Ian Wylie has been personally working on the chemical problem for a decade and he believes he’s found a low cost solution.

“There are so many unaddressed industrial chemicals in our environment, I find this a very exciting and promising market,” says Ian Wylie, R&D Project Manager. “This process should be able to treat refractory wastewaters at an operating cost 5-20 times lower than existing oxidation processes and other environmentally unsound methods, such as incineration.”

BI Pure Water’s Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) in combination with biological treatment will greatly expand the range of wastewaters treatable by biology. AOP used in combination with MBR/MBBR or biogas generation is cheaper, more effective and ‘much greener’ than competing processes.

The process is particularly useful for refractory wastes with aromatic functionality and many other difficult to treat organic chemical contaminants, such as: phenol from refineries and chemical synthesis, polychlorinated biphenyls, creosotes, naphthenic acids from oil/gas extraction, drugs and synthetic hormones from the pharmaceutical industry and a wide range of difficult to treat industrial wastewaters.

BI Pure has found its first pilot project with leachate from a Canadian landfill. We are seeking more partnerships with potential customers that have “challenging waters” that need a practical way to reduce harmful waste. To pilot and demonstrate the technology the project is seeking partners that spend more than $ per m3 to dispose of their difficult waste.

MBRs allow water reuse of sewage treatment

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MBRs allow water reuse of sewage treatment

Advanced Waste Systems brochure Advanced Wastewater Treatments explained
Brochure download (4pps,Zip PDF)

Subdivisions continue to multiply in Calgary. Developers routinely contact us for proposals for communities that are ‘outside the water treatment grid’ and are sourcing water and wastewater treatment systems. Water is a scarce resource in these communities and they are keen to reuse water wherever possible.

With a membrane bioreactor communities are able to both treat sewage and recover bacteria and pathogen free water for their fire stations, as well as irrigation. This can mean big environmental and promotional benefits for developers, not to mention cost savings!

At BI Pure Water we would like to see communities using MBR because it can be a completely closed loop system. Dewatered sludge can be spread on fields, recovering nitrogen and phosphorus, or mixed into compost. The MBR requires a little more skilled maintenance than a MBBR or SBR system because it requires – two or three times a year typically – a chemical clean of membranes. Also the membranes need to be monitored for breaks or fouling, though these symptoms would be monitored through the computer control system.

A budgetary price proposed for this typical subdivision is under $200,000 for the first 100 dwellings. MBR is modular so in Phase II and III of the development another MBR would be added later to defer capital costs.

MBRs are built and tested complete inside a container or steel framed building. This can save on construction costs and are hassle-free by being built and tested in the factory and shipped complete and ready for implementation in the community. The plants are by nature steel frame structures that are resistant to extreme weather events, as well as mold, wildlife and rodents.

The Future of Water and Wastewater

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future-water2The Future of Water and Wastewater

Excerpted from the presentation to the National Water and Wastewater Association Annual Conference, by Scott Foster, President, and George Thorpe, P.Eng and Vice-president BI Pure Water, Toronto, Nov, 2016

As sickness from contaminated drinking water, pollution from poor waste treatment, emerging contaminants, and a shortage of clean water become an increasing part of our world, what will be our next generation solution?

Solutions for WATER will be:

1) Watershed management and control become a priority. A high quality raw water lowers the overall treatment and maintenance costs of a system.

2) Recycling and reuse, with technologies such as composting of organics reduces the load on sewage systems. Metals, minerals and even sand can be recovered from wastewater, and used as a resource.

3) Distributed or decentralized plants for water treatment become easier to employ when centralized treatment becomes outdated or overloaded because they don’t add new piping, pumping or problems to new communities.

4) The realization of Emerging Contaminants in our water supply such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and endocrine-disrupting compounds raises the need to treat for them. Up to 90% of oral drugs pass through the human body and end up in the water supply.

NUTRIENT solutions;

1) Recovering nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen generates a high value fertilizer from an existing resource. The process has become both environmentally and economically viable. Regulations can stimulate the recovery of products from waste streams and create a circular economy. The load on sewage treatment facilities is reduced.

ENERGY solutions;

1) As we seek to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we will monitor, control and conserve energy with the help of advancing control systems and meters.

2) Distributed generation fuel cells and other devices can be operated from waste at independent locations. Other breakthrough technologies are near commercial launch. The plant of the future will be net energy positive, and there will be new technologies that allow for better income from various sources such as nutrients and biogas.

3) Energy consumption is one of the largest factors affecting profitability and competitiveness. Reducing energy costs and improving energy efficiency in production processes adds to the bottom line. Super insulation and efficient heat capture are two technologies waiting to be developed.


Through Public/Private Partnerships (PPP) for infrastructure, projects may increasingly be design-build and have creative distributions of cost. Water will no longer be taken for granted as a free public resource. New compact treatment technologies will have a smaller footprint, be more efficient and reduce cost of treatment. However they will require high tech sensors. There are exciting developments in LED ultraviolet disinfection and chlorination

2) Remote monitoring and control makes the operator’s job more efficient, allowing one operator to manage several small treatment plants. Expanded training programs and networks train young operators to take over the gap left by retiring operators.

3) Design-for-resilience takes into account longer term influences, as well as returning systems to functionality faster after severe disurbances.

4) Considerable resources are being invested in water and waste innovation. Some of this innovation should leapfrog from current innovations to take advantage of the many things we already know about WATER.

Working with UBC to develop a water treatment system that meets First Nations needs

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Small UV pilot plant is designed to address cultural and safe drinking water needs cost-effectively

Reseau Mobile Pilot Plant for First Nations water treatmentMobile pilot plant goes on the road to First Nations communities Reseau Mobile Pilot Plant for First Nations water treatmentJim Brown, water operator for Lytton First Nation (CTV First Story photo) Reseau Mobile Pilot Plant for First Nations water treatmentUBC research team with pilot water treatment plant (CTV First Story photo)
BI Pure Water worked with UBC researchers and Lytton First Nation to develop a water disinfection system that addresses the needs of native communities, both cultural values as well as the basic necessity of clean drinking water.

“We can’t continue to have these people living off the current system they have now with just chlorine as a disinfectant because of the high turbidity … the chlorine residual goes up so the people say they don’t like to drink the water because most of the time the chlorine residual is too high. Maybe that is one of the reasons they have sores or don’t feel very good after they have a bath,” says Jim Brown, water maintenance manager of Lytton First Nation recently in a CTV First Story news report.

“We believe many First Nations and other small communities have difficulties retaining trained operators or even have the equipment to deal with turbidity events,” says George Thorpe, BI Pure Water VP and engineer. BI Pure Water has disinfection systems and supplies chlorine products and servicing to more than a dozen First Nations communities across Western Canada. People may also be concerned the chemicals will alter the spiritual quality of the element, according to the CTV news report.

“Often in communities we realize if they have sufficient information and they know it is absolutely necessary to add a little bit of chlorine in their water they don’t have any objections,” says Madjid Mohseni, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC. “The objections to the chlorine comes when it’s too much chlorine and if it’s unnecessary addition of chlorine. So by collecting sufficient info from source of water and putting UV treatment as part of our treatment package we are minimizing the amount of chlorine that needs to be added,” says Dr. Mohseni.

A small cost efficient treatment system was designed that utilizes a basket strainer to remove large particles and organic items that may be pumped from the creek and could plug valves or other components, a self-cleaning filter to reduce particles above 25 microns and some pathogens, a bag filter to remove contaminants down to 10 microns, a UV disinfection unit to neutralize bacteria, cysts and common viruses to required levels, and chlorine residual disinfection to remove microbiological buildup in the piping and remove any viruses left after UV disinfection. The system will be financed by UBC and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).

Although the pilot project will only serve 5-6 homes on the west side of the Fraser River near Lytton – the community of Nickeyeah – Mohseni hopes the project will serve as a blueprint for First Nations communities across the country. As of May 31, 2014, there were 130 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 91 First Nation communities across Canada, not including BC which reports differently. Half of First Nations water systems in BC are deemed to be high risk; last year 20% of First Nations across Canada were forced to buy or boil their drinking water, according to CTV News.

Lytton water maintenance manager Jim Brown had other interesting things to say about First Nations water treatment: “I visited an old lady on a private system and she says, “Jim , years ago we lost alot of kids from diarrhea. They had no idea why the kids were dying, that’s because of the E.coli. They were taking the water right out of the ditch and consuming it. They had no idea – to this day that lady doesn’t understand – it’s because her system isn’t chlorinated”.

“If I could drink out of a tap and it was good water I’d be saving millions,” says Nickeyeah elder Ruby Dunstan who buys several litres a week of bottled drinking water for her family since moving to the area about 20 years ago.

With the new treatment system band members will have access to clean drinking water right out of the tap — surface water that band members have been using for generations without being worried about microbial contamination.

Nickeyeah relies on a small sloped creek for their drinking water which is significantly affected by seasons and weather. Spring snowmelt and alot of rain, etc, affect the quality of water so as a result for a majority of the year the community is on a boil water advisory.

Sixth Nunavut treatment plant contract awarded to BI Pure Water

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Sixth Nunavut treatment plant contract awarded to BI Pure Water

Super-insulated containers are built and delivered nearly ready to operate by locals

Taloyoak Nunavut water treatment plant with renewable energyTaloyoak, Nunavut water treatment plant with wind and solar renewable energy sources
BI Pure Water has been awarded its sixth water treatment plant contract in Nunavut in the past three years. The community of Kugluktuk (formerly Coppermine) will receive a new water treatment system in a package plant to replace the old, for $2million. BI Pure Water of Surrey, BC is working with consulting engineer Williams Engineering and the contractor is NDL Construction in Winnipeg.

Working with the same contractors and Stantec Consulting, BI Pure Water was also awarded the Cambridge Bay treatment plant upgrade for $5.2 million in May. There were no other bidders for the remote Arctic communities. The population of Cambridge Bay is 1600 and 1450 for Kugluktuk.

“We’ve been building and servicing treatment plants in very cold climates for many years now and we’re happy to use that experience to provide safe, consistent water quality for other remote communities,“ says Scott Foster, President of BI Pure Water.

BI Pure Water has already successfully designed, delivered, installed and trained local operators for water treatment plants in Baker Lake, Kugaaruk, Taloyoak and Chesterfield Inlet, as well as a Canadian Forces Radar Station Fox 2. on Baffin Island.

Each of the treatment plants called for extraordinary insulation values. Taloyoak required consideration of social and environmental factors, with minimal impact on the fragile northern environment. Sustainable solar and wind are the primary energy sources for Taloyoak’s operation. The severe arctic weather calls for extra insulation in the plant’s containers, and the insulated intake lines are installed well below the surface, and heated to prevent freezing.

The systems are designed with media filtration, ultraviolet irradiation and chlorination. The plants are designed to deliver up to 1,200 L/min (72 m3/hr for Baker Lake). BI Pure Water supplied its remote monitoring and trending system to provide trending of important parameters to computer screens in the community, and to the BI Pure offices in Surrey. Ongoing training is the result, with BI Pure staff available to help the operator diagnose problems in real time.


We are seeking companies that spend more than $5 per m3 to dispose of difficult waste for IRAP

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