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Smiths Falls water treatment operators keen to test new technology

New technologies that can improve monitoring and water treatment are always emerging, but it’s innovation embracers like Ted Joynt, superintendent of utilities, at the Smiths Falls Water Treatment Plant and Sarah Cooke, water and wastewater compliance coordinator that make it possible for new technologies to be tested in real world settings. Photo Credit: Howaida Sorour-Roberts.

By Howaida Sorour-Roberts
heddy@pdgmedia.ca

The Smiths Falls drinking water treatment plant is taking part in a pilot project to test a new industry technology and hopefully accelerate its introduction to the water treatment world to the benefit of municipalities across the province.

“We never turn down a chance to get involved with the University of Toronto,” said Ted Joynt, superintendent of utilities, at the Smiths Falls Water Treatment Plant.

The project will be testing a monitoring system developed by AUG Signals Ltd., a Toronto-based company that specializes in intelligent sensor systems.

“The foundation of this analyzer is based on an existing photonic technology we had developed, but applying it to drinking water,” explained Cindy Dongxin Hu, senior project manager with AUG Signals.

AUG will install its newly developed remote photonic sensing system to monitor levels of trihalomethanes (THMs) continuously. THMs are a byproduct of the water disinfection process. It is a group of chemicals that form when chlorine, used to disinfect the water, interacts with naturally occurring organic matter in the water. That’s one of the reasons that Smiths Falls is a perfect site, according to Professor Ron Hofmann, associate professor and National Science and Engineering Research Council associate industrial research chair, department of civil engineering, University of Toronto.

“The water in Smiths Falls comes from the Rideau River, which is a shallow river with fluctuating levels of organic matter,” he explained.

The Smiths Falls plant already monitors THMs on a very regular basis.

“All municipalities across the province to one degree or another test for THMs once every quarter, but we do it monthly based on our license,” said Joynt.

Over the 18-months of the project, the Smiths Falls water treatment personnel with work closely with AUG and researchers at the University of Toronto to test the new system in a real world environment.

“Smiths Falls is kind of unique in the type of personnel you have there,” said Hoffman. “You have people who are engaged in the latest technologies and it speaks to how involved they are in the health of the community.”

In the meantime, regular testing the old fashioned way will continue as usual, with samples also going to University of Toronto, where a comparison will be done with the AUG system’s results.

“The new technology will be monitored online,” said Joynt, and if it works will give water treatment operators hourly readings of THM levels. Currently, when samples are sent to a lab, it can take up to a week to get the results.

There are provincial regulations around the amount of potentially carcinogenic THM’s that can be allowed in drinking water, so having nearly immediate information at their fingertips means water operators can stay on top of fluctuating levels.

“Having information like that allows us to react as we see the reading and that means we can optimize our process to reduce THMs as they occur,” said Joynt.

AUG online sensor technology doesn’t replace mandated laboratory-testing methods, according to Dongxin Hu, but offers first-hand screening of THM content in water on a continuous basis.

“There will be no cost to the town and actually they’re paying to install a dedicated internet line for the system,” said Joynt.

The project is expected to begin in the early part of July.

Photo Caption:
New technologies that can improve monitoring and water treatment are always emerging, but it’s innovation embracers like Ted Joynt, superintendent of utilities, at the Smiths Falls Water Treatment Plant and Sarah Cooke, water and wastewater compliance coordinator that make it possible for new technologies to be tested in real world settings. Photo Credit: Howaida Sorour-Roberts.

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Smiths Falls water treatment operators keen to test new technology

New technologies that can improve monitoring and water treatment are always emerging, but it’s innovation embracers like Ted Joynt, superintendent of utilities, at the Smiths Falls Water Treatment Plant and Sarah Cooke, water and wastewater compliance coordinator that make it possible for new technologies to be tested in real world settings. Photo Credit: Howaida Sorour-Roberts.

By Howaida Sorour-Roberts
heddy@pdgmedia.ca

The Smiths Falls drinking water treatment plant is taking part in a pilot project to test a new industry technology and hopefully accelerate its introduction to the water treatment world to the benefit of municipalities across the province.

“We never turn down a chance to get involved with the University of Toronto,” said Ted Joynt, superintendent of utilities, at the Smiths Falls Water Treatment Plant.

The project will be testing a monitoring system developed by AUG Signals Ltd., a Toronto-based company that specializes in intelligent sensor systems.

“The foundation of this analyzer is based on an existing photonic technology we had developed, but applying it to drinking water,” explained Cindy Dongxin Hu, senior project manager with AUG Signals.

AUG will install its newly developed remote photonic sensing system to monitor levels of trihalomethanes (THMs) continuously. THMs are a byproduct of the water disinfection process. It is a group of chemicals that form when chlorine, used to disinfect the water, interacts with naturally occurring organic matter in the water. That’s one of the reasons that Smiths Falls is a perfect site, according to Professor Ron Hofmann, associate professor and National Science and Engineering Research Council associate industrial research chair, department of civil engineering, University of Toronto.

“The water in Smiths Falls comes from the Rideau River, which is a shallow river with fluctuating levels of organic matter,” he explained.

The Smiths Falls plant already monitors THMs on a very regular basis.

“All municipalities across the province to one degree or another test for THMs once every quarter, but we do it monthly based on our license,” said Joynt.

Over the 18-months of the project, the Smiths Falls water treatment personnel with work closely with AUG and researchers at the University of Toronto to test the new system in a real world environment.

“Smiths Falls is kind of unique in the type of personnel you have there,” said Hoffman. “You have people who are engaged in the latest technologies and it speaks to how involved they are in the health of the community.”

In the meantime, regular testing the old fashioned way will continue as usual, with samples also going to University of Toronto, where a comparison will be done with the AUG system’s results.

“The new technology will be monitored online,” said Joynt, and if it works will give water treatment operators hourly readings of THM levels. Currently, when samples are sent to a lab, it can take up to a week to get the results.

There are provincial regulations around the amount of potentially carcinogenic THM’s that can be allowed in drinking water, so having nearly immediate information at their fingertips means water operators can stay on top of fluctuating levels.

“Having information like that allows us to react as we see the reading and that means we can optimize our process to reduce THMs as they occur,” said Joynt.

AUG online sensor technology doesn’t replace mandated laboratory-testing methods, according to Dongxin Hu, but offers first-hand screening of THM content in water on a continuous basis.

“There will be no cost to the town and actually they’re paying to install a dedicated internet line for the system,” said Joynt.

The project is expected to begin in the early part of July.

Photo Caption:
New technologies that can improve monitoring and water treatment are always emerging, but it’s innovation embracers like Ted Joynt, superintendent of utilities, at the Smiths Falls Water Treatment Plant and Sarah Cooke, water and wastewater compliance coordinator that make it possible for new technologies to be tested in real world settings. Photo Credit: Howaida Sorour-Roberts.

Share Button

One Response to “Smiths Falls water treatment operators keen to test new technology”

  1. Every weekend i used to go to see this site, because i want
    enjoyment, for the reason that this this web site conations genuinely pleasant funny material too.


Leave a Reply

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