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Clean water technology projects receive $17M funding


Toronto, ON – Ontario’s provincial government has announced $17.1 million in funding for nine research and development projects in the water technology sector.

“Ontario is supporting its water technology researchers and companies so they grow, expand and export water technology to the world using their ‘made-in-Ontario’ expertise,” says Glen Murray, the province’s minister of research and innovation.

A total of $8.8 million will support the following four water research projects:

Dr Herb E Schellhorn, McMaster University. Funding amount: $2,800,276. “Integrated Real-time Monitoring of Ontario Recreational and Municipal Water Sources: Developing sensing systems to monitor water quality.” Dr Schellhorn is developing and commercializing inexpensive, next-generation sensing systems to monitor water quality. These systems, which will be able to detect virtually any known contaminant, will test water quality on-site and use wireless networks to alert public officials of any problems.

Dr Brent Sleep, University of Toronto. Funding amount: $3,213,700. “Innovative Combined Treatment Technologies for Remediating Contaminated Groundwater: New technologies to restore contaminated sites.” Contaminated industrial and commercial sites represent a significant economic opportunity. But redevelopment is a challenge because current cleanup techniques are expensive and time consuming. Dr Sleep is developing innovative water treatment technologies to restore these properties.

Dr Peter M Huck, University of Waterloo. Funding amount: $1,557,847. “Biofiltration as a Pre-treatment to Reduce Membrane Fouling: Advancing water filtration technologies.” Membrane technology – where water is passed through a polymer membrane to separate it from contaminants – is considered one of the best water treatment options available today. Dr Huck is focused on making this technology more effective and less costly by developing a ‘green’ biological pre-treatment for membranes.

Dr Janusz Pawliszyn, University of Waterloo. Funding amount: $1,319,015. “Advanced Water Analytics for Emerging Critical Needs in the Water Monitoring Industry: Advancing water analysis techniques.” Water analysis involves collecting field samples and shipping them to testing facilities, a labour-intensive and costly process. Dr Pawliszyn is developing new technologies to streamline sample processing both on-site and in the lab. The result will be faster, more accurate and cost-effective water analysis.

A total of $8.3 million will support the following five water technology projects:

ENPAR Technologies, Guelph. Funding amount: $228,619. “ESD System: Using Electrochemical Technology To Transform Water Treatment.” The company uses state-of-the-art electrochemical technology to turn municipal and industrial wastewater into safe drinking water – and it promises to do it more efficiently and economically than any method currently available.

ENPAR Technologies, Guelph. Funding amount: $341,644. “AmmEL System for the Treatment of Ammonia: Eliminating Nitrates In Wastewater.” Nitrates, which can cause serious illness and death, are an emerging and serious contaminant in municipal and industrial wastewater. ENPAR Technologies has developed an environmentally friendly electrochemical system that converts nitrates into harmless nitrogen gas.

Trojan Technologies, London. Funding amount: $2,096,000. “Full Scale Commercial Demonstration of Next Generation Municipal UV Water Treatment: Advancing Municipal UV Water Treatment Technology.” The company’s municipal ultra-violet (UV) technology treats a range of waters, including wastewater, reuse water and drinking water. Now, the company is commercializing the next generation of its technology, which occupies a very small footprint and reduces energy consumption by up to 50 per cent.

Spartan Bioscience, Ottawa. Funding amount: $2,791,070. “Rapid Pathogen Detection System for Monitoring Water Quality and Treatment Developing On-Site Water Testing.” The company has developed portable, cost-effective, easy-to-use DNA analyzers for health applications. It is now developing the technology for the water treatment sector. By enabling on-site water testing, its new product will cut analysis time from several days to eight hours, greatly reducing the risk of waterborne illnesses.

A U G Signals, Toronto. Funding amount: $2,897,847. “Automating water monitoring: Infrastructure Pilot Project for Online Drinking Water Monitoring.” The company has developed an early warning sensor-based system that detects and identifies contaminants in municipal drinking water. The Intelligent Drinking Water Monitoring System will provide continuous, 24/7 monitoring of drinking water, helping to reduce the risk of waterborne illnesses and ensuring safety for families.