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BCWWA 2024 Conference Presenters

Associated Engineering is excited to continue our long-time support of the BC Water & Waste Association and we're proud to announce our large slate of subject matter experts who are featured in this year's educaton program at the BCWWA's annual conference taking place on April 29 and 30 in Whistler, BC! Each of our presenters, representing our water and strategic advisory services practices, will share their insights on various topics that are connected to the conference theme of "The Ripple Effect: When Action Becomes Change".

Monday, April 29

11:15am - 11:45am
Stop Throwing Away Your Hydraulic Energy!
Presenter: Jonathan Musser
Room: Garibaldi B

Join us to learn more about Pump–as–Turbine Generating Systems. Surplus energy is regularly dissipated at pressure reducing stations within gravity fed distribution systems. At the same time, efforts to reduce fossil fuel usage are increasing the demand for electrical energy. There is potential for pressure reducing stations to generate electricity. This presentation will review operational experiences from The Sooke River Road Treatment Facility, a Capital Regional District facility which has been successfully generating power since 2010. The Sooke River Road Treatment Facility includes an 11–kW pump–as–turbine generating system, which operates in parallel with pressure reducing valves to recover hydraulic energy as electricity. Join us to learn about the challenges and opportunities of implementing this technology, review maintenance needs for the system and understand the cost– benefit analysis for utilizing a pump–as–turbine generating system

1:45pm - 2:15pm
Strategic Electrical Maintenance and Upgrade Planning of Operating Water Plants
Presenter: Derek Desaulniers
Room: Garibaldi A

How often do we see strategic planning to replace/ renew equipment in an operating plant? As individuals, we may be inclined to look at the large equipment such as pumps and filters, but what about some of the smaller, more sensitive components that are pricey, but often overlooked. With the evolving landscape in the electrical industry introducing us to greater challenges obtaining materials, this introduces new implications to planning for electrical upgrades, including such items as PLC upgrades, capital spares and SCADA systems.

Tuesday, April 30

10:30am - 11:00am
Increasing Anaerobic Digestion Capacity: Different Strategies and Their Implications
Presenter: Cameron Macdonell
Room: Empress B

This presentation explores innovative approaches to enhance anaerobic digestion (AD) capacity and performance for wastewater sludge treatment, emphasizing the integration of diverse technologies. Techniques including sludge thickening, chemical hydrolysis, thermal hydrolysis, and improvements to primary clarification are investigated for their synergistic effects on optimizing AD performance. The study evaluated the implications of these strategies on biogas production and biosolids volume reduction, emphasizing the role of increased biogas yields in sustainable wastewater management. In addition, the integration of advanced technologies aims to elevate volatile solids reduction efficiency, reduce biosolids volume production, and improve final product quality (Class A), contributing to more eco–friendly and economically viable solids treatment solutions. This presentation will provide valuable insights into the multifaceted strategies available for increasing AD capacity without necessarily building additional tanks, paving the way for more effective and sustainable wastewater treatment practices.

11:00am - 11:30am
AM Planning at the Sechelt Water Resource Centre
Presenter: Jaimie Sokalski
Room: Empress A

The District of Sechelt is building their asset management capacity, and recently developed their first ever Asset Management Plan (AMP) for their Water Resource Centre, a Level 4 wastewater treatment facility with tertiary treatment capacity. This initial AMP for the district is intended to act as a template and example for future AMPs across the service area and organization. In this presentation, the District and Associated Engineering will share their journey in making the most of a small budget to develop a first time AMP. Using an asset driven approach, we will share our findings around asset condition, functionality, risk and how these indicators will be used to inform future decisions. The presentation will discuss priorities in beginning your AM journey and how taking initial steps can still have immediate impact while setting you up for a more mature AM program across your facility or organization in the future.

1:30pm - 2:00pm
AWWA's 2030 Strategic Plan – A Worldwide Path Forward
Presenter: Keith Kohut
Room: Empress A

When the Strategic Plan was last updated in 2020, AWWA members could not have foreseen the world–changing events that were about to occur, or the rapidly increasing interest in topics such as cybersecurity, “forever chemicals”, and diversity and inclusion. During the same period, the AWWA has also initiated a proactive campaign to identify, plan for, and shape the issues and the state of the water industry in the long term via their Water2050 program. AWWA is in the final stages of updating their strategic plan, intended to guide the organization from 2025 to 2030. This has provided an opportunity to reflect on the changes that have happened and are expected within our industry, as well as the changes that we want to make happen. Members of AWWA’s Strategic Planning committee will provide a walkthrough of AWWA’s 2030 strategic plan and its relevance for the water industry in BC.

1:30pm - 2:00pm
Upgrades of Existing Wastewater Collection Facilities – A Case Study
Presenter: Alex Jancker
Room: Empress B

The City of Maple Ridge is rapidly growing, and so are the demands on the City’s wastewater conveyance systems. While new infrastructure is desirable, upgrades to existing facilities are often the approach of choice due to various constraints and financial viability. The City’s largest wastewater pump station was constructed in the 1970’s and all mechanical equipment had reached the end of its service life. The construction and connection to a new, larger forcemain will mitigate the pump station’s hydraulic capacity limitations while larger equipment needs to be installed to convey higher flows. Major upgrades applied included the significant remodelling of the pump intake, complete replacement and remodelling of all piping components, the replacement of all HVAC and odour control components, general repairs, and improvements, as well as remodelling of the site drainage and access. Further, the upgrades significantly reduced the maintenance burden of the facility to City operation’s staff.

2:00pm - 2:30pm
Playing the EDI Long Game: Recruiting and Retaining Women Professionals
Quinn Crosina
Room: Empress A

For 10 years, Associated Engineering has made a commitment to improving the retention of women engineers, technologists, and scientists across the company. Historically, retention of women professionals was as much as 6 percentage points lower than men in the same roles. This presentation will discuss the findings from ‘stay interviews’ completed with longer term staff and the subsequent initiatives established. These include flexible working arrangements and mentoring programs, which have helped improve retention, leading to increased representation of women in technical leadership and managerial roles across the company. We are now looking to better understand and address the challenges women professionals face in a hybrid work environment. Improving retention is particularly relevant today, in a job market in which recruiting talent and maintaining a stable workforce are challenging. By engaging more women in the water industry, we can better represent and meet the needs of the communities we serve.

3:15pm - 3:45pm
Some Like it Hot! Actions to Address Algae Issues
Presenter: Dörte Köster
Frontenac C

Algae are essential to our waters but can create challenges, such as toxins, taste and odour, changes to pH, and aesthetics. Reports of algae issues in lakes, drinking water reservoirs, storm ponds and wastewater lagoons, along with available treatment options, have recently increased. But an understanding of the cause and the different types of algae that are present is key to identifying the most effective solutions. This presentation will provide an overview of the common types of algae, their biology and related issues for water and wastewater treatment. We will then discuss conditions that promote algae, such as climate, water quality and mixing patterns. Then, most importantly, we show how essential the understanding of algae is to assess risk and inform the right mitigation actions. Using case studies, we will demonstrate techniques to investigate algae issues and select the most appropriate solution for your type of algae.

4:15pm - 4:45pm
Optimizing Aerobic Digester Design and Operation for Biosolids Stabilization
Presenter: Jason Leong
Room: Empress C

Small wastewater treatment plants receiving less than 10 megaliters per day (MLD) of wastewater generate enough solids to require onsite sludge stabilization. Aerobic digestion is a suitable and cost–effective technology candidate for these smaller facilities as the process is simple and safe to operate and achieves stabilization objectives. Mixing, oxygen transfer, thickening, temperature, and pH are the most significant drivers for the proper functioning of an aerobic digestion process. Key design steps for new digesters include tank sizing based on forecasted treatment requirements and site climatic conditions, determining series versus parallel digester configuration, selection of appropriate aeration equipment (blowers and air diffusers), selection of sludge thickening equipment, and mixing effectiveness. These factors are also important in the operation of digesters and are key for Operators to understand.

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