Recently Completed Projects
Recently Completed Projects
Source Water Protection Scan and Gap Analysis for the Government of the Northwest Territories
The IWS was commissioned by the Environment and Natural Resources Department of the Government of the Northwest Territories(GNWT) to undertake a review and analysis of existing legislative tools, planning policies, and agency responsibilities for water, to identify current governance tools that can support the promotion of SWP within the NWT, outside of community based SWP planning initiatives. IWS staff are working with Dr. Robert Patrick of the University of Saskatchewan, who helped to develop the Source Water Assessment and Protection (SWAP) documentation and process for NWT. Through the RBC Blue Water Project (2009-2014) IWS staff helped to train community and agency personnel in NWT on Source Water Protection Planning in partnership with Dr. Patrick and ENR staff.
Currently we are undertaking this analysis scaled at Territorial, regional and local levels, including an analysis of the multiple government departments and agencies with responsibilities over aspects of water regulation or planning affecting waters. Our analysis will identify where existing regulatory instruments and policies can be further aligned to promote safe water supplies for the people of NWT communities and will identify any gaps in the regulatory and organizational framework within the NWT that can be bridged to protect the sources of drinking water.
This project continues to build the partnership between IWS and the GNWT to protect water resources in the Northwest Territories.
The IWS worked with Dr. Heather Nicol, Dept. of Geography, Trent University, as part of this multinational and multi-institutional project exploring the changing nature and meaning of borders in our globalized world. The IWS highlighted the work of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC), as part work onr the Arctic Region, as a cross-border grassroots Indigenous organization working toward protection of an international watershed. Staff from the IWS presented at the BIG Yukon Conference in June 2015 and 2016. Leslie Collins of the IWS has contributed a paper to the BIG project highlighting the cross border cooperation of the YRITWC.
Report on Water Quality in the Yukon River- a collaborative project by the IWS and the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council
The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council is a grassroots Indigenous organization of 70 Canadian First Nations and Alaskan Tribes dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Yukon River Watershed now and in the future. The Vision of the organization is "to be able to drink the water directly from the Yukon River". To this end the organization provides technical assistance, science expertise and assistence to communities within the watershed to monitor the health and water quality of the river and it's tributaries. The Institute for Watershed Science first partnered with the YRITWC under the RBC Blue Water Project to promote and provide training on Source Water Protection for Yukon First Nations. This report builds on that partnership. Expertise at Trent University through the IWS and the Trent Water Quality Centre assisted the YRITWC with passive sampling analysis for selected metals of concern and the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at several Yukon River watershed sampling sites.
Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Effluents from Wastewater Treatment Plants in The Lake Simcoe Watershed
Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), including personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and steroid hormones are known to be discharged in the effluents of wastewater treatment plants into receiving waters in Canada (Metcalfe et al., 2003; Lishman et al., 2006; Chen et al., 2006; Yang and Metcalfe, 2006; Lajeunesse et al., 2008; Schuerer et al., 2010; Metcalfe et al., 2010). Studies conducted in Canada have also reported CECs of wastewater origin in drinking water (Servos et al., 2007; Garcia-Ac et al., 2009; Kleywegt et al., 2011; Metcalfe et al., 2014). For this reason, CECs were identified as a key public health concern in the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the concentrations of CECs in the effluents discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the Lake Simcoe watershed.
CECs were measured in the influent and effluent of six WWTPs situated in the Lake Simcoe watershed. The WWTPs were selected to evaluate CEC discharges from WWTPs with different types of wastewater treatment,. The CECs monitored included selected “indicator compounds” that included personal care products, pharmaceuticals, steroid hormones, and an artificial sweetener. These target compounds were selected according to the criteria identified by Dickenson et al. (2011) in a study that illustrated the value of monitoring a selected number of CECs in wastewater treatment facilities in the U.S. The artificial sweetener, sucralose has been proposed as a tracer of wastewater contaminants in water samples (Mawhinney et al., 2011).
Contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) have been detected in drinking water world-wide. The source of most of these compounds is generally attributed to contamination from municipal wastewater. Traditional
water sampling methods (grab or composite) often require the concentration of large amounts of water in order to detect trace levels of these contaminants. The Polar Organic Compounds Integrative Sampler (POCIS) is a passive sampling technology that has been developed to concentrate trace levels of CEC to provide time-weighted average concentrations for individual compounds in water. However, few studies to date have evaluated whether POCIS is suitable for monitoring contaminants in drinking water. In this study, the POCIS was evaluated as a monitoring tool for CEC in drinking water over a period of 2 and 4 weeks with comparisons to typical grab samples. Seven “indicator compounds” which included carbamazepine, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, ibuprofen, gemfibrozil, estrone and sucralose, were monitored in five drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) in Ontario. All indicator compounds were detected in raw water samples from the POCIS in comparison to six from grab samples. Similarly, four compounds were detected in grab samples of treated drinking water, whereas six were detected in the POCIS. Sucralose was the only compound that was detected consistently at all five plants. The POCIS technique provided integrative exposures of CECs in drinking water at lower detection limits, while episodic events were captured via traditional sampling methods. There was evidence that the accumulation of target compounds by POCIS is a dynamic process, with adsorption and desorption on the sorbent occurring in response to ambient levels of the target compounds in water. CECs in treated drinking water were present at low ng/ L
concentrations, which are not considered to be a threat to human health.