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Well, the new face of Covid hits us just in time to ruin Christmas – just ask our members doing the wastewater testing. We all hope we don’t go back to the lockdowns we endured at the beginning, but if we do, we know we are ready and able. As water and wastewater workers, we are in the healthcare sector and we must continue to be diligent in following all safety protocols and caring for ourselves. The health of our communities depend on us staying healthy and keeping our critical systems in place.
The National Water and Wastewater Conference webinar series is coming up in January. We have a fantastic lineup of topics and speakers, and we encourage everyone to check out the website, and register soon.
Many of our sponsorship opportunities have already sold out, so if you're interested in sponsoring, be sure to secure your opportunity soon!
This session will feature an overview of the new Buy America requirements in the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the potential impact on Canadian suppliers of water and wastewater infrastructure.
Environment and Climate Change Canada recently published consultations on proposed changes to the WSER. These changes are intended to fill gaps in the transitional and temporary authorization provisions and additional improvement to the Regulation.
The Minister of the Environment has given notice that the government requires industry to provide information to help assess whether 188 substances, including bisphenol A (BPA) and BPA structural analogues or functional alternatives, are toxic or are capable of becoming toxic. Responses to this notice shall be submitted to the Minister of the Environment, no later than March 16, 2022.
Consultation on proposed amendments to the Pest Control Products Regulations (Ultraviolet Radiation-emitting Devices and Ozone-generating Devices)
On December 4, 2021, the government published in the Canada Gazette Part 1, Notice of its intent to launch consultations on proposed amendments to the Pest Control Products Regulations. The consultation deadline is January 17, 2022. Health Canada will host a webinar for interested parties on December 14, 2021, to discuss the proposal and seek comments.
Newly-published guidelines outline values for specific parameters used to monitor water quality hazards and recommend monitoring and risk management strategies related to fecal contamination in recreational water.
While the guidelines for recreational water quality are not entirely relevant to the sector, it’s useful to be aware of changing guidelines, especially for wastewater facilities that could impact recreational waters.
Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality: Understanding and Managing Risks in Recreational Waters
This guideline technical document evaluated the available information on managing risks in recreational areas with the intent of updating/recommending a preventive risk management approach to managing recreational areas.
Similar to the previous article these Guidelines are not strictly relevant to water/wastewater treatment facilities, but since wastewater facilities do contribute to the bacterial load of recreational waters it is worth being aware of changing advice for recreational use.
On November 24, 2021, the governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan renewed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) respecting water management. The renewed MOU will be in effect for five years, expiring in 2026.
Ontario publishes Proposed amendments to wastewater operator licensing and drinking water operator and water quality analyst certification regulation to address impacts of emergencies
These proposed regulatory changes ensure the ministry and owners and operators of wastewater and drinking water facilities have the staff they need to continue operations in an emergency by extending operator licences/certficates and allowing certain qualified but non-licensed/non certified staff to temporarily maintain system operation
Wastewater amendments at: htttps://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-3515
A new Ontario bill aims to eliminate the requirement for Canadian work experience, often cited as the most significant barrier for Canadian immigrants seeking licensure in fields such as engineering.
Snippings & Clippings
Bennet Jones Blog
A collapse in trust in government services appears to be fuelling an increase in often-tenuous claims against municipalities, including from self-represented and class action litigants. This includes an uptick in defamation and reputational claims against municipal politicians and staff. At the same time, insurance companies are finding it challenging to price the unpredictable impacts of forces such as climate change and civil unrest. As a result, municipalities are having a hard time placing insurance in the market at a reasonable price and more communities are considering self-insurance.
To remain credible over the long term, communities will require meaningful civic engagement opportunities, comprehensive risk mitigation and risk management plans, and effective crisis management when the unexpected inevitably occurs.
Washington State Journal
Wisconsin water utilities and local governments are joining industry groups seeking to stop the state from limiting toxic “forever chemicals” in the state’s drinking water.
Professor William Sanderson, or Bill as he likes to be known, wades into the shallows of the Dornoch Firth as the sun breaks over the ragged skyline of the Scottish Highlands, turning the waters gold. Something in the water catches his eye and he stoops to pick it up. "This is a European native oyster," he explains. "They used to be very abundant in this site thousands of years ago right up to the 1800s."
As the City of Merritt remains under yet another flood watch, emergency repairs to the flooded wastewater treatment plant have allowed some evacuated residents to begin returning home in phases.
Wall Street Journal
The Biden administration is readying a proposal to shore up the cybersecurity of the U.S. water supply, a system maintained by thousands of organizations with sometimes glaring vulnerabilities to hackers.
Across Canada, municipalities must be ready for big growth—and big change. Increased immigration levels and housing booms outside of major urban centres mean municipalities of all sizes and in all corners of the country are preparing for unprecedented population growth.
The scientists watching Ottawa's wastewater for COVID-19 say the new variant hasn't escaped their testing and they're starting to collect data about how prevalent it may be in the community.
Throughout the pandemic, Ottawa researchers have been testing the city's wastewater for traces of genetic material from SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the respiratory illness. Many of those infected shed the virus through their feces, even if they don't have symptoms, according to researchers.
AP News - St. Louis, United States
For years, testing of the tap water in an upscale Detroit suburb showed the city was in the clear. Then residents got a notice seemingly out of the blue: Their water could be contaminated with elevated levels of lead.
The city of Royal Oak had not made drastic changes to its water. It was simply using a new testing method that showed lead levels high enough that the utility was legally required to inform residents about the problem.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has rescinded its Do Not Use order and issued a Boil Water Advisory (BWA) for the Town of Gravenhurst due to risk of contamination of the drinking water from a loss of pressure in the drinking water system. The Advisory has been issued as required by regulation to ensure that any bacteria drawn into the system have not remained viable. The Advisory will be in place until microbiological test results are received, estimated to occur by Tuesday of this week, confirming the water to be safe.
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing its Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. The plan represents a historic effort of unprecedented ambition that will deploy catalytic resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law while leveraging every tool across federal, state, and local government to deliver clean drinking water, replace lead pipes, and remediate lead paint. The plan includes over 15 new actions from more than 10 federal agencies that ensure the federal government is marshalling every resource to make rapid progress towards replacing all lead pipes in the next decade.