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Opinion: The Montreal raw sewage dump isn't news.

The recent announcement of the future Montreal sewage release into the St. Lawrence River sure is big news, it seems, on twitter. With Ottawa in big smile mode with the return of adult government, it's slim pickings for the anti-Justin media machine. On November 19th, World Toilet Day, is it time for an adult conversation about the “Abc's of #1 and #2”? 

For a decade, our environment, lakes, rivers and oceans have been ignored with respect to raw sewage. So, why is this news if many Canadian cities already dump raw sewage into our lakes, rivers and oceans? Is it the first opportunity to smear Justin, in Montreal?

So, why am I blogging about it? Well, it's all part of Greening Canada.

Canada needs to innovate our sewage treatment immediately to accomplish several goals. First, to protect our marine and riparian ecosystems local to water treatment facilities. Second, to ensure that water released into nature complies with pollution regulations; solids, bacterial complexity, medication by-product pollution and common toxic pollutants. Third, to use such systems that operate using energy reclaimed from raw sewage that our communities produce.

This isn't new, it's been done and works well. Over the past 20 years, I have seen many methods and processes to extract this wasted potential energy some cities dump. I have also seen these designs become more profitable, and reliable. Certain systems that use fuel cells for high electrical efficiency can be sensitive to biogas quality. Systems that use microturbines require little maintenance and are well suited for smaller municipal systems. Each location has its challenges.

The benefits are many. The energy to process the sewage is decreased, meaning lower operational costs. The water released is in balance with the local natural waters, which has minimal impacts on our complex ecosystems. The methane previously released into our environment is decreased which directly benefits our climate. No poo poo smells? Priceless!

By innovating how we do do things, we can improve our environment and generate operational cash flow. Smart science delivers smart tools that deliver smarter solutions.