Innovation Cluster cleantech client Aclarus Inc. installed their innovative ozone system at Cobourg’s wastewater treatment plant, making the local community the very first city in Canada to switch to ozone for a safer and more sustainable solution. From First Nation communities lacking clean drinking water, to parks, food plants and homes, Aclarus Ozone Water Systems are providing the opportunity for any person or industry to have safe, affordable and sustainable water treatment.
After more than a decade of research and development, cousins Michael and Adam Doran co-founded Aclarus in 2012 with local investors to design and build advanced ozone systems for multiple markets. Their intuitive designs produce safe water, are environment friendly and eliminate health concerns for communities. As of 2017, the Aclarus team have installed over 600 systems creating clean water coast to coast and 10 countries, in a wide variety of applications for residential, industrial, food, municipal and wastewater sectors and more.
Most recently, Cobourg’s wastewater treatment plant switched from chlorine to the Aclarus System, which uses their ozone process to treat wastewater. The water leaving the plant is now crystal clear, free of harmful bacteria and chemicals while operating at a low cost. Now, other communities are exploring opportunities with Aclarus for both drinking and wastewater treatment, while Montreal is planning to install one of the largest ozone waste treatment plants in the world.
Bill Peeples, the Manager of Environmental Services for the Town of Cobourg, says employees of the Plant find the new automated ozone system more time-efficient and don’t need to worry about a chlorine leak or any health concerns while working.
“People are just looking for a reason to get rid of chlorine,” says Peeples. “Money is the main impediment for most cities and why they haven’t switched. The Aclarus system however, has improved the ozone solubility, so it’s a more efficient use of ozone (i.e. Less waste). It also has a higher oxygen to ozone conversion rate, so it uses less electricity than traditional ozone units as well,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation.”
Compared to chlorine, ozone is 3000 times faster and 300 times stronger, but it’s all natural and is made on-site. Aclarus advanced ozone designs provide complete disinfection and treatment of even the worst water sources on-demand. It even treats “emerging contaminants” like pesticides and medications, while preserving the water’s healthy minerals.
Aclarus partnered with McGill University to study how ozone treatment removes water contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and illicit drugs. According to the results of the study conducted in 2015, the Aclarus AOWWT-10 ozonation wastewater unit proved to eliminate on average 86% of those concerns, where UV disinfection removed only 7%. The toxicity of the water also showed to decrease substantially once treated through the unit and treated 99% of bacteria.
“The results of this study helped prove what our ozone design can do,” says Adam Doran, co-founder of Aclarus. “Although the amount of contaminants entering wastewater is acknowledged, few are developing ways to treat it,” he says. “We hope this study leads to discussion and fosters further studies on how ozone provides a solution to the problem.”
In Canada, First Nations communities are experiencing the highest concerns for safe water.
Although the Government of Canada has specific regulation guidelines for most Canadian residents, it does not extend to First Nations reserves.
Currently in Ontario, 65 long-term drinking advisories for First Nation reserves are in effect and many are regularly under the Boil Water Advisory (BWA), as they require new or upgraded treatment systems and equipment. The remaining seven reserves currently remain under the Do Not Consume Advisory (DNCA), with one being affected since 2006.
In 2017, Aclarus installed ozone systems at Wabauskang and North Spirit Lake First Nation Communities in northwestern Ontario with a partner company and there are several more slated for this year. Their system is able to treat bacteria, organics, aesthetics and other contaminants to potable standard naturally and automatically. Being remote areas, there is huge value for the systems reliability, ease of use and treatment without consumables.
“With the substantial amount of water and technology resources Canada has, providing safe water to First Nations communities has been long overdue,” says Doran. “We need to be more diligent and clinical about solving this problem, as well as having the right type of government support to make a change,” he said. “People’s lives are in danger, and it’s important to us that we provide only the best solution and value to any client we are able to help.”
For those interested to learn more about Aclarus, Adam Doran will be speaking at the Innovation Cluster’s next cleantech-themed Power Breakfast on Jan. 26, 2018 at 7:30 a.m.