Emerging Contaminants Funding Announcement October 2013

October 31, 2013

$475,000 invested for Canadian Water Researchers to help municipalities address national wastewater challenges  

Research will focus on identifying significant effects of Emerging Contaminants from wastewater on aquatic ecosystems

WATERLOO, ON, OCTOBER 31, 2013 - Canadian Water Network (CWN), the leading national facilitator of multidisciplinary water research and knowledge across Canada, is investing $475,000 with Canadian researchers and partners. The research will develop approaches to assess the significance of impacts of Emerging Contaminants from municipal wastewater on aquatic ecosystems. The research, in collaboration with parallel work being conducted by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) in the United States, will advance the capacity of wastewater managers across Canada. The results will help clarify which sites are priorities, warranting further focus.

Over the past two decades, significant improvements have been made to the quality of Canada's water resources. However, there have been recent concerns about the cumulative exposure and impacts of a new category of contaminants - Emerging Contaminants (ECs) - on humans and aquatic ecosystems. ECs include a diverse assortment of chemical substances such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and estrogenic compounds such as birth control.

"Today's investment will advance our ability to understand where the discharge of Emerging Contaminants from our municipal wastewater systems are having impacts," says Bernadette Conant, Executive Director of Canadian Water Network. "These projects will help wastewater managers to focus efforts more effectively to improve the quality of Canada's water resources."

The research projects will help determine the level of concern in relation to the effects of ECs on aquatic ecosystems downstream of wastewater treatment plants. The projects will identify a suite of screening tools and methods that will have the potential to be broadly applied across Canada and the United States.

The projects include researchers from over 10 universities across Canada, along with 13 partners, including industry, government and private organizations. This is a collaborative research program with CWN research being conducted in parallel with projects undertaken by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) in the United States, combining the interests of the two organizations in advancing knowledge of the impacts of ECs in wastewater effluent sites.

Research will be conducted in the St. Lawrence River, the Grand River watershed in Ontario, and two sites in Saskatchewan - Wascana Creek and the Saskatchewan Rivers. Projects are twenty-two months in duration and will end March 31, 2015. For a complete list of research projects, please visit our website.


About Canadian Water Network (CWN) Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canadian Water Network (www.cwn-rce.ca) was created in 2001 by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program to connect international water researchers with decision-makers engaged in priority water management issues. Canadian Water Network works to harness the expertise of researchers to improve the ability of practitioners and implementers to respond to water challenges.

To arrange an interview with a Canadian Water Network representative or any research team or partners, please contact:
Kathryn Ross Canadian Water Network 519-888-4567, ext. 37709 kross@cwn-rce.ca