2011 Fresh Ideas Winner

Congratulations to our 2011 winner! 


Amina Stoddart

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS


Amina is an MASc candidate at Dalhousie University, and presented on “Coagulation and flocculation optimization at pilot-scale: preparation for mechanical mixing at full-scale”. The Fresh Ideas program has been developed through AWWA’s Manufacturers/ Associates Council and the Young Professionals Committee. This top presentation will be given the opportunity to compete in the Fresh Ideas poster competition at the AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE 2012) in Dallas, Texas, representing the Young Professionals of ACWWA. Along with complementary conference registration provided by the ACE 2012 organizing committee, ACWWA will provide Amina with a stipend to assist with travel costs to the conference. Please take a moment to view her presentation by clicking HERE.  


This year’s Atlantic Canada Fresh Ideas competition took place at the annual ACWWA conference in St. John’s.  Three young academics: Lin Xiao, Brad McIlwain, and Amina Stoddart, were invited to give presentations on their research. A panel of judges reviewed their work based on the scientific methods employed; the novelty, or ‘freshness’ of the work; and its applicability to industry.


Lin is currently working on a Master’s of Civil Engineering at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL. She is evaluating a small-scale water treatment system that has been adopted by the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador for use in small communities. The system includes ozonation,  Her initial work, which she presented at the conference,  revealed two major technical challenges: 1) the occasional presence of color in the treated water; and 2) the robustness and cost-efficiency of the system under various operational and environmental conditions. The results indicate that the system will need to be optimized if it is to be successfully distributed and implemented in the province. This research will ultimately help to improve the quality and capacity of drinking water systems in Newfoundland and Labrador.


Brad presented some of the results of his assessment of the effectiveness of the Halifax Water corrosion control program. He used the Health Canada guidance protocols for residential and non-residential buildings to assess lead release in various buildings in Halifax. The residential testing program yielded a 90th percentile lead concentration of 8 μg/L , which is well below the current action level of 15 μg/L. Typically, the higher concentrations of lead occurred in sites with lead service lines. Only 5 of 106 of the non-residential sites had lead concentrations above the action level. Some of the highest concentrations of the non-residential testing came from a particular fountain model that has been recalled in the United States because it contains a lead lined reservoir. Further work is being conducted to determine whether the tested fountains do in fact have lead lined tanks. Overall, the results of his study suggest that Halifax Water’s corrosion control program is effective.


Amina presented the results of a pilot-scale investigation of alum dose, alum type and tapered flocculation tank velocity gradients for Halifax Water's JD Kline Water Supply Plant. The utility is considering installing mechanic mixers in its hydraulically mixed tanks to meet its strategic THM and HAA goals (80 ug/L THMs and 60 ug/L HAAs). Based on the parameters investigated (TOC, DOC, UV-254, organic size distribution using HPSEC, THMfp and HAAfp), she found that varying the type of alum used, the alum dose applied, or the velocity gradients during cold or warm water conditions did not have a statistically significant impact on the amount of THM and HAA precursors removed. This suggests that the facility is currently optimized for natural organic matter removal and should be able to implement mechanical mixing with minor upset. DBP formation is still a concern, however, so in the future she will be investigating the use of biofiltration to improve organic removal at the plant.


After careful consideration, Amina Stoddart was chosen as the Fresh Ideas winner for 2011. She will receive a complimentary registration for the ACE 2012 conference, which is being held in Dallas, Texas in June of next year. While there, she’ll participate in the association-wide Fresh Ideas Poster Competition. Good luck, Amina! Congratulations also go out to Lin and Brad, who both gave interesting, well-prepared presentations.